Local newsreaders generally stick to reading what's on their teleprompter, but they'll often have to ad-lib, during transitions from live shots back to the studio, transitions to weather and sports, filling in time, breaking news, etc. Unfortunately, most anchors aren't very good at ad-libbing, leading to lots of Captain Obvious moments.
Inadvertently inverted by one-time BBC snooker commentary: "For those of you watching in black and white, the blue's the one behind the pink." Actually, this was not inadvertent. It is commonly cited as a mistake, but is actually helpful when the blue ball has been knocked off its starting position, but the pink has not. And it was repeated whenever that case presented, further dispelling the myth that it was an error.
Cavil: Time for us to go on the offensive. Simon: We must be cautious. Too much force could risk killing the child. Cavil: Really? You think? Please continue stating the perfectly obvious; it fills me with confidence.
Played for laughs in The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon's hilarious attempts to make sense out of human emotions involving remarks like "You're upset" or "You're unhappy" followed by the inevitable reply: "What was your first clue?" which often turns out to be a Rhetorical Question Blunder.
There's also this instance:
Leonard: Interesting. We're being accused of making you do things you don't like, and here you are doing the same thing to poor Amy. Sheldon: You should point out the hypocrisy of that! Leonard: ...that's what I was doing.
The editors of Big Brother tend to be this for the audience. In just about every episode, they will show recaps of previous episodes right before the titles. Then, after the titles, they will show the scene again, accompanied by a Diary Room excerpt of one of the Houseguests explaining what we just saw and are seeing again. A Houseguest in danger of being voted out will try to convince the others to keep them by saying "I don't want to go home."
In Blackadder, Edmund, George and Baldrick have come under heavy machine-gun fire in no-man's-land:
George: They're firing, sir, they're firing! Blackadder: Yes, thank you Lieutenant. If they hit me, you'll be sure to point it out?
And in the second series episode Bells:
Crone: Two things, my lord, must thee know of the Wisewoman. First, she is... a woman! ...and second, she is... Edmund: Wise? Crone: You do know her then?
In Breaking Bad, the phone rings. Walt's voice says, "Skyler, it's me." Skyler announces, "It's him!"
Subverted and lampshaded often, severely, and, on occasion, simultaneously. The best example likely being when Spike is nearly tearing his hair out by the unbleached roots telling the Scoobies over and over that the Hell Goddess Glory just turned into Joyce's caregiver Ben. They miss the point every time. Darn that memory spell... What makes the situation funnier is that the other Scoobies (save for the comatose Buffy) actually get it near the end of the first go-around with a little help from Spike:
Willow: So... Ben and Glory... a-are actually the same person? Xander: Glory can turn into Ben, and Ben turns back into Glory. Anya: And anyone who sees it instantly forgets. (about a half a minute later) Giles: Excellent. Now. Do we suspect there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?
It kind of makes you wonder how many times he tried to get them to figure it out if he considered bitch-slapping Xander upside the head worth the pain. He's pretty close to thinking that most of the time anyway.
Vi upon arriving at a demon bar: "They're demons! It's a demon bar! It's like a gay bar, only with demons."
Played for laughs in CNNNN, in Charles Firth's report on teenage drug use. At one point he holds up a human brain to the camera and says "This is the brain from a kid who took drugs. Guess what happened to him? Hes now dead. Our investigation shows that every single drug user whos had their brain removed is now dead."
In the Corner Gas episode "Full Load", Davis pulls Hank over for having a broken taillight. He says he'll follow as Hank drives his truck to the police station to be impounded. Hank agrees, but says, "Hey. Don't rear-end me. My taillight's broke."
Upon finding a severed head in the trunk of a car, Grissom delivered a particularly groan-worthyone-liner:
Grissom:[...] six to eight hours ago, somebody lost his head. And then... somebody lost his head.
In one episode, they find a mutilated corpse. After someone else says "someone wanted her ugly", Grissom one-ups with "Ugly and dead".
Attending to a stabbing victim, an EMT on CSI: Miami checked her blood pressure, then told his co-worker that the woman was hypotensive. Not how low her BP had fallen, just that it was lower than normal: something that would be self-evident from how she'd been bleeding all over the floor for several minutes.
