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Richard: No, you know how today we're heading into the land of the Giants to offer them the Jewel of Valencia in exchange for joining our quest to save Princess Isabella?
Galavant: Yes, we discussed it last night in great detail. There's no need for your clunky exposition.

As you know, we are Describing the trope As You Know Here.

This is a form of exposition where one character explains to another something that they both know, but the audience doesn't or may have forgotten.

"As you know, Alice, my Death Ray depends on codfish balls."

"Damn it, Bob, you know full well that Alice hasn't been the same since that tragic codfish incident."

In discussions of science fiction, this is often "As You Know, Bob" (abbreviated AYKB), or occasionally, "Tell me, Professor [about this marvelous invention we all use every day and have no reason to be talking about except to inform the audience]". Other common variations involve a newspaper reporter sent to cover events, or a conversation between two supporting characters — hence another name, "maid and butler dialogue". Terry Pratchett refers to the fantasy fiction version as the "As you know, your father, the king..." speech.


This is also a common feature of pilot episodes, where characters' backgrounds and relationships need to be established for the first time. Likewise, when new characters are introduced or the writers believe a reminder is in order, characters will explicitly refer to each other by name during a regular conversation, when this is rarely done in real life: "Say, Alice, how are you enjoying your coffee?" "Why, it's delicious, Bob, thanks for asking. How are you coming along, Charlie?"

This is also quite common on medical drama shows like ER, Scrubs, and Grey's Anatomy, where common medical phenomena and simple procedures must be explained to the laymen in the audience. In most cases, this is achieved by explaining the disease or procedure to an intern or non-professional character.

On some shows, characters will "As You Know" in order to provide information that was already provided in a previous episode (that viewers might have missed) or even earlier in the show (for those who just tuned in), to the great annoyance of dedicated fans. (e.g. Just Tuned In: "Remember, Bob, you only have 20 minutes to defuse the bomb..." or Previous Episode: "Alice is really mad at you for running over her dog last week, isn't she?") Soap operas or adventure-type shows will often circumvent this with a "When we last left our heroes" recap at the beginning of each two-parter.


This may also happen with solitary characters (in thought rather than in speech), who, apparently, have such bad memory problems that they have to constantly remind themselves what they're doing right now and what happened in the near past.

Not explaining anything sometimes results in the audience being too busy trying to figure out what's going on to enjoy the show, using this trope is not always a bad thing. In serialized works or plays, "as you know" is seen as a convenient workaround to save time or to spare readers returning to the series. For example, it's easier to say "as you know, Dr. Moriarty is the most feared criminal mastermind in the world" than showing to new readers to the Sherlock Holmes series just what kind of criminal the doctor is. Or, it often would be more advantageous to a play's length to say "as you know, the Montagues and Capulets have been feuding for 50 years" than to show a fifty-year-long feud. Notwithstanding, there are less obvious workarounds in use in modern writing.

Writers try to avoid this by using The Watson, and thus the most common alternative is to give the protagonist amnesia so he doesn't know, which isn't really considered a better option. The Idiot Hero and Fish out of Water are also acceptable tropes to employ to make this trope more believable, though shoehorning in such a character may be worse. A third form is to have two characters comparing information to each be sure that the other does in fact know. A fourth is to have the characters have an argument, since arguments are among the few real-life situations in which people remind each other of things they both already know.note  Breaking the Fourth Wall to have the characters know they are informing the audience is Older Than Feudalism in its own right, and is most frequently done in comic works.

It was ridiculously common in post-World War II literature, to the point that readers expected it and could become confused if the writer left it out. This might be the most universal trope found in postwar literature; you find it in works by everyone from George Orwell to Barbara Cartland to Rex Stout. (One wonders which one of the three would be most insulted by that grouping.)

This trope is generally more acceptable if such exposition would realistically happen in-universe, e.g., military briefings or scientific lectures. In these cases, the phrase is less used to explain something and more to bring focus to a particular fact. ("As you know, we lost contact with Delta Squad this morning..." or "As you may know, the proton has a mass of...") In other cases, a character may choose to remind a character of something they already know to make a point, particularly if the first character believes the second has forgotten that bit of information.

Specific variants:

See also: Mr. Exposition, The Watson, Captain's Log, Expospeak, Captain Obvious, Exact Eavesdropping, Viewers Are Morons. A subtrope of Show, Don't Tell.

As you know, these are Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk (2016): In episode 2, when Farnese is interrogating Guts, she basically recaps the history of the Band of the Hawk to him, who knows it better than anyone because he's one of the only people who survived their destruction. The Watsonian reason is that she wants to emphasize that she already knows everything about him and that he'll only drag out the inevitable by refusing to confess to his "crimes", but the Doylist reason is to get viewers who haven't seen the Golden Age adaptations caught up on the backstory.
  • '80s anime series The Mysterious Cities of Gold employed this trope regularly. This was mostly because, unlike many other '80s cartoons, it featured an on-going storyline that frequently built upon events from previous episodes. Children couldn't be expected to watch a show that patiently, so cue many long conversations with characters telling each other "Yes, you may remember the golden condor we discovered underneath the Inca ruins," etc., etc. This trope is only present in the English version, however; in the original French (the show is a France/Japan co-production and the writing team was French) characters never use this trope. At best it's them applying what they previously learned to new situations (if X was solar powered, then Y must also be!).
  • The anime version of Witchblade tends to occasionally fall back on this.
  • Team Aqua and Team Magma meet for the first time onscreen in Pokémon Advanced, and not only speak in an As You Know, but also make an Introdump at the start of that dialog.
  • Early chapters of the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch manga have Lucia constantly being reminded she's a princess, a mermaid, forbidden to date humans, can't go into water in public, and various things she already knows. Then again, she's always been a bit headstrong about these limitations anyway. The anime got rid of this by tacking on a prologue on every episode explaining the whole situation.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion:
    • Hit hard by Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, during the scene in which Ritsuko explains the specifics of Operation Yashima to Misato, the person who came up with the plan in the first place. The dub tries to fix this by turning it into a Let Me Get This Straight.... It helps... a bit.
    • Mari in 2.22 frequently gives exposition... to herself.
  • In episode 112 of Bleach, Urahara and Isshin Kurosaki have an extended conversation telling each other things they both already know about the two new sets of bad guys on the plot horizon, for the benefit of both the audience and some other characters standing off to the side. What is most inexplicable is that they don't just tell the other characters instead of talking to each other, which would have made the scene make sense!
  • Used rather neatly in Naruto with the explanation that the main character is an idiot who never paid attention in school. Things frequently have to be explained to him several times in gradually simpler terms. This is usually done during training segments, so it has a natural feel to it. Sasuke, on the other hand, is improbably ignorant given his backstory. Plenty of other characters among the rookies are clueless about things they absolutely should know as well, especially the members of team "InoShikaCho," whose fathers have been grooming them as heirs.
  • Kiddy Grade uses this trope right off the bat in the first episode to set up the show's premise.
  • In Episode 14 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Fate quizzes her adopted children Erio and Caro on history as a way of providing the viewer with exposition on the origins of the TSAB.
  • In the first chapter Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, Sakura and Shaolan tell each other how they first met and for how long they've been friends, obviously to fill in the reader on their backstory. In this case, they are simply revelling in memories.
  • This way of recapping is constantly and irritatingly used in World of Warcraft manga. A commander telling his fellow warriors about the great battle in which they all participated...
  • There's a strange example from A Certain Magical Index. After the first arc, Touma has had his memory erased, so whenever someone like Stiyl starts talking about something that happened then, Touma is more or less completely in the dark, even though it's something he should know. It'd be a fine example of As You Know if he actually did know.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, every time an effect is activated, the player has to explain exactly what it does — sometimes more than once for the same card in the same duel in the same episode. Either this is because most players do this in real life, or it caused most players to do this in real life. The Chicken or the Egg? Strictly speaking, this is actually a rule of the game. Made no less funny when Kaiba lampshaded it as unnecessary in The Movie, then explained it anyway.
    • This is also justified by the fact that card effects suddenly change to reflect their OCG counterparts, and the same card in the same series has two different effects depending on the era it is played. Then there are cards like "Makiu, the Mystical Mist" which changes its effect every time it is played.
    • In the third episode of the second anime, Yugi and Jonouchi revel in memories of how they became friends. Since the anime skipped almost everything of the first seven volumes, it is the only way to explain what happened in chapter 1.
  • In the first two episodes of Sailor Moon S, the Professor retells his plan to Kaolinite for the audience's benefit, even though she, as his second-in-command, should already know it in the first episode and definitely knows by the second.
  • Soul Eater: The main objective of the protagonists (collect 99 evil souls and then a witch's to make your weapon into a Deathscythe) is revealed to us in this manner by Death himself in the first episode... except, the main characters had already exposited about it as they got the 99th soul, earlier in the episode. Death even goes as far as actually saying the words "As you know" in his explanation. It's very odd since the earlier scene would have precluded the need for this.
  • IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix does this at the end of episode one. As Team Satomi prepares to race Team Sledgemamma in the first race of the IGPX-1, equivalent to the major league, the announcer Benjamin Bright explains the rules of IGPX to thousands of fans, and the racers. In the English dub, he actually says, "Let's recap the rules of the IGPX for those two or three of you who don't know."
  • Space Patrol Luluco: At the start of episode 1, Luluco manages to remind Keiji of everything he already knows but the audience doesn't, in response to him praising her for turning out so normal growing up in an abnormal environment:
    Luluco: You're part of the Space Patrol that upholds Ogikubo's law and order, and hardly get any time off. Mom left home after a fight and took all the furniture with her, so now we live in this run-down apartment. Yeah, we're super normal alright."
  • Fairy Tail:
    • When Lucy meets Natsu and Happy for the first time, she goes into detail explaining to them what guilds are and that she wants to join the most popular guild around (the eponymous Fairy Tail guild), and then laughs it all off as something the two wouldn't be interested in. She doesn't realize until later that the two are from the guild she's trying to join. Granted, Lucy doesn't refer to Fairy Tail by name in her description, and Natsu and Happy really don't seem very interested in what she has to say, but considering how everyone in the series seems to know what guilds are (in fact, there probably isn't a character in the series who hasn't heard of Fairy Tail) it's all the more obvious that she's explaining it to the audience. This comes off a touch better in retrospect once Lucy's educated but sheltered backstory is known, as at the time she probably wouldn't know just what the average citizen knows and has reason to expect there are a lot of topics she'd know more about (this just isn't one of them). And while the city they're in does get wizard traffic, the plot implies it's well off the beaten path for guild members.
    • Master Hades has one later on, explaining the nature of the wizards in his guild — to nobody but himself.
  • One Piece:
    • Invoked during Impel Down when Bon Clay, in the disguise of the vice-warden Hannyabal, wants to know more about the phenomenon "demoning away" that has apparently taken away his great hero Ivankov. He asks a jailer to explain it, and when the jailer confusedly says that Hannyabal already knows, Bon Clay asks him to tell it again since it is "such a great story". Fortunately, the real Hannyabal is weird like that, so the jailer doesn't get suspicious.
    • Lampshaded and Played for Laughs. As Rayleigh limited Luffy's access to the outside world during his two years of training, Luffy, and, by extension, us, missed out on several major events in One Piece universe. Notable events are the fall of every island in Whitebeard's territory, the battle between Akainu and Aokiji that resulted in Aokiji's resignation and Akainu's promotion to Fleet Admiral, the rise of Luffy and the other Supernovas' bounties, Sengoku and Garp's resignation, Law and Buggy as the new Warlords of the Sea, the new danger to the Devil Fruit users, Blackbeard's usurping of Whitebeard's Four Emperors seat, his crew's rise to power, the moves of the Revolutionaries, and most notably how exactly Blackbeard usurped the above mentioned seat. But, these above events changed the power of the world so much, that these are household talks. Quoth Usopp:
      Usopp: [to Luffy] This was huge news!! Where were you eh, hiding under a rock???
    • And happens once again during the Wano Country Arc while during the Act 2 Interlude, major plot points and the Yonkou's as well as Gol D. Roger's bounties were casually revealed by Sengoku in a history lesson to the Marines to make the point of how dangerous a pirate alliance between Big Mom and Kaido would be. But it helps that Sengoku also reveals information that is kept secret from the general public and the newer generations of Marines, like that three of the original Yonkou used to sail under the flag of Rocks D. Xebec and that Roger and Garp teamed up to defeat the Rocks Pirates.
    • At the beginning of the flashback telling the story of Kozuki Oden, a servant reports to Kozuki Sukiyaki about the exploits and accomplishments Sukiyaki's own son Oden has achieved in his 18 years. Sukiyaki already knows all of this and is visibly bored, whereas the servant is telling the life story in such a hammy and thrilled passion that it's clear that he's a massive fanboy of Oden. He even begins the report with "I suspect you probably know".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Robotnik begins his exposition by stating that the world the story takes place in is split in two- the outer half called the Land of the Sky, and the inner half called the Land of Darkness. At the Land of the Sky part, Sonic says, "Tell us something we DON'T know." and Robotnik snarls, "Shut up! Heed me!"
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, the villains Scanty and Kneesocks often explain their plans to each other, saying they both already know but like to hear themselves talk.
  • The Big Bad of the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist reveals her backstory by explaining it to literally the only other person in the world who already knows. You'd think it would have been easy to avoid that.
  • Played straight in Sword Art Online, where veteran MMORPG players feel a need to explain things among themselves from the major gameplay elements to the very basic ones such as "use potions to heal HP." Granted, it's justified sometimes if they're talking to newbie players who are still getting a handle on the mechanics (and the fact said mechanics are now literally life and death means an occasional refresher isn't too out there), but it doesn't help when they're doing it between each other.
  • Lampshaded in the first episode of Myriad Colors Phantom World when Haruhiko describes Phantoms to Izumi, noting, "It's common knowledge, but I'll explain anyway."
  • Attack on Titan: Mostly averted since the 104th Trainee Corps would logically have explained things to them for the first time during training and at the start of service in their branch. At one point, though, the Drill Sergeant Nasty yells at Connie for screwing up the salute ("I've already explained to you that the salute represents..."). Going by what it represents (see Strange Salute), he likely thought his heart was on the right side of his chest.
    • Just after the Time Skip, Gabi reminds Falco about the war they've been fighting in for the past four years, as well as the operation they're conducting to win that war, because she notices he may have suffered a concussion and might not remember any of those details.
  • In the first episode of the third season of Senki Zesshou Symphogear, one of the Bridge Bunnies is seen explaining to his co-worker everything that happened to the organization they work for in the 3 months Time Skip after the episode's opening scene.
  • An amusing example of a Justified Trope in ∀ Gundam. When Identical Strangers Queen Dianna and Kihel Heim get trapped in their Twin Switch, they use this kind of conversation to brief each other on what they're supposed to know and how they should act.
  • Case Closed:
    • The series has frequent recaps in the manga due to the chapter format and original magazine publication. While it's both an established convention for mysteries and believable for a detective at some point to sketch out the case, suspects and evidence, at times this ends up happening multiple times to an identical audience in a remarkably short period of in-universe time. And as in this series the detective doing the recap is rarely a major factor in the investigation s/he may not even know about developments in the case and have anything new to say, or be audibly working anything out.
    • Men in Black at times do the same thing (explain their plans and situational knowledge to each other) when they show up, usually about things they've long since communicated with each other previously and more securely. While going over the plan isn't unreasonable, especially as "the plan" often involves somebody being killed, at times this also gets suspiciously repetitive. Sometimes even those ends up as plausible, because their modus operandi includes constantly testing to see if somebody's aware of their existence or the details of their discussions.
  • The recap at the start of the My Hero Academia anime's second season is framed as a letter to one of All Might's mentors, Gran Torino, but includes details about the mechanics of All Might's quirk, One For All, that are both closely guarded secrets and information Gran Torino is already well aware of.
    • The season three opener as well, with a scene where two of the adults summarize the powers of every kid in Class 1-A.
    • The beginning of the Sports Festival Arc also has Aizawa telling the class how the festival is a nationally-televised event more popular than the Olympics, which you'd think that they would already know.
    • In the aftermath of Midoriya, Todoroki and Iida's fight with Stain, the police chief tells the three about the law against unauthorized uses of Quirks to fight crime, pointing out that they should already know this — all so he can emphasize his displeasure that they used their Quirks to fight a villain anyway.
  • Amusingly subverted in Carole & Tuesday. Tao tells Angela that 99% of the world's pop music is now generated by AIs, then remarks that she probably already knew that. Angela replies that she actually had no idea.
  • Justified in Monster Musume. Miss Smith drops by in the first chapter to make sure that Kimihito knows the rules for the Interspecies Exchange Act and is following them because he's only been a host for Miia for a couple of days. And because she couldn't remember if she'd actually told them to him first.
  • In Muhyo and Roji, during a flashback, Rio goes to Executor Elena to beg for the latter's help in saving Rio's mother from a ghost. In the anime, Rio apparently feels the need to remind Elena, an elite magical law practitioner, that artificers like Rio don't have the power to defeat spirits. To make matters worse, the fact that Rio can't use magical tools had already been explained to the viewer and become relevant in the previous episode, when her using a magical tool to save Biko revealed that Rio was a forbidden magical law user(the flashback showed why Rio turned to forbidden magical law and joined Enchu).
  • In Charlotte, after Yuu's little sister Ayumi mentions having feeling that there used to be an additional member of the family- who turns out to be their older brother- Yuu reminds her that they've been living on their own since their mother abandoned them, with their uncle supporting them but not living with them.
  • In Fate/Zero, Kayneth's fiancee Sola-Ui reminds him of the special trick he played when making a contract with Lancer- unlike other Master-Servant pacts, Sola-Ui provides Lancer with mana while Kayneth gets the Command Seals, so Kayneth can use his mana on his own spells- a secret only the two of them know. She does this as a way of chiding him for hiding during Lancer's first battle.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Audio Adaptation of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is, for much of the time, narrated by Maurice himself. Towards the end, it becomes apparent that he's telling the story to Dangerous Beans. Who a) was right there for most of it and b) is mostly dead.
  • This Gun That I Have in My Right Hand is Loaded by Timothy West is a gleeful satire of bad radio drama writing, including its overreliance on delivering exposition by having characters talk about things they clearly already know but the audience does not. For example, in the first scene, protagonist Clive Barrington helpfully tells his wife Laura that he's her husband, and he later tells her that she's 29 years old, has auburn hair, and has been married to him for eight years, as though she both has total amnesia and has never looked in a mirror.

