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Armor Piercing Question / Fan Works

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Armor Piercing Questions asked in fan works.

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  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged Cell drops one of these on Trunks, showcasing his knowledge of the future and pushing a major Berserk Button.
    Cell: Does Gohan know, by the way?
    Trunks: Does he know what?
    Cell: That you let him die.
    Trunks: ...I'm going to power up now.
  • Episode 10 of Hellsing Ultimate Abridged has a literal armor-piercing question considering it's the only thing that succeeds in defeating the nigh-immortal Alucard
    Alucard: Am I a bad person?
  • Scootertrix the Abridged:
    • This exchange from Princesses Celestia and Luna:
      Celestia: Luna, let me ask you a question. If there was a princess who did bad things, but they always resulted in good things happening, would that princess be good?
      Luna: Wha— no! She would be evil. That pretty much defines evil. That is evil!
      Celestia: Then let's say there is a princess who always tried to do good, but it always seemed to result in evil. Would she be evil?
      Luna: No, because at least she tries to do the right thing.
      Celestia: Last question. Which one would you want ruling the kingdom?
    • In episode fifteen Spike drops a Logic Bomb on Twilight by asking whether she trusts magic or science more. She can't answer.
  • Sword Art Online Abridged has a self-inflicted version in Episode 8, when Kirito finds himself rushing in to save the Aincrad Liberation Front from a floor boss. Cue a flashback to Sachi's death, one of Kirito's big moments, and one hell of a speech.
    Kirito: Why am I doing this?! It makes no sense! I don't even know these people! Why am I fighting a giant fucking goat demon for them?! This is stupid, why should I care about what happens to any of them? They're all a bunch of stupid sheep that let Corvatz herd them off a cliff! They knew exactly what they were walking into! Which just begs the question, WHY AM I STILL HERE?!

    Fan Fiction 

Ace Attorney

  • In Dirty Sympathy, Phoenix is trying to convince Apollo that the public would trust him and Klavier for the Vera Misham and look up to them, Apollo responds with this:
    Phoenix: The public loves you both already, you know.
    Apollo: Like they used to feel about you and Miles Edgeworth.
    • When Trucy is trying to motivate Apollo into working harder for Vera Misham and trying to call out his treatment of the case.
      Trucy: It's different! You ignored Wocky because of the dumb stuff he said and that was fine. You're ignoring Vera because she's easy to ignore. And you of all people should know what that's like—
      • This nearly ends up backfiring as it nearly sends Apollo into a Heroic BSoD instead of motivating him to get his act together.


  • In How the Light Gets In, as in Arrow canon, Oliver returned from his five-year exile still hopelessly in love with Laurel. Here however, she was Happily Married and heavily pregnant when he did so. Eventually he asks her what could've happened if she'd been single when he got back, only for her to flip out and ask a series of questions that make it clear why they cannot be a couple again:
    Laurel: "How many other girls were there?"
    Oliver: "Laurel-"
    Laurel: "How many other girls, did you fuck while you were dating me? How many times did you drop me off at home after a date, kiss me goodnight, and then go off and stick your dick in one of our friends? You know, one of the first things I did after you and Sara..." (takes a deep breath) "After you and Sara, the first thing I did when I was able to drag myself out of bed was go and get tested. Now, tell me, Oliver. Was that an overreaction?"
    Oliver: "...No. It wasn't."

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • In The Stalking Zuko Series, Aang gets kicked out of a meeting discussing what to do with Ozai now that his followers are planning on returning him to power after Zuko gets tired of Aang's stubborn refusal to even consider killing Ozai. As Aang begins wallowing in self-pity and complains that Zuko never listens to him, Hakoda asks him several such questions- why Aang thinks Zuko should listen to him, whether Aang thinks his opinion should matter even if he's wrong, and whether Aang's been listening to Zuko.


Ben 10


  • Hogyoku ex Machina: Ichigo has traveled back in time (to the end of the Soul Society Arc) from near the end of the Deicide Arc. Ishida is more than a little disturbed by Future/Ichigo's vehement desire to kill Aizen, wondering what happened to turn him:
    Ishida: "Kurosaki. When did this become some kind of grudge match between you two?!"
  • A Protector's Pride: Zangetsu uses this as an indirect Quit Your Whining/Trickster Mentor question to Ichigo.
    Zangetsu: "What makes a person a monster?"
  • In Sight, Sakanade rips Shinji a new one when Ichigo gets Shinji to talk to her for the first time in a century.
    Sakanade: "You cannot hear me anymore! You can sense my presence within you but you cannot hear me! What good is a bond like that? You've completely shut me out after what happened! The Hollowfication was not my fault so why are you punishing me for it?!"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • In Gray Matter's Marching Orders, Xander has chewed Buffy out for trying to feed the then-rogue Faith to Angel as part of a cure for a magical poison, saying that the truth was, Angel was a monster, and you never intentionally feed people to monsters, even the evil people. Later, Buffy tries to justify her actions to Oz, saying that it was Angel, and she'd have done anything to save him because she loved him. Oz thinks about it for a minute, points Willow out to Buffy, and asks the question that stops Buffy cold: "What if it was witch's blood that was the cure and not slayer blood?"
  • In We Can Be Heroes, Dawn Summers asks Buffy, Willow, and Faith a series of questions about Xander and Cordelia after seeing a Birds of Prey poster that appears to have Cordelia on it. Eventually, the trio realizes that the only information they have about the two is that they live in New Mexico; not the city, not if they have kids, where they work, anything.

Code Geass

  • In Code Geass: Cornelia of the Defection, Schneizel asks Lelouch if he's talked to Nunnally at all about his revolution, causing Lelouch to backpedal, realizing things are all for naught if he doesn't have Nunnally's approval.
  • In Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion, right before Cornelia and Euphemia are about to basically order a nationwide search for Lelouch and Nunnally after Jeremiah showed them sufficiently solid evidence of their half-siblings' possible survival, Lloyd Asplund askes them "What if Prince Lelouch has no desire to be found?" This makes them realize that, if Lelouch and Nunnally are indeed alive, the fact Lelouch never tried to contact the Royal Family most likely indicates he's actively hiding from them — and given who their father is, it wasn't hard for them to guess the reason — meaning that any overt attempt to look for them would only push Lelouch to go deeper underground.
  • Lelouch as Zero asks Kallen several questions in God's Gambit to make her realize more than the Japanese despise Britannia.
    Zero: "How many people attending Ashford Academy would like revenge on Britannia for wrongs done to them?"
    Kallen: "Only me. There is no one els-"
    Zero: "You're not that special. In fact, I could name at least three lives at that school that were destroyed by Britannia. Not to mention, you have to wonder how many have fond memories of a time where they were friends with Japanese children their own age, as twenty-eight of them were here before Britannia invaded."
    Kallen: "That's not true. I would know if anyone there wanted to fight."
    Zero: "Like they know you do?"
    Kallen: "Of course not. I can't let them find out or else..."
  • At Zero's urging, Kallen in The Whiskey Revolution asks the Black Knight the one question they should've asked themselves before trying to execute him.
    Kallen: "If Lelouch was controlling all of you Geass, how are you capable of betraying him and working with his brother to perform this coup?" (Beat) "God he's right, you're all fucking idiots."