(Dexter runs a DNA test; the results show that Oliver Saxon is Dr. Vogel's son) Dexter:(thinking) Oliver Saxon is Dr. Vogel's son! Harry's ghost: Dexter, Oliver Saxon is Dr. Vogel's son! It must be the child she mentioned once! Dexter:(out loud) You're right, Oliver Saxon is Dr. Vogel's son! She's his mother!
[John Benton enters the TARDIS for the first time] The Doctor: Well, Sergeant? Aren't you going to say, "It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside?" Everybody else does. Benton: Well, it's... pretty obvious, isn't it?
[Daleks fire missiles at the TARDIS, after Rose says she can't predict what the Doctor's going to do] Rose: You can't! The TARDIS doesn't have any defences, you're gonna kill 'im! Dalek:You have predicted correctly.
Mickey: Okay, no time to explain, we need to get inside the school. Do you have, like, I don't know, a lock-picking device? K9: We are in a car. Mickey: Maybe a drill attachment? K9: We are in a car. Mickey: Fat lot of good you are! K9: We are in a car. Mickey:Wait a second.We're in a car. K9: Affirmative.
The Doctor determines that "something corrosive" is flowing through the pipe marked "DANGER: CORROSIVE".
And again after the storm causes leaks. To be fair, he did just almost get a face-full of Hollywood Acid.
The Doctor: It is too dangerous in here with acid leaks!
"Night Terrors": The resident Muggle has a real insight to add to the conversation.
The Doctor: I'm not just a professsional, I am the Doctor. Alex: What is that supposed to mean? The Doctor: It means that I have traveled a long way to get here, Alex. A very long way. George sent a message. A distress call, if you like. Whatever that is inside that cup-board is so terrible, so powerful that it amplifies the ordinary fears of a ordinary little boy across all the barriers across time and space. Through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulosas on fire, empires of glass and civilizations of pure though. And a whole terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They are old eyes. And one thing I can tell you, Alex? Monsters are real. Alex: ... you're not from Social Services, are you?
Rory: What do we do now? There's no way back out there. The Doctor: Through the cave. Come on. [he hears big footsteps] That suggestion was a work in progress. Brian: We're trapped. The Doctor: Yes. Thanks for spelling it out. [footsteps getting louder] Rory: Doctor, whatever's down there is coming this way. The Doctor: Spelling it out is hereditary. Wonderful.
"Oxygen": After the Doctor and companions are cut off from the TARDIS by having to seal the door because the section of the space station they're onboard that the TARDIS was in opened to the vacuum of space, Nardole feels the need to point out that the TARDIS is on the other side of a sealed door and opening it will expose everyone to the vacuum of space. The Doctor responds appropriately.
"Demons of the Punjab": Upon landing in the Punjabi countryside, Graham, who seems to have been expecting to land in Lahore in their search for Yaz's grandmother, notes that this is definitely not Lahore, as he thought that was a city. (Yes, it is.)
The reaction of the MI6 agent driving an SUV carrying the Doctor and her companions when the sat-nav begins glitching due to attempted Murder by Remote Control Vehicle is to state that it "shouldn't be doing that".
Graham states what is going on so frequently that O comments about it. Graham then needles Ryan about doing the same thing later.
On Family Matters, Harriet gets a call that will tell whether or not she got a job. As the family huddles around the phone, the grandmother walks in and asks what happened. Carl responds, "She either got the job or she didn't." Grandma replies, "Those would be the choices."
A couple of times, someone points out a psychological observation to another psychiatrist and the psychiatrist's response is the equivalent of "Duh".
(after Niles is trying unsuccessfully to get a hold of Maris) Frasier: Honestly, Niles, by calling her so many times you've given her all the power. You're much better off coming from a position of strength. Niles: Don't pour that sherry on your shirt — it will stain. Frasier: What? Niles: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the portion of the afternoon where we gave each other patently obvious advice.
"My hot and foamy must have exploded!" "He used to be a detective, you know."
Friends has this a lot. Dim-witted Joey is often the one being densely obvious, and Chandler the one answering humorously.
Robert: What do you mean it's empty? Lancel: There's no more wine. Robert:Is that what empty means?! So. Get. More!
Tywin's miffed line, "You shot me?!" in "The Children." The snarky reply he gets is omitted.
Sansa and Jon argue about whether urging him to "not do what Ramsay wants" in the upcoming battle is too obvious to be useful advice.