    Comic Books 
  • This was literally a mandate at Marvel Comics from the late 1970s onward. Then Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter wanted writers to write "as if every issue is someone's first." Thus, scores of comics would have characters recapping events from the previous issues to someone who was right there when it all happened. Even after Shooter was fired, several writers continued this trend. This would ease up in the late-90s with Marvel simply printing "Previously on..." recaps.
  • Lampshaded in one issue of the X-Men comics.
    Cyclops: This isn't good, Emma. Warren isn't answering and I can't even tell if my calls are going through.
    Emma Frost: You needn't narrate, dearest. I'm sitting right here.
  • Fables:
    • Lampshaded (via emphasis) and subverted: Beast begins an As You Know introduction of Hansel to Prince Charming, but Charming protests he really has no idea who Hansel is.
    • Since Fables primarily focuses on a small community, the members of whom have lived together for centuries, early issues in particular are prone to this trope, as the author tries to catch the reader up without benefit of a Naïve Newcomer. This gets lampshaded in the very first issue; Bigby Wolf is talking to Snow White about Rose Red, and refers to her as "your sister, Rose Red" and Snow promptly tells him that she does in fact know who her sister is.
  • Lampshaded in Justice League International with General Glory, an old Golden Age superhero. The Leaguers are all shocked by his "comic booky" dialogue and wonder aloud how he can possibly cram so much pointless exposition into his sentences.
  • Star Wars: The comic-book adaptation of The Thrawn Trilogy features Lando Calrissian telling Chewbacca about the adventures they just had off-screen (on-screen in the novels). For all we know, Chewbacca is reprimanding him for being Mr. Exposition; we'll never know.
  • In Blaze of Glory, Clay Harder spends a panel talking about his past lives as Matt Hawk and the Two-Gun Kid, and how he buried them both so he could live a normal life. This is for the reader's sake, as Marcel is quick to point out he was there when it happened.
  • Done endlessly in Silver Age comic books, particularly those involving Superman or Supergirl. Sometimes the villains would explain their plan to each other after they had carried it out. As often as not, Superman would overhear this conversation and swoop down to capture them, having had no clue prior to this what had been going on.
  • Sensational She-Hulk:
    • Mocked in issue #3. Louise, who had been the 1940s heroine the Blonde Phantom is the only other person besides Jennifer who grasps she's in a comic book and talks to the readers. Before her secret is revealed, she goes to District Attorney Tower to hand some papers over.
      Tower: But...these are just about Stilt-Man's recent escape? You showed these to me this morning.
      Louise: Yes, but the readers weren't here for that. It's foreshadowing for the next issue. Have a nice night!
      (walks off as Tower just stares in utter confusion)
    • Mocked again in issue #35 when She-Hulk complains about the Black Talon doing a repeat of the expository speech he made in the previous issue. For context, the Black Talon has resurrected four previously dead X-Men
      She-Hulk:I mean, I know it's good to do a recap so new readers can catch up, but it sure makes for choppy reading when these stories get put together in a trade paperback.
    • In the same issue as the above, two aliens from Dimension Z are discussing how their people are in need of atomic power and the various ways in which they have tried to obtain it. One of the aliens points out how the other is just repeating information that they already know.
  • Used all the time in Disney Ducks Comic Universe comics, usually clumsily as anything; the picture at the top of the page shows a rare lampshading from Don Rosa's The Last Lord of Eldorado.
  • ElfQuest largely avoids this, but some examples still stands out:
    • One is the story of Madcoil told around a campfire, which allows the main character's love interest to find out about his Backstory (through eavesdropping). It's told because of tradition, and because the children present haven't heard it yet.
    • A far more jarring example is found in the Discovery books (written by the same original author, but a good three decades later) in which the characters... well, talk like this.
    • Another jarring example occurs in the first issue of Siege at Blue Mountain, the second print series which began after a 2-year hiatus. In lieu of a synopsis, the Wolfriders explain the whys and wherefores of the story so far to each other, ostensibly as part of their decision-making process. Later series got a lot better at integrating the Backstory into the dialogue.
  • In an early Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic, Willow is visiting Buffy and Xander, and asks about their love life. Xander replies jokingly that all women desire him, a statement which Willow appears to take seriously, as she gratuitously adds that she herself had once been attracted to him. Given that the only people in the room were both there at the time of Willow's infatuation (in Seasons 1-3), the only reason for this line to be included was to remind the audience that Willow wasn't always a lesbian.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police frequently uses this as a simple ploy to avoid having to show them travelling: one panel in an early comic has Sam saying "We're off to the Philippines!" In the next panel they're standing in front of a bunch of weird buildings:
    Sam: Well, here we are in the Philippines.
    Max: Drawn without reference material, apparently.
  • The first issue of Mega Man is especially guilty of this, having Light explain to Wily that he lost his credentials years ago, and to Mega Man and Roll about their origins.
  • Turned into a Running Gag by Asterix: as it is stated in every book (and, in many editions, explained on the presentation page), Obelix isn't allowed any of Getafix's magic potion because he fell into a cauldron full of the stuff when he was little. Obelix himself remarks in one story "We'll never hear the end of it!" A few times they skip the story, with Obelix grumbling "Of course, I don't get any because grumble grumble..."
  • In Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War, Deadpool explains the context of a military operation, and the senator cuts him off, saying that he knows. The brilliance is that every time, what Deadpool explained is true in the real world (America's implication in Soviet/Afghan war...), but readers may not know this stuff as a senator does.note 
  • In the Doctor Who comic "The Forgotten", Turlough goes to the effort of explaining the rules of cricket to Tegan, who already knows them since she's Australian.
  • One of The Simpsons comics has Bart telling Lisa what had happened as exposition for the reader. When Lisa asks why he's telling her what she already knows, Bart says he's filling in the readers, which confuses Lisa until he further explains he's filling in their new neighbors, whose last name is Reader, on the situation.
    • Spoofed, in another instance, when a Radioactive Man villain stops going over her plan, and announces "I have a sudden, irrelevant desire to recount my origin!" Cue her henchmen groaning and complaining about how she did this at breakfast.
    • And earlier than that, in another Radioactive Man story, a creature is expositing his plans, only to stop and angrily announce "why am I doing this? I know what my plan is!"
  • It's something of a Running Gag in the fandom of Fleetway's Sonic the Comic that, whenever Shortfuse the Cybernik shows up, he'll reiterate his origin as a once-normal squirrel who was unwillingly converted into his current form by Dr. Robotnik, against whom he has sworn vengeance.
  • In the Superman story Krypton No More, Protector spends one whole page explaining to his partner Radion how Radion gained powers, how his powers work and how they first met.
    Protector: I know how you found yourself alive after the explosion which destroyed all your co-workers... I know how you climbed from the rubble... and found your body altered!
  • Star Trek: Untold Voyages:
    • In "Worlds Collide", Spock finds it necessary to remind Saavik of her life story, how they met and everything that has happened to her in the meantime.
    • In "Past Imperfect", Admiral Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy remind each other of everything that happened to them on Miri's planet in "Miri".
  • Issue 20 of the Invader Zim (Oni) comics opens with Zim expositing on his newest plan, much to the confusion of the Computer.
  • In the Evoluzione comic Ma'Ari, two adults who've supposedly been friends since childhood remind each other of their sexuality:
    Janaan: As if you'd ever have a reason to be naked in my room.
    Simone: You don't need to remind me, my dear asexual friend!
  • Vigilante: J.J. Davis likes to explain things to Theresa that she is already well aware of, but which the audience does not know.
  • Spider-Men II: Following the remains of a giant robot, Peter Parker and Miles Morales arrive at the location where, in the first miniseries, there was a portal between the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Marvel universe... a universe that ceased to exist in Secret Wars (2015). Peter provides the full exposition about the significance of the place.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy:
    • The first issue of vol. 1 has Starhawk standing there explaining the team's history to Martinex. All thirty years of it. Then Marty points out he knows this, because he was there for all of it. In fairness, this was the 90s, so Stakar's explaining for readers who might not have known, and wouldn't necessarily have access to means of checking (especially when the Guardians' story was spread across a lot of titles over those thirty years).
    • In Vol 2., Moondragon cuts off the Matriarch of the Universal Church of Truth mid-sentence to state she knows what the woman's talking about, and then recaps in full detail what she's doing (namely, kidnapping Moondragon because she's got an Eldritch Abomination in her the Church want to worship).

    Comic Strips 
  • Frequently turns up in Doonesbury's earliest days. "Well, here I am..."
  • A regular devide in Peanuts, most famously in the form of "Here's the World War I Flying Ace..."
  • Lampshaded in the newspaper comic Sally Forth: the title character asked her daughter what she was doing "for Earth Day next week", and was told that was the most obvious bit of exposition she had pitched since "As you know, Hilary, you are my daughter."

