Wreck-It Ralph: Yes, I do. That's every day of my life.
Someone is frustrated and makes a hard statement, or asks a question that, if not rhetorical, is not meant to have an obvious answer to it. It might even be intended as an Armor-Piercing Question. But somehow, the other person responds with an answer that is poignant and usually succinct. Such an answer will often invoke the sort of Stunned Silence the original question was intended to cause, just in the one who asked the question.
The response causes the questioner to drop their guard, not ready to face the reality of what was said. When there are other characters in the scene, expect them to be surprised as well.
Tends to also be a Wham Line. In some cases the question and answer are brought up by the same person, as a one-two punch. May sometimes lead to an Eureka Moment. Can be used alongside Blunt "Yes", Rhetorical Question Blunder, Brutal Honesty, Little "No", Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, and You Are Not Ready.
Compare Wisdom from the Gutter for when it's the responder who's shocking (because they aren't considered a wise figure) rather than the response.
- An old U.S. anti-drug PSA has a boy who is confronted by his father after his mother finds drug paraphernalia in his closet. His father asks him "Who taught you how to do this stuff?" and the kid replies "You, all right?! I learned it by watching you!" The father is stunned by this knowledge. Watch it here.
- Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z decides to ally himself with an evil wizard for extra power. He fights Goku and claims that there is no good in him, that he is a cold-hearted warrior who only cares about himself and then he blurts out that his family means nothing to him. Goku (who is usually a pretty funny guy, even in Super Saiyan) angrily calls him a liar and then punches him so hard he drops to the ground. Vegeta survives it, but the words have a huge impact, because he never tries to be a bad guy again and from then on firmly joins the good guys.
- In Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], Archer and Rin have to take on Caster alone because Shirou is injured and Saber was taken by Caster. During the battle, things turn very badly for Rin when Archer betrays her and willingly goes over to Caster's side. It takes a Big Damn Heroes moment from Shirou to save her life. After the battle, Rin berates Shirou for being stupid enough to try to fight with a serious injury, adding that she can tell that he has to be in significant pain. Shirou counters that it's nothing compared to the pain that Rin is in due to Archer's betrayal, shattering Rin's facade.
Rin: I can't believe it. A boy made me cry.
- In the final battle of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Wufei asks Treize Kushrenada "How many people do you think have died for you?!" Treize's response is a scarily-accurate number, even calling his advisor, Lady Une, to find out how many soldiers have died in the current battle. And then goes on to state that he has memorized the names of every single one of them. This shocks Wufei, who suddenly realizes that his opponent is intentionally carrying a very heavy load on his shoulders.
Wufei: How many people do you think have died for you?!
Treize: Do you really want to know? As of yesterday, 99,822 people.
Treize: Lady, how many fatalities today?
Lady Une: We have confirmation of 82 White Fang soldiers and 105 of our own.
Treize: I see. Give me their names later today.
- In One Piece in the Fishman Island Arc, when Fukaboshi asks why Hody Jones hates humans so much that he is willing to destroy Fishman Island and kill thousands of fishmen, Hody's answer made Fukaboshi realize that the negative environment that he grew up in taught him to hate the humans, who didn't even do anything to him personally.
Fukaboshi: What have you experienced in your past?! Just what have humans done to you?!Hody Jones: Nothing. We have to bestow judgment upon humans. We've been chosen by the heavens... and granted power!!
- In the first part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, after Dio Brando becomes a vampire, we get this famous exchange between him and Will A. Zeppeli.
Zeppeli: Tell me! To undo your injuries, how many innocent lives did you consume?Dio: I don't know. How many loaves of bread have you eaten in your lifetime?
- In World Trigger, Miwa hates all Neighbors because they caused the death of his sister, and at the end of the failed Black Trigger Retrieval, when he's spouting off his beliefs about how those who haven't lost loved ones to various Neighbor assaults can't understand how dangerous Neighbors are, he finally gets it thrown right back in his face: the Tamakoma branch, composed of those who believe peaceful relations with Neighbors is possible and all of whom Miwa regards as traitors, has as one of its strongest members Jin, who has lost not only his own mother, but the man who mentored him as a Border agent as well, to Neighbor assaults.
- Elma from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid gets one from Kobayashi when she calls her rude.
Elma: You're being very distracting, Human!Kobayashi: That's quite the attitude from someone who just destroyed my home. Please follow our laws before you try protecting order in this world. Even Tohru wouldn't do something like this. Probably.
- Naruto: During Naruto's fight with Neji, the latter says that Naruto can't possibly understand what it means to be marked with a seal that keeps you apart from everyone else and cannot be removed. Naruto replies that yes, he does know that feeling all too well. His response to Neji's previous Motive Rant is basically "So what? Big deal!"
- Bloom Into You: In Chapter 28, Yuu does this to Touko, a highly respected student council president and star student who, in reality, has terrible self-esteem and desperately seeks approval by trying to emulate her late sister, Mio. Yuu tells Touko that none of Touko's friends know Mio, and if they like Touko, those feelings are directed at her, not her sister. Touko isn't fully convinced, but after the following exchange, what Yuu's trying to tell her finally starts to sink in.