When happening upon a siege, Podrik announces, "It's a siege!" Brienne retorts, "You have a keen military mind, Pod."
In the final episode, Arya says that she knows a killer when she sees one in reference to Daenerys. Other people might have also noticed this character was a killer by the way she slaughtered the entire population of King's Landing from dragonback in the previous episode.
Tritter: You're rude. House: Wow. You're, like, a detective or something.
House also gave us this gem:
Chase: He has a partial HPRT enzyme deficiency. That means he could have Kelley-Seegmiller Syndrome. Cameron: But it's a partial deficiency. So it doesn't have to be Kelley-Seegmiller. House: Yeah, those are the two options. It either is or it isn't.
House loves this trope...
Cameron: That's it. It's gotta be one of those [five diseases]. House: You know what would be even better? Narrowing it all the way down to one.
He sure does...
Student: You're reading a comic book. House: And you're drawing attention to your bosom by wearing a low-cut top. Oh, I'm sorry. I thought we were having a state-the-obvious contest. I'm competitive by nature.
Another one, though not from House this time:
Nurse: (after House spits on a surgeon to prevent him performing a needless operation) We can't do this operation now! Surgeon: Ya think?!
Kamen Rider Kabuto: They seem to be worried that we're going to forget what Clock Up does, because every couple of episodes a voice-over jumps in to tell us (paraphrasing): "You see how everything else is moving in slow motion? That's because they're moving really, really fast."
In the Law & Order episode "Mammon", Ed Green looks at the body of a man who has been brutally beaten to death and says, "Somebody didn't like this dude."
In one episode of Lie to Me, the team comes across a dead body in the trunk of a car. Foster asks what happened to the victim, to which Lightman replies, "He died."
Live Forever As You Are Now with Alan Resnick: Alan's Schrader Clot graphic states such helpful information, such as that "people who look at this graphic see a blue brain" and "diagram shows clot in slightly different shade and with extra lines".
The Magicians: Margo complains of Julia telling them blatantly obvious things in figuring out how to use the god-killing knife against the Beast in the last episode of season one.
On M*A*S*H, Radar presents a homesick Col. Potter with a beautifully appropriate gift on his wedding anniversary. There in plain sight, standing right next to Radar, is Sophie, a live horse.
Nathan's "The probation worker's gone mental!" line from Misfits, when he'd already been warned about the probation worker's mentality and refused to believe it. In his defence, you probably wouldn't believe that your supervisor had suddenly turned into a murderous axe-wielding maniac until you saw it with your own eyes. Especially if you're The Ditz.
The narrator of Monsters Inside Me, a documentary series about parasites, has an annoying tendency to ask things like "But might this apparent spider bite be something more sinister...?". To which the answer is self-evident to anyone who knows what show they're watching.
Mythbusters often has someone reiterating what they've been doing, just in case you missed it. It alternates between individuals. Probably because there is a sizable segment of viewers who watch just for the kaboom. They need to be reminded how it works.
The Noddy Shop has two groups of characters whose personalities are based off this trope: The Ruby Reds and the Do-Wop Penguins. Often, they will repeat a statement that someone had already said seconds earlier or just tell the audience that a song or Noddy story is about to begin.
In "The Magic Key", one of the kids says that they'll name one of the dolls they found Big Ears because he has big ears.
Chris says that his "secret" to setting people up on dates is finding one person's best qualities, then finding someone else with those same qualities, and putting them together.
Ron hates making speeches so much that he'll only make a series of obvious statements:
Ron: Welcome to "Visions of Nature". This room has several paintings in it, some are big, some are small. People did them and they are here now, I believe that after this is over they'll be hung in government buildings.
Perd: Issue number one is the first issue we're going to talk about.
Perd: I have an update that contains new information.
Perd: There you have it, where "it" is the thing Leslie Knope just said about this situation.
Perd: Let's begin the show by starting it.
Perd: There are some statistics that I want to share with you now, and they are numbers.
Subverted in the 1992 Australian mini-series Phoenix, a fictionalised account of the car-bombing of a Melbourne police station. Some hours into the investigation, Inspector Jock Brennan asks forensic scientist Ian "The Goose" Cochrane what he's come up with.