  • In The Boy with the Magic Notebook, while during the Undersider's attack on the PRT headquarters, Lily asks one to Skitter that makes her pause. The next Interlude showed that she actually froze and had to stop everything to think about the question.
    Lily: Didn't you want to be a good guy?
  • Children of Time is absolutely full of these, thanks to it being a characterization-heavy series that develops Sherlock Holmes into a Darker and Edgier person, as well as touching several times upon the Doctor's past and darker side.
    • On their very first adventure together, Holmes is on his Hiatus, and the Doctor has just lost Rose Tyler and spent Christmas with Donna Noble. And when the Time War enters the equation, Holmes tries to get the Doctor to open up: “It is not my wish to distress you, my dear sir, and I am all too aware that there is a great deal more to this than you would wish to divulge. But I ask you, Doctor: how I am to aid you effectively if you will not confide in me?”
    • “What did he tell you, I wonder, of the Last Great Time War? Did he tell you of the battles he waged? ... He told you none of this, did he?"
    • “Ah, so is this truly about me, or is it about yourself, Holmes — as usual? Are we truly speaking of your concern for my wellbeing, or your own selfishness?
    • Holmes later quotes this question of Moriarty's: "Of the two of us, which is truly the more reprehensible: the man who never had neither friends nor a heart, or the man who had both and sold both away in a childish desire to avoid emotional pain?"
  • In Code Prime, Optimus Prime asks Suzaku after the later chooses to return to his court-martial in the hopes of being acquitted and then working to reform Britannia from within this question.
    Optimus Prime: You say that Britannia can change for the better; what if you go down this path... and you're wrong?
    • Notably, Suzaku doesn't really have a response for this, instead stating he has to hope that he's right.
  • Death Note Equestria: When Twilight sets up Sunny Days to die as part of a plot to clear her own name, Byuk asks Twilight what she did to deserve to die. Twilight's weak excuse causes her to face the fact that she's been killing innocents, as opposed to her original plan of just killing criminals, and she has a miniature breakdown before composing herself.
  • One of Harry's children in A Discordant Note makes a comment about the planet being round, which is why they can't see Harry's tower from the Wall. The nobles' sons he's talking to insist the world can't be round or people on the other side of the world would fall off.
    Wyman: If the world isn't flat, what's keeping them on the ground?
    Havel: And what is keeping us on the ground?
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • When Caleb is saying that all shapeshifters are evil, Taranee asks if he's ever even met one besides Cedric or Miranda. His silence is all the answer she needs.
    • When Elyon is denying Phobos' evil by bringing up all the people he's been allowing her to heal and help with her powers, Alchemy counters by asking if she ever stopped to ask why these people needed her help in the first place. That stops Elyon cold.
  • When Ned Stark refuses to give his approval for Daenerys Targaryen's assassination in HBO Joffrey from Game of Thrones replaced with Octavian from Rome, Octavian in Joffrey's body asks him if he would choose his honour over his children's lives. When a furious Ned wants to know if it's a threat against his daughters:
    Octavian: "No, of course not. It was an hypothetical question. What I was going to say was that if you were prepared to sacrifice your honour for the sake of your children, would it be truly honourable to be prepared to let the children of another man die for it? Countless children of countless men in this case."
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, since the story deals with people entering the Train having to come to terms with their insecurities and mental problems, this comes up often.
    • Atticus brings one up when Chloe notes how her Yamper and Ash's Pikachu can get along.
      Chloe: He [Pikachu] and Yamper get along well...but Ash and I...we're not compatible...
      Atticus: What do you mean? If they can get along well, why can't you get along with Ash? What is he like?
      Chloe: He's...He's... not into me. He wouldn’t like me at all since Goh is essentially everything I’m not.
      (number rises from 148 back to 151)
    • When Yeardley, one of Chloe's classmates who has no idea that Chloe has run away from home, questions why Chloe's so important to him, Goh gives this:
    Yeardley: What's there to know about her? She's quiet, doesn't talk much, eats lunch by herself. Why is she so important to you anyway?
    • Chapters later, after Yeardley and some of Chloe's other classmates reveal that they're more or less jealous that Chloe had the life they wants, their teacher then asks if it's really what they want.
    Miss April: So, let me repeat what you all just said to me and what I’ve observed. You all want to have the life of the girl who was never allowed to speak her mind, to be the girl who you all liked to call ‘Klutzy Chloe’ behind her back or make fun of whenever she had to read something or do an example of a math question on the whiteboard and then you want to be the girl who ran away from home because she felt like no one understood her and let her family worry about her when they found out she’s gone and all of her fellow classmates don’t even care if she got injured or died?
    • When Ash hears from Trip that Goh must never know of the Infinity Train, else risking his already obsessive nature to go search for it and potentially enter it:
      Ash: How could you say such a thing?!
      Trip: How could you just sit around and not do anything when Chloe clearly didn’t want anything to do with the Alola League Champion and instead just wanted someone who just cared about her?
    • On a lighter note, in their stay at the Hotel Crayola, Chloe tells Lexi and Atticus that she wishes she could just be herself (passionate in her love of the macabre, with friends, happy, cheerful):
    Lexi: Well, what's stopping you from being who you truly are
  • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily: During Gladion and Lillie's fight over how the former had every chance to help his sister but just walked away under the pretense of getting stronger:
    Gladion: I don't have to hear any of this. I'm just glad that it's all over.
    Lillie: Glad that I'm all right, that Mother is recovering, that karma finally caught up with Faba, that Nihilego can never hurt us again or that you can stop playing pretend of being a knight in shining armor?
  • Lelouch of the Wings of Rebellion:
    • Leila/Bishop gives Lelouch one in Chapter 19, after he beats her in a chess match. As the two discuss the game, she asks him if he would sacrifice the Black Knights just as easily as he did his chess pieces if it secured him victory. Lelouch can't really offer an answer.
    • She does the same in Chapter 37, when she gets him to admit that he actually returns Shirley's feelings despite deciding to pursue a relationship with someone else. Leila should have considered the time and place a bit better because his girlfriend was not happy to hear him say that.
    • He returns the favor in Chapter 40. Lelouch asks Leila point-blank whether she's romantically interested in him after noticing that she didn't try to correct her butler from mistaking him for her boyfriend. The sudden question catches her so badly off-guard that her Luminescent Blush and pained tone of voice immediately give her away.
  • Used in The Lone Traveler, frequently by—or at the direction of—the eponymous Traveler.
    • In one universe he hits Amelia Bones, director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, with a whole barrage of them.
    • Talking to Colonel Klink about the recently departed SS Major Hochstetter.
      Harry: "Do you want to live in a world where that horrible little man who just left has the power of life and death over you and your loved ones? ...A world where the Gestapo and the SS are the ideal which children strive to be? Do you want to see that creature" *points at picture of Hitler* "achieve his dream of 'Aryan Superiority'?"
    • In one chapter, Snape uses Lucius Malfoy's interest in breeding Abraxans to point out how inbreeding to keep bloodlines pure is destroying the very magical culture he wants to preserve.
    • Ron Weasley's loud antipathy towards Slytherins is entrenched canon. The Traveler (or someone operating on his advice) can shut down Ron's brain and mouth by asking him if he really hates his Gran that much, then—when confusion stalls the rant—point out that Arthur Weasley's mother was born Cedrella Black, and was, therefore, not only a Slytherin, but from one of the most Slytherin families in Britain.
    • In the side story Here Comes the Marine Barty Crouch Sr. gets hit with one from Dumbledore and Arcturus Black in front of the entire Wizengamot: "Why is Sirius Black in Azkaban?"
  • In MagicTale, Louise tells Undyne to give her one reason why she shouldn't consider herself Undyne's master and Undyne her servant.
    Undyne: "Asgore's a good guy, but do you think he'll be jolly to hear you tried to make yourself my master?"note 
  • In the Equestria Girls/Transformers fanfic, More Than Meets the Ear, the former Decepticon, Blackbolt, was sent on a mission to assassinate Optimus Prime, which she failed, but he spared her life. Before leaving her, Optimus asked Blackbolt a question that caused her to have doubts about the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
    Optimus Prime: Why do you serve Megatron?
  • In My Hero Academia: Hero Time, Izumi, Izuku Midoriya's younger sister, recounts a time when a bigoted old man accosted Izuku and said to him that even though he has an Omnitrix, he still lacked a quirk, and was therefore still useless.
    Izuku: "I'm doing something to help people and improve society. That's far from useless. What have you done?"
    [The old man gets lost in thought and eventually walks away with his head down]
  • In My Little Denarians, Fluttershy does this to Fallen-possessed Rarity. She asks Demon-Rarity, despite her lightning powers, mind-control abilities, and a freaking lightsaber:
    Fluttershy: "Why haven't you killed me yet?"
  • In Necessary to Win, there are a few, often delivered by Miho herself:
    • In Nodoka's Interlude, Miho and Nodoka discuss Nodoka's decision to try to convince her father to let her stay at Oarai if she wins the tournament. In the course of telling her story, Nodoka realizes that she has passively gone along with everything her father has asked her to do, in spite of how unhappy it has made her, until now, and Miho's question helps change that.
      Nodoka: "All my life, I've been doing everything my parents have told me to do. Tankery is the one exception, but now that I think about it, while my father doesn't like it, he has never actually told me to stop."
      Miho "Would you stop if he told you to do so?"
      Nodoka ""
      Miho: "I thought not. There are some things we simply must do, no matter who opposes us. I may not be the strongest-willed or bravest person in the world, but even I have realized this."
    • Just before the finals, Teru approaches Miho to ask if Saki is still on the team. Miho's question, while simple, forces Teru to ask herself why she has not talked with Saki about many things.
      Miho: "Why don't you ask her yourself, Teru-san?"
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku unintentionally asks Tenya one when he helps the latter in the midst of the U.A. Entrance Exam. It doubles as an Armor-Piercing Response.
    Tenya: [after Izuku flattens a robot attacking Tenya] "Why were you here at all?! I was going to get up eventually, and there's no way that these machines would have done any lethal damage, yet you decided to get yourself involved!"
    Izuku: "Well, yeah. You looked like you were in trouble, so I just decided to help you."
    Tenya: "Because I looked-are you an idiot?! We're in the middle of an exam! You can't waste time worrying about other people!"
    Izuku: "But isn't a Hero supposed to save as many people as they can?" [flies away as Tenya looks on in Stunned Silence]
  • At one point in Origin Story, Wonder Man turns to Tony Stark and asks, “Why are we hunting this girl when she's done nothing wrong?” Tony has no better answer than "Because the law requires we do so."
  • Subverted in Stories of the Lone Traveler when the Vorlons ask Harry Potter, "Who are you?" and he gives the correct answer without thinking: "I am myself."
  • When Midoriya correctly guesses that Kaminari and Mineta are only becoming Heroes to pick up women in The Tick Vs My Hero Academia, he relays to them the story of Captain Celebrity (a humongous Jerkass who got into trouble because of his lecherous actions, among other issues) and caps it off by asking the duo if they want to be like him.
    Midoriya: "So lemme ask you two this: In ten years, do you want to look in the mirror and see a hero that everyone adores for his actions? Or a perverted loser with three restraining orders that has to tell his neighbors that he's on a particular registry?"
  • When Ritsuko tries to explain in Thousand Shinji why Shinji's ideas for modifying the simulation program might be a bad idea Shinji stops her with a single question.
    Ritsuko: "Increasing the strength, speed, and durability are fairly easy, but actual learning and the mutation factor would take quite a bit of time to program. Not only that, but if we increase the durability too much then the Angel could become immune to conventional weaponry even if you neutralize its AT field."
    Shinji: "And that would be unrealistic how Dr. Akagi?"
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/The Chronicles of Narnia crossover To the Ground Buffy basically asks one to Aslan; when she learns that he is planning to send the Pevensies back to England, she correctly deduces that this is a test of the childrens' faith in him and asks him to consider if he actually needs to do this, prompting Aslan to evaluate his own faith in the siblings and realise that he truly doesn't doubt them, prompting him to grant them permission to remain in Narnia if they genuinely don't want to go home.
  • Quite a lot of these in A Triangle in the Stars. The first one in particular, by Steven to Bill, occurs in Chapter Seventeen. It leaves Bill almost speechless, due in part that he thought Steven wouldn't stick around to ask this:
    Steven: Then... I can only ask... why did you spare me?
    • In Chapter Forty-Four, Bill, after a quiet, self-deprecating speech, asks Steven this, which shocks the boy:
  • In Uchiha Potter, Harry delivers an epic one to a young Gaara:
    Gaara: "Existence can only be proven by being stronger and killing those stronger, their deaths make me stronger."
    Harry: "Once they're all dead, what will you do then?"
    Gaara: "Stop... stop screwing around with my head!"
    Harry: "I'm not. It's a simple question. Once you're the strongest, what will you do then? How can you prove your existence if all those who had once been 'strong' are dead?"
  • In What the Cat Dragged In, Tony outright refuses to believe SHIELD stayed away from Ladybug and Chat Noir's civilian identities. To make him understand, Natasha asks him how old is Ladybug. When he finds himself unable to answer, she reveals both of the vigilantes use a glamour to keep the curious away.
  • In Wizard Runemaster while the group discusses the possibility of raiding Karazhan and all the horrors likely found within, Fleur Delacour brings up a question no one considered.
    Fleur: "You said that the protections may be failing. What if the protections aren't one-way?"


  • In Danganronpa: Last Hurrah, Nao hears that the second killer sought to be recognized by his parents, having lived in his older brother's shadow until then. Nao then asks a series of questions about whether the killer's parents abused him, all of which get a no answer. He then caps off a "The Reason You Suck" Speech with the following question.
    If your parents found out you killed an innocent little girl, do you think they will be proud of you?"
  • Hope on a Distant Mountain: Naegi has a natural knack for this. It helps that he's got extra insight on his classmates from his experiences in the Unwinnable Training Simulation, though the way they were portrayed there wasn't always accurate.
  • New Hope University: Major In Murder:
  • In System Restore, Sonia tries to call out Togami for being willing to sacrifice himself, but gets this in response. It becomes somewhat Harsher in Hindsight later on, when Sonia murders Pekoyama to prevent Koizumi's death and, in the revised version, mentions that she wants to get home to her people.
    Sonia: "This cannot be sensible in any situation!"
    Togami: "Any situation? I’m surprised you’re reacting this way, Sonia Nevermind. As the princess of Novoselic, I would think that you, more than anyone, would understand. Under the right circumstances, wouldn’t you be willing to die for one of your people?"
  • In Three-Point Shot, after the second trial, it turns out that Kokichi, by giving Tenko and Kiyo each other's motive videos, is indirectly responsible for the murder. In response, he asks the following question.
    Kokichi: "Tell me, are any of you honestly upset that Shinguuji-chan is dead? And I don't mean generally upset that a person is dead at all, I mean him specifically."

Death Note

  • In Alternative Gods, a Death Note Cyberpunk AU Light and L have an arrangement where L is killing criminals for him, but L does not really approve and is trying to get Light to reconsider:
    L: How does Light-kun feel about death? Death, Light-kun. What is it like to die?
    Light: I don't know, I haven't died yet.
    L: This is a lie.
    Light: (laughing) So I'm dead?
    L: Mostly, yes.
    Light: Really?
    L: Let me ask it another way then, is Light-kun a God?
    Light: Yes, I am a God.
    L: But before you became a God, you were just a man. As a man, you have died, and now you are a God. So I am asking Light-kun what it is like to die.


  • Ryo from the Tamers Forever Series often uses friendly versions of these against Rika to covertly tease her about her relationship with Takato.
    • Chaos is on the receiving end of several from Takato and Ruki.