    Fan Works 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • At the beginning of a scene in Episode 21:
      Yugi: Your brother's been kidnapped?
      Mokuba: Yes, that is exactly what I just finished telling you.
    • Episode 25:
      Tea: Now we are at the museum!
      Yami: (annoyed) I know.
    • Episode 42 takes the lampshading to new extremes:
      Mai: I can't believe Joey is dueling Marik!
      Yugi: Yep, that sure is the current situation.
  • An interesting variation appears in the Mass Effect Self-Insert Fic Mass Vexations. Author Avatar Art has already heard all of the exposition in the game prior to experiencing it himself; however, the characters giving the exposition aren't aware of this fact, so to them they're just telling the story of the game as it happens. It's lampshaded the first time it happens, and a few times it cuts away before said exposition can be said. It's played straight later to help him prove that he really is from another dimension.
  • The early chapters of Hogwarts Exposed are full of (well) expospeak which often takes this form, even using the actual phrase "As You Know" at one point.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
    • Lampshaded:
      Jack: Yeah, and if I recall correctly, that's all the stuff we already knew.
    • This is later played straight when Calvin describes Planet Zok's living conditions.
  • Queen of All Oni: Lampshaded and justified during Drago's first confrontation with Karasu. Karasu sums up Drago's Back Story from the future, and when Drago asks why he's discussing what they both already know, Karasu comments that he's just keeping Drago distracted long enough for the heroes to show up and deal with him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Forever: "Are you ready?" "Are you asking me if I'm ready to leave tomorrow, or are you asking me if I'm ready for this party Colgate's throwing us?" Two As You Know-s in one.
    • The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity: "Dear Scootaloo" uses this word for word when Feather Duster points out, to his former weather team coworker Rainbow Dash, the storm cloud production engines that he plans to overload.
    • Used in The Immortal Game, when the Cadet begins a report to General Esteem with this exact phrase, and goes on to quickly sum up what happened during the one month Time Skip. The trope is then lampshaded by the narration, which points out that, yes, Esteem does know all this already.
    • This is often parodied in My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap:
      • He says this word-for-word when the Crystal Heart is destroyed in Season 6 Episode 1, but then goes on to explain a concept that no one in the audience could've even expected, especially since the episode had more or less been a straight recap before that.
      • This pretty much turns into a Running Gag in the preceding episodes, either having the characters lean on the fourth wall by bringing up the possibility of "having an expository conversation", or by Starlight questioning why everyone is acting like she doesn't know stuff.
  • Total Drama:
    • In Legacy, Heather invokes this trope when she explains to a fellow show alumnus how she happened to be near enough to the camp to drop by on a whim.
      Heather: Muskoka is a major summer colony, you know.
    • The Legend of Total Drama Island has several examples:
      • Chris invokes the trope during the orientation, when he grants the contestants amnesty to surrender forbidden electronic gadgets.
      • When two contestants are in urgent need of medical attention, Chef Hatchet reminds a couple of interns that the infirmary can only handle one patient at a time.
      • At a certain elimination ceremony, Chris reminds the contestants and the audience that there is no set procedure for breaking tie votes.
  • Queen of Shadows: The ritual for the Queen to create new Shadowkhan starts with Sanshobo reciting the origins of the race. Ikazuki comments to himself that they all know this already, as it's one of the first things they learn.
  • Played with in Sailor Moon Abridged when Malachite tells one of the monsters that he must again tell her the plan he detailed to her before they went to find the Sailor Scouts, because the viewers didn't hear the plan yet, but flashing back to when he said it earlier might feel too jarring. The monster then tells Malachite that he didn't properly explain the plan before.
  • Lampshaded in A Very Potter Musical.
    • Their first scene together features Quirrell doing an Expospeak of their plan for the audience, to which Voldemort replies "Yesss, no one must know any of that." Whenever Quirrell delivers some bit of exposition to Voldemort, Voldemort replies, "I know, Quirrel! I hear everything you hear!"
    • Also:
      Hermione: Professor Snape, what exactly is the point of this lecture?
      Snape: Oh, just important things that ALL of you should know. (points to a person in the audience) Especially YOU!
  • Repeatedly averted in the Slayers story Flam Gush. Lina and Gourry each run into people run their pasts who know the gruesome story. Each time one of them discusses it alone with the old friend, they keep to oblique references and partial explanations for the most part. Justified both to preserve suspense and because Lina and Gourry each have a troubled past that left them traumatized, and thus they don't want to talk about it.
  • Guardian has Wakka point out that Yuna's father was a summoner. Lulu cuts him off with an angry "I know."
  • Played with in I Am NOT Going Through Puberty Again!. Naruto asks Guy how Lee's training weights work just so everyone else can hear. Naruto already knows, but Guy doesn't know that Naruto knows.
  • The Black Star:
    Sirius: Harry, there's something I want to talk about. Since the end of your third year we have met in secret so I could train you both magically as well as regarding pureblood culture and everything you need to know to be a lord of your house.
  • One Thread Pulled:
    Blaise: You know that after Peter Pettigrew stole your blood from the wizarding blood bank Voldemort came back to power last summer.
  • Harry Potter: Air Elemental:
    Robards: As you know, sir, Obliviations can only be overridden and the memories restored by the same caster or by someone who's more powerful magically, a group casting would only cause the patient to go insane as it would essentially shred his mind.
  • Averted in Daily Equestria Life with Monster Girl. There are certain fundamental facts about the world of Menajeria (that Celestia and Princess Luna are immortal, that Sun and Moon must be manually raised and lowered and that only the Diarchs can do so, that ponies regulate their weather manually, etc) that are never explained to anyone other than babies, because it's simply not possible to grow up on Menajeria without learning them. It takes a long time before it occurs to anyone that Cerea, who is from another world, doesn't have any of these fundamentals.
  • At the start of Of Blood and Steel, Riko "Erwin" Matsumoto's mother announces that she got a job as a defense contractor in the U.S., and will have to move there, resulting in Erwin protesting. In response, Mrs. Matsumoto then tells Erwin that the family has barely been making ends meet after Erwin's father died two years ago, and they have been in debt ever since, so she can no longer afford Oarai's tuition. Obviously, Erwin has known this non-canon bit of backstory for some time, but the fic had to establish this for the readers.
  • Memories of Days Long Past: Played with; even though she has access to her ancestor's memories, she's frustrated to discover that while Midnight Star knows what things like the Goddess and the Quota are, she doesn't think about them enough for Twilight to find out. This is significant later.
  • Tales of the Otherverse: In the third chapter of "A World Without Heroes", Professor Xavier reminds Mister Fantastic that Kara's soul was rehoused in her clone's body, prompting Reed Richards to retort he is perfectly aware of proceedings he took part in.
    "I think we are all forgetting that this young woman is not the same Kara Zor-El that died at the hands of the Anti-monitor." Xavier continued. "It is, rather, the clone of that young woman merged with the spirit of that woman."
    "I think we are all well aware of that, Prof." Reed said, somewhat stiffly. It was his and Dr. Strange's efforts that had accomplished that merger in the first place.
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: In Chapter 42, Cotton Mouth reminds the lich Malifec that he cannot enter the Counterbalance, which Malifec already knows perfectly well. Of course, Cotton Mouth is actually speaking for the benefit of the two escaped fillies hiding in the Counterbalance, who don't know that. That, and getting in a jab at Malifec by reminding him of the limits of his lichly existence.