Touko: What everyone thinks is me is really just me acting like my sister...
Yuu: But you are the one who's worked so hard to be like her, senpai!
- In Kingdom Come, Superman desperately tries to comprehend what happened to the world and to people's attitudes during his temporary retirement, until Batman breaks it down to him in the most blunt, Batman-like manner: "You quit." Superman is visibly shocked and disoriented by this answer for a while.
- At the climax of the story, Nite-Owl and Rorschach confront Ozymandias and ask him when he was planning on implementing his deranged plan to kill millions in New York City. Ozymandias calmly tells them that he already did it when he saw them approaching his base.
Adrian Veidt: I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago.
- The exchange remains mostly the same in the film adaptation, though in a more meta nod, the line is changed to "I'm not a comic book villain."
- Later, Ozymandias gets this from Dr. Manhattan; when he asks the doc if he did the right thing and all worked out in the end, Manhattan's answer leaves him visibly shaken.
Doctor Manhattan: "In the end"? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.
- Similar to the Kingdom Come example, when Dan and Rorschach are reminiscing about their time as crime-fighting partners:
Dan: Those were great times, Rorschach. Great times. Whatever happened to them?
Rorschach: You quit.
- Also at the beginning of the book, Blake The Comedian delivers a rather long winded one to Dr. Manhattan when he points out how the Comedian has just killed his own pregnant lover. The Comedian then notices how Dr. Manhattan is sliding away from his own humanity:
Blake: Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Pregnant woman. Gunned her down. Bang. And y'know what? You watched me. You coulda changed the gun into steam or the bullets into mercury or the bottle into snowflakes! You coulda teleported either of us to goddam Australia... but you didn't lift a finger. You really don't give a damn about human beings. I've watched you. You never cared about whatsername, Janey Slater even before you ditched her. Soon you won't be interested in Sally Jupiter's little gal, either. You're driftin' outta touch, Doc. You're turning into a flake. God help us all.
- At the climax of the story, Nite-Owl and Rorschach confront Ozymandias and ask him when he was planning on implementing his deranged plan to kill millions in New York City. Ozymandias calmly tells them that he already did it when he saw them approaching his base.
- At the climax of Joker, the titular character is engaged in the usual brawl with Batman. During this, he engages in a The Reason You Suck speech where he attempts to deconstruct Batman dressing up like a monster and inspiring fear. After going on about that, Joker asks why Batman leaves his chin uncovered, allowing a glimpse at the man beneath the suit and thus showing that despite the appearance, Batman isn't a monster. Batman responds, "To mock you." Joker immediately flips out. The response is made more powerful because this is Batman's only line in the whole story.
- In Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (by the same writer and artist as the above), something similar happens with Lex Luthor. After a typically complex scheme to undermine Superman and sow the seeds of distrust in the public towards him, Lex confronts Superman with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how Superman is too far removed from humanity to see the truth about what they're really like, and how for all his powers and abilities, he can't see into Luthor's soul and so will never understand him or what it is to be human. Unfortunately for Lex, he's not prepared for Superman to come back with just seven words that not only completely undermine his whole speech, but his confidence in his whole philosophy (and just like above this is the only line Superman has in the story):
Superman: You're wrong. I can see your soul.
- In Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, Huntress, a.k.a. Helena Bertinelli, sneaks into the home of Don Santo Cassamento and confronts him at crossbow-point with a photograph of him in flagrante delicto with her mother. She demands to know what they were doing together. His reply devastates her:
Huntress: Sit down, Don Cassamento. You raise an alarm, I'll kill you. Look at the photograph, please. Take a good look... and then tell me what you and Maria Bertinelli were doing in that hotel room together.
Santo Cassamento: F.B.I. took this?
Huntress: Answer the question.
Santo Cassamento: Must've been the feds. Franco would've killed me if he'd known about it.
Huntress: I said, answer
Santo Cassamento: Isn't it obvious? Your mother and I were conceiving you, Helena Rosa. Now put that crossbow down before you accidentally murder your father.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW), Shadow heatedly asks Sonic why he'd be willing to give the seemingly amnesiac Eggman a second chance, arguing that he could go back to trying to take over the world at anyime and mentions the things he's done during the war. Sonic counters by bringing up all the things Shadow did before his HeelFace Turn, pointing out that if he could be redeemed, the same can be said for Eggman. This gets Shadow to calm down.
- In The Boondocks, after Huey's efforts at social justice report go nowhere, leaving him depressed, his grandfather gives one to him. Huey's still upset, but has to admit that his grandfather has a point.
Huey: I got a right to be hostile, man! My people's been persecuted!
Grandpa: (walking by) And I suppose you'll find justice in making yourself miserable.
Huey: (sullenly thinking) I hate wisdom.
- When All Might tries to apologize to Izuku (who's a villain) for when he said that he couldn't be a hero in Apotheosis, Izuku angrily responds that he's not sorry about what he said, he's sorry that his actions were the catalyst that led to Izuku becoming a villain, and that he'd probably never think about him again had he not turned into a such a dangerous person.