Doctor Who

  • In Don't Blink, the Doctor is wrongly suspected of murdering a man at one point. He briefly freezes up during an interrogation by a police officer when the officer asks him out of the blue "Are you a killer?", as the question causes him to flash back to his actions during the Time War.
  • In Rite of Passage, an alternate 'origin' storyline for the Thirteenth Doctor, written when all that was known was the first trailer: the Doctor stops Elton Pope ("Love and Monsters" protesting that he has the right to be her new companion by asking him for Ursula's last name, shaming him into acknowledging that he doesn't care enough about people to be a good fit for life with the Doctor.

Dragon Ball

  • In Legend Of The Monkey God, when Goku hears Bulma's plan to wish for the perfect boyfriend, he pokes several holes in her idea, including that it seems wasteful to use a magic wish on something you can get yourself. His final question is what truly stops her when he asks:
    Goku: I mean, even if the dragon grants your wish... what if he doesn't like you back?

The Familiar of Zero

  • In Enslaved, Derflinger reveals what the Familiar runes are doing to Saito by asking him a series of questions about his life back in Tokyo. When Saito can't answer a single question, not even his parents' names, he learns that the runes are changing him to accept his new life.
    • Given that Derflinger later asks Saito and Louise more, it seems to be a specialty of his.
  • Saito deliberately asks Louise one in Soldier of Zero:
    Saito: "If I'm going to act in your interests I first have to know what they are. What do you want? What are your goals? What fate do you want to avoid?"

Fate Series

  • Fate/Harem Antics: Shirou Emiya declares he wants to end the Holy Grail War without any bloodshed. Bazett asks him how he plans to do that and satisfy all the Masters and Servants who want a wish that they can only get by killing everyone else. When Shirou can't answer, she berates him for his half-assed resolve.

Fire Emblem

  • Corrin Reacts: Felicia asks one of these that directly forces Flora to quit ignoring the question of her burgeoning feelings for Corrin.
    Felicia: .....what do you see in Jakob of all people?
    Flora: He became my friend when nobody else was, helped me even when I hurt him and even when I wasn't worth it. He makes my life worth living, because I know that if I keep on living, I'll get to see him again, even if I can't stand with him like Azura can. He's...

Frozen (2013)

  • In Frozen Hearts, when Hans' brother Heins is talking with Kristoff, who doesn't trust Hans because of what he did, Hans' brother Heins asks this question about Hans. The person being asked the question is forced to admit to never having officially met Hans, and becomes slightly more receptive to what Heins has to say about Hans.
    Heins: "... how long have you known him?"

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • In build your wings on the way down, Edward asks Roy if the military knew about Tucker using his wife to make a chimera and would he even go to jail.
    Mustang: "Of course we didn't know. That's disgusting."
    Edward: "I believe that you didn't know but are you sure the military didn't?"
  • When Edward in My Master Ed explains what Roshan was doing when he took some of Van's blood for an experiment.
    Edward: "You respected Roshan even after what he did to you?"
    Van: "Um...well, yes..."
    Edward: "How can you?"
    Van: "It wasn't a big deal...Just a cut."
    Edward: "He hurt you for a selfish reason and didn't ask you for permission."
    Van: "Permission? He was my Master."
    Edward: "See? This is exactly what I'm talking about! Such blind obedience. Do you truly believe he had any right to do that to you, Van? Do you really think that you deserve such treatment? That anyone does? Do you think people should treat each other like objects?"

Girls und Panzer

  • In Boys Do Tankary, Vincent does this to Maho, although he and the author don't seem to understand that Maho is pretending to be a jerk and is striving to be a perfect heiress for Miho's sake.
    Vincent: Is it true that you have failed to see what is most important to you?
    Maho: No.
    Vincent: Then why have you pushed your sister so far away? You know nothing about true family.
  • In Steel Carnage, Asuka gives Momo a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Momo regarding her poor aiming skills (and to a degree, everyone else for not helping her improve), resulting in Miho and some of her teammates stepping up to defend her. Asuka asks Miho if she has faith in Momo, and when Miho says yes, Asuka asks whether Momo was on the gun during the match of the tournament. Given that Anzu had taken over the gun on the Hetzer at the midpoint of the previous battle, Miho is unable to respond, and later concedes that as harsh as Asuka is, she is correct.

Harry Potter

  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, the Sorting Hat tries to deliver one to Harry: "What happens if you fail?" But even though it goes on to spell out the answer, Harry still refuses to hear it.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin, Harry's unusual intelligence and maturity just seem to be an example of the OP Harry common in Slytherin!Harry fics *until* Chapter 69, when Luna points out that regardless of how smart he was, Harry simply never would have had the chance to develop an adult vocabulary while living with the Dursleys. "For someone who was actively prevented from getting a good primary education, you know lots of things. Do you know how you know them?" It is Harry's first clue as to the existence of Bob.
  • In Hermione Granger and the Goblet of Fire, Professor McGonagall observes a crucial flaw in Hermione's desire to create S.P.E.W.; she set out to reform the wizarding world's treatment of house-elves after witnessing exactly two house-elves being poorly treated by their masters, which is far from a sufficient number to form such a judgement about the entire species.
  • An accidental one occurs in Hitting the Tomes when Harry Potter and some others make their own newspaper. Remus suggests Harry write a human interest piece and asks what his passion is. After several minutes, the best Harry can come up with is that he's passionate about staying alive, before realizing he doesn't really have a life or hobbies beyond fighting Voldemort.
  • In The Lightsaber, Cornelius Fudge orders several Aurors to arrest Harry for using Sorcery (which is very, very illegal). While the Aurors try to incapacitate him in the middle of Hogwarts, Harry calls them out for using such dangerous spells around innocent bystanders, causing a couple of Aurors to lower their wands.
    Harry: "You really are reckless law enforcers. Using so many spells where so many innocent bystanders are in danger of being hit. What would happen if I didn't try to protect them from your stupidity?"
  • Harry Potter asks one accidentally in Petrification Proliferation after Remus is outed as a werewolf in St. Mungo's, when he asks why everyone is so worried if the full moon is over a week away.

Infinity Train

  • Infinity Train FANFIC: After One-One reveals that he's been more-or-less Obfuscating Stupidity, he muses that his goal on the train is the same as Tulip's; he's Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. When Tulip rejects One-One's claim that she's subconsciously searching for a purpose rather than truly trying to leave the train, the robot points out that there are several methods of escape that she's never once attempted, ending with the below line.
    One-One: "Just ask yourself this Tulip. Is it really the truth that you couldn’t get off the train… or is it more like you wouldn’t?"

Jackie Chan Adventures

  • Ages of Shadow:
    • During Trace's Final Battle with Jade/Yade Khan, all the Sun Souls side with him, except for Brenner. That is, until Trace asks him if his Lost Lenore (whose death drove him down the path that led to allying with Jade) would have wanted this. Realizing that she wouldn't have, he turns on Jade and helps Trace beat her.
    • Trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine by Drago, Jade's subconscious tries to wake her up by manifesting as Jackie and trying to point out all the things wrong with it. While Jade starts to believe him, she still hesitates, until he asks her what her child's name is, and she realizes that she doesn't know it.

Katawa Shoujo

  • In Weekend at Hisao's, Hisao is having a phone conversation with Misha about a fight that he had had with Shizune earlier that day because he refused to go over to a party that his friends at his old school were planning that night, because Iwanako, the girl he confessed to, was going to be there. He explains that the reason he did not want to go was because he could not stand to be pitied by his old friends like he was after he had his heart attack, and he recalled them looking at him and Shizune with what seemed like pity. Misha responds with two of these questions:
    Misha: "Why didn't you tell any of your friends that you were going to be in town? Are you ashamed of Shicchan?"

The Legend of Zelda

  • In Tales Of Termina, the Moon Children dig deeper and deeper into Link's fractured psyche with personal questions and by the end, Link is in horrified tears.
    Moon Child: "Your true face...What kind of...face is it? I wonder...The face under the mask...Is that...your true face?"

Love Hina

  • An Alternate Keitaro Urashima:
    • When the Hinata Girls are trying to convince Keitaro to come run the Inn, Keitaro asks Shinobu if she thinks it's right to force somebody to do something against their will. Though he extends this question to the rest of them afterwards, Shinobu is the only one seriously shaken by it, leading to her Character Development.
    • Earlier on, the girls suggest beating up Keitaro if he tries to kick them out of the inn. When Shinobu asks if they'd do the same if it was a woman who was kicking them out, all of them fall silent.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • In born of hell('s kitchen):
    • When Malcolm confesses his personal life is an utter mess, Jessica asks him a very simple question: "What do you want?" Malcolm outright bites his tongue when he almost blurts he wants Jessica.
    • Also, Trish is outraged to learn Jessica found the baby who was taken from her seven years ago yet didn't bother to inform Trish about the fact. When Jessica fires back her reasoning for not doing it so, Trish is noticeably shifty and tries to avoid a direct answer:
      Trish: So-so you got him back and you were just never going to let me see him? You were just going to hide him from me and let me think I'd lost my nephew forever?
      Jessica: You lost any right to call yourself his aunt when you're the reason his grandmother is dead. Who knows? You might decide that his mother is dangerous one day, too. Gonna shoot me in front of him, Trish?
      Trish: She was dangerous! She was hurting people and she was your mother! You couldn't see how dangerous she was!
      Jessica: YOU SHOT HER IN FRONT OF ME! She was gonna turn herself in. She wanted to have one last good day with me before they locked her in the Raft for the rest of her life and then you came, high on that self-righteous attitude, because Trish always knows what's best, and Murdered. Her. In. Front. Of. Me!!
      Trish: I...
      Jessica: What's gonna happen if you decide that I'm dangerous too, huh, Trish? You gonna shoot me in front of my son?
      Trish: That's different. You're-Jessica, you're you. You wouldn't hurt somebody. You're not a killer, Jess.
      Jessica: Oh, well we both know that's a lie.
  • In The Endgame Protocol, Nick Fury shuts up the rants of the just-captured Quentin Beck by forcing him to face the major flaw in his plan to make himself a hero; even if Beck had succeeded in becoming an Avenger, the first time he faced a true threat, rather than one he created himself, he would have been completely destroyed because he would have had no way to cope with a genuine enemy.

Marvel Comics (non-MCU)

  • A Prize for Three Empires:
    • It happens when Carol Danvers questions Iva Kann’s reasons for fighting her to death.
      "Have you ever questioned Ronan, or his superiors? Have you ever asked yourself if they had your best interests in mind?"
      "I have asked questions of Lord Ronan when things were unclear to me," she said. "As for having my best interests in mind, I repeat: I enjoy my present status in society because of obeying his orders."
      "So far," said Carol. "But what happens when they feel you’re just another piece of meat to throw to the dogs?"
      Iva now definitely looked confused, and somewhat angry. "Explain yourself."
      "Look at it this way. They’ve probably thrown a lot of sparring partners at you, just to see how fast and how well you could kill them. Correct?"
      "Substantially, yes," said Iva.
      "Now they’re matching you against me, just for the pleasure of the big boys," Carol continued. "Just for the pleasure of seeing me killed. Isn’t that right?"
      "The basic idea of it is correct," Iva agreed.
      "This has all been done to make you into the perfect fighting machine. Would you agree with that?"
      Iva looked as though she were being drawn into a trap, but couldn’t bring herself to avoid it. "Not in those precise words, but the gist of it is valid."
      "So what happens when they want an even more perfect fighting machine, and throw you to her as a sacrifice?"
      Iva’s jaw was open. No sound came out.
      "The Kree are very functionalistic," said Carol. "You’re only good to them until they can get somebody better. Once they do, or they think they do, they’ll see you as nothing but meat for the grinder. And somebody else will be using you as a hamburger."
      She doubted that Iva knew exactly what a hamburger was. But she got the meaning of it. Iva was furious. For some reason, that heartened Carol.
      "In the arena, you will beg me for your destruction," hissed the blue woman. "That is when your agonies will only have started."
    • Carol gets one from her mother which makes her consider she judged her ex-teammates too harshly.
      Carol reached out for her mother. Marie pushed her hands away. "No, you don't. You're not hugging me until I'm finished. And I've got a lot more to say yet."
      "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Avengers are made up of the dumbest, most cowardly people on the face of the Earth. Am I right? I think I am. They maybe should have known what was going on with you and Marcus. But they didn't. Maybe they couldn't. All they saw was you, acting like you wanted to go with him, and you did. That's the information they had to go on. Honestly, Carol, do you think they would knowingly have let you go off with a rapist?"
      "No," said Carol, snuffling.
      "Well, then," she said. "We have established that they were dumb, yes, or maybe just deceived. But not malicious. Can we agree on that?"
      "I didn't say they did it deliberately," Carol said. "I just said they should have known."
      "Maybe they couldn't have, Carol," said Marie. "If they didn't know you were being controlled, how could they have known?"