The Goose: There was a bomb in that car, and it went off. Jock: Are you having me on? The Goose: Look, it could have been a mortar shell. The bomb could have been under a manhole cover and the car had nothing to do with it. There are solutions besides the obvious, you know.
The 11/4/2016 episode of Pointless has this from Richard when giving Pointless answers to the most powerful people in the world:
Richard: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, he's the King of Saudi Arabia.
Clive: There are vegetatrion restaurants aren't there, where you can't get meat. Stephen:All vegetarian restaurants, I think... Clive: Yes. Yeah. Nothing wrong with that sentence so far. Rob:: "There are vegetarian restaurants were you can't get meat". To quote the great John Cleese, 'what's your specialist subject? The bleedin' obvious'.
Holly: A stasis leak is a leak, right, in stasis. Hence the name "a stasis leak".
Rimmer: (trying to save his past self) I've come to warn you, in three million years you'll be dead! Past Rimmer: Will I really?
Cat: (examining an arrow) Yep, this came from a bow all right.
And it should be noted that at the very start of the series, the main character Lister comes out of a stasis and the computer tells him all crewmembers are dead. Lister promptly continues to ask of every single crewmember if they are dead, and the computer keeps saying that yes, that member of the crew is dead, too.
Detective Lee: I saw my landlord smoking in the lobby. The lobby is a no smoking zone, so I wrote him a citation. The next day, my rent was raised to ten million dollars a month. Gerald Page: You know what? I don't think that was a coincidence. I think he did that to get back at you! Right? Detective Carter: I think you're a genius.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch invoked this trope with Salem Saberhagen. In one episode he announced, in a completely blasé tone of voice, that the phone was ringing. Later in the same episode, when a small tornado was tearing through the house, he said, "Tornado in the house" in the same tone.
Saturday Night Live: During Norm MacDonald's tenure as the host of Weekend Update, he would sometimes report a recent event with a predictable outcome or an obvious statement made by a notable person, then tell the audience that they could read more about it in Duh magazine.
(after being run through with a sword) "You have killed me, sir..."
Spartacus: Blood and Sand: When Batiatus enters Spatacus into the Pit, both fighters receive random weapons. Spartacus gets old-school brass knuckles, while his opponent receives giant, spiked cesti. Barca observes that Spartacus's opponent has the advantage, which causes the irritable Batiatus to snap at him for stating the obvious.
Samantha Carter, in her position as SG-1's designated Ms. Exposition, has more than a few moments of this. Which was somewhat amusing during the first two seasons, where she actually held the rank of Captain.
In "Children of the Gods", the pilot episode of SG-1, a doctor is performing an autopsy on a Jaffa, and pulls out the Goa'uld symbiote.
Doctor: It's not human! Jack: You think?
O'Neill used his snarky, "You think?" quite often in the series to lampshade Captain Obvious moments. It became one of his Catch Phrases.
In the season seven episode "Birthright, Part 1", Bra'tac and Teal'c walk through a battlefield filled with dead Jaffa. Teal'c notes that there were two Goa'uld there with their respective armies. Bra'tac replies "This meeting did not go well." Really? Because when we see dead guys, we assume things were going great!
Zelenka on Stargate Atlantis is often dismissed as a Captain Obvious by McKay after coming up with some incredibly complex science idea which McKay already came up with. McKay, though, also has his share of these, to the point that in one episode, somebody called him Captain Obvious.
Varro in Stargate Universe presumably held the rank of Captain Obvious in the Lucian Alliance. In the episode "The Hunt", after an attack by a creature other than the one they're hunting, he chimes in with "there's more than one of them." His wisdom doesn't end there, though; he soon follows up with the equally astute observation that "the fact that we're dealing with more than one of them reduces our chances of finding T.J. and Reynolds alive."
Counselor Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation does this a lot. An alien will appear on the viewscreen and rant, rave, posture and threaten the Enterprise. Troi will lean over to the Captain and murmur, "I sense hostility..."
Troi: ...You're upset. KEhleyr: Your finely honed betazoid senses tell you that? Troi: That and the table (Which KEhleyr just destroyed with her bare hands)
Troi was following in the footsteps of Leonard McCoy of Star Trek: The Original Series, who spat contemptuously at the medicine of previous eras, and yet, despite the miraculous 23rd-century technology that he possessed, seldom gave a diagnosis more detailed than "He's Dead, Jim!"