    Films — Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
    • Although there is some debate as to how long exactly the Dazzlings have been banished in the human world, in the prologue Adagio's comment about how it is lacking Equestrian magic and Aria's discussion about their banishment are something they should know already.
    • Likewise, Sunset Shimmer and the Humane Five discussing the events of the first movie is for the audience's benefit; you'd think Sunset especially wouldn't want to dwell so much on it. Pinkie Pie's intervention is then just rubbing it in, but that's in character for Pinkie.
      Sunset Shimmer: A demon. I turned into a raging she-demon.
      Pinkie Pie: And tried to turn everyone here into teenage zombies for your own personal army! [smile]
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • King Candy explains the nightly roster race. Lampshaded when he says "We all know this," with an Aside Glance to boot.
    • Averted with the local slang phrase "going Turbo". Most of the arcade characters already know what it means, but it's not explained to the audience until Felix uses it in front of Calhoun, who's only just arrived at the arcade and therefore doesn't know.
  • Bolt has a subtle example at the beginning. After the Proscenium Reveal that Bolt is just the star of a TV show, and not a real super-dog, the show's director is seen going through the day's footage when he spots a boom mic in one of the shots. In his subsequent rant to the crew, he reminds them - and therefore informs the audience - that Bolt doesn't know he's in a TV show and thinks everything is for real, and anything that could shatter that illusion - like an errant boom mic - is an unacceptable error.
  • The Rescuers: The viewers learn about the Rescue Aid Society's origin when their current head reminds the other members about it. He even starts with "As you know...".
  • In Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2, a news report recaps the events of the first film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aliens has the military variation, with the lieutenant informing the troops that "all we know is that there's still no contact with the colony" despite them being aware of why they're there - this has the double effect of curtailing the rampant speculation of the marines as to why there's no contact, and filling in the audience of the situation. His follow-up statement that a xenomorph may be involved comes as a surprise to the marines, but just confirms the audience's knowledge.
  • There is a lot of this in the final courtroom scene of Amistad. Adams repeatedly refers to contemporary politicians by both their name and title, i.e.: "our president, Martin Van Buren."
  • Avatar has the Corrupt Corporate Executive explain to Dr. Augustine — who has been there for years — why they are on Pandora, how much unobtainium is worth, and the Na'vi problem. Given his tone, though, he's probably doing this to remind her that he's the guy in charge, not her, and she'll have to use whatever he gives her.
  • The Back to the Future trilogy:
    • The first film has to drop a lot of "As You Know" exposition on the audience, where characters discuss past events that we the audience will soon witness when Marty travels back in time. For example, Lorraine tells the story of how she and George met, which elicits a groan from daughter Linda: "You've told this story a thousand times." Once Marty travels to 1955, he finds himself embroiled in the events his mother is narrating.
    • In Back to the Future Part II, Lorraine recalls to her granddaughter how Marty lost his guitar skills in an automobile accident. Back to the Future Part III later shows Marty avoiding this accident.
  • At the beginning of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Rufus brings several famous musicians from across history to his classroom. If the audience already knows who the musician is, he just introduces them by name, if they don't (i.e., the musician is from after 1991), he explains what they did, which is somewhat jarring. It's then played with:
    Rufus: And a special treat from the 23rd century, Miss Ria Paschelle. Miss Paschelle, as you all know, was the inventor of the statiophonic oxygenetic amplifier graphiphonideliverberator. Kind of hard to imagine the world before we had them, isn't it?
  • Parodied during a flashback in Black Dynamite: "I am 18-year-old Black Dynamite, and you are my 16-year-old brother!"
  • Blade Runner has an awkward early scene where Captain Bryant gives entry-level exposition about replicants to Rick Deckard, an experienced hunter of replicants. It's an odd exception to the rule, for most of the rest of the film does an excellent job of showing or implying rather than telling outright; for instance, the prohibitive cost of owning real live pets is alluded to repeatedly, but it's left to the viewer to figure out that real animals (besides pigeons, evidently) are scarce in this super-urbanized world. This could be an oblique reference towards the fact, in some versions, that Deckard is a replicant himself and may have no further knowledge above them. His whole history as hunter may be only faked.
  • Done in Blazing Saddles just to set up a joke. Everyone in the town is gathered in the church to discuss what to do about the bandits ransacking the town - and the preacher begins by letting everyone know that bandits are ransacking the town. He even begins his speech by saying that he doesn't have to tell them any of this: sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, women stampeded, and cattle raped.
  • Cabin Fever: There's a deadly disease going around and at one point, only two healthy people are left in the cabin - everyone else having fled or being at death's door. For reasons that are hard to fathom, and difficult to write convincing dialogue for, the characters impulsively have sex. Mid-way through this (i.e. after penetration has occurred) the man asks the woman with surprise if she doesn't use condoms. Both parties involved would clearly be aware that they aren't using one. But the filmmakers need to be clear about it because it turns out the woman already (unknowingly) has the disease and as it's quite explicit that the sex was unsafe, we realize that she has sexually passed the disease to the man.
    Paul: Don't you use condoms?
    Marcy: It's okay. I'm healthy.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Daggett explains the function of the Clean Slate Drive to Selina even though she obviously knows what it does. Mitigated in that, not only does Daggett explain its abilities in a sarcastic tone of voice, he adds, "Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?", implying he had been lying about it all along and is now mocking Selina for having been stupid enough to believe such a thing could exist.
  • Disraeli is an early talking film from 1929. In the silent movie days filmmakers could just insert a title card to explain who a character was, but that easy shortcut went away with the transition to sound. So instead we get awkward exposition, like when someone asks Lord Probert "What does the director of the Bank of England say?", only for Lord Probert to answer "I say..." in order to let the audience know who he is.
  • Flawless example in the movie Dragonfly: a speaker at a funeral says of the deceased, "From her colleagues at the university to her young patients here in Chicago Memorial's pediatric oncology ward, she will be sorely missed" — speaking to the deceased's family, her colleagues from the university and her associates from the pediatric oncology ward, none of whom needed to be informed what city they were in, what hospital she was associated with, or what field of medicine she specialized in.
  • In Drinking Buddies, Kate goes back to Chris after they'd broken up. Up to this point, the audience is led to believe she dumped him for kissing another girl. However, when he sees Kate he says "we've been over this..." and goes on about how he had in fact dumped her.
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: "As you know, the Premier loves surprises."
  • Averted in Evil Dead (2013), as significant bits of exposition are given to the audience in the form of the other characters telling David things he bloody well should know about his sister Mia like her drug habits, but doesn't because he ran off and left her alone with their mother who was suffering with dementia, the issues of which led her to becoming addicted in the first place.
  • Some of the Invigilator's opening monologue in Exam comes off like this, explaining things that the participants should know, but the audience doesn't.
  • In The Game, a secretary reminds Van Orton that he is trying to be reached by a certain Elizabeth. She then reminds him that it's his ex-wife. He replies with a bitter "I know that!". After she is gone, he comments on how little he likes her for that.
  • In Godzilla (2014), when the Janjira reactor collapses and starts venting radioactive gas into the structure, Joe feels the need to remind his wife (and, by extension, the audience), that she has to hurry out of there, otherwise she "won't last five minutes, with or without the suits". Never mind that she's one of the (if not the) lead technicians at the plant and is probably more aware of the risks than he is.
  • In the beginning of The Golden Compass, while Lyra spends minutes telling a pointless boasting tale, she doesn't have the time to show that she and her best friends are, well, best friends. Instead she just points this out by saying that they are.
  • The first ten or so minutes of Gone with the Wind is packed with this kind of dialogue on Scarlet's ways with men, her pining for Ashley, her father's dangerous style of horseback riding, her father's Irish heritage...
  • In The Great Escape Ives reminds Hilts that the problem in tunnel-making is not only digging but also shoring up with wood and getting the dirt out.
  • In the old The Green Hornet Serials, after shooting an enemy with his signature Knockout Gas gun the titular hero always made a point of reminding anyone who happened to be with him at the time that "he's not dead, just unconscious".
  • In The Hunger Games, the adaptation to film removes Katniss' first-person perspective and thus in-universe explanations. The film gets around this by featuring scenes with announcers explaining certain aspects of the games to new viewers. Justified in that every year, there will naturally be new viewers somewhere in Panem, the arena is different each year, and not everyone will be able to tell on sight that (for example) the stinging insects are tracker jackers, not just bees or wasps.
  • At the start of Independence Day, the SETI worker locating the source of the signal says the distance means that it's coming from the Moon. (As the initials stand for "Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence", they would have all known how far away the Moon is from Earth.)
  • Bill in Kill Bill bringing up his love for comic books.
  • A Knight's Tale: After discovering that "Sir Thomas Colville" is actually Edward, Prince of Wales, Chaucer launches into an explanation of his ruthlessness and skill in battle. Wat cuts him off after a few seconds to point out everyone present is well aware of his reputation.
    Wat: We're English, Geoff, we know who he is!
  • The Last Airbender puts on an As You Know clinic! Perhaps it's because, As You Know, they had to condense 20 episodes of show into 103 minutes of film....
  • Lights of New York, being the first talkie, made sure to have lots and lots of talking. The very first dialogue is an elaborate "As You Know", and it sets just the right mood for the rest of the film.
  • Lincoln wears this trope on its shoulder from the very first scene, in which several Union soldiers recite to the titular president the Gettysburg Address verbatim.
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels: Averted or played straight, depending on how you read the scene. At the beginning of the big card game, the dealer explicitly recites the rules of the game before starting. On one hand, you'd expect people who buy into a £100000 card game to know the rules, but on the other hand, with those stakes, making sure there are no potential misunderstandings concerning the rules before there's money involved is not a bad idea. And, since most of the film's audience will be unfamiliar with three-card brag, they need the rules explained, since the game is just similar enough to poker to make things very confusing otherwise.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Fellowship of the Ring has Gandalf, upon seeing a Palantìr, says to Saruman — his superior — "They are not all accounted for, the lost seeing-stones".
      • Justified in that Saruman is behaving in a way that only someone who Doesn't Know would feel safe in behaving, and has asked a question that only someone who Doesn't Know would need to ask. Gandalf's As You Know is the most polite way he has to say "Because Sauron might be watching us right now, you idiot." If it had been anyone else, Gandalf would have just said that. Meanwhile, Saruman is just engaging in a bit of Obfuscating Stupidity as he leads up to some important news.
    • Saruman beats Gandalf at the As You Know game, though, hands down. At another point in the same encounter, there's this summary of things Gandalf knows at least as well as Saruman.
      Saruman: Concealed within his fortress, the lord of Mordor sees all. His gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth, and flesh. You know of what I speak, Gandalf: a great Eye, lidless, wreathed in flame.
    • There's even a point at which Saruman solemnly tells Gandalf, who's leading the Fellowship toward the mines of Moria, that "you know" what evil lurks beneath them (the Balrog) — except Saruman is in his tower, hundreds of miles away, talking to himself, so it's really more of an "As I Know":
      Saruman: You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum: shadow and flame.
    • In The Two Towers, Galadriel repeats back to Elrond his own prophecies:
      Galadriel: The strength of the Ringbearer is failing. In his heart, Frodo begins to understand. The quest will claim his life. You know this. You have foreseen it.
  • Discussed, then defied in The Lost Skeleton Returns Again as aliens Kro-bar and Lattis explain their part in the previous film and why they've come back to Earth for this film.
    Kro-bar: And, as you know, our instruments tell us that they may be in great danger.
    Lattis: ... But we waste time explaining things we already know.
    Kro-Bar: We waste time acknowledging that we already know these things.
    Lattis: You're wasting time even saying that.
    Kro-Bar: Very well, Lattis, let us accept that we both waste time and cease this wasting of time!
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers opens at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, where something strange is going on with the Tesseract. When Hawkeye is asked about it, he explains that the Tesseract's power allows it to act as a door to the other side of space. Is Earth expecting any visitors?
    • Towards the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Yondu has a line that in-universe is totally redundant, but helpfully explains to the audience why he abducted Peter Quill in the first place, and laying the groundwork for the sequel: he'd been hired to bring Peter to his biological father.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Gamora reminds everyone that they have been hired to fight an inter-dimensional monster for the Sovereign. Then the Sovereign admiral tells High Priestess Ayesha that the batteries are highly flammable.
    • In the beginning of Black Panther, King T'Chaka explains who Ulysses Klaue is and what he has done to his brother N'Jobu, despite knowing that N'Jobu knows exactly who this criminal is and that he has collaborated with him to get Wakandan weapons into the outside world.
    • In the first scene to Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank tells Hope about the day her mother disappeared, though admittedly with more detail than he did in Ant-Man, and then recaps the climax of the first Ant-Man movie, hoping to use this scientific breakthrough to find and hopefully rescue Janet.
    • Captain Marvel: The Supreme Intelligence explains to Vers that the Kree Empire is at war with the shape-shifting Skrulls. Vers herself is a soldier in said war who's lived among the Kree for the past six years.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, the villain goes on a long exposition to his minions about who they are, why they are all there, and what they're hoping to accomplish. This is done as a celebratory toast, but it still comes off as a little contrived and unnatural exposition.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie:
    • Done effectively when Shang Tsung taunts Raiden by pointing out the limits to his dominion.
      Shang Tsung: ...until we reach the island, where you have no dominion.
      Raiden: My dominions are well known to me, sorcerer!
    • Done much more clumsily later on as Shang Tsung explains to Goro, who should know the hierarchy of Outworld as well as the backs of his four hands:
      Shang Tsung: Princess Kitana is ten thousand years old! She is the lawful heir to the throne of Outworld!
  • In Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Hercule Poirot tells Colonel Arbuthnott that in his opinion the late Colonel Armstrong should have been awarded the VC, "which stands, as you may know, for Victoria Cross and is awarded for valor."
  • Early in North By Northwest, the Professor presides over a meeting of national security types and explains the situation, so that we in the audience can be ahead of Roger Thornhill, who is still clueless at this point. He explains what's going on (that Roger Thorhill's been mistaken for secret agent George Kaplan, that there is no such person as George Kaplan, and that the real secret agent is someone else entirely) in exacting and repetitive detail — to an assembly consisting of the only people in the world who already know all this.
  • The Phantom (1943): The Tartar's guards explain to each other that the sound they're hearing is an intruder alarm and that their master will shortly send men out to capture the trespassers on his domain — just as he does every time somebody happens past.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: The two comic relief pirates, watching the main characters duke it out in an epic battle over the MacGuffin, wonder exactly how they got into this situation and briefly recap the whole movie up to that point for the benefit of anyone still watching. For extra points, they couldn't have possibly known everything they recapped.
  • In Pride & Prejudice (2005), Mrs Bennet stresses to her daughters that if and when Mr Bennet dies, their daughters will be left without an inheritance and no roof above their heads if they do not marry well. However, Elizabeth exasperatedly groans that it's early in the morning, indicating that Mrs Bennet makes these types of statements frequently.
  • The Princess Bride "It's odd, [Evil Right-Hand-Man who was in on the plot], but when I hired Vizzini to have her murdered on our engagement day..." This conversation is made even more awkward by being so close to Inigo's drunken "You told me to go back to the beginning" exposition rant.
  • In The Film of the Book for The Reader, Michael's daughter asks "Where are we going" while they're on a train. He replies with "I said I'll tell you when we get there."
  • Ready Player One:
    • When Parzival visits the Halliday Journals for the first time onscreen, the Curator launches into a prepared speech about their inner workings: what is stored there and where, how events from Halliday's life have been recreated in 3D, etc. This could be justified as information a new visitor would want or need to know - even something the Curator is programmed to tell all guests - but the Curator greets Parzival as a familiar and very frequent visitor to the archives, and the Curator is ultimately revealed to not be a program at all, but an avatar of Ogden Morrow, Halliday's one time friend and business partner.
    • During the Virtual Reality Interrogation of Sorrento, Parzival takes a break from asking questions to check on the rest of the High Five and explain that they've hacked Sorrento's VR gear and trapped him in a near perfect simulation of his office. The people he's explaining this to are busy running the simulation in question.
  • In Road to Morocco, when Jeff and Turkey are thrown in jail, Turkey gives a speech recapping all the events that have led up to this point in the story:
    Turkey: A fine thing. First, you sell me for two hundred bucks. Then I'm gonna marry the Princess; then you cut in on me. Then we're carried off by a desert sheik. Now, we're gonna have our heads chopped off.
    Jeff: I know all that.
  • Parodied and lampshaded in Spaceballs, when Colonel Sandurz unnecessarily explains the evil plan to Dark Helmet, who turns to the camera and asks, "Everybody got that?" According to Mel Brooks, filmmakers are obliged to provide the audience with a Minimum amount of plot. That was it.
  • In Roxanne, this trope is used to explain the inevitable Fridge Logic that comes with transporting Cyrano de Bergerac into modern times: why doesn't he just get a nose job? In an early scene, CB visits the local plastic surgeon, who must remind him that he's allergic to anaesthetic, and therefore can't get a nose job.
  • Used painfully in Shark Attack 3: Megalodon when two coworkers explain their job to one another, laughing uproariously after every line to inform us that they are jovial people.
  • In Smiles of a Summer Night, Fredrik's coworkers quickly summarize the characters' backstories and relationships to each other at the beginning of the film.
  • In Spartacus, Batiatus greets Crassus, Glabrus, and their consorts by reeling off their names and personal histories to them (and the audience).
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan ambassadors spend several minutes describing each other's backstories and the purpose and history of the planet they're sitting on, which they must already have known, while a revolutionary army is taking possession of their city. There are a lot of other examples throughout the movie, but this scene is especially ridiculous because the fact that they're occupied explaining things to each other that they already know means they're caught unprepared by the insurgents.
      The Agony Booth: So what are the rules for this Dueling Infodumps game, anyway? Is this like Trivial Pursuit? Do you win pies? Big, indigestible, incompetently baked pies?
    • Used in Star Trek VI, when Valeris demonstrates that firing an unauthorized phaser aboard ship sets off an alarm. The reason it's particularly painful is that she's demonstrating it for Commander Chekov, the ship's Chief of Security and the one who probably set the system up in the first place.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness: Because the film begins In Medias Res with the crew on an action-filled away mission, Sulu has to tell his co-pilot that the shuttle wasn't designed for the heat of a volcano, Spock has to tell everyone that the volcano will destroy the planet, Uhura has to tell Spock that he might die, Sulu has to tell Spock that the shuttle wasn't designed for this amount of heat, Spock has to tell everyone that his device will detonate when the timer reaches zero, and Sulu and Scotty have to tell Kirk that the ship won't withstand the heat. They should've covered that in the pre-mission briefing, and some dialogue indicates they have.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope has a pretty egregious one when Vader and Tarkin discuss the escape of the Falcon from the Death Star:
      Tarkin: You're sure the homing beacon is secure aboard their ship?
    • Count Dooku pulls this in the middle of Attack of the Clones.
      Obi-Wan: Qui-Gon Jinn would never join you.
      Dooku: Don't be so sure. You forget... he was once my apprentice just as you were once his.
  • Superman: The Movie. Lois Lane to a Native American chief she's interviewing.
    Lois Lane: As you know, my newspaper, the Daily Planet, is very interested in that dam, Chief.
  • Towards the start of the western spoof Support Your Local Sheriff, the town leaders get into this territory as they hash over their dilemma regarding the local bandit clan, for likely the five thousandth time.
  • Sort of done in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. In one story, a hitman lectures an elderly billionaire on how addictive the pharmaceutical that made him rich was. The strange thing with this was that, while the billionaire should have known this already, it seems bizarre that the hitman, even having looked into his client's past, would have researched such a trivial and tangential detail.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • In Revenge of the Fallen Galloway recaps the events of the first movie over a secure video link. Or not so secure, since Soundwave is linked to the satellite and monitoring most broadcasts on Earth. He now knows exactly where the NEST base and the last Allspark piece is.
    • Occurs in Dark of the Moon, when the new intelligence director appears for her first scene and hurriedly informs somebody about all of the important things she is in charge of.
  • In Underworld U.S.A., Driscoll delivers a long spiel to the members of his team on the operational structure of The Syndicate. As the consists of FBI Agents and federal attorneys who have been investigating organized crime for months (if not years), it would seem that this is information they should already possess.
  • WarGames has an early scene that consists mostly of two senior-level military-industrial-complex types saying things they both must already know since they run the program in question. In the DVD commentary, the screenwriters point out that this is less bad if the characters are getting into an argument (which they were), since arguments are about the only time someone will say things the person he is talking to already knows.
  • Watchmen journalists will explain things to characters who already know them.
    • During Adrian Veidt's introduction, a reporter begins the scene by explaining Veidt's past to Adrian himself. Justified, as reporters will often do this in real life to confirm that their information is correct.
    • During the press conference scene, another reporter stands up and explains the entire purpose behind the Doomsday Clock to Dr. Manhattan before actually asking the question. Since they're on live television, he's probably just doing it for the sake of the more ignorant members of the audience who are only watching because it's Dr. Manhattan on the telly.
  • The X-Files: Fight the Future had to introduce Mulder and Scully for cinemagoers who hadn't watched the series, so Mulder spills his Backstory/woes to a bartender while Scully falls into this, telling Mulder about the last few years.
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • Almost every Alfred Hitchcock film has an expository Infodump near the beginning, and they're almost always done in very heavy-handed "as you know" style. Another particularly grating example is in Vertigo, when Scottie Ferguson and Midge Wood are discussing why he had to leave the police force — it's Title Drop.
  • The 1964 political drama Seven Days in May includes a scene where the President of the United States explains to his best friend, a United States Senator — in a speech studded with repetitions of the phrase "you know" — the concept of the nuclear football.
    "You know who that gentleman is down there with the black box. There are five of them — you know that one of them sits outside my bedroom at night? You know what he carries in that box. The codes. The codes by which I, Jordan Lyman, can give the orders sending us into a nuclear war."
  • Wedding Crashers. John surely doesn't need Jeremy to explain exactly what the idea is behind crashing weddings, especially since they've been doing it for years.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street offers an interesting variation on this trope. Jordan's voiceovers explaining things like how IPOs work, or why what he's doing is criminal, were not so much intended for the audience, who by 2013 were generally cognizant of these things, but for Martin Scorsese, who wasn't.


By Author

  • SF writer Poul Anderson called this an "idiot lecture", in the sense that either the lecturer must be an idiot, or the lecturer must think the lecturee is an idiot. Nevertheless Anderson used the device often at the beginning of short stories, usually to establish historical details when an operative was briefed by a superior. Lampshaded at least once via the lecturee thinking to himself "He must think I'm an idiot!" and similar. In more than one Anderson story, such a speech is delivered to an enemy and reveals something that really ought not to be revealed to an enemy ("and that's why we 'elves' can't stand iron"), followed by "added hastily" in a blatant (yet always successful) attempt to distract from said revelation.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Foundation Series' "The Merchant Princes": Trader Mallow and his friend, the retired Trader Jaim Twer, discuss an upcoming Seldon crisis. As Seldon and his Plan is a required part of a lay education on Terminus, the fact that Mallow had to explain it to his "friend" helped him deduce that Twer had been trained as a priest, not a layman, and is working for Jorane Sutt.
    • Robot Series:
  • I, Robot: The viewpoint narrator of the Framing Device often reviews information or prompts Dr Calvin to share colloquial knowledge. This helps the audience know background information, and is justified by the viewpoint character being a reporter who plans on writing the interview for public consumption.
  • "Risk": The reporter, Nigel Ronson, describes to Black three people that he already knows, in rather unflattering tones. General Kallner is a military idiot, Dr Calvin is so aloof that she could travel through the sun and come out frozen in ice, and Director Schloss is too egotistical to give a decent answer to his questions. It works to summarize the people if the audience hadn't read "Little Lost Robot".
  • "Runaround": When trying to figure out what went wrong with their robot, Donovan and Powell review the situation they're in, which Dr Asimov uses as an opportunity for Exposition about the three Rules of Robotics.
  • Robert A. Heinlein:
    • Methuselah's Children opens with a meeting of Howard Foundation members where one character goes on for several pages, detailing the history of the foundation, its goals, and his plans for the future. While very interesting (to the reader), the entire monologue is framed as an As You Know. As the characters are all extremely long-lived and therefore very patient, they don't mind too much. He is however called on it by Lazarus Long, who has better things to do - mostly involving sex.
    • Inverted in Starship Troopers. It's used toward the reader as an excuse to skip exposition. Specifically, Rico's narration skips over a lot about the powered armor by telling the reader "But if you really are interested in the prints and stereos and schematics of a suit's physiology, you can find most of it, the unclassified part, in any fairly large public library." On the other hand in the Action Prologue their sergeant goes over the plan of attack even though it's been hypnotically implanted in the troopers, as "some of you don't have minds to hypnotise."