All Might: I'm sorry Midoriya! I truly am!Izuku: No you're not! You're not sorry for what you said to me! You're sorry about the end result! If I didn't become a villain, would you be here apologizing to me?! Did you even once think about me again after our first meeting?!(All Might looks away in shame)Izuku: That's what I thought.
- The Child of Love: Shinji broke up with Asuka because he thought he could not protect her, ergo he was unfit to be her boyfriend and her childs father. Nothing anybody said managed to change his mind
until this exchange:
Asuka (walking towards him): Why are you running away from us, Shinji?
Shinji: I...I'm not able to protect you, you already know that.
Asuka: And what's the matter with that? I'm strong. I can take care of myself. I don't need your protection. However, I need something else from you.
- Ghosts of Evangelion: Asuka does not believe Shinji when he confesses he loves her... until Hikari and Touji tell everyone thinks it's obvious he does:
Hikari: Shinji confessed to her this morning.
Touji: And that's bad?
Hikari: She doesn't think he means it. She thinks it's an act or something, to make sure he doesn't cause anyone any trouble.
Asuka: That's exactly it! If you could only see the way he acts toward me
Touji: Uh, Soryu Look, you know I'm not exactly your biggest fan and all, but I think you're kinda off base here.
Asuka: Then you're an idiot.
Touji: No, seriously, what you're saying doesn't make sense. I spend more time with the guy than anyone, apart from you I guess, and he never talks about you embarrassing him or anything. He just wants to make you happy.
Asuka: Of course he does. If he makes me happy he'll get praise, and then he'll feel like he's worth a damn. Same old Shinji.
Hikari: Asuka, that's a really cynical way to look at it.
Asuka: What are you talking about?
Hikari: Well, it's true that he's always a little concerned or upset when he's talking about you, since that's just the way you two are... but even so, when he talks about something good that happened between you two his face just lights up, like he—
Touji: Yeah! He'll get this stupid grin on his face, like he's the happiest guy on Earth.
Asuka: That's that's insane. You guys are just defending him!
Touji: You think it's just us?
Hikari: Everyone knows about it. It's, ah it's kinda obvious.
Asuka: No, he's just I mean, it's Shinji, he Everyone?
- HERZ: When UN Inspector Kurumi walks into Misatos office to accuse her of breach of trust, theft, fraud, and Kajis murder and vow to make her to pay for her alleged crimes, Misatos reply stops her tirade abruptly.
Kurumi: You'll pay for your crimes. I'll see to it.
Misato: I have no doubt in your abilities, Cpt Kagero. But understand that if you persist in your crusade, it will be Shinji and his family who will pay the price for your foolishness.
Kurumi: What!? What does Shinji-kun have to do with all this?
Misato: Everything, Kurumi. Everything.
Misato: He is the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End.
Kurumi: I don't understand.
- The One I Love Is: In chapter 6, "Friends", Asuka is dissing one of the friends of her boyfriend:
Shinji: Hey! Touji's a nice guy!
Asuka: He's just a pervert like you!
Shinji: I didn't know you liked perverts...
- Scar Tissue: When Rei is angry and upset because Asuka abused Shinji and Shinji does not want her harming Asuka, Ritsuko reminds her that Gendo abused Shinji in worse ways for YEARS, Rei knew about it, and she did not care back then.
Rei: I am so angry. [...] What Sohryu has done it-
Ritsuko: It's no worse than what his father did to him his whole life, Rei, and you knew all along.
- In the Naruto Fan Fic The Lives Worth Saving, Might Guy expounds on the virtues of springtime, but a disguised older Naruto says he prefers autumn.
Guy: How could you? Spring is the stage of life where every ninja starts to grow their roots! We can show our springtime of youth to the world as we begin to flourish!
"Haruki": Yeah, but once we reach autumn, we've led a successful enough life that we've managed to see half of it.
- Kushina attempts to give an Armor-Piercing Question to Naruto in Eroninja about how he can possibly love the Kyuubi after what she did, only for Naruto to calmly turn it back on her.
Naruto: Can't you see how she felt?
Kushina: How she felt?! After what she did?! She-
Naruto: Was a prisoner. [Stunned silence] She was sealed away for almost a hundred years, and when she finally got free, one of the first things she saw was you and dad trying to imprison her all over again.
- In The Lie I've Lived, Harry uses the Sorting Hat to understand why he keeps remembering things he's never done, leading to an interesting exchange.
Harry: How are my father's memories in my head?
Sorting Hat: Maybe the question you should be asking is, "Why are my memories in my son's body?"
- The Vow: When Lord Shen is told that his former fiancée Lady Lianne didn't turn her back on him when he was exiled thirty years earlier like he has believed, but saved him from execution by asking him to be exiled, he demands her confirmation of it. After getting it, he asks her why she has allowed him to treat her with hatred after his return and imprisonment of her. Her answer leaves him stunned and leads him to let go of any hatred toward her, allowing his love to resurface.
Shen: Why did you never tell me?! All these years, I have hated you as much as I wanted you! You let me be so angry with you, you let me treat you this... Why would you let me do that?! Why didn't you tell me?!