Mass Effect

  • On the Shoulders of Giants: "What exactly is a soul, and what is it good for?" Not as Earth-shaking as some of the examples on this page, but philosophers and religious leaders the world over had to think long and hard about how to answer it.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • In Back To Us, Chat Noir/Adrien gets a couple of these, though it takes a while for either of them to really take effect.
    • When Chat talks with Marinette while she's patching him up in the middle of the Bari-Star attack, he tries to justify his approach by claiming that akuma victims have something inherently dark in them that draws Hawk Moth to them:
      Marinette: ...Seven years ago, my best friend was akumatized. Hawk Moth took advantage of her when she was at her lowest point, and I knew that. Even afterwards, not once did I hold it against her. She’s such a spirited and compassionate person, always concerned with truth and justice... and if it weren’t for her, I honestly don’t think I’d be the person I am today. Are you telling me someone like that deserves to die just because a supervillain used her for his own schemes, once upon a time?
      Chat: ...Is she really so great, if she was willing to go along with the schemes of a supervillain?
      Marinette: She was feeling trapped. She was in a moment of weakness, with nothing and no one to turn to. And then someone came along and offered her power beyond her wildest dreams, the power to change her life. Are you really so arrogant that you can claim you wouldn’t jump at such a chance immediately? [Grabs his hand and holds it up to his face] How can you sit there and judge anyone for wanting the power to change their life with this ring on your finger?
    • Later, Ivan brings up the same point in a therapy session with Adrien, when he admits that Chat Noir scares him:
      Ivan: I don’t know what happened to change him... but the guy saved my life, once. I thought he was the coolest guy ever. But now, how do I know that he wouldn’t rip right through me if he saw me on the street? Or... Or what if Mylene ran into him in a dark alleyway? What if, instead of us, he only saw the akuma we once were?
    • Adrien is torn between thinking, "I would never do that!" and "Once an akuma, always an akuma," and he immediately recognises his hypocrisy. The above conversation then comes back to him, with Marinette's question being described as a seed of doubt that's taking root despite him trying to dig it out.
  • From Bring Me Back Home:
    Bridgette: You knew about Cat’s curse the whole time and didn’t tell me?
    Rikki: It wasn’t my place, Bridgette.
    Bridgette: Yes, it was! You knew what I was going through. If I had known, Rikki-
    Rikki: If you had known, would you truly have done anything differently?
    She began to snarl a response, but was caught – lurching back and pausing. Because the truth was… if she had known – they may never have even considered each other as partners. She may have been stubborn enough to refuse him, without understanding the cost of what she was doing.
    And if she were being honest with herself – even after all they’d gone through, she would never have wanted to turn back and erase their friendship. As false as it may have been – as much as her heart had been shattered that day, no part of her regretted the days when they fought for each other and for Paris.
    Bridgette deflated, conceding the point.
  • ChaoticNeutral's Confrontation revolves around Adrien and Marinette calling out Alya and Nino's efforts to push them together during the class trip to New York. Alya insists that Mari jneeded to be pushed into confessing, but is caught off guard when Adrien asks why she couldn't have just told him herself if it mattered so much.
    Adrien: "If she couldn't tell me and you two weren't going to tell me, then WHY BOTHER WITH THIS AT ALL?! What was all of THIS supposed to accomplish that simply telling me yourselves wouldn't?"
    Alya: "We... I was just trying to help."
    Adrien: "If you wanted to help, you would LISTEN to your best friend when she tells you what she wants! She just said she wanted to move on! She wanted to NOT have to confess! She wanted to just try and be friends! And yeah, I'm shocked and a little frustrated that I never caught on to any of her feelings before now, but that's because I'm a teenage boy who's new to feelings and I didn't know about hers!" [glaring at Alya] "What's your excuse?"
  • LadyBugOut effectively starts with a pair of these. After taking a picture of Ladybug and Chat Noir Kissing Under the Influence of Oblivio's Laser-Guided Amnesia, Alya posts it on her blog over Ladybug's protests. This leads to trouble when Markov realizes that since she and Nino were Oblivio, they can answer a very simple question:
    Markov: "Oh! Actually, the two of you would be able to confirm when this happened. Did they have their memories at the time or not?"
    • Both Alya and Nino know that they didn't; however, Alya attempts to give a Non-Answer. Nino attempts to support his girlfriend, only for Marinette to speak up:
      Nino: "Look, it — it's no big deal! Chat loved it, so—"
      Marinette: "What about Ladybug?" [looking straight at Alya] "How did Ladybug feel about it? You keep talking about Chat and how he liked it, but what about her?"
    • In response, Alya effectively declares that Ladybug's feelings don't matter because she's a public figure, and thus should just expect to have her feelings ignored. This leads to Marinette/Ladybug deciding to start her own blog so that people who are willing to lie for the sake of a 'good scoop' don't have full control of her story.
  • Miracle Queen Aftermath: After an extensive argument with Adrien wherein he repeatedly attempts to guilt-trip Marinette and all of his other classmates into helping Chloe, Marinette sums up her position succinctly. And when that still doesn't break through to him, Alya does when she demands to know why, if he considers this to be so important, he's shunting that off onto everybody else rather than trying to help her himself:
    Marinette: "I have given Chloe more than three chances. I have done nothing BUT give her chances. And clean up after her. And just... try to help her. At no point has she been grateful. At no point did she ever apologize. Or show the slightest bit of remorse for anyone she hurt. Or just... try to do better. So tell me, Adrien. How much more am I supposed to do? What miracle am I supposed to achieve to help Chloe to be a better person that I haven't already done?"
    Adrien: "You can just try. Chloe's alone. She has no one in her corner. You've given her chances before! Can't you find it in your heart to give her another chance this time?"
    Alya: "Why haven't you?"
    [Adrien recoils in shock]
    Alya: "If you're so certain Chloe is the victim in all this, then why aren't you stepping up to help her? Why are you pushing Marinette and the rest of us to do it?"
  • The One to Make It Stay:
    • When Ladybug confronts Alya about posting a heavy edited version of Chat Noir confessing how he feels on the Ladyblog, Alya summarily blows off most of her concerns, making clear that she doesn't care how hurt or upset Ladybug was by this. But one thing manages to pierce through her stubbornness: the suggestion that Hawkmoth may follow her blog, looking for any information he can glean about the superheroes. And if he's convinced that the two of them are dating, just what's going to prevent him from trying to use that to his advantage? This throws Alya off-balance, and it's the only thing she actually apologizes for.
    • After calling Chat out on refusing to listen to her again, Ladybug leaves in order to give him a chance to think about what she said. Once she detransforms, Tikki questions how she handled the situation, only for Marinette to hit her with the rapid-fire version and cause her to realize what she's doing:
      Tikki: "Are you sure it was a good idea to not listen to what Chat might have had to say? What if he gets akumatized?"
      Marinette: "I'll deal with it. And maybe I should have dealt with it better. But Tikki, how many times do I have to tell him to get him to leave me alone? What if I end up akumatized because he won't leave me alone? Is it really fair to prioritize his feelings over mine?"

My Hero Academia

  • When All Might tries to apologize to Izuku (who's a villain) for when he said that he couldn't be a hero in Apotheosis (MHA), Izuku angrily responds that he's not sorry about what he said, he's sorry that his actions were the catalyst that led to Izuku becoming a villain, and that he'd probably never think about him again had he not turned into a such a dangerous person.
    All Might: I'm sorry Midoriya! I truly am!
    Izuku: No you're not! You're not sorry for what you said to me! You're sorry about the end result! If I didn't become a villain, would you be here apologizing to me?! Did you even once think about me again after our first meeting?!
    (All Might looks away in shame, knowing Izuku is right)
    Izuku: That's what I thought.
  • Crimson and Emerald: When Riv senses something odd about Izuku's quirk, she drops this bombshell to Inko:
    Riv: "Are you 100% sure your husband has a firebreathing quirk?"
  • The Sleeper Hit AU revolves around Midoriya Izuku becoming the titular hero after Aizawa expels him after the Quirk Assessment test. After Shinsou learns about this, he confronts Aizawa and learns that he fudged the results so he could boot the Quirkless kid out and keep the Hagakure around, and create an opening so Shinsou could join his class. Aizawa further defends himself by revealing that he sent out an anonymous recommendation to the school Midoriya wound up attending instead:
    Shinsou: "...Oh, I see. You admit he had potential. Just not enough for UA. Not enough for you."
    Aizawa: "In case you've forgotten, UA isn't some community college that'll accept just anyone. I had the right to be selective about who got to stay."
    Shinsou: "He DID pass the entrance exam for the Hero Course, did he not? Even I didn't manage that. If I'd passed the exam, and there was another Gen Ed student with a quirk you thought was more useful than mine... would you have expelled me too?"
    Aizawa: "...I don't know."
  • In Sucker Punch, Midoriya has been kidnapped by the League of Villains because they saw him as a potential recruit due to his excessive methods. When the rest of 1-A debate on whether it's a good idea to rescue him since a few students are somewhat convinced that Midoryia will turn by bringing up the fact that he was running what was basically UA's Mafia, Bakugou (who's all for rescuing Midoriya, even if he is being a Tsundere about it) asks them the one question that truly stumps them...
    Bakugou: "Do you really want him as your enemy?"
  • In The Vigilante Boss and His Failed Retirement Plan: Bakugou hated Izuku for a decade because he perceived Izuku's genuine attempts to help him as looking down on him and saw having to need help as weakness. Aizawa flips the already shaken Bakugou's worldview with one question:
    Bakugou: I always get annoyed when he tried to help me… petty thing like offering a hand when I fell. (bitter laughter) When I think of it now… the guy wasn’t thinking at all and I get worked up and accuse him of looking down on me.
    Aizawa: Bakugou… all heroes help people, even All Might gets help from Recovery Girl and other heroes. Does it make him weak? Or do you think heroes look down on people we protect? Is that what you think of us?]