  • One of H. P. Lovecraft's literary quirks was his extreme aversion to writing dialogue. Thus, when he absolutely had to write about two characters talking, he instead only wrote one person's lines, which inevitably contained all the content of the other party's responses, as well.
  • Novelist Harry Turtledove has a tendency to fall into this trap in his multi-volume alternative history epics (such as the Worldwar and Timeline-191 series); he will often recap complicated alternative histories and the plots of two, three or more previous novels in the series by having characters engage in conversations or think to themselves about things that they would already know.

By Work

  • In 1984, Orwell uses the very clever trick of getting the basic facts explained to us by the secret book of the Brotherhood, which works as a subversive primer to the indoctrinated population. We learn later on that the Brotherhood and the Inner Party are the same, so everything in the book could be wrong too...
  • Mr. Exposition tells the protagonist her own life story in Against a Dark Background.
  • A lot of exposition in the Alexis Carew series is done by having people explain things to the protagonist. Justified since Alexis grew up on a backwater colony world and until joining the New London Royal Navy had cared more about crop prices and farming and logging techniques than about space travel and international politics and history.
  • In Animorphs, the first chapter is usually dedicated to the Rotating Protagonist explaining the series' concept (the Earth is being invaded by Puppeteer Parasites, they turn into animals to fight them, etc.) Clearly this is being done for people who picked up the books out of order, but by the last few entries the narrators start throwing in "but you know this already."
  • The Assassins of Tamurin: S.D. Towers fills the reader in on the entire Backstory of the Empire of Durdane by devoting most of a chapter to covering a History class.
  • In The Bad Guys book "The Furball Strikes Back", Mr. Wolf explains the plan to stop the bulldozers threatening to destroy the forest, much to the annoyance of Mr. Snake, who knows the plan already, as Mr. Wolf has been repeating it over and over. Turns out, he's been repeating it because Mr. Shark keeps forgetting key details about it.
  • Before They Are Hanged includes an early briefing for military officers ending, "That fortress, as we all know, is already in the hands of the enemy." This is an aversion, as the officers in question are useless nobles who have only the faintest grasp of the war. The briefing officer is a commoner who rose through the ranks and has enough sense not to say, "as you ought to know."
  • Older Than Feudalism: Occurs in The Bible, when God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son: "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest..." According to commentaries, the extensive exposition was given either a) to soften the blow of the request to sacrifice him, or b) to increase Abraham's reward, as he was rewarded for every word of the request.
    • Alternative c): to hit hard the sacrifice God is demanding, emphasizing strongly that "You really don't want to do this." i.e. the opposite of a).
    • Alternative d) (for Christians): foreshadowing the sacrifice of a certain someone else's only son, who he loves - immediately after providing a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac's place, God tells Abraham that all nations will be blessed through his offspring.
    • Or, just as a reminder. The stories in Genesis-2 Kings were originally a bunch a disconnected episodes that were compiled and edited multiple times over several centuries. Readers/hearers may not have known every detail of the final story, only bits from earlier versions. Alternatively, it may have been intentional irony on the part of the writer/editor, who would have known that Abraham DID have another son at this point, but Ishmael apparently didn't count.
    • Also "for Rachel thy younger daughter." This last one has become an idiom in spoken Hebrew.
    • Also Deuteronomy 11:30, which the NIV translates using the trope name:
    As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of the Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal.
  • Subverted by Deule, the narrator of Cantata in Coral and Ivory, who prefaces some of his exposition this way. He's actually presenting new information to the person he's talking to, but it would be improper for Deule to admit that his new lord doesn't know something he should.
  • In Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, the character Jan Rodricks explains the theory of relativity to his sister in a very long letter, which she should already know, seeing as how this was a highly scientifically advanced society, almost to the point of dystopia.
  • Dicken's A Christmas Carol and any parody/homages to it. Because of the time travel aspect of voyeuring into people's lives it somewhat requires them to explain the situation to each other in order to further the plot.
  • Broud, the newly selected leader of The Clan of the Cave Bear, calls a meeting of the Clan, and begins by stating, "As you know, I am now your leader." This causes the clan members to exchange puzzled looks, since they obviously did know.
  • Codex Alera:
    • The fundamentals of furycrafting are presented by Tavi to Max as if it's a necessary refresher because he's such a bad student.
    • The author has noted that there were some significant bits of backstory and world-building that he ended up leaving out or delaying in order to avoid slipping into this trope. He took four books to explain that "-ar" at the end of someone's surname name meant they were illegitimate, and never got round to explaining that the line of Gaius had restarted at "Primus" dozens of times in the past (with Gaius Sextus being the fourth First Lord with that name) because all of the viewpoint characters would have already known all about it from basic history classes.
  • Used to lead off the briefing on the VX nerve gas at the beginning of A Deeper Blue. Given a Lampshade Hanging a few paragraphs later with the acknowledgement of the speaker that he's covering old ground for those at the briefing.
  • In Destined to Lead book 2, Healing, Resurge, the Proud Warrior Race guy uses this trope to explain why he knows who on Mysterium 'Gakkar' is, and by extension the giant stone golem they are conversing with.
  • Discworld:
    • Played with in The Science of Discworld, where Ponder, speaking to the senior wizards, precedes his explanation of fundamental Discworld physics with "As I'm sure you know", but only out of politeness. A footnote explains that what he actually means is "I'm not sure you know this..."
      • Justified again in the third Science book, when Ponder's reports on the situation go ignored and he has to explain himself all over again on the spot, using this trope to let his colleagues save face.
    • Wintersmith: Tiffany ends up having to do this to Know-Nothing Know-It-All Anagramma, because just asking her to show you how to do something just results in a lot of stalling until she says she has a migraine.
  • Dune is as appallingly loaded with As You Know as any book ever written.
    • The chapter where the villain first appears consists entirely of As You Know dialogue, complete with having the villain introduce himself to his chief henchman: "Is it not a magnificent thing that I, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, do?" Justified by Baron Harkonnen being so fond of describing plans that at one point he himself admits to it being a flaw.
    • "The Spice must flow!" (Usually accompanied by a summary of its multipurpose nature.)
  • Played with during the last part of George Stewart's Earth Abides. The protagonist, Ish, is now an old man, spending most of his time in a mental fog, cared for by others. When this fog lifts, Ish discusses the current state of the Tribe with Jack, his great-grandson and caretaker. Almost every answer Jack offers is punctuated with, " you yourself well know, Ish," even though Ish is, at this point, as clueless as the reader.
  • Justified in Fitzpatrick's War as the general history of how the world turned into a post-apocalyptic steampunk Neo-British Empire-dominated dystopia is recited in a verbal exam by the novel's protagonist, Robert Mayfair Bruce. Coincidentally, Bruce was shocked to have gotten such an easy topic.
  • An early scene in The Fold shows the teleportation project team in front of the oversight board that decides whether they'll get an extension on their research grant. The occasion is used to walk the audience through the theory and past few years of work for the project, despite the fact that the oversight board should know all this from previous meetings. Further, the board is surprised when the project lead points out that their years-old contract keeps all data and documentation subject to the team's discretion.
  • In the novel Frankenstein, the title character receives a letter from his adopted sister which tells him his own life story in nauseating detail. The phrase "You will recall..." pops up a few times. Likewise there's one that begins along the lines of, "I'm sure you remember our young maid, Justine, but in case you don't..."
  • In The Further Adventures of Batman, the short story "Subway Jack" has Bruce explaining rather obvious things to Alfred, such as mud getting tracked in by the murderer, who then treats him to a bit of snark.
  • James Hogan rather neatly avoids this trope while still managing to do huge Infodumps in his Ganymede series, by managing things so that there's always someone present who justifiably needs the infodump, whether it's a biologist getting briefed on extremely advanced physics, a physicist being brought up to speed on political matters, or a businessman being briefed on the fine points of biochemistry. It helps that Hogan's got a huge multi-disciplinary team to work with, and better, the main character is a man whose biggest talent is his ability to cross-correlate information from many areas without being a specialist in any of them himself. This means he often specifically requests an infodump from a specialist.
  • Done in the first chapter of The Great Pacific War. The Japanese cabinet meets to discuss the dangerous riots and the seeds of revolt that are gaining strength, and the Premier opens by saying "As you know, our country is experiencing dangerous riots, and the revolts are gaining in strength."
  • Harry Potter:
    • At the very beginning of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Dumbledore and McGonagall have a discussion about things each one of them knows in detail. Of special mention are the specifics of the war they have just been fighting, the introduction of the villain's name, which has a vague justification, and telling Dumbledore he's noble, just to establish him as a good guy in the books. Also, they refer to each other by last names, while they are on first-name terms in later books and have known each other for decades. The scene with Dumbledore and McGonagall is mostly gratuitous, in that most relevant details in that scene are also covered later, being told to Harry directly; and it refers to a lot of things that aren't apparent until later books, like Sirius Black.
    • This also shows up in a peculiar form (you might call it an inversion) partway through Philosopher's Stone, when Hermione is telling Ron and Harry about the Philosopher's Stone, which can be used to achieve immortality. Ron repeats the word "immortal" in surprise, only for Hermione to explain "It means you'll never die," just in case any of the kids in the audience don't know that word. Ron gets indignant and says "I know what it means," because there's really no reason for him not to.
    • There's a strange in-universe example in the first chapter of Prisoner of Azkaban; a school textbook Harry is reading feels the need to explain to its readers what "Muggle" means.
  • Beaten to death by David Weber. Every single Honor Harrington book has this at least once, maybe twice. It's particularly painful, because most of these recaps appear to be at the end of a meeting that just talked about the recapped stuff. These meetings often take up a chapter, and their sole purpose is just to recap the situation, tell the reader what everyone's going to do, and use more adjectives than anyone ever would in a normal conversation.
  • CS Forester neatly justifies it in a couple of places in the Horatio Hornblower books, where a junior officer begins an explanation to a senior officer with this in order to maintain a properly deferential tone while in fact telling the senior officer something he probably didn't know, but should have known.
  • Orson Scott Card's manual How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy includes an entire chapter about how to how to handle exposition in a Speculative Fiction tale without resorting to this trope. Card notes that this trope was very common in the early days of SF, and he provides a humorous example of what it often sounded like:
    "As you know, Dr. Smith, the rebolitic manciplator causes the electrons of any given group of atoms to reverse their charge and become anti-electrons."
    "Yes, Dr. Whitley, and of course that will cause an immediate explosion unless the rebolitic manciplation is conducted inside an extremely powerful Boodley field."
    "And the only facility in Nova Scotia that is capable of maintaining a Boodley field of sufficient power is—"
    "That's right. Dr. Malifax's lab on his houseboat in the Bay of Fundy."
  • In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Hunters of Dune, the old couple Daniel and Marty do this a lot in the last chapters (when it is revealed that they are really Omnius and Erasmus.)
  • A top secret memo in Icons by Margaret Stohl explains "as we all know, the Lords activated the Icons and [killed one billion people]," just in case the ambassador to the aliens forgot that they conquered the planet.
  • The problem is routinely — and hilariously — lampshaded by narrator Bertie Wooster in the Jeeves and Wooster stories by P. G. Wodehouse, since the plot arcs often span several books.
  • Justified in the John Rain series by Barry Eisler by having Rain be Properly Paranoid, so he keeps explaining things to his co-workers (much to their annoyance) to ensure that they are all thinking on the same page or understand the need for his excessive security precautions.
  • The T'ang Chinese characters in the Judge Dee mysteries spend a surprising amount of time explaining their own culture and customs to each other for the benefit of the Western readers.
  • About half of Fredric Brown's short story "Keep Out" is one character giving backstory to a group of other characters, including the narrator, who then tells the reader, "Of course we had known a lot of those things already."
  • Knowledge of Angels: The Inquisitor reminds Severo the Inquisition's authority overreaches that of the local cardinal where heresy is concerned, something Severo retorts he already knows.
  • This is lampshaded in King Harald's Saga by Snorri Sturluson.
    Svein: I will believe in the banner's magic power, only when you have fought three battles against your nephew King Magnus and won all three of them.
    Harald: (angrily) I am well aware of my kinship with Magnus without needing you to remind me of it...
  • Susanna Clark's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has an unending supply of footnotes stuffed with as-you-know facts about the world of British magic, as well as strange anecdotes, discussions of magical theories and other "as you might already know but may well find interesting" divergences from the main story.
  • In Victor Hugo's Les Misérables it is very, very common to insert a large portion of Real Life historic data that the reader is expected to already know, but Hugo still would like to remind them.note 
    Narrator: The arrest of the pope took place, as we know, on the night of the 5th of July.
  • Justified in the Lord Darcy books, where Master Sean natters on about the underlying principles of whatever spell he uses to examine crime scenes and clues, even though Darcy's surely heard all this before. Darcy actually insists that Sean do this, as it helps him overcome his own innate Muggle mental blocks about how magic operates; plus, as Master Sean is also a professor, he performs best while in classroom-lecture mode. Darcy also claims to almost always learn some new little tidbit of information each time.
  • The novel Mirage by James Follett is based on the real-life espionage by Israel of the blueprints of the Mirage fighter aircraft after France stopped supplying the aircraft and parts after the initial sale and Israel wanted to keep the ones they had in flying condition (and eventually built their own version, the Kfir). During the briefing given during the planning of the operation a politician asks why they can't simply reverse-engineer or copy parts from their existing stocks or by removing them from planes. While one engineer who obviously knows why has a "for god's sake" reaction a second, more people-savvy engineer cuts him off saying that from a layman's perspective it's a reasonable question and deserves an answer. He then explains about while they might be able to physically copy the shape of a particular part it's much harder to exactly duplicate the alloy used and the manufacturing processes, such as the correct hardening and tempering required to make the part able to correctly handle the stresses involved in combat flight conditions. He uses the analogy of his pocket lighter, saying that if they made their best efforts, they could eventually duplicate the lighter but its performance would be inferior to the production model and prone to malfunction and unexpected failures. Multiplying the few components of the lighter up to thousands of parts in a modern jet fighter makes the entire idea untenable. The politician then understands why detailed blueprints with all of the technical specifications of each part are required and gives the go-ahead for the espionage attempt.
  • Early on, Nephis Courage Story Of A Bad Mormon includes an Info Dump on Mormon theology in the form of an as-you-know debate between two characters, presumably for the benefit of non-Mormon readers.
  • Subverted in the Orphans of Chaos trilogy: "Headmaster Boggin" starts off on one of these at the appropriate time to provide valuable backstory to the eavesdropping protagonists, but is immediately headed off by the audience, who point out that they already know what he's talking about.
  • In Otherland, the first meeting between the Grail Brotherhood that the readers see is liberally peppered with As You Know, despite occurring close to the culmination of their Evil Plan. Justified by having Dedoblanco play The Watson by having failed to Read the Freaking Manual, much to the exasperation of Jongleur, the group's leader.
  • David Foster Wallace mentions this in a footnote in The Pale King, calling it an irksome and graceless dramatic contrivance.
  • Hugo Gernsback's classic SF novel Ralph 124C 41+ frequently uses this phrase to explain how the future works.
  • Lampshaded in a Redwall book where an important tribal custom is explained to the son of the recently deceased chieftain note . He yells at the minion telling him this to get to the point note .
  • There are several scenes in Rhythm of War where Navani asks people questions that she'd already asked earlier, perhaps changing the wording slightly. When challenged on this, she explains that she's doing it to make sure that she really does know the answers, that she isn't making bad assumptions or missing important details.
  • An in-universe example at the beginning of The Ruby Knight:
    [Sparhawk takes cover as a troop of soldiers marches by]
    Lieutenant: It's that place in Rose Street where the Pandions try to hide their ungodly subterfuge. They know we're watching, of course, but our presence restricts their movements and leaves his Grace, the primate, free from their interference.
    Corporal: We know the reasons, Lieutenant. We've been doing this for over a year now.
  • Within the first chapter of the original Shannara book a character tells shares "As you know, [Entire history of the world]". For in-universe purposes, it's used as a Call-Forward, as the narrator later tells the "real" history of the universe, adding in things that were omitted from the widely-known history.
  • Averted in Sheep's Clothing. While the reader probably knows a thing or two about vampires, Doc—and most frontier folks west of the Mississippi—isn't familiar with them at all.
  • Sort of, in Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Luke Skywalker, pretending to be a local miner, asks a real local a question about the locale. The response starts with an as you know — the real local thinks Luke knows the first part of what he's imparting, though just like the readers, he does not.
  • Played with in Star Carrier: Earth Strike when Rear Admiral Koenig explains to his Senate liaison John Quintanilla why the way their engines work means they can't reinforce the twelve SG-92 Starhawks they sent on a near-c Alpha Strike at the start of the book. Quintanilla's a civilian and probably doesn't understand this stuff.
  • In Star Darlings, one of the first things learned in the books and web series is the basics of wish-granting, which the characters know already.
  • Aunt Jocelyn in Strength & Justice: Side: Justice says this phrase word for word while telling Teremy the reason why anyone can possess a superpower. It's very clearly for the benefit of the reader, since Teremy obviously knows it already.
  • Talion: Revenant: Done many times, though it's mostly while introducing things they don't previously know (or in Nolan's case, internally reflecting) so the usage is more plausible than most.
  • In The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton, a forensic pathologist tells psychiatrist Janet Ross "As you know, the male pubic hair" is different from the female pubic hair. Ross replies, "No, I didn't know that." The pathologist offers a reference.
  • Justified in These Words Are True and Faithful:
    • The pastor gives an overview of the history of his church because "I see some new faces in the congregation today."
    • Ernie does not always pay attention to what Sam tells him. For example, when Ernie asks where Sam's coworker's party is, Sam responds, "Brandenburg Township, as I said."
  • Timeline: This is used frequently, with the exact words, all throughout the book.
  • The final novel in the Tower and the Hive series by Anne McCaffrey opens with a scene in which not only do the characters recap the previous novels to each other, but in order to make it clear to the reader who he's talking about, Thian Raven-Lyon refers to his grandparents as "Jeff Raven and Angharad Gwyn, a.k.a. the Rowan".
  • In early 20th century dystopian sci-fi, Yevgeny Zamyatin's We averts this: the novel, written as a journal, is addressed to an alien readership; therefore, it's natural that the narrator explains some of the most basic facts of his everyday world.
  • Subverted by Robert Jordan: he seems to beat this trope to death with the copious amounts of exposition in his Wheel of Time series to recap events already firmly established in previous novels in the series, many of which was delivered through character dialogue; somewhat justified by the Door Stopper size of the series and difficulty in keeping track of the myriad of dangling plot threads one might think. But the reiterations most often are either new information for one or more of the people present, discussions about different opinions, or depictions of events that were influenced by the ones shown in earlier books.
  • From the book Wonderstruck, we have this clunky bit of exposition (granted, considering that part of the story was told entirely in pictures, it was hard to do it any other way):
    Girl: (writes) Thank you!
    Man: (writes) You're welcome, sister!