Lianne: Because it was what I deserved.
Lianne: It was my fault any of this happened. I pushed you, and I then banished you, I humiliated you, I forced you to hate everyone you ever loved. I committed such a crime against you Shen... but, your anger and hatred for me was a fitting punishment. I would much rather have that then see you dead. And after everything... it is the least that I deserve.
Shen: [gently strokes her face after recovering from his shock] Don't ever let me hate you again... [they embrace]
- Do You Remember: Two in chapter 9. First, when Hide is explaining that Kaneki, Touka, and Hinami are benevolent ghouls who only kill humans when they have to, Akira tells him to explain why they killed her father Kureo; in response, Hide points out that Kureo killed Hinami's parents in cold blood right in front of her, and Touka and Hinami were only defending themselves because he attacked them first.
- In Adamantine Mist, Akane finds it hard to believe Ranma is serious about training her in martial arts and ponders why she doesn't believe him.
Akane: Why haven't I ever been able to trust you?
Ranma: Did you ever really try?
- In Thousand Shinji, it happened twice in the same conversation between Shinji and Asuka. When Shinji demanded to know why Asuka was full of pain and anger, she confessed that her mother died, which rendered Shinji speechless. Then he replied that he was also an orphan, making Asuka see him in a new light.
Momma died! Asuka shrieked, clutching her head in agony and shame.
There is a pause before Shinji says, So? Everyone in our class at school has a dead mother. Including me.
This revelation was like a slap in the face to Asuka, who looked up at Shinji through tear stained eyes, seeing him in a new light.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, during an argument, Asuka screams that Shinji wasn't trying to protect her in the last battle. Why would he want to protect someone whom he hates? Shinji's reply renders Asuka speechless (and it eventually leads to their Relationship Upgrade):
Shinji: It was going to hurt you I just couldn't stand by and do nothing. I couldn't let it hurt you.
Asuka: Liar! You hate me, why would you want to protect me? You care for Wonder Girl more than you care for me! Everybody cares for her more than they care for me! You hate me because I am not your doll, and that's fine with me!
Shinji: I don't hate you! I tried to protect you because I I care about you!
- In Tales of the Emperasque, LIIVI (a human assassin who fell in love with the Eldar farseer Taldeer, who now lives with her at her Craftworld) gives the Emperor one of these, and it's noted that the Emperor doesn't really have a response to it. The Emperor was trying to get him to see the Eldar as just untrustworthy xeno enemies of humanity (in short, as "not people"). LIIVI responds:
When you have witnessed an Eldar mother shrieking in horror and regret after seeing her child fall out of a car and die without wearing a soul stone, knowing with certainty that his innocent soul is feeding Slaanesh, it becomes difficult not to see them as people, my Lord God.
- In One Year, Yu Narukami does this to his old friend Kenji, while Kenji's in the middle of a falling out with their mutual friend Kaoru. When Kenji points out that he was actually jealous of Kaoru for having a dream, Yu notes "And yet, you didn't fully understand what it felt like to have his hopes dashed," forcing Kenji to admit that he didn't realize how his words came off to Kaoru.
- In This Bites!, when a Marine tries to convince Kashi and Oimo that Cross is lying about Broggy and Dorry being free rather than in Impel Down and is using Soundbite's powers to fool them, Cross admits it is possible, but there's just one problem.
Cross: Just tell me... when we could have gotten their voices.
- When he learns Ace truly is alive in Embers and Frost, Luffy gets pissed off against Law for keeping it secret and scoffs when the Heart Pirate claims Ace would rather see Luffy safe than being free.
Luffy: You don't know that! You don't know what Ace would want! How would someone like you know about being a brother?Law: I was one!
- When talking about how to deal with some government mercenaries that tried to kidnap Kara in Not In Kansas, Willow and Xander are aghast at her suggestion of killing them.
Willow: But we dont kill humans.
Kara: Why not? You kill vampires, demons, and other sentient creatures.
Xander: Theyre not human.
Kara: Neither am I.
- In Promises of a Wandering Hero, Shirou/Keitaro informs the tenants that the hot springs will now have a weekly schedule of mixed and gender specific bathing, and shoots down Motoko's and Naru's attempts to deny him. When Motoko demands to know "what gives [him] the right to ignore the majority's (really just her and Naru) decision", his response stops them cold.
Shirou: I don't really know, Aoyoma-san. It may be on the grounds that I'm a resident, the manager and, more importantly, the owner of this dorm? ... It's not really your choice to begin with. You can either adapt to what the new management has decided or find yourself another place to live.
- A Brighter Dark has this lovely little exchange.
Azura: I would never say the inhabitants of Hoshido have accepted me as one of theirs, but they at least understand that Mikoto considers me to be one of theirs...
Corrin: Oh, well, that explains why you weren't at dinner, with the rest of your family.
- In Influenced Out of Normality, Xander is talking to his father Tony Stark on the phone about how Buffy and Willow are trying to cut him out of slaying and their jealousy at him having other friends, causing Tony to remark that they don't seem like very good friends, especially since they've been acting this way all year. Xander opens his mouth to defend them before realizing he can't, which makes him realize the two actually aren't good friends.