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • The question that shatters Jappleack's self-delusions in Ask Jappleack, after Apple Bloom's death, is a very simple one: "What's the point of growing apples?" When she can't come up with an answer, her entire worldview falls apart. It's worth noting that, near the end of the story and after much Character Development, someone asks the question again... and she comes up with an answer.
  • In Asylum, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are among those at the titular asylum and at least at first, are the only friends each other has. So when Rainbow Dash continues to constantly exert herself at the risk of her health, prompting her therapist Scootaloo to ask her:
    Therapist Scootaloo: And if you get hurt, then what would happen to Fluttershy?
  • Twilight Sparkle manages to do this to Prince Blueblood in Getting Back on Your Hooves during a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. After explaining how Celestia and Luna seek such a close relationship with their subjects, a stark contrast to the self obcessed, high and mighty Blueblood, she asks him a question that, for once, actually makes him think about his actions. When we see him again, he approaches Applejack and apologies to her for being so rude to her at the Gala, implying it stuck.
    Twilight Sparkle: "If they're the highest royalty in the land, Blueblood, what does that say about how you behave when you're so much lower than they are?"
  • Loved and Lost:
    • Right after the Changeling invasion has been stopped, Prince Jewelius calls Princess Celestia as well as Twilight's friends and brother out of their refusal to listen to Twilight's suspicions regarding Queen Chrysalis when the latter was impersonating Princess Cadance. He makes Shining Armor look bad by pressuring him to answer whether or not he can blame Chrysalis for all of his mistakes. Also includes a Shout-Out to The Lion King (1994):
      Jewelius: "And you, Captain Armor! What possessed you to allow such a monster to walk through the castle right under your nose? Especially after receiving a warning from your own sister, whom you coldly dismissed!"
      [the guards and wedding guests who are present gasp]
      Shining Armor: "I… I can explain."
      Jewelius: "Very well then, explain what came over you to disown your beloved sister and deem the safety of everypony in Canterlot less important then your precious wedding? Or was it the work of the changeling that made you so foolish as to betray your own flesh and blood as well as all the ponies you swore to protect as Captain of the Guard?"
      Shining Armor: [hangs his head in shame] "No, I made my own decisions."
      Jewelius: "Then you are guilty. You're a disgrace to the guard!"
    • In the 12th chapter, the Mane Five, Shining Armor, Spike and Celestia (now hated pariahs) attempt to tell Twilight and Canterlot's citizens that Jewelius (now Equestria's king) started the Changeling invasion to take control of Equestria. They get themselves refuted by a few questions from the angry crowd and Twilight who has been manipulated to give up on them.
      A mare: "He and Miss Sparkle saved all of Canterlot from those vile creatures. He couldn't had been in league with them."
      Rainbow Dash: "That's because he double-crossed them! Just ask Chrysalis herself!"
      A stallion: "You're telling us to ask a creature who lies and deceives ponies to clarify the truth?!"
      Rainbow Dash: "Oh."
      Applejack: "Jewelius is nothin' but a self-servin' rat with no loyalty tah anypony but himself! And if ah'm tellin' you it's true, then ya'll know it must be. Ah'm the Element of Honesty."
      Twilight: "So when you said we were best friends, you were being honest?"
      Applejack: "Of course, sugarcube."
      Twilight: "And are best friends supposed to have each other's backs?"
      Applejack: [getting nervous] "Yes."
      Twilight: "Then why did you all turn your backs on me when I needed you the most, after everything we've been through together, after learning a lesson in never taking a friend's concerns lightly? Or was I never your friend to begin with, just a means to an end?"
      Applejack: "I… I…"
      Twilight: "Sorry, girls. It was fun while it lasted."
      Rainbow Dash: "Okay, maybe we should've been a little more focused on other things besides the wedding planning. But you have to admit, Twilight, the way you were acting didn't make things any better."
      Twilight: "My brother said that the wedding was 'something that obviously wasn't important to' me. Well, did it ever occur to the eight of you that this wedding was important to so many other ponies, not just you?"
      [the prisoners are again at a loss for words]
    • The 12th chapter has also a subverted example when Fluttershy asks from the crowd who will raise the sun if Celestia is executed. The crowd turns thoughtful, but Jewelius quickly dispels their uncertainties with a New Era Speech about why they'll be better off without the alicorns to rely on.
    • In the following chapter, Twilight herself gets one from Queen Chrysalis who plants in her mind a seed of doubt about Jewelius and whatever or not Cadance is in danger. As Twilight tries to decide if she should shrink the escaped Changelings again or go to make sure Cadance is safe, the Changelings use their chance to bolt, so Twilight starts running towards the medical wing where Cadance is.
      Queen Chrysalis: "What are you going to do, Twilight? Stop the evil changelings or save your old foalsitter? What if I'm not lying this time? You could be truly responsible for something horrible to happen to Cadance this time?"
    • The final battle has another subverted example. Shining Armor asks from his bitter rival Commander Hildread if she calls massacring the inhabitants of Ponyville protection of Equestria. Hildread looks uneasily around at the assault she wasn't okay with, but she quickly hardens her heart and takes comfort from her delusions.
  • In Misunderstandings, a human named Peter Collins ends up in Equestria. A guard named Peppermint York has joined a conspiracy against him, thinking Peter is a dangerous monster although it is slightly understandable since Peter did seriously wound one of her subordinates, albeit accidentally. But each action the conspiracy takes against him only improves Peter's reputation. When the subordinate, Swift Wind, recovers and visits Peter for answers, York follows him. Even after seeing evidence of what Peter went through, York continues to ignore it and call Peter a monster. Swift Wind tells her off, saying that he has forgiven Peter for shooting him, and asks her: "Why do you hate him so much?" York wordlessly flies away and admits to her role in the conspiracy.
  • In My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap, Pinkie Pie catches her sister Maud trying to kill herself, after the latter realized she could no longer pretend she's okay with her loner existence but is too afraid to try making the effort of changing her life, prompting this exchange:
    Maud: "I decided to end my life, rather than undertake the monumental task of salvaging it."
    Pinkie: "But you're going die one day anyway?"
    Maud: "Obviously, what's your point?"
    Pinkie: "My point is that if death is certain anyway, then what's the harm in trying to live a little longer? At the very worst, you'll still end up dead like you wanted, but at best you might actually be happy."
    • After being subjected to a particularly harsh prank that made her think she killed everyone she cared about to teach her a lesson about acting out character by the rest of the town, Rainbow Dash asks them if that was out of character of them. Cue horrifying realization.
  • In the Pony POV Series, the Dark World Series is fond of this:
    • A large part of the Father of All Alicorns' dialog to Liarjack consists of these. Justified, as Applebloom got his help in the first place to break Discord's control on Liarjack and reform her into Applejack.
    • Rarity gives one to Rainbow Dash to snap her out of her Heel–Face Turn-induced Heroic BSoD, asking her the one question Discord hasn't let her ask herself for a thousand years.
      Rarity: "Dash... we all have a choice... Ours is to save the world... I've chosen to want you back as my friend... But what do YOU want to do?"
    • Rainbow Dash later returns the favor after ripping out her own Element to snap Rarity out of her own self-delusion. Also a Call-Back to Rarity trying to forcibly take it when Rainbow was suicidal.
      Rainbow Dash: "Not so hot when you have to do it the dirty and ugly way is it?"
    • Twilight delivers one to the rest of the Dark World!Mane Cast to make them realize that attacking a defenseless, mortally wounded Discord was wrong.
      Twilight: "What does hurting a monster who's already dying and no longer a threat to anything DO? Payback? Retribution?"
    • Discord manages to do this to himself by proxy of asking the question to Twilight and hearing her answer, making him realize there's one choice he can make to stop Nightmare Paradox's "Groundhog Day" Loop plan.
      Discord: "...Twilight... what would you say if I said I never had a choice?"
      Twilight: "...I'd say you were wrong. You always have a choice."
    • At the climax, Twilight asks The Nameless Passenger a question that forces it to drop its glamour and reveal itself, a question that said glamour should have prevented her from even thinking, let alone asking.
      Twilight: "What are you?"
    • Back in the main timeline, at the climax of the Wedding Arc, Applejack gets a big one on Queen Cadenza (Alicorn!Chrysalis), making her realize the Elements of Harmony gave her a heart and beginning her final Villainous Breakdown.
      Applejack: "Ya say the Elements fixed ya so ya weren't half-baked? Tell me darlin', what so harmonious about a Alicorn who can't feel a thing for the ponies who love'er more than they love breathin'?!"
  • In the fic Rainbow in the Dark, Mecha delivers one to Rainbow Dash after the latter accuses her of being Brownie's girlfriend.
    Mecha: "If you don't have feelings for him, then why are you getting so defensive? And why are you acting jealous at the idea of him being with me? You wouldn't be doing this if you didn't have feelings for him. Admit it, you like him."
  • In The Undesirables, while it doesn't have much of an effect the first time she's asked, later on Starlight reconsiders and joins Luna's team after she remembers the question under different circumstances:
    Princess Luna: "Does it ever occur to you what might happen if the Elements of Harmony, your friends, don't return one day? If they venture out to combat a threat and end up failing? What will you do if that day comes, Starlight?"
  • In Whispers Nightmare Moon attempts one of these, but Celestia shoots it down.
    Nightmare Moon: "And what would father say, knowing that we... that you used his gift to do this to me?"
    Celestia: "Nothing. Father isn't here, Luna. He was never here."


  • Perfection Is Overrated
    • Mariko, opposing the rest of the SUEs' plan to reshape the world, tries, but The Usurper responds with his own Armor-Piercing Questions to argue that she depends on her powers as much as the rest of the SUEs do.
      Mariko: "But what makes you think that you're much better than they are to make that decision? And if they make mistakes, shouldn't they at least be their mistakes, and shouldn't they earn the negative and positive consequences of their actions?"
      The Usurper: "Have you ever considered, Mariko, how much you have earned yourself? What if everything you ever had- your beauty, your grades, your maturity, your popularity and everything else- were given to you by someone else, for the sake of using you to enter another world and sway it to that person's will?"
      Mariko: "Th-that's impossible. After Mother and Father died, life was often difficult, even with the wealth they left behind. I had to try hard to get by after that, and if I have many things, it's because I earned them!"
      The Usurper: "Tell me, Mariko, can you recall a time when a person disliked or disagreed with you?"
    • She does this more successfully, albeit with the help of her powers, once the SUEs set out.
      Mariko: "The question we should be asking ourselves, more than how we plan to go about doing this, is should we be trying this?"
      Shizune: "What do you mean, Suou-san?"
      Mariko: "In order to win, we must potentially sacrifice 10 more innocent victims, while potentially giving up our own lives, as well as the lives of those we cherish the most. And for what? Do our goals mean so much to us that we'd risk everything and cause harm to others for them?"
    • In the main story, Yukino asks one of Shizuru, when proposing that the rest of the student council be informed about what is going on. She says that although they may not have powers, their help may prove necessary. Yukino asks this question that causes Shizuru to reflect on what she did for Natsuki before she realized she was also a Hime, and then goes on to say that Haruka's determination may be what they need to face the SUEs.
      Yukino: "And, what would you do if, for example, Kuga-san were a Hime and you were not?"
    • Toward the end of the story.
      Natsuki: "I have to wonder- was this the moment I've been hoping and working toward all those years? Everyone involved with my mother's death is now dead. They deserved it for serving the Obsidian Lord, even if I did not have a more personal grudge against them. But my mother is still dead, and this triumph seems hollow, and I'm not sure if I got what I wanted in the end."
      Nao: "What do you want, Natsuki?"