Also, in multiple Trek series, an enemy ship will go to warp, while the Enterprise (Voyager, Defiant, etc.) is damaged, busy, or just not fast enough to keep up. After watching this happen, someone will always say "they're gone," even if they've also just reported the enemy ship's departure. Once every third episode, you were liable to see a situation like this:
(Zip! Phoom! Villains disappear as everyone watches on insanely big viewscreen) Paris: They went to Ultrawarp Factor Eleventy-Zillion, Captain. [Pause] They're gone.
This is often supposed to indicate that the departing vessel has slipped beyond sensor range which is supposed to be impressive given the range of Starfleet sensors.
In the original series episode "The Changeling", a space probe called Nomad, convinced that its mission is to destroy all "biological units", mistakes Kirk for its creator. This buys the crew some time until Kirk lets slip that he is a biological unit. Nomad declares it needs to "re-evaluate" and floats off. Spock's response?
Spock: Captain, it may have been unwise to admit to Nomad that you are a biological unit.
Kirk: By Vulcan biology, do you mean the biology of Vulcans?
Justified here in that this was probably the only way Spock's particular problem in this episode could be brought up on 1960s television. What makes the line even funnier is that technically, the phrase "Vulcan biology" is syntactically ambiguous. "Vulcan biology" can refer to either the biological knowledge of Vulcans (as a body of work), or the actual biological functions of Vulcans. A request for clarification might have been completely justified... if the supplied alternative wasn't exactly as ambiguous as the original statement.
Here's another. Justified in-universe, as Kirk is saying that Spock's standard response, "Insufficient data", is not good enough as an answer. Because it's obvious.
Kirk: Insufficient data is not sufficient, Mr. Spock.
In another episode of The Next Generation, a computer gone haywire causes an interface to nearly electrocute Geordi. Data's observation in the aftermath?
Data: This is yet another example of how our actions have random results. Geordi: Thanks, Data. I noticed.
In Star Trek: Voyager, a female Q pegs this trope as a trait of the entire Vulcan species.
Female Q: The Vulcan talent for stating the obvious never ceases to amaze me.
Captain Kathryn "Obvious" Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager demonstrated an incredible grasp of temporal physics when Harry Kim was teleported to a whereabouts the crew was unable to ascertain.
Janeway: How long until we have to leave? Bridge: I'd say we're safe for another two hours. Janeway: That gives us two hours to find Mr. Kim.
On Supernatural, it seems at least Once an Episode that either Dean or Sam will point out to the other that the two of them are brothers. Then during an episode in which they were in an alternate reality and didn't know each other, darned if Dean didn't say to Sam, "I don't know you."
Scott: Dude, everyone in here's a dude! I think we're in a gay club. (pan over to Stiles, surrounded by drag queens, one of whom is petting the side of his head) Stiles: Man, nothing gets past those keen werewolf senses, huh, Scott?
Many of the headlines featured on Jay Leno's run on The Tonight Show, such as this gem: "Starvation leads to health hazards." (Jay Leno's response: "Really? I find I'm feeling hungry all the time.")
The Torchwood episode "Dead Man Walking" gave us this scriptwriting gem: "What happened to the town when death walked among them?" "People died."
From the Victorious episode "Survival of the Hottest" (a.k.a. "Stuck in an RV"):
Jade: We... we gotta get out of here. Tori: Yeah... Thank you! Catherine Obvious! Jade: The expression is 'thank you, Captain Obvious'. Tori: It's not 'Catherine'? Trina: No... Beck: Who would Catherine be? Tori:(upset)Catherine could be a captain!
In The X-Files episode "The Erlenmeyer Flask", a microbiology expert explains the rudiments of genetics — material taught in any high school's freshman biology class — to Agent Scully, a fully qualified doctor. While some viewers of the show might have needed the refresher course, Scully absolutely should not have, and turning her into The Watson for this kind of material just does her a disservice. The episode "Humbug" has something similar, with Mulder telling Scully what ichthyosis is.
Maggie: And now, I'm gonna be looking at what it's like to be a young unemployed adult! Because — more young adults are becoming unemployed on account of they can't find work! Basically, the problem is this: if you haven't got a job, then you outta work! And that means only one thing — unemployment!