- In How the Light Gets In, Black Siren tells Dean how horrific the conditions in the Flash's pipeline prison are. Dean, despite agreeing with her, initially tries to defend them, but she leaves him unable to do so:
Black Siren: They're not fit to be running a prison.
Dean: No, they're not. They weren't trained for this, Dee.
Black Siren: Then they shouldn't be doing it.
- In Emergence, when hearing of the last six months of Superboy's exploits, Superman is shocked to hear about his coma. The following exchange causes him to realize he's come to think of Conner as his son.
Superman: But why wasn't I told?
Batman: Honestly? After our conversation at Bebbo's, I didn't think you'd care.
Superman: His coma could have been permanent!
Batman: I was aware of that. I still didn't think you'd care.
- When Xander continuously dodges her questions in Misconceptions and Corrections, Buffy asks why he's not telling her as friends tell friends things.
Xander: Well, for one thing - because we're not really friends, Buffy.
[Xander then goes on to explain why they aren't friends and why he kept helping her with Slaying anyway]
- When Fai realizes that he doesn't know the true Syaoran in Shatterheart, he asks Kurogane, Syaoran's Only Friend what he's like. Kurogane's response forces Fai to realize how poorly he treated Syaoran.
Fai: What does this Syaoran like?Kurogane: Well for one, he'd like it if you'd drop the 'this Syaoran' bullshit and just called him by name.
- In Harry Tennyson, Gwen Tennyson reads about Dr. Animo and how he went mad after not getting an award he wanted, finishing off her exposition by asking Harry (who wanted a trading card as reward for saving a store) if it sounds familiar.
Harry: No. This Verties Award, by the sound of it, is like the science fair we have at school where the best project wins, and there are set rules we have to follow. By the sounds of it, Dr. Animo was doing something he shouldn't have, and was rightly disqualified. ... I, on the other hand, was helping people, and they were willing to give me a reward for this. An electrician doesn't wire house for free, an artist doesn't give out free commissions, and I don't risk my life for nothing. When possible, and especially when offered, I expect a reward of some kind. Comparing our situations is just insulting.
- While Yoda and Obi-wan are trying to determine in The Havoc Side of the Force why Harry Potter is a Jerkass to some and friendly to others, one of the younglings listening in (implied to be Ahosoka) suggests that Harry is "nice to people who are nice to him". Not only is she correct, the other Jedi never even considered the idea themselves.
- In Robb Returns, Gerion Lannister says he paid a terrible price for obtaining Brightroar, and Joffrey says that Grandfather Tywin will match that price. Gerion lifts his eyepatch to show his ruined eye and tells him of all his crew members that lost their lives during his odyssey, and Joffrey is sent fleeing.
- Van in My Master Ed gets upset and starts yelling at Edward when he finds out he jumped into a nearby river, risking drowning in the process.
Van: Did you think for a moment what I would have done if I found out that my best friend killed himself and I didn't prevent it?! For the rest of my life I would be blaming myself, that I didn't help you, just because of some dumb test! You have no idea how worried I was, do you? You looked like a dead man walking that morning and you left without telling me where to or why! Were you planning on killing yourself in secret so I wouldn't be able to stop you? You think I don't care about you? Didn't you think about me at all? How could you be so selfish?!
- In Bitter Tears: An Anon-A-Miss Fic, when Twilight is chewing out the Humane Five for turning on Sunset Shimmer because they believed that she was Anon-A-Miss on flimsey evidence, Rainbow demands to know why Twilight was so sure of her innocence. Twilight gives her this incredulous and furious response:
Twilight: You seriously have to ask me that?!
Rainbow Dash: Uh...
Twilight: I believed Sunset because she's my friend! Because I trust her! That's what friends do! They have faith in each other, they stick by each other, and until there is undeniable, irrefutable evidence that says otherwise, they give them the benefit of the doubt! For crying out loud, after all this time, do you still have that little faith in her? Or did her helping us save the entire school from the sirens just go over your heads?!
- In Heart of the Inferno, Faervel tries to convince Smaug to accept the condition that he'll get Kathryn back once the dragon returns from his mission in the north and leaves without harming anyone in Esgaroth's area. The Elf ambassador succeeds when he calls on the favour Smaug has owed him since the events of Heart of Ashes.
Faervel: There is one thing, Smaug, that you have not accounted for...
Smaug: And what is that?
Faervel: You owe me a debt.
- In Turner Features' Cats Don't Dance, after the fiasco on the set of "Li'l Ark Angel," Sawyer pointedly asks Danny, "Why do you insist on making a fool of yourself?" This is followed by a look expectant of an answer. Danny gives one: "I just want to do the thing I love. Doesn't everyone?" This response takes the wind out of Sawyer's scolding, reminding her of why she herself came to Hollywood.
- In Frozen, Elsa's refusal to bless Anna and Hans' marriage leads to this exchange, in which Anna lets out her frustration over Elsa shutting her out for years without explanation:
Elsa: Anna, what do you know about true love?