  • Danzo asks one of Kurenai in Danzo's Team after she insists Team 7 isn't ready for the Chuunin Exams.
    Danzo: Where are your reports?
    Kurenai: What?
    Danzo: The reports you must have written about your observations and analysis of Team 7 that would make you more qualified than their commanding officer to judge what they're capable of.
  • After her team's failed murder attempt on Naruto in The Darkest Light, Gai asks Tenten why she tried to kill him. When she answers that she was jealous of his skill with a sword and hated him for it, Gai's followup question further drives home her Heel Realization.
    Gai: Hated enough to kill?
  • In A Drop of Poison, Naruto disabuses Konohamaru of his idea that defeating the current Hokage makes you the new Hokage.
    Naruto: Anyway, say you're right. You managed to beat Jiji somehow, and now you're Hokage... How long until someone else comes against you and beats you? Someone like me?
  • Escape From The Hokage's Hat has Kakashi on the receiving end of a couple for teaching Sasuke way more than Naruto and Sakura. To elaborate: he only taught Naruto and Sakura one skill, yet focused more on Sasuke.
    Sakura: [Kakashi indirectly calls her weak in front of Jiraiya and Team 8 while she points out he abandoned training her] What part of Those who abandon their allies are worse than trash do you believe?
    Jiraiya: [On why he didn't teach Naruto anything] You didn't want to teach him (Naruto) anything that would've pissed off the Uchiha right?
    • Tenten gets a rapid-fire version that lightly crosses with "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
      Tenten: Then let me ask you a question Kakashi-san. Is it true that the only true technique that you taught Naruto and Sakura before the Chunin Exams was the ability to walk up trees with chakra? Or how about the rumor that Uchiha Sasuke started suddenly pulling new fire jutsu out of nowhere during that same period? The thing you should be asking yourself is not Where did I go wrong with the Uchiha?. It's What would have happened if I made the others stronger?. Would Sakura have been able to stop Sasuke from leaving in the first place? Would Naruto have been nearly killed twice because he couldn't go any farther on his own? It's because you're asking the wrong questions that you're not finding the right answers.
    • Naruto is told The Needs of the Many speech from every leader he talks with. Upon asking himself if he could do the same, he stalls when he realizes he might have to force a childhood like his on someone else.
  • In Glaring Problems, Tenten had been stalked by the Kuno siblings who wanted to date her until Naruto posed as her girlfriend. After Tenten refuses to honor her promise of a favor and eternal friendship, Naruto poses as her girlfriend again and tells the Kunos that they've broken up and Tenten has been calling out for "Kuno" in her sleep. Tenten calls him evil for doing so.
    Naruto: More evil than to swear eternal friendship to a friendless orphan then pretending he doesn't exist?
  • A Growing Affection: Nagato admits to Naruto that the main reason he is helping Gouki is because if Gouki succeeds in becoming ruler of the continent, he will have the right and authority to forgive Nagato for failing to protect Yahiko and the original Akatsuki. Naruto, who knows (thanks to Ino's Mind Transfer and Kakashi's deductive reasoning) that each Path of Pein contains part of the mind and soul of the original person, asks "What about Yahiko? Does he forgive you? Does he have the right to forgive you?"
  • In The Hokage We Need, Kurenai begins to wonder if there was any other reason for Ino and Sakura to quit being friends other than the both of them being in love with Sasuke and questions Ino about it. The former begins to suspect that it has nothing to do with Ino being in love with Sasuke, but instead being in love with Sakura. Ino can only sputter and try to deflect the question in response, heavily implying that Kurenai was on the mark.
    Kurenai: "Would it be possible that the person you love and broke up your friendship...would be Sakura herself?"
  • There have been quite a few of these in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox:
    • One of the earliest ones comes from Naruto when Kiba tries to fight him, ostensibly to restore Hinata's honor after her Accidental Kiss with Naruto sometime earlier. Fueling Kiba's anger is the fact that, earlier that very day, Hinata had rejected (albeit as kindly as she could) his own love confession. Naruto's response to Kiba's increased efforts to fight him gets Kiba to stop and think.
      Naruto: "What was Hinata's opinion?"
    • Later on, Hinata herself gives one to Ino, who's angry that Naruto is showing interest in Sakura instead of Hinata, when Ino has been trying to get the two together. Not only does Hinata reveal that she doesn't mind Naruto checking out other girls (since they're both taking the relationship slow by mutual consent), but her next question leaves Ino stammering (because she's got a personal quarrel with Sakura, which was another factor in her anger).
      Hinata: "Are you angry solely because Naruto-kun has shown a crush on someone other than me... or is it because the someone in question is Sakura-san?"
    • Tenten winds up giving one of these to Fuu when, during their fight, the latter begins a rant on how she hasn't gotten the honor she believes she deserves after all she has done for her country. The question stops Fuu in her tracks because, to answer it, she's going to have to admit she's a Kyuushingai and specifically the one most directly responsible, albeit accidentally, for Tenten's parents' deaths.
      Tenten: "What have you done for your country that you haven't been honored for, Fuu?"
  • A more comedic example happens in Leftovers. While visiting Konoha's dairy farm to help out as part of a mission, Naruto asks Kurenai where all of the cows are, since he hasn't seen a single one since they arrived. That's when Naruto, Kurenai, and Sakura find out that all of the milk in Konoha comes from the very large-breasted farm hands.
  • In Limit Break Naruto does the rapid-fire version to Kakashi, at the end calling him by his name showcasing that no longer sees him as his Sensei.
  • In Making Uzumaki Naruto asks several of Kakashi after the latter explains why he won't help Rari, Kuri, and Mou become Konoha ninja (their clan was responsible for Rin's death).
    Naruto: "You must really hate me, don't you Kakashi-sensei?"
    Kakashi: "What? How could you ever think that!"
    Naruto: "The Kyuubi. It took your sensei from you so you must hate me."
    Kakashi: "No! How could you ever think that?"
    Naruto: "Well, it's the same isn't it? I mean Mou, Rari, Kuri, yeah, I get it their clan are a giant sack of dicks who did something really horrible, but were they even born yet? Even if they were, how is it their fault, they were just babies!"
  • Shikamaru asks one of Sasuke in Naruto and the Overpowered Academy Three that changes how the surviving Uchiha clan does things.
    Shikamaru: "Well, the Sharingan copies every technique it sees, correct? And whatever technique the eye copies, the wielder can use with the same level of skill as the shinobi the technique was copied from, correct? Well, here's what I don't get. Why don't they copy from each other?"
  • Naruto: Asunder:
    Kakashi: "You broke the deal! You were supposed to have him for 3 years and then I would take over!"
    Jiraiya: "That's because you didn't hold up your end."
    Kakashi: "What?"
    Jiraiya: "I left Naruto to you so you could build up his basics but you were too busy giving the Uchiha prick everything he wanted instead of helping the rest of Team 7."
    Kakashi: "B..B..But! You're pushing him too hard in his development!"
    Jiraiya: "Bullshit. The brat burned through everything I planned to teach so I had to do more. The Akatsuki is after him! Would you prefer I keep him weak so you can have your desire to train him?"
    Kakashi: "..." (solemn) "Still I wanted to teach him about his elemental affinity."
    Jiraiya: "Well too bad. You had your chance and you pissed it away. Oh and another thing, why did you want to train him?"
    Kakashi: "He's sensei's son."
    Jiraiya: (scowls) "That's your problem! You see him as something other than who he is! You see the Yondaime's (4th's) son, the villagers see him as a demon! I see him as a cocky if somewhat determined and loyal blond! Seriously, if he wasn't Minato's son would you even be training him?"
    Kakashi: "..."
    • After successfully bringing Sasuke back to the village, Naruto quietly tells Hinata that he doesn't really feel he accomplished much because it came down to "luck and coincidence" and he hates it. Hinata begins to probe him on this line of thought:
    Hinata: "Naruto-kun, do you like the fact you met me?"
    Naruto: "Of course Hinata, why would you ask me that?"
    Hinata: "Would you have ever noticed me if I hadn't fought Neji-nisan in the chunin exams?"
    Naruto: (reluctantly) "No, it wouldn't have been any different from any of the other academy students that I never knew what happened to."
    Hinata: "And do you believe that fate was what did that?"
    Naruto: "What? No,I told Neji fate was crap."
    Hinata: "So then it was luck that Neji-nisan and I fought."
    Naruto: "Yeah bad luck, you almost got killed!"
    Hinata: "And if that hadn't happened, would we be talking here now? Would I be as strong and would the branch house nearly be completely unsealed?"
    Naruto: {Stunned Silence} Man, I really am an idiot. How could I have not noticed someone as awesome as you until a few weeks ago?"
  • Naruto in NBH cuts off the Kyuubi's Motive Rant about not being some "nameless, pathetic little spirit" by calmly asking, "What is your name then?"
  • When Hanabi complains to Hinata about how Konohamaru goofs off in class instead of behaving like someone from a prestigious clan should in Sinister Chakra, Hinata asks if there's anything wrong with that.
    Hinata: "Why should someone from a prestigous [sic] clan not have fun in class?"
    Hanabi: "Well...because...that's the rules."
  • Naruto attempts this in Six Paths of Rebellion after hearing Suzaku's plan to become the Knight of One and rule Japan. Unfortunately for him, Suzaku is far too deep in his Black-and-White Insanity to listen.
    Naruto: "What about the other Areas?"
    Suzaku: "What?"
    Naruto: "You planned to help them right? Or were you only going to help Japan? Don't you think they need to change for the better? All the people you would have to kill to rise in rank and you only want to help Japan."
  • In True Ninja, Danzo has Naruto interrogated by Root Agents posing an enemy ninjas who are trying to find out Konoha's secrets, with tactics ranging from brutal torture, to seduction, to the promise of a better life somewhere else. When Sarutobi finds out, he is naturally outraged and demands why Danzo would do this, to which he explains that he wants to find out how loyal Naruto is to Konoha. Sarutobi remarks that Naruto is already a loyal shinobi, and would never betray the Leaf.
    Danzo: "Why? Why would-Why should this boy be loyal to this village?"
    Sarutobi: "I-It's his home."
    Danzo: "What kind of home does he have here?"