    Puppet Shows 
  • Pili Fantasy: War of Dragons: There is a lot of exposition regarding the many, many motivations and backstories of the various characters. Especially notable is Yeh Hsiao-chai, since his being mute means most characters have to exposit for him.

  • Dimension X: In the first episode, an adaptation of Graham Doar's "The Outer Limit", before the pilot leaves, Hank Hansen wants to go over procedure one last time, to make sure everything goes right (things are very likely to go wrong, and do!), which gives the audience a chance to know what should be happening and why Steve is going to be Narrating the Obvious.
  • Spoofed in the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue spin-off The Doings of Hamish and Dougal:
    Dougal: Well, here we are on London's busy Oxford Street.
    Hamish: Why did you say that?
    Dougal: Well, it doesn't do any harm.
  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: Spoofed in one sketch, where a man is talking to a room full of people and states that since they all know why they're there and what they're doing, he's not going to explain. Then one woman pipes up that she's just been transferred in and doesn't know what's going on. So he cheerfully says he'll explain everything for her.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Sound frequently plays the trope for laughs. In later series it becomes somewhat of a Running Gag to have one character sum up things that the others already know, and when called out on it claim that "it's realistic" for them to do it.
  • Warhorses of Letters used this extensively and knowingly.
    "You must remember that all horses are arbitrarily given the same birthday, January 4th. Oh wait... you do not have to remember, as you are also a horse."

  • Plautus:
    • Spoofed as early as The Braggart Soldier (2nd century BC): Palaestrio insists on explaining the plan to Acroteleutium again; she repeatedly protests that she's not an idiot and not only does she understand the plan, she actually devised much of it.
    • Similarly, the exposition in The Brothers Menaechmus is presented in such a ludicrous manner (essentially, "Tell me, Menaechmus, what have we been doing for the last six years?") that it's obviously a big wink to the audience.
  • The classic instance is in the Play Within a Play in Sheridan's The Critic. Hatton asks Raleigh what the military preparations for the Spanish attack mean, and Raleigh replies in a series of speeches all beginning with the assertion that "You know...", while Hatton agrees that he indeed knows. Finally Mr. Dangle interrupts to ask "as he knows all this, why does Sir Walter go on telling him?" Mr. Puff retorts that "the audience are not supposed to know anything of the matter, are they?..... Here, now you see, Sir Christopher did not in fact ask any one question for his own information."
  • The first act of the musical Spring Awakening ends with the two main characters having sex on stage. In case, during intermission, the audience forgets this, the opening of the second act is them still going at it. (The continuous action is used to inform the audience that no time has passed since Act I, unlike in many if not most plays and musicals, time passes between acts.)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream. When Oberon explains to Puck for the audience's benefit that fairies do not vanish when the sun rises.
  • William Shakespeare:
    • Done to establish location, since the theatres of his time didn't have painted scenery. "So, this is the forest of Arden!" "Yes, now are we in Arden."
    • In Cymbeline, the first act begins with two gentlemen discussing events in the kingdom before stopping to note that this happened twenty years ago and how it is strange that twenty years later, they still haven't solved the mystery, but that's not important because the king is coming.
    • The very first line of As You Like It is this trope.
      "As I remember, Adam..."
    • The Merchant of Venice: "'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio/How much I have disabled mine estate..."
    • The opening lines (not counting the Frame Story) of The Taming of the Shrew have Lucentio telling his servant, Tranio, all about how he was born in Pisa, raised in Florence, and has now arrived in Padua to study the arts. (He even tells Tranio all about what a great, trustworthy servant he is, just so we're aware.) Made even more ludicrous later in the play, when we find out that Tranio has been living with Lucentio's family since he was three years old.
  • Lampooned unmercifully in The Real Inspector Hound by Mrs. Drudge (The Help). Virtually every single line she has is an As You Know. A sample:
    Mrs Drudge: (to Simon Gascoyne) I'm Mrs Drudge. I don't live in, but I pop in on my bicycle when the weather allows to help in the running of charming though somewhat isolated Muldoon Manor. Judging by the time (she glances at the clock) you did well to get here before high water cut us off for all practical purposes from the outside world.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: In Act V Scene I, for the audience's Sister Claire asks Mother Margarita if Cyrano has been visiting Roxane in the nunnery for the last decade, and Mother Margarita answers that it has been for 14 years.
  • In Return to the Forbidden Planet the second act starts with a news reporter giving a recap of the first act. After the recap the action really starts with a repeat of the last scene from act 1.
  • In one theatrical adaptation of Little Women, every time someone mentions “the twins, Daisy and Demi”, they call them “the twins, Daisy and Demi”. Every. Time. Not once is the remark directed to a character who doesn’t know who the twins, Daisy and Demi, are.
  • Happens a few times in Medea. Mostly for the audience's sake, although at one point Medea and Jason have an argument where they each recount the backstory again from their point of view.
  • In Aristophanes's The Wasps, one guard does this to the annoyance of the other, until the first points out that the audience doesn't know. Arguably an Unbuilt Trope as it was deconstructed, still among the first known examples. On the other hand, given that Aristophanes is the only comic playwright whose work has survived, may indicate it was already an Undead Horse trope.
  • A direct quote from the Laurens Interludenote  in Hamilton: "As you know, John dreamed of emancipating and recruiting 3000 men for the first all-black military regiment." In this particular case, attentive members of the audience do in fact know this already; however, it is not a major plot point, so more casual viewers likely would have forgotten it by that point.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The first case in each game requires the player to get a quick introduction to the gameplay details. This makes perfect sense in the first game because Phoenix Wright has just come out of college, but not so much in the next two games, considering they still star him after a good number of trials. The second game features a bout of amnesia, whereas the third one is actually a flashback to the second case of Mia Fey, Phoenix's mentor, who'd taken some time off due to being traumatized by the outcome of the first (when you actually get to play her first case, though, she doesn't get any As You Know assistance, possibly due to her different co-counsel).
    • The fourth game introduces a new protagonist, Apollo Justice - but you can actually skip the tutorial here, as Apollo has watched Kristoph Gavin cross-examine several witnesses and is fully aware of the process.
    • The Miles Edgeworth spin-off uses his partner, Clueless Detective Gumshoe, to handle this as The Watson. Still, several characters keep reminding Edgeworth how to use logic (a gameplay mechanic exclusive to the spinoff).
    • The fifth game Dual Destinies has this as an option and it's justified. If the player opts to get an introduction on the mechanics of the game, Phoenix (a seasoned lawyer at this point) asks his rookie partner Athena Cykes to explain how the court system works in the game. However, it's done not so much for Phoenix's sake but for Athena's since she just suffered a Heroic BSoD moments before. Phoenix believes that having Athena explain the rules to him will bring her confidence back up.
    • And, again, in Spirit of Justice. This time, however, the justification is that Phoenix has to explain the process of cross-examination to the judge, who hasn't had to preside over a cross-examination for a witness's testimony in over twenty years, and has forgotten the protocol for the process. This happens again in the third case, where Maya asks if Nick should be reminded of how to cross-examine Rayfa's insights for her divination séances, a new gameplay feature that was only shown for the first time two cases ago.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied in the Homestar Runner cartoon "A Decemberween Pageant". It opens with Homestar talking to Marzipan about how the night of the titular pageant has arrived "After all the weeks and weeks of rehearsing and practicing and memorizing lines," when Marzipan tells him "Homestar, I don't think those are your lines." A Reveal Shot shows Homestar and Marzipan are standing on the stage, and Homestar has been delivering his exposition in the middle of the performance.
  • Red vs. Blue: Parodied somewhat, where the exposition is for another character's benefit rather than the audience. Church, Tucker and Tex are held at gunpoint by Wyoming. Church uses his radio to try and surreptitiously tell Caboose what's going on, but none of the other characters present know he's doing this and can only wonder why he's suddenly become "the narrator". Par for Caboose, he fails at figuring out the massive hints.
    Church: (deadpan) We're at Red Base. Wyoming. You found us and are holding us prisoner. At the Red Base. Wyoming.
    Caboose: Uh, Red Base, no, I'm in the ship.
  • A variant occurs in The Misadventures of R2 and Miku, where Miku is enough of a ditz that she manages to forget an important part of R2's backstory, forcing him to irritably retell it to her (and thus explain it for the first time for the audience, of course).