Anna: More than you! All you know is how to shut people out!
[Elsa is visibly shocked]
- In Wreck-It Ralph, the main character, Ralph, comes from a video game where he plays the role of the villain. Despite being actually a pretty decent person, the other inhabitants of the game are scared of Ralph and don't let him go inside the apartment — the only exception is the game's hero, Fix-It Felix, who seems unaware of Ralph's plight. This situation ultimately results in Ralph being so fed up with it all that he goes on a quest to find a medal as proof that he can be a hero too. When Fix-It Felix decides to try to find him, the resulting chain of events ends up getting his affections rejected by a woman he falls in love with and being thrown in jail. When Ralph finally arrives to rescue him, Felix complains to Ralph about what it was like to be treated as a criminal, only for Ralph to state that it was like that for him every day. Then Felix realizes the nature of the game. He's always the hero who saves the day and gets all the praise. It just never occurred to him that Ralph is literally a Punch-Clock Villain. It's his job to be the bad guy. He apologizes for being so inconsiderate, and they grow closer as friends as a result.
- The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: After Kovu's exile, Simba insists to Kiara that just as Kovu was chosen to follow in Scar's pawprints, he's following in his own father's, to which Kiara tearfully responds, "You will never be Mufasa!"; Simba is visibly shocked to hear that.
- Astrid does this twice in rapid succession when talking to Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon:
Hiccup: Why is this so important to you all of a sudden?
Astrid: Because I want to remember what you say, right now.——Hiccup: Three hundred years, and I'm the first Viking who wouldn't kill a dragon!
Astrid: First to ride one, though.
- Played for Laughs in Galaxy Quest, as Sir Alexander Dane is refusing to debase himself by appearing at another convention.
- In the Daredevil film, Matt is talking to a priest at confessional after going Vigilante Man on a mob boss who was accused of rape, and whom Matt feels got Off on a Technicality (he was the lawyer for the prosecution on that case). At one point, Matt asks the priest a theoretically rhetorical question, and the priest's answer is enough to lead Matt to take an entirely different outlook on what he is doing:
Matt: Is justice a sin?
Priest: Vengeance is!
- In The Matrix Revolutions, near the end of the Final Battle, Neo's answer to Smith's "Why do you persist?" rant is simply "Because I choose to." Cue Smith's Villainous Breakdown.
- In Annie (2014), Ms. Hannigan asks Lou why he keeps treating her so well when she treats him so poorly. Lou's response is that under her angry, cynical exterior, she's still a Nice Girl. This causes her to take part in the Heroic BSoD song "Who Am I".
- In Mike Leigh's film Life Is Sweet, Nicola, a young woman with bulimia, spends the entire film bitterly lashing out at her family and calling them "Fascist!", "Capitalist!" etc. After her boyfriend dumps her, she becomes even more isolated and angry until her mother Wendy finally confronts her and asks her why she never gets involved in all the political causes she claims to believe in. After spending the entire film in a tense stand-off, Nicola and Wendy have a massive row in which Wendy confronts Nicola with things like her ingratitude towards her dad for working in a job he hates (industrial chef) to support his family, and the fact that everyone is worried about her. Nicola, who is emotionally imploding, asks her mother why they're so worried about her if they hate her so much. Cue the bombshell:
Wendy: We don't hate you! We bloody love you, you stupid girl!
- In Captain America: Civil War, Tony gets one of these when Steve tries to explain why he won't abandon Bucky despite the fact that he killed Iron Man's parents.
Steve: Tony, he didn't know what he was doing... He's my friend.Tony: So was I.
- The last line of dialogue in Judgment at Nuremberg. It comes after war crimes trial judge Dan Haywood visits Tragic Villain and former Nazi judge Ernst Janning in his cell. Janning, who'd undergone a Heel Realization late in the trial, admitting that he unjustly sentenced a Jew named Feldenstein to death for the crime of sleeping with a 16 year old girl, tries to justify himself and practically begs Haywood for a measure of forgiveness.
Janning: Those people, those millions of people. I never knew it would come to that. You must believe it.
Haywood: (with sorrow) Herr Janning...it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.
- The film version of Divergent adds in a scene where Tris lets slip to Four that she's not going to pass the final test after Al's suicide.
Four: Why do you say that?beat.Tris: You know why.Four nods, confirming he knows she's a Divergent.Tris: And as soon as all the others find out, they're gonna kill me.Four: I am not going to let that happen.
- X-Men: First Class has Charles Xavier (Professor X) use the absolute worst justification of a military's actions to Holocaust survivor Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto).
Charles: Erik you said yourself we're the better men. This is the time to prove it. There are thousands of men on those ships, they're just following orders.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past has Erik and Raven arguing with each other about whether to join forces. Raven just wants to kill Dr. Trask and stop his experiments on mutants, whereas Erik wants to declare war on the humans.
Erik: Killing one man isn't enough.Raven: It never was for you.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has a couple, firstly from Lex Luthor to Superman, as part of his Breaking Speech and revealing he's holding Martha Kent hostage.