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Advice and Trust:
    • In chapter 3, Asuka is trapped inside Leliel and Nerv's plan is throw all of their bombs at it. Dismayed, Shinji asks Misato if Asuka can survive the blast, and Misato evades the question (which was noticed by Shinji).
      Misato: Shinji? [...] Get ready. The bombers are on their way. We're five minutes from the mark.
      Shinji: Misato-san... I don't like this plan. How... how can we be sure Asuka can even survive the blast?
      Misato: Her batteries will be all but drained by now, Shinji. We have to try something before it's too late, or there'll be no hope at all.
      Shinji (thinking): She didn't answer my question.
    • In chapter 7, Kaji finds out that Shinji and Asuka are having sex and he tries to dis-encourage them... with null success. When Asuka says Shinji has said he loves her, Kaji asks why she is so sure that it will last as long as she thinks. Shinji's answer shuts him up:
      Asuka: He loves me, Kaji. He's said it right to me. No one else ever has. Not even you.
      Kaji: It’s just words, Asuka. Words are easy to say. They’re a lot harder to really mean. How can you possibly know if it’s true, and will be for as long as you’re talking about?
      Asuka: I believe him.
      Shinji: [coldly] Just words, [...] Just words... have you said them to Misato-san?
    • Kaworu does a more heartwarming example in chapter 11 when Rei III denies any feelings for him because it was Rei II who fell in love with him.
      Kaworu: Do you love Shinji and Asuka?
      Rei: (Angrily) Of course I d-
      Kaworu: Who fell in love with them?
  • The Child of Love:
    • In chapter 5 Gendo is rambling about his plans furthering the human evolution:
      Fuyutsuki: "You're going too far, Ikari. Yui wouldn't approve what you're about to do. She would probably wonder what happened to the Gendo she loved and married... and how could you call that 'humankind's evolution?'"
      Gendo: "..."
    • In chapter 8 Asuka is furious with Shinji because he has lost his nerve and he has broken up because he thinks he is unfit to be her boyfriend and their child’s father and she tells she does not love him anymore. Misato does not buy it, though:
      Asuka: Shinji's a bastard. Nothing more.
      Misato: Asuka... tell me. Do you love him?
      Asuka: ...
      Misato: Do you love him...?
      Asuka: ...
      Misato: DO YOU LOVE HIM!?
      Asuka: N....
      Misato: [frowning] DO YOU LOVE HIM!?
      Asuka: [between little sobs] Yes... I...
  • A Crown of Stars:
    • In the first chapter, Asuka’s older self is trying to talk Asuka into taking up Daniel’s offer:
      Older Asuka: "You don’t have to be afraid anymore. Of anything. And you’re allowed to be happy now. Don’t miss this chance."
      Asuka: A month ago I took on an entire army and two Evas with nothing but a half-functioning Mass Production Unit that couldn’t produce an AT-Field and the Third Child. Afraid? I’m not afraid of anything already.
      Older Asuka: ...Right. Sleeping all right? No bad dreams? No little bad moods grabbing your attention?
    • And in the next chapter Asuka realizes her older self is wearing a ring on her finger. She cannot believe the implications (getting married to Shinji), but then her other self Asuka shouts:
      Older Asuka: "And try this one out, "me;" did he ask you? Or did you ask him?"
  • Doing It Right This Time:
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 12 Asuka is arguing heatedly with her subconscious:
    Asuka: Nobody understands what I’m going through!
    Asuka: Do YOU understand?
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Asuka tries to get Shinji stop blaming himself for Kaworu's death and Third Impact. So she asks him why Kaworu simply didn't leave if he had Free Will.
    Asuka: Who is this Kaworu person, anyway?
    Shinji: He was a good person, [...] He came to Nerv to be a pilot after you... went away. He was my friend and I killed him.
    Asuka: Why?
    Shinji: I had to, [...] If I didn't, everyone would have died.
    Asuka: Why?
    Shinji: He was an angel! [...] He was an angel who looked like a human. Like Ayanami, I guess.
    Asuka: Weird. So why did you have to kill him?
    Shinji: He said that humans deserved to live. He wanted me to live and be happy, so I had to kill him!
    Asuka: That's what he wanted?
    Shinji: Yes.
    Asuka: You're sure? [...] That's what he said?
    Shinji: Yes!
    Asuka: If that's so, [...] then why didn't he leave?
    Shinji: ... what?
    Asuka: If he wanted us to live, why didn't he go back to where he came from? If he was like Ayanami he had to live somewhere before he came to Nerv, right? Why did you have to do anything?
  • HERZ: During the Grand Finale Rei shows Kihl the Ikari family (Shinji, Asuka and Akiko) like an example of true Human Complementation: two human beings loving each other and the fruit of that love. Then she asks him:
    Rei: "Do you understand?"
  • The One I Love Is...: In episode 11, Shinji decides to regard Kaoru as his friend. However, a part of his mind asked "If she's your friend, then why did she leave so suddenly, without a word?"
  • Scar Tissue:
    • Ritsuko is telling Misato how Shinji and Asuka’s health was recovering quickly after several months of deterioration:
      Misato: "So what you're saying is that they're good for each other? I wish I could believe that, I really do Ritsu, but Asuka almost killed Shinji, with her bare hands, for touching her. She broke his fingers that time, too, I guarantee it."
      Ritsuko: "Dislocated. She dislocated one of his fingers, she didn't break both."
      Misato: "It doesn't matter! If they're so good for each other's health, how come this happened!? How come they've both been wasting away all this time?!"
      Ritsuko: "How should I know? I'm not their guardian, I'm their doctor."
    • Rei returns and tells Shinji that she will protect him from Asuka from now on. Shinji replies that whatever goes between Asuka and him is their concern and he does not like when someone else try to meddle. When she insists his safety is HER concern, he angrily retorts:
      Shinji: "Then where the fuck were you!"
    • Asuka later also uses this line during their fight.
  • The Second Try: After Gendo discovers his son and Asuka's machinations, he interrogates them to pry their knowledge of the future out of them. Shinji demolishes him with a single line:
    Shinji: "Do you really think she would come back to you because of that?"

Persona 4

  • In Continuance, Souji is highly suspicious about his mother, Izumi, claiming to have turned over a new leaf and wanting to reconnect with him, her brother Ryotaro Dojima, and her niece, Nanako, and bluntly says that visiting him on the way to visit the Dojimas is unlike her. She then takes him off guard with the following question, and while he's tempted to say that she can't, he realizes his personal experiences prove otherwise.
    Izumi: Do you believe people can change?
    Souji: What?
    Izumi: People. Do you think they can change if they realize they were wrong about something? I won't deny that my job has been important. It's been what I've wanted since I was younger than you. But I want to try to reconnect with Ryo and Nanako. I'd like to talk to you without us fighting. I've gotten three calls tonight, and haven't taken any of them. Tell me: do you think that people can change?


  • Common Sense has Misty, who had declared herself Ash's rival over him being a better battler than her, begin to feel sorry for him after he fails to save Butterfree's mate from Team Rocket. She wants to help him, but Brock warns her against it since, after her previous attitude with him, he would see it as pity. When she defended her plan by saying it was what any decent person would do, Brock's next question led to her Jerkass Realization.
    Brock: "Would you act kind to him if things had gone differently today?"
  • In A Pikachu in Love, when Pikachu is telling Pichi about his life with Ash and how he'll always be a trainer, Pichi asks Pikachu if he wants to be a sports Pokemon all his life. Though it stuns Pikachu for a few seconds while he tries to think of an answer, he eventually decides to leave it up to the future. Though, later on, he eventually starts asking this question to himself when he realizes Ash won't be young and a trainer forever...
  • Quite a few examples in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines and its sidestories:
    • In the Gary Interlude, the title character meets a retired trainer named Casey Snagem, with whom he discusses his definition about what makes a Pokémon Master. A mental wave of them hits him in regards to his constant losses to Red:
      Casey Snagem: "If you do win a league Red fights in, what if you never fight him? Perhaps he gets taken out by a spontaneous Magikarp evolution or something, is it really all that impressive if you don't overcome him? [...] Can you handle the idea that there may be scenarios you cannot overcome, no matter how many times you fight. Pokemon you've never seen before, legendaries, mega evolutions, does the end result nullify everything you've accomplished since? Every league, is there only one trainer who deserves to be treated with respect, and the rest with scorn for not being him or her?"
    • In the Hala & Hau Interlude, Frax asks Hau who he actually wants to surpass, his father, or his grandfather.
    • In Chapter 27 of the main story, Gary and Paul have a heated argument, when the latter says that he plans to carry them both through while the former just stays out of his way making a minimal effort:
      Gary: "What's that supposed to mean!? My Exeggcute didn't exactly do nothing in our last fight, and unlike you I have six badges!"
      Paul: "Sure, they actually performed acceptably, but what did your Growlithe do for us in the first round? And I've seen your six badges. Ignoring the fact one of your badges is a Cascade Badge that still doesn't answer why I, someone with just four badges, am outperforming someone with 5 badges and a consolation prize!?"
    • In the same chapter, while Ash is trying to decide what to do for the finals, he intends to win the tournament without using his Super Empowering abilities because he considers it cheating, and he gets this from Pikachu:
      Pikachu: 'Perhaps you don't use your powers to win badges and Leagues. That's all fine and good, and I'm fully on board with that. We all are. But Ash…. what happens if something is on the line? You may have a plan in case we lose tomorrow or the next day, but if it came between risking everyone's lives and freedoms breaking into the Safari Zone, or cheating to ensure that we keep all our Tauros, our safety, and our reputations intact….is cheating really the worse option?'
    • In the Red Two Island Interlude, the title character gets a threefold from Ultima: first in regards to not paying due attention to his Clefairy's Ax-Crazy behavior, then about whether he considers his Pokémon his friends or just the means to his ends, and finally, if he would actively go all out against an opponent with the intent to cripple them or worse.

Ranma ½

  • Adamantine Mist:
    • After learning that Ranma is now engaged to Kasumi, Ukyo confronts her about it. She accuses Kasumi of taking the engagement out of duty, rather than love for Ranma, prompting Kasumi to respond thusly:
      Kasumi: It is perhaps a trifle presumptuous of you to claim to know what I feel inside. Not that it truly matters. As for your own feelings, only you can know them and I will not ask for proof. But are you so sure? Tell me, would you dare to ask yourself on how many occasions you have put Ranma's needs ahead of your own?
    • Later on, Ukyo visits Ranma to try and talk him into breaking off the engagement and marrying her instead. When she insists that they'd be happy together, Ranma points out that none of his engagements were made with his happiness in mind, and then we get this:
      Ukyo: So you're just going to do what they want you to? Even if you end up miserable?
      Ranma: And how's that different from doing what you want?
    • Again when Akane can't believe Ranma is serious about training her in martial arts.
      Akane: Why haven't I ever been able to trust you?
      Ranma: Did you ever really try?
  • Used by a therapist in Chapter 11 of Decode. Unlike most examples, this was done to help him.
    "Do you have anything that's unrelated to martial arts that you're sure about? Just with life in general?"
  • In After the Fall of Giants, after Shampoo expresses her desire to kill any Amazon who would harm any child she might have with Mousse, Mousse gets her to calm down by asking if she's including Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung in that.

Real-Person Fic

  • In With Strings Attached, the Hunter confesses to Paul that he's envious of the friendship between the four, and that his life, while rewarding and exciting, has left him without anyone he could trust with his soul. Paul then asks him a series of probing questions about whether he actually likes his life, ending with, “Don't you think if you were really keen on your life, four days with us wouldn't've made any difference?”
  • Paul gets to do it again when he devastates Spectrem with one of these in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. Quite pissed off at Paul for refusing to do anything violent, Spectrem proceeds to attack him with various rays of power, in an effort to force Paul to take a swing at him. However, none of the beams damage Paul in the slightest. He proceeds to upbraid the astonished Guardian, and reduces him to a stammering wreck with the simple question: “What if you'd killed me?”

Reborn! (2004)


  • Acceptance: Jaune meets up in the forest with Blake, making them partners, and reveals that he's half-Grimm to her, causing her to point her weapon at him and call him a soulless beast, even referring to him as "it" instead of "him" in her POV. When it's clear to him that it wouldn't work between them he turns to go back to the Wilds. Blake aims at his head and says she can't just let him go, but Jaune asks her two questions that hit her hard and make her refer to him as "him" again:
    Jaune: Kitty-Cat, tell me something. Do you honestly think Ozpin of all people doesn't know about me, or you for that matter? Hell, he's the only reason I'm not someone's rabid dog!
    Blake's eyes widen.
    Jaune: Like I said, I'm Half-Human and Half-Grimm. I was hoping you'd at least listen, but I can tell that won't happen. If a Faunus that fears discovery won't listen to me, then what hope do I have with anyone else should I be found out?
  • In Leader Change, Yang and Blake begin to rag on Weiss when they find out her suggestion for how to spend their "Team Day" is to go to the opera, but they stop when an angry Weiss asks them if they've ever actually seen an opera before. Sorta-Subverted when Yang and Blake decide to give it a chance, and the opera turns out to be as boring as they predicted.
  • Played for Laughs in A Rabbit Among Wolves: Jaune manages an accidental one when he questions why a spider Faunus can shoot webbing from her hands, noting that spiders don't shoot webbing from their legs. The next day she's staring at her hands "like she'd just committed mass orphan murder and couldn't handle it" while asking herself why it comes out of her hands.
    • More seriously, Jaune asks Ilia how Adam's methods will actually bring about equality. Ilia can't really respond.
  • RWBY: Reckoning has one where Cinder tells Darrel of Kimba's supposed motives, and with one question, completely destroys his trust in her.
    Cinder: "Think about this, Darrel. I am in a position where I can fulfil my role as your protectorate. I have promised you a way home. Has Kimba offered you such a reward?"