  • In Champions of Far'aus, in the beginning of the story, this is how the announcer for the Champions Tournament tells the audience in the stadium the rules for the tournament fights.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Spoofed/lampshaded repeatedly. At one point, Elan compliments Roy for working the exposition into his angry tirade so smoothly. (He also cries at weddings, but only when there's really good exposition.) Another time, Roy complains about Elan saying things they already know, but he's actually aware that they're supposed to recap and was only complaining about it to help by bringing in more detail. ("I know, it was my idea and I did it yesterday.")
    • In Strip 149, Redcloak says "Remind me why I'm doing this again," and the Monster in the Darkness, being Literal-Minded, tells him and the audience why he's doing what he's doing.
    • Terrifyingly subverted in Strip 1139, regarding how the world is supposed to contain the Snarl.
      Thor: Anyway, after the first world was lost, we got together to make a second world. One that would serve both as a home for mortals as well as a dimensional prison for the Snarl, which was still rampaging around empty space. We put that world's gravestone over there.
  • Lampshaded in Starslip Crisis:
    Admiral: I know what it is! There was no reason for you to say that out loud!
  • Darths & Droids:
    • The character playing R2-D2 gives an awesome recap in this strip.
    • Darths and Droids is absolutely full of this stuff, as one of the characters or NPCs regularly recaps the convoluted Idiot Plot resulting from the players' actions.
    • In episode 1571 and onwards, the Game Master gives one of the Player Characters a note to read aloud that represents his character saying stuff about the campaign background all the characters already know but the players don't.
    • Episode 1835 comments on using this to say "your character would definitely know this person even if you didn't."
  • Jokes about recaps are one of the most common running themes on Sluggy Freelance: an As You Know is never played straight. Some jokes played on the concept include:
    • "Quit recapping and keep your eyes on the road!"
    • The legacy of the ancient Greek island of Wrekappe, home of the primeval festival that eventually became America's Thanksgiving, is upheld by the Recappers, warriors dressed as pilgrims who will recap at the slightest opportunity.
    • "But Sweral, you quit your recapping habit years ago!"
    • A different kind of example, but still a subversion: In "Years of Yarncraft" (See: World of Warcraft), Torg is in the game fighting an NPC enemy who talks mostly in character (even though he knows he's an NPC) and tries to start talking about the backstory that brought Torg to fight him. Torg interrupts him and says he doesn't care about the story, only the loot.
    • A fairly straight but till humorous example is found in "Chapter 21: The Hunt" when a bunch of action (involving a demon at a Halloween costume party) is skipped over with such an exposition:
    "What did I miss?"
    "The Red Ranger got the demon by the face with the hand of his robot arm, but the demon got him in the face with a squid-on-a-stick. Then the demon grabbed the human taco by the leg which started a tug of war with the dragon-decoration that sprung to life to save him. Then, as the generic super hero tried to pry the squid tentacles off Riff's face, they all collapsed on each other and are stuck in this big knot of bodies. Oh, and the demon hunter's narrating things from the ceiling fan."
    "Well, I sure picked the wrong time to take a leak."
  • A footnote in Intragalactic lampshades this here.
    "... this is more or less the equivalent of a customs inspector lecturing people on what an orange is."
  • Goblins:
    • Played for drama and done very well in this strip.
    • Goblins also has "As you know Bob comic strips" consisting of nothing but info-dumps.
    • Psimax delivers one to his version of Kin here.
  • Lampshaded in one of Dinosaur Comics' many Alternate Universe panels:
    "Wow, personal jetpacks are so compact, efficient, safe and easy to control!"
    "Uh, obviously I already know that, we live in the same universe! Duhhh..."
  • As you know, Irregular Webcomic! hangs a lampshade on its use of tropes, and then gives us a Shout-Out in the Alt Text. And they've done it again.
  • Lampshaded in this Antihero for Hire: "I'm just making sure we're on the same page."
  • Played for Laughs in a Precocious strip, aptly titled "Relive those memories".
  • Head Alien from the Walkyverse loves this. Lampshaded in one strip.
    Alien: Hey, Boss? We know all this.
    Head Alien: Hush. I enjoy this.
  • El Goonish Shive: One of the immortals following Elliot recaps the plot points related to them. When her companion calls her on it, she points out that it helps compensate for their Easy Amnesia.
  • Lampshaded in this Slightly Damned strip.
    "My master spared your life and allowed your 'children' to remain in hell as long as you acted as The Grim Reaper."
    "Yes, I remember. I also remember your punishment for abandoning your post. He decapitated, cursed and ordered you to help fulfill my promise in disguise.
    "Rub it in, why don't you?"
    "Sorry, I thought we were supposed to explain things we already knew to each other."
  • Exterminatus Now: Sometimes it's because your co-conspirators just weren't paying attention.
  • The B-Movie Comic does it as unsubtly as possible in the fourth movie. In the very first scene after the credits.
  • Homestuck: Used very tongue-in-cheekly in the Act 6 Act 3 Intermission walkaround. Through the first part of the flash, Meenah, who has been missing for a really long time, has been playing something of The Watson to the other characters, allowing them to fill her (and the audience) in on what has happened in the meantime. At the end of the first part, however, Aranea starts explaining at length about things that she does know but the audience doesn't. Why? Because Aranea is an extremely wordy writer and a very dedicated Ms Exposition, so much so that she offers to pay Meenah to listen to her lecture. Meenah agrees reluctantly, though not without complaining about the pointlessness of the whole thing.
  • Used in Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, though it's really more a case of Don't Explain the Joke:
    Hanna: Whoa. She just called you a pussy. Sorry, dude.
    Conrad: YES, Mr. Cross, I know. I was there.
  • ShiftyLook's Katamari does this twice with the Future!Prince. First he feels obligated to explain to his present self how their cousins like to hang out on the Space Mushroom from the original game, then later summarizes the plot of Katamari Forever while explaining how the RoboKing pulled a Face–Heel Turn afterwards.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
    • Slightly parodically done in "A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court":
    "You're familiar with Cumberland's zombie defense system, put in place by the late mayor Chuck Goodrich?"
    "Yes, the city retrofitted every single building with defense equipment, and networked them all together so that the mayor's office could activate them all at once should it have to."
    "Yes, I know that. I was just asking if you knew that."
    "I know that."
    • Inverted in "All the King's Dirtbikes and All the King's Men", where King Radical tells his newly arrived friend what's been going on, and the friend really doesn't know all that, but it ends up sounding like he's really addressing the audience while knowing they do know unless they just jumped in.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, Tagon pretends to provide a slice of exposition for the crew, who already know all that. He's not recapping for the benefit of the audience, however, as Pi seems to think: it's a neat little ploy to renegotiate their contract with the Gavs.
    "If the walls don't have ears, I'll eat your pills."
    "Ohh, paranoia that pays off on cue. It's giving me chills."
  • Kill Six Billion Demons:
    • "Wielder of Names" starts with an explanation of how various species of intelligent beings were created. This turns out to be one angel talking to another. To the readers, it's partly new information (at least if they haven't read the additional material) and partly recap, but in-universe, it's a kind of "This is why the universe is corrupt and we must do something about it" speech.
    • When our heroine Allison agrees to a drinking contest with a demon, she gets a glowing spot on her wrist. This calls forth this comment from a bystander (who probably doesn't believe she's who she says she is):
    A devil's kiss. A parasitic piece of the pure hot black flame. Granter of the art. Mark of a contract. But surely you know this, Magister Usagi.
  • Sandra and Woo: In the comic "Dropping the bomb", Larisa reveals her Wolfram syndrome to the audience by mentioning it to Sandra, in a tone that implies Sandra already knows.
  • Star Mares endeavors to only go into expository mode when it's information that at least one of the other characters in the scene doesn't know, but it's still phrased in such a way as to make it obvious that it's for the benefit of the audience.
  • Beneath the Clouds starts an Exposition Diagram page with the remark:
    Don't you know that illness is caused by wandering spirits of the dead?
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent introduces its version of The Plague by having a character worried about his grandmother catching it reminded of its symptoms by a friend of his. Already knowing the symptoms is the reason he's worried in the first place.
  • Tails Gets Trolled has one shadowy figure say to another, "Father, what should we do? you are the leader of the trolls!" While establishing the addressee's role and relationship to the speaker is necessary, there were better ways to provide that information.
  • Tower of God: In episode 41, Quant takes time to explain more about how the "Lighthouses" used by Light Bearers in the Tower function, enabling the viewers to understand the tricks he and Khun are playing with them.
    "Now, since you don't even know about your own job, let me give you a brief class on Light Bearers."
  • Grrl Power: Discussed in the Author's Note for the Feb 10th, 2014 strip, and how it's mainly for the audience's benefit. With a link back to this page, even.
  • Used frequently by Bill Holbrook in Kevin & Kell, likely inspired by Peanuts and other newspaper comic artists, given his origins in that field.