Lex Luthor: I think you will fight, fight, fight for that special lady in your life.Superman: She's safe on the ground. How about you?Lex Luthor: Close, but I was not talking about Lois. No. Every boy's special lady... is his mother.
Batman: Martha... Why did you say that name?Lois Lane: It's his mother's name.
- There's also one from Lois Lane to Batman, breaking the Dark Knight out of his Unstoppable Rage and finally allowing Bruce to see Clark as more than just a potential alien threat.
- V for Vendetta generally has V being an articulate anti-hero, able to justify his actions in a way that causes Evey to consider her own worldview. But as the climax approaches and she goes through her own personal revelations (with V's help), she gains insight on what compelled him to start his one-man fight against Sutler and his government. Once she realizes this, she manages to hit him back with something that causes him to pause.
Evey Hammond: You were in the cell next to her. That's what it's all about... you're getting back at them for what they did to her... and to you.V: What was done to me created me. It's a basic principle of the Universe that every action will create an equal and opposing reaction.Evey Hammond: Is that how you see it? Like an equation?V: What was done to me was monstrous.Evey Hammond: And they created a monster.V: (Silent, looking away almost with shame.)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: After the Big Bad has spent the movie trying to kill the Guardians along with the universe itself, Star-Lord is keeping the Big Bad distracted while Rocket and Groot put a bomb in his brain. Realizing he's bitten off way more than he expected and scared for his life for once, he tries to reason with Peter.
Ego the Living Planet: If you kill me, you'll be just like everyone else!Star-Lord: What's so wrong with that?
- A silent one in Spider-Man: Homecoming. When Iron-Man lectures Peter on the repercussions of what could've happened at the ferry if he hadn't gotten involved, Peter angrily responds that if Tony cared so much, he would be there in person (Tony had previously rescued him via remote-controlled Iron-Man armor). Cue the Iron-Man armor opening up and a rather pissed-off Tony stepping out.
- Good Will Hunting: Towards the end, when the title character is wondering what's wrong, his psychologist Sean Maguire tells him "It's not your fault." Repeating it a dozen times does bring the main character to his knees.
- This is also the answer to the question Sean asked during the class Lambeau interrupted earlier. Why is it important for the patient to trust the therapist? Because otherwise the therapist can't tell the patient what they need to hear and don't want to hear.
- In the 2017 remake of Murder on The Orient Express, after The Summation, Poirot is by himself when he is approached by Pilar and he asks her about where her conscience lies after the titular murder. The answer: "With Daisy Armstrong." It's heavily implied that this conversation is a big part of Poirot's actions in the final scene.
- (500) Days of Summer:When near the end of the movie Summer and Tom meet in the park and they discuss how after saying to Tom that she didn't believe in love during all their relationship she married another man quite soon after breaking up with Tom she says "I just... I just woke up one day and I knew." "Knew what?" asks Tom and her reply is "What I was never sure of with you." While this was not meant as a put down and afterward Tom sincerely wishes her to be happy it still feels quite brutal.
- Deewaar: When Vijay brings up his material wealth to disparage Ravi's choices in life, Ravi simply replies: "I have mother".
- Red Dawn (1984): When the Wolverines start executing captured enemies, they begin having second thoughts about it and this exchange happens:
- In A Song of Ice and Fire Arianne is convinced that her father Doran wants to replace her as his heir, and instead name her brother Quentin. She presses Doran on where her brother has gone.
Her father plucked up a cyvasse piece. "I must know how you learned that Quentyn was abroad. Your brother went with Cletus Yronwood, Maester Kedry, and three of Lord Yronwood's best young knights on a long and perilous voyage, with an uncertain welcome at its end. He has gone to bring us back our heart's desire."She narrowed her eyes. "What is our heart's desire?""Vengeance." His voice was soft, as if he were afraid that someone might be listening. "Justice." Prince Doran pressed the onyx dragon into her palm with his swollen, gouty fingers, and whispered, "Fire and blood."''
- Atlas Shrugged: From the very first line, people are asking, "Who is John Galt?" as a memetic shorthand for a question or a problem that no one can answer, so why bother with the effort of trying? The man is Shrouded in Myth with multiple fantastical possible answers to the question proposed, all of which are Metaphorically True. John Galt finally reveals himself to the world by hijacking a radio broadcast from the US President, delivering a speech over several hours detailing the moral failings of the predominant altruist philosophy and announcing that he has been responsible for the collapse of society by convincing the globe's prime movers to go on strike while proposing that if the people listening wished to survive, they would need to realize the philosophic principles necessary to do so, i.e Objectivism.
"Are you beginning to see who is John Galt? I am the man who has earned the thing you did not fight for, the thing you have renounced, betrayed, corrupted, yet were unable fully to destroy and are now hiding as your guilty secret, spending your life in apologies to every professional cannibal, lest it be discovered that somewhere within you, you still long to say what I am now saying to the hearing of the whole of mankind: I am proud of my own value and of the fact that I wish to live."