The Silmarillion

  • In A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script:
    • To a Feanorian kinslayer after he hit her:
      Maiwe: Your answer is the same as ever was, to them that refuse your tyranny — hard word, and harder hand. Was that not how it befell your own King at high Formenos, my kinsman?
    • Beren to Aegnor after the latter tried to give him a hard time:
      Beren: I'm sure it was more complicated than just family, but even with there not being all that many places to go, after the Sudden Flame, the thing I'm wondering is, if maybe you feel a bit guilty, since maybe you all being so tight with that crew had something to do with Finrod giving them such a warm welcome, if it was partly for your sake. —Just going on how things were in Dorthonion after it started getting bad, and the way people react, how it isn't all just what's the most reasonable thing to do.
      Steward: A most interesting question. —Is that the case, I wonder?
      Aegnor: (glowering) I do not choose to answer your unworthy speculations.
      Steward: I believe that you have quite well, your Highness.
    • Elenwe to Amarië as they are listening to the bit about Finrod’s doom:
      Elenwe: (to Amarie, puzzled) Art thou not much wrung, for thought of thy consort's fate?
      Amarie: (coldly) His own fate, he did him choose.
      Elenwe: Thou answerest not. —Why?
      Amarie: (sharp) Wherefore I answer not unto thee, kinswoman.
      Elenwe: Again thou answerest not.
  • Lessons from the Mountain: Varda delivers a devastating question during Maedhros' judgement which causes the latter to reexamine his actions during the first Kinslaying:
    "You did not need the Valar to teach you that it was wrong to kill the Teleri and take their ships," Estë said sorrowfully. "You did know better, but in your reckless fear…"
    "We were not afraid!" he insisted.
    "Why your haste?" asked Varda, and then he knew, knew beyond any doubt, that she was right. A sickening feeling took his stomach, and he was glad he had not eaten in years.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • As Oberyn, in Chapter 35 of Robb Returns, muses on the recent changes Westeros has undergone, he has a big one for his brother Doran.
    Oberyn Martell: "And... Stark is asking for information about the Others. Stark the pragmatist, Stark the practical, asks for information about a legend. And that, my brother, is what terrifies me. What if... in these times of magic... legends are real?"
  • In A Song of Fire, Ice, and Hearts, Oberyn Martell asks Catelyn Stark a series of questions pertaining to her negative view of bastards that she can't honestly answer, chief among them being "What has Jon Snow done to personally earn your ire?", "Are you afraid of Jon Snow?", and "What if Roxas was a bastard?". The last question is especially poignant because she admires and respects Roxas for his heroism, and as far as the people of Westeros know, Roxas is an orphan who never knew his parents, so the chances of him being a bastard aren't as low as Catelyn would like to believe.


  • No One Breaks My Heart Like You: When Barbara can tell that Mary Jane is unhappy in her marriage to Peter, Mary Jane tries to assure her that they're just going through a rough patch. Barbara is not fooled, and Mary Jane admits her marriage troubles to her. While Barbara agrees that Peter's not a bad man, she asks Mary Jane if either of them is happy.* In The Spider, Peter prevents Otto Octavius from becoming Doc Ock by asking about his experiment's safety features, causing Octavius to recalibrate his experiment beforehand and preventing the catastrophic failure that killed his wife.
    Peter: "Did you account for the increase in the sun causing an exponential increase in magnetic disturbance?"
    Otto: "Excuse me?"
    Peter: "Well you are going to increase the size of the sun right? Then won't the magnetic attacks against the shields also increase in size? Would the shields be able to handle the sudden stress?"

Star Trek

Star Wars

  • In My Mother, when Padme (frozen in carbonite for over thirty years) is talking with Chewbacca about Anakin, while Chewbacca wonders how she can forgive Anakin's actions, Padme asks if Chewbacca wouldn't do the same for his own mate; while Chewbacca counters that Malla wouldn't do anything to their son anyway, he can't respond to Padme when she asks him what he'd do if she did do something.

Steven Universe

  • In Faded Blue, when Rose says that the Gems would never hurt a human, Greg replies with this.
    Greg: "Really? So you're saying that if I'd come to you, two years ago and gone, 'Here's my son, he has the gemstone of a person you waged a war against', you wouldn't have thrown him in a cage?"
  • The World is Your Oyster, The Universe is Your Namesake has Steven asking these as the initiator of many arcs in the story - "I feel like we’re isolating ourselves from humanity. Why do we do that?"


  • In Man of Steel fanfiction Daughter of Fire and Steel, When Zod pulls his coup, he tries to sway Jor-El over by showing how his own niece is on Zod's side. Jor-El snaps "Is this what you've become, Kara? Is this what Zor would want you to be?" While she keeps her emotions in check, Kara is inwardly affected by his words enough to later help ensure Kal-El escapes Krypton.

Total Drama

  • In Legacy, Courtney rants about her unfair elimination and thoughtlessly says that she should have been kept on instead of the recently murdered Gwen. Noah shuts her up by saying, "She would be here. Alive. And you?"
  • In The Legend of Total Drama Island, the normally self-effacing Beth defuses an impending No-Holds-Barred Beatdown when she asks, "Hasn't there been enough blood today?" Coming on the heels of a challenge where an intern and a contestant were lost in separate incidents, Beth's question stops everyone in their tracks.

Touhou Project

  • Gensokyo 20XX:
    • Chen does this a few times. In her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Yume Ni, she asks "If Reimu died, would you be happy then?!" and, earlier, in 20XXIV, she asks, "Is that what you want, to be quiet and act like everything is fine, while you stagger around in darkness, living in misery and sadness?" to Miko.
    • Later in 20XXV, she asks Yukari, "Damn! Don't you know how to make decisions for the best?!" She is rightfully silenced.


  • In the Beast Wars fic Dying Young, Megatron attempts to force the Maximals to surrender by offering them the cure for Cheetor's current terminal illness. While Rattrap, Airazor and Optimus each muse that they would hate losing Cheetor more than they would hate surrendering to Megatron (Cheetor is currently undergoing treatment and Rhinox and Dinobot were trying to find the cure), Tigatron prompts the other three Maximals to consider what Cheetor would want, prompting Optimus to recall Cheetor's past comment of "better dead than Pred".
  • Eugenesis: Wheeljack asks Sygnet how he could work for the Decepticons, pointing out how they just use his inventions to kill. Sygnet coldly asks Wheeljack what he thinks the Autobots do with all of his inventions. Wheeljack is silent for a moment, then quickly changes the subject.


  • Changeling Jim in Becoming the Mask believes Gunmar will reward the Changelings for helping him escape the Darklands, and Jim plans to use his "reward" to ask for the safety of some humans he'd rather not see eaten by trolls. Aaarrrgghh, who once worked for Gunmar, insists Gunmar can't be trusted to keep his word. Jim argues until Aaarrrgghh asks him if he is willing to bet his friends' lives on it.

Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-

  • In Shatterheart, Kurogane does this twice on R!Syaoran's behalf.
    • To Sakura:
      Kurogane: "Look. I know everyone's gone through a lot of shit since Tokyo, but you're really not helping anything by hiding out by yourself. You need to talk to him (Syaoran)."
      Sakura: "This Syaoran—"
      Kurogane: "Why do you have to call him that? Why does it have to be 'this Syaoran?' Why can't you just call him 'Syaoran?'"
    • To Fai, when he realizes that he's been horrible to Syaoran.
      Fai: "What does this Syaoran like?"
      Kurogane: "Well for one, he'd like it if you'd drop the 'this Syaoran' bullshit and just called him by name."

Umineko: When They Cry

  • Redaction of the Golden Witch: Karl firmly believes that the Sole Survivor of the Rokkenjima Incident must have been the culprit, repeatedly railing on and on about they were obviously guilty. After getting sick of his ranting, the 1996!Protagonist trips him up by asking whether he'd accuse the survivor directly of their supposed crimes if they were present.

Warhammer 40,000

  • In the Warhammer 40,000 fanfic sequel to Secret War, Secret War: Upon Blood Sands, Attelus gives one to Marcel Torris. It's also a reference to Paarthunax's.
    Attelus: "I'm not a good person. So tell me what means more, Marcel? Someone who's inherently good, doing good? Or someone who's inherently evil doing good, despite their ingrained nature?"


  • Dinah does this to Emma in Atonement, as part of her plan to induce a Heel Realization and trigger. She does have to break through Emma's lies to herself, but eventually she gets the right reaction.
    Dinah: Who was your best friend? And what did you do to her?
    Emma: Taylor. And I killed her.
  • In Security, after Emma Barnes is caught red-handed bullying Taylor Hebert by the self-insert protagonist Mike Allen, the following conversation takes place during a meeting between the protagonist, Emma, and her father.
    Mike: "Just because someone with a stupid fucking philosophy of life does you a huge favour does not make that philosophy right. It’s still fucking stupid. Sophia can’t really help the way she is; her power fucked her head up. You don’t have that excuse. You can change. It’s up to you."
    Emma: "But I did change! Sophia showed me how! I was weak, now I’m strong! I am!"
    Mike: "Yeah. So ... how’s that working out for you, exactly?"


  • Stars From Home has Chris Summers make excuses for beating his son—it happened once, he was drunk, and it was after the War. He acknowledges that it was wrong but doesn't take full responsibility until he realizes how Scott sees this.
    Scott: "Did I deserve it?"

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

  • In Another Chronicle, when Mythra is shouting at Nia for freezing up in the middle of a fight after Dromarch's death, Rex asks a question which stops her rant cold and makes her realize that her anger is only hurting Nia worse.
    Rex: She'd just lost Dromarch. How was she supposed to react?


  • During the first encounter in Yognapped between Sben and Griefer Alpha, the former constantly interrupts the latter's request for an alliance with taunts and cold derision. Frustrated, Griefer Alpha asks him about his reasons for waging war, which causes Sben to immediately lose all bravado because he's forgotten the answer.
    Griefer Alpha: "You heard me, Sben. What motivated you to form Ironstorm in the first place? WHY do you want to destroy Minecraftia?"


  • In the final arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! Forever, after main character Yugo (Yugi's son) is angrily called out by Serenity and Yugi for making a two-edged deal with the Big Bad that will result in either his own death or the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, all for the sake of trying to rescue Kaiba's mind-controlled son from said Big Bad, in despair Yugo asks his father one question:
    Yugo: "Would you just stand by and do nothing while the bad guys took one of your closest friends away from you?"

    Fan Films 
  • In the James Bond Fan Film Property Of A Lady, the new M gives a lecture about their duty to the crown, right after he’s shot one of the captured mooks to get the confession from the other. Eventually, it comes to this, foreshadowing that M is the real Big Bad:
    M: "Once we give everything to the service, we become property of a lady. We stay that way unless we get stolen."
    Bond: "Sir, were you stolen?"


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