    Web Original 
  • Spoofed in Shrove Tuesday Observed'snote  "If All Stories Were Written Like Science Fiction Stories".
    "There are more people going to San Francisco today than I would have expected," he remarked.
    "Some of them may in fact be going elsewhere," she answered. "As you know, it's expensive to provide airplane links between all possible locations. We employ a hub system, and people from smaller cities travel first to the hub, and then to their final destination. Fortunately, you found us a flight that takes us straight to San Francisco."
  • How David Weber orders pizza.
  • MLB Trade Rumors has a tendency to repeat things that regular readers are fully aware of like if a player has received a qualifying offer or not.
  • The reviews at OAFE do this regularly, usually using the phrase as a pothole link to a source where the information is more thoroughly explained.
  • Lady Wu (Sr.) gets a truly egregious one in Farce of the Three Kingdoms.
    Lady Wu: You know how your father married both me and my sister, so your stepmother is also your aunt and it’s really awkward?
    Sun Quan: Of course I know, I’ve lived with you guys my entire life.
    Lady Wu: Shhh, son. It’s exposition.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded in Adventure Time, when Finn and Jake are disguised as Fire Kingdom actors:
    Finn: What's going on with the costumes?
    Actor: This is a theater troupe! We're getting ready to perform for the King! Everyone in the Kingdom shall be in attendance! Of course, you know all this, being fellow actors of the exact same troupe.
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots has Toby kidnapped by his brothers who then introduce themselves to us. Even the slow-witted Toby is quick to question the fact that they are introducing themselves when he is their brother; he knows who they are already.
  • American Dad!:
    • Parodied in the episode "Meter Made", when Stan is eavesdropping while Francine is on the phone:
      Francine: I didn't know what to do, sis! ... What? I've never called you "sis" before? ... You're right, it is oddly clunky and expositional. I mean, I know you're my sister, so who am I saying it for? Weird.
      Stan: She thinks she married a nobody! ... I appreciate you saying that, bro. ... I've called you "bro" before. That's what we are, we're half-brothers. ... Well, I don't care how they say it in New Glarus, Wisconsin, where you live on a lake and have nothing in common with me!
    • In another episode, "Stan's Night Out", CIA agent Dick discovers that his car is on Fernando Jaramillo's property.
      Everyone: (gasps)
      Stan: Oh, good, we all know who Fernando Jaramillo is, so we don't have to waste time explaining it to each other!
      Janitor: (appearing from nowhere) I don't know who he is.
      Stan: Oh, well let me explain it to you.
    • In a different episode, we have this exchange:
      Hayley: They think you're Kevin Bacon!
      Roger: Yes, Hayley, I understand things that happen around me.
    • In yet another episode ("You Debt Your Life"):
      Hayley: You saved Roger's life? I guess you guys are even now.
      Stan: "Even"?
      Hayley: Yeah, you know; the life debt.
      (everyone remembers)
      Francine: I understand too, Hayley, but would you explain it anyway? I love to hear things summarized.
  • Animalia: In the episode "Tunnel Vision", a character introduces himself as TC, an acronym which he lengthily explains at the end of the episode when no-one else but him is listening.
    TC: …but the letters TC are just my initials. My full name is The Creeper.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • An incident features Sokka bumbling through an explanation of his battle plan, finally getting so nervous that he just starts recapping the entire series, getting to the sixth episode before his father steps in.
    • The show featured some elegantly natural subversions or Lampshade Hanging, as well: in the very first episode, Katara irately tries to exposit at Sokka, who cuts her off with an "I know, I know..." before delivering the exposition himself. Similarly, Zuko asks Azula a question almost anyone in-universe would know the answer to, prompting her to ask "Didn't you pay attention in school?" while giving the exposition anyway.
    • At the end of the episode, Zuko, having been told by Iroh to find the secret history of how his great-grandfather died, angrily complains about having been told to look for something everyone in the Fire Nation knows, but it turns out Iroh was talking about his other great-grandfather, Avatar Roku.
    • Another good example occurred on "The Day of Black Sun," when Zuko is finishing up in the throne room confronting his father, and about to leave. Fire Lord Ozai tries to keep Zuko around long enough for the sun to come back with a mention of his Missing Mom. The story starts with: "My father, Fire Lord Azulon..." Did Ozai not expect Zuko (much like the vast majority of the audience at home) not to know who has been his grandfather, and Fire Lord, for the vast majority of his life? They were likely trying to rope in new viewers at the time, and were probably trying to explain things to them, but the words still sounded weird.
    • Exploited by the villains. While disguised as Kyoshi Warriors, Ty Lee and Mai gave some quite clunky exposition to each other. After a spy scurried off to give this information to his boss, it was revealed they knew he was listening, and wanted to leak their identities.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! establishes the reason for the animosity between Tony Stark and Hank Pym by having Hank remind Tony that five years before the Avengers' founding, the two of them worked on creating a robot controlled by the human mind, but Tony tried to sell it as a weapon without Hank's consent. It seems apparent that Tony didn't need Hank's help remembering this, especially since he brings up the robot first.
  • On The Boondocks, Huey sets up a Noodle Incident as to how "because of [Ed Wuncler Sr.], [Huey] gave a girl a 'permanent and severe limp'". Grandad even says "Look, nobody needs to be reminded of that tragic day you gave that girl a 'permanent severe limp'" right before telling the story.
  • Lampshaded in the pilot movie of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: one of Zurg's not-particularly-bright scientists is called on to tell Zurg how things are going. He then explains in some detail how they believe that since the Unimind allows the LGMs to share a Hive Mind, they should be able to alter it to give Zurg mental control over other people. Zurg replies:
    Zurg: You're telling me my plan. I already know my plan. I made up the plan. It's MY plan. What I DON'T KNOW, is how close you are to ACCOMPLISHING MY PLAN!
  • Carmen Sandiego: When Carmen's recounting her backstory to Gray in the pilot, he comments that she can skip over a chunk, since he was there for it. She replies that he doesn't necessarily know her perspective of the events in question and keeps going.
  • Occasionally justified in Chaotic since Tom started out as a newbie, so he shouldn't have known about some of the things in Chaotic and Perm. But everytime a piece of battle gear more complex than a torwig (jetpack) or a creature special ability is used someone has to explain it. The forehead slapping begins however, in that in order to make it to Chaotic, one must become highly ranked in the online card competitions.
  • Played for Laughs and abused to hell and back in an episode of China, IL, where advice on picking up women (gaining her trust with the phrase "I know. And if you want, you can talk to me.") leads Frank into a Soap Opera-esque Love Triangle between a Southern Belle and her scarred sister. The two feud endlessly while spouting exposition to each other, but it's directed at Frank as they repeatedly use the phrase "As You Know." Frank, however, (and by extension the audience) doesn't know anything, so the feud becomes very confusing and unsettling.
  • Chowder: Lampshaded in "The Belgian Waffle Slobber-Barker". After Chowder asks Mung several questions pertaining to the plot, Chowder asks him why he asks so many questions. Mung replies that it's the easiest way for their loyal fanbase to learn about the episode's plot.
    Chowder: (waving to the screen) Hi, loyal fanbase!
  • This comes up rather often in Code Lyoko Season 1, since the series starts In Medias Res. Jérémie is usually the one stuck with frequently reminding his friends about information that they would already know — like the basic properties of the world of Lyoko, the monsters' stats, the fact that they couldn't let anyone die before a Return to the Past or that their main goal is to materialize Aelita.
  • Played for Laughs on Daria, when the characters are signing each other's yearbooks:
    Brittany: Just make it out to me — Brittany!
    Jodie: Gee, thanks for clearing that up.
  • Duckman:
    • One episode lampshades this practice. A character from an earlier episode returns, and Charles/Mambo (siamese twins who have one body with two heads) tell Duckman it's that woman he used to date, who used to be hideous but became gorgeous through plastic surgery and left him. Duckman responds to the effect of "Don't you think I know that?", to which the twins respond with "That wasn't for you. That was exposition for the 99.9 percent of the audience who are usually out having a life on Saturday night instead of staying home and flipping through obscure cable channels hoping to catch a little softcore pornography"
    • Another example: To suggest how ordinary his life is, Duckman describes the ironically ridiculous premise of the show to Cornfed in one sentence: "I'm just another duck detective, who works with a pig and lives with the twin sister of his dead wife, has three sons on two bodies, and a comatose mother-in-law whose got so much gas she's fire hazard."
    • Bernice: "As I explained to you before and will repeat now, not as clunky exposition but just because it feels so damn good..."
    • Then there's this sequence from "The Road to Dendron":
      Expositor: (yelling to everyone in earshot) Make way for the Princess of Dendron! Make way for the Princess of Dendron!
      Duckman: Thanks for the exposition. Who's tall, dark and creepy?
      Expositor: Beware! Beware! That is the Sultan's Fahaer Achmed Amazher. An evil man full of tricks and tourchers and torments. It is said when the moon is full he...
      Duckman: All right. Thank you. We'll be in touch. (dismissing the character who has completed his purpose and will not appear again)
  • Spoofed in an episode of Freakazoid!, during a conversation that came with captions indicating which of the statements were "IMPORTANT" or "NOT IMPORTANT". The As You Know conversation eventually degraded into spewing frivolous things like "I'm wearing blue socks" (captioned with "NOT IMPORTANT") and "You know, if you mix baking soda and vinegar together, you can make a little volcano." ("NOT IMPORTANT... BUT INTERESTING")
  • The Fairly OddParents makes fun of this trope whenever a character comes back and some exposition is needed for any viewers who aren't up to date. Rather than simply say the character's name, Mr. or Ms. Exposition also has to spout out a long-winded explanation of who they are. The most blatant example is when they explained to the audience that Mark was an alien and now living on Earth disguised as a human, even going so far as to have Timmy place a device in front of the fourth wall that lets the viewer see Mark under his disguise.
  • Family Guy:
    • Quagmire's "That one was also sexual" line. Initially it looks like Don't Explain the Joke, but according to the DVD commentary, it was a spoof of characters saying things that no-one would really say to explain the plot, like "I can't wait for the bake sale this afternoon!"
    • Another parody of the trope comes in the episode "Prick Up Your Ears", when in a sketch by the "Opal Ring Crusaders" the school brought in to teach sex ed, a joking reference is made to a Jefferson High. Everyone laughs, then one student turns to the one next to them and explains "they're our rivals!". Not two minutes later, at the end of the sketch, another joke is made at Jefferson High's expense, everyone laughs, and then the same student turns to the same one next to him and says the same thing again.
    • In-Universe example: Brian writes a play, which begins with the main character coming on-scene and saying "Donna, it's Brent, your new husband!"
  • Futurama:
  • In the episode "High Noon" of Gargoyles, when the Weird Sisters show up at the end they spend the entire scene explaining to each other why they orchestrated everything they did in that episode.
  • The Gravity Falls episode "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape from Reality" begins this way, with Dipper telling Soos and Wendy what happened in Part 1 and that they're currently trying to save Mabel, despite the two of them already knowing this.
  • In the pilot of Infinity Train, Tulip outlines her predicament to One-One, even though they've been on the train for a week and would surely have discussed this before. Averted in the series proper, as it starts from the beginning, so the audience already knows everything from the start.
  • In the Joe Oriolo Felix the Cat cartoons, the second half of each episode has a quick recap of what happened just moments ago in the first part of the episode. The reason for this is because the shows episodes were originally aired in two parts, so a quick recap was warranted since the second part of the episode wouldn't always follow up the first part right away. The syndicated reairings and DVD rerelease of the cartoons edit both parts of the episodes together into single episodes, making the recaps come off as very superfluous.
  • Subverted in an episode of Justice League Unlimited, where Flash, in Lex's body, asks for an As You Know recap from Dr. Polaris over the "Big Plan". Polaris, on the other hand, is angry that "Luthor" couldn't remember the plan he announced to them that morning.
  • In Kim Possible, Drakken is very fond of this trope. It is lampshaded by Shego in the episode "Clean Slate".
    Drakken: Shego, at last! Pure nanotronium is mine! The smallest, most powerful energy source known to m—
    Shego: Are you for real? I was with you. I know what it is, Dr. Exposition.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: This happens fairly often on the show, generally whenever an episode relies on the events of a previous one they get a brief re-iteration ("It's great we got invited to the [plot device]!" "I know! Thanks for inviting us, [character]". This is due to Word of God stating they wanted the episodes to be watchable in any order.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: Randy and the viewers learned about Terry McFist (Hannibal's big brother) being the real heir to McFist Industries and yearly signing over the company to Hannibal when he overheard Viceroy reminding Hannibal of that fact.
  • Many Scooby-Doo episodes and movies have the gang expositing why they're in or on their way to some place.
  • Sealab 2021 has a Double Subversion:
    Captain: You know what that means Stormy? (Stormy nods)
    Someone else: But I don't know, Captain, what does it mean?
  • The Simpsons:
    • Lampshaded in the episode "24 Minutes" (which was a 24 parody), where Lisa begins some exposition...
      Lisa: Principal Skinner, as we both know but you might need reminding, the annual Bake Sale provides 90% of the school's funding...
    • Spoofed outright in another episode in which Homer needlessly recounts step-by-step his purchase of an ice cream cone with no plot significance whatsoever, to his family, who were there, a few minutes ago. And when he's called out for it by Bart, he starts narrating this very same dialogue that just happened, before being interrupted by the plot.
    • In a Show Within a Show: "I hope nothing unsavory happens during my visit. As you know, I am the president of the United States." A Movie Within a Show has a slightly more subtle example, as, after Mr. Smith kills all of the other congressmen, a man burst into the room and says "I'm the President of the United States and I demand to know what's going on here!"
    • Another obvious spoof:
      Homer: Well, here we are at the Brad Goodman lecture.
      Lisa: We know, Dad.
      Homer: I just thought I'd remind everybody. After all, we did agree to attend this self-help seminar.
      Bart: What an odd thing to say.
    • And yet again:
      Marge: How exciting! Watching a movie outside with the whole town!
      Comic Book Guy: Yes, thank you for talking to all of us like we just tuned in.
    • In the episode, "Lisa the Simpson", Lisa imagines a bad future where she's an obese white trash mother who's married to Ralph Wiggum. When Ralph walks in he says, "Hi Lisa. It's me Ralph, your husband" as if she didn't already know. This gets spoofed later in the episode, when present day Homer goes, "Hi Lisa. It's me, your father, Daddy."
    • Parodied rather sweetly in a Season 27 episode which has a scene with Marge explaining to Homer where they are currently driving to and for what purpose. When Homer asks her why she is telling him this when he already knows, Marge replies that she just likes talking to him. The scene ends with them wordlessly smiling at each other.
  • South Park: The commentator of the Canadian Royal Wedding in "Royal Pudding" will frequently add some variant of "As is tradition." after commentating on the In-Universe "traditions" (the prince dipping his arms into butterscotch pudding and the princess gracefully scraping it off, thus symbolizing their union, is one of the less weird ones).
  • Steven Universe: Zig-zagged. The Crystal Gems spend much of the series adamantly refusing to explain anything about the setting's backstory to Steven. Since the series is largely from his point of view, Steven typically only gets the finer details explained when the audience would be completely lost otherwise. Recaps of in-series events are still given to him in the more pivotal episodes, however.
  • 1973/74 Superfriends episode "Too Hot to Handle". Professor Von Knowalot explains basic solar system astronomy to the Superfriends.
    Professor: As you know, all the planets revolve around the Sun, staying in their precise orbits because of a delicate balance — a balance between the Sun's gravitational pull on the planets and the centrifugal force trying to pull the planets away as they speed around the Sun. If this delicate balance between the Earth and the Sun was upset, we might fly away from our own solar system.
  • Spoofed on the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. In the episode "Super Rocksteady and Mighty Be-Bop", Shredder explains that he had to entrust the job of setting up a mind-control device to his bungling mutant lackeys Rocksteady and Bebop because they're immune to the device, while Shredder would fall under its sway if he set it off himself.
    Krang: You don't have to explain it to me! I invented it, remember?
    Shredder: I wasn't explaining it to you... (he points to the audience) I was explaining it to them.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • The recap episode "Grill" gives a decent justification. Agent Fowler is being interrogated for what happened with Nemesis Prime, and he's giving a report not only to his direct superior, but is also being recorded for the sake of those higher up the chain of command. The guy he's speaking to knows what's going on, but the people who would be watching the video wouldn't necessarily.
    • It also happens when Megatron is using the Forge of Solus Prime to craft the Dark Star Saber, and the onlooking Knock Out and Dreadwing explain the Forge's abilities to no one in particular by Finishing Each Other's Sentences.

    Real Life 
  • Education:
    • Talking like this can be a hazard of the teaching profession, as relating things to students who don't know things can become such a habit that you slip into "lecture mode", even with colleagues already aware of the facts.
    • This trope can also be justified for students: asking someone to explain something you already know is one way of testing whether they know it. If the student does know, explaining something to someone that already knows it will naturally follow.
    • This is also a rather standard occurrence in places with a 'spiral' school system. That is, every few years every subject comes back with a bit more detail and a bit more backgrounds and a bit different connections. As in: "We did tell you about this a few years ago. This is what we left out." Which will usually result in being told about any given subject multiple times, all but the first of them starting with a short re-introduction to the subject, frequently done in an 'as you know' style. This is generally followed by explaining which parts of what you know were simplifications that were good enough for the previous level but must now be unlearned.
  • There is a word in several European languages which has this purpose: Swedish ju, Danish jo, Polish tak and German ja (not to be confused with cases where ja or tak simply means "yes"). They are used when stating a fact that you assume that other party to already be a familiar with:
    Swedish: Bussen anländer ju klockan nio.
    Polish: Tak, autobus przyjeżdża o dziewiątej.
    German: Der Bus kommt ja um neun Uhr.
    English: The bus does arrive at nine o'clock, as you know.
  • "As you know" is often used in business correspondence to avoid insulting the recipient's intelligence, especially when the writer is not sure whether or not the recipient actually knows the information. It is especially common when at least one of the correspondents is Japanese and can sometimes become an empty formalism.
    • Outside of business correspondence, it can also be used when reiterating a point or reminding someone of something, again for the purpose of avoiding sounding condescending.
    • Conversely, it can be used to convey a subtle hint of annoyance: "As I wrote in my previous email..." (translation: if you had bothered to pay attention earlier I wouldn't have to explain it again, you jerk) or "As you know, [recipient's proposed course of action] is considered bad-faith litigation and may lead to sanctions and an award of attorney's fees" (translation: Did you really think you could get away with that?).
  • Used a great deal in politics to convince the audience that they've always agreed with the candidate "As you all know my opponent hates freedom and only I can save this nation." Crowd: "Oh yeah, we, uh, knew that."
  • Often a pitfall of a real-life Captain Obvious — much to the chagrin of said Captain's friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances.
  • When addressing a class or other group, this can mean "As most of you know, but for the benefit of those who weren't paying attention, ..."
  • Sometimes used in the military to make sure everyone knows the exact same version of the intelligence or orders given.
  • Another use for this approach in real life is to make sure that the listener is thinking about the same things as the speaker. A professional physicist doesn't need to have Newton's laws of motion explained to him, but opening a presentation on ballistics with "As you know, a body in motion remains in motion unless acted on by an external force" is a good way to get your audience thinking about the laws of motion instead of, say, electromagnetism or their smartphones.
  • People with autism often lecture as a form of stress relief. The topic can be anything from something the lecturing person is particularly interested in to something that just happened in front of the lecturer and their audience. Saying "we already know this" isn't very likely to stop the lecture.
  • Academic/technical papers sometimes slip into this, since (a) your audience probably knows, but you can't necessarily rely on it, and (b) it's sometimes really hard to introduce or sum up your research without a dose of near-meaningless boilerplate to get the prose started. From an Intel paper on computational electrical efficiency:
    The performance of electronic computers has shown remarkable and steady growth over the past 60 years, a finding that is not surprising to anyone with even a passing familiarity with computing technology.
  • This Means War! is not diplomatic. As a consequence, Charles Francis Adams, the American ambassador to England during The American Civil War, sent a note to the British government with the sentence: "It would be superfluous of me to point out to your Lordship that this is war."
  • Championships, events like the Olympics, or sports that are not usually on Network TV can do this throughout the broadcast. While rule changes, late injuries, or time (in the non-annual events like The World Cup, Olympics, Ryder Cup, or Commonwealth Games) justifies this to a point, the broadcast has to balancing this from completely dumbing down the product.
    • The worst offenders can be during pre-game shows that can last longer then the event themselves. Those viewers are usually way into the event.
  • A very common thing with police interviews when they are recorded. Often the police will go through with the person of interest what they know and what has already happened several times so that there is a record of the police stating these have happened with the person of interest agreeing that they have.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): As You Know Bob


As you know NC

Nostaglia Critic lists the times "as you know" in bad movies after seeing it in Rise of the Silver Surfer.

How well does it match the trope?

4.54 (26 votes)

Example of:

Main / AsYouKnow

Media sources:

Main / AsYouKnow