- At the end of The Dagger and the Coin series, the heroes are trying, and failing, to negotiate a peaceful end to the war between Antea and Elassae, believing that, although Antea had committed terrible crimes against the Elassans, letting the Elassans take revenge would just start a Cycle of Revenge. The Elassan commander, however, is having none of it, and understandably wants revenge, and doesn't see why the war should end just because the Anteans are now losing. Finally, however, the young Antean king, Aster, who was innocent of his country's crimes (the regent and the spider priests were the real culprits, and Aster did not have any actual power), speaks up and takes full responsibility, saying that it was his fault because he was not strong enough to stop it. He concludes by saying "If the [Elassans] feel that there has to be more blood, say so. You can kill as many of us as you need to make it right. Give me a number, and I'll bring them to you. I only ask that you start with me....I'm sorry that I wasn't strong enough to stop this sooner." At this, the Elassan commander can only bring himself to say "Well...shit." And that was the end of the war.
- Edgedancer (a novella of The Stormlight Archive): At the climax, when Lift says the Third Ideal out loud, Nale thinks she's babbling incoherently and asks "What?" She tells him what she just realized — "You were trying to prevent the Desolation! Look behind you! Deny what you are seeing!", and when he does look, he dives headfirst into Villainous Breakdown.
- The Witchlands:
- Underplayed in the first book; after Aeduen attacks Leopold, the latter replies with "You aren't the demon your father wants you to be", stopping Aeduen in his tracks for a few moments.
- In the second book, after Merik and Cam have an argument, he sneers that the only reason she's stressed out is because she's hiding the fact that she's a girl. She replies with "Did you really think this was about that?! (...) You see only what you want to see!"
- In "The Surgeon", the first book in the Rizzoli & Isles series, Detective Jane Rizzoli blasts her partner Thomas Moore for beginning a relationship with the main victim/witness in their case. Ostensibly, this is because it's grossly unprofessional, if not outright forbidden for a cop to get involved with a victim/witness, but in truth, Rizzoli hates the other woman for being beautiful when she herself isn't, and is herself in love with Moore and hurt and angry that he's never given her a second look. When she offers a crude opinion of their relationship, "You've fallen for the same thing every guy falls for. Tits and ass.", an angry Moore not only blasts her for hating the woman for something she has no control over, he fires back by asking, "What guy is going to like you when even you don't like yourself?", thus indicating that it's her unattractive personality that repels men, not her plain looks.
- Perhaps the biggest Moment of Awesome in Sarum goes to Captain Wilson's wife Nellie, who upon her return to Salisbury is immediately accused by Holier Than Thou Abigail Mason of being a harlot. Not only does the Captain denounce Abigail by asking the crowd, "And who's this pasty-faced scold?", but Nellie — quickly sizing up the situation, in which Abigail and her brother-in-law have been watching her spouse Peter Mason being executed for heresy — declares the Armor-Piercing Response, before the entire town:
"Why, 'tis Abigail Mason who's just burned her husband so she can get another."
- The first chapter of The Hearts We Sold ends with the Daemon delivering one to Dee. Dee accuses him of going for "low-hanging fruit" by hanging around outside a hospital, where desperate people can be more easily talked into a Deal with the Devil. The Daemon coolly informs her that she must be one of those desperate people; the only humans that can recognize demons for what they are are the ones who are already interested in a deal.
- In Burn Notice, after Michael decides to join James' organization:
Sam: Okay, the CIA may not be perfect, but they gotta answer to somebody, right? Who does James answer to, huh? Nobody, 'cause he makes up his own rules!Michael: What's wrong with that?Sam: Tell that to Nate.
- Game of Thrones: Davos delivers a rightfully furious one to Melisandre, who is stunned into a brief silence and ends the rest of her pleading to Jon Snow with much less confidence than before.
Davos: If he commands you to burn children, your lord is evil!
Without question? No. I'd ask how much.
- After Tyrion sends Janos Slynt to the Wall for (among other things) carrying out a massacre of Robert's illegitimate children, he asks Bronn whether he'd obey a similar order without question.
Jaime: "500 000. The population of King's Landing."note
- After Jaime scolds Qyburn for his amoral experiments, the latter retorts that those experiments helped him better understand the human physiology and save lives. He, in turn, points out that Jaime has long lost count of people he'd killed, but how many did he save?
- In How I Met Your Mother, Barney started up a relationship with Nora, who asked him to lay out all the lies he has ever told women to get them in bed, and once Barney agreed to her conditions, he confessed everything. When he was done, she mentioned being disgusted, and when Barney jovially asked for another date, she said, "What makes you think you would have a chance with me after all that?" and Barney replied without hesitation, "'Cause you stuck around." She didn't have to spend what could have been six hours listening to him, but she did anyway because she found him interesting.
- The anti-drug PSA example in Advertisement above is parodied in Scrubs when J.D. has an Imagine Spot regarding his coffee addiction about finding a coffee machine in his son's room.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003) has one that comes two seasons after the question. Adama and the Cylon defector Sharon are having a conversation where he asks her why the Cylons hate humanity so much. She brings up the question he asked in the pilot regarding their potentially genocidal war with the robotic Cylons, "Humanity should have asked itself why we deserve to survive," which he asked as a means of examining his and humanity's own sins. Sharon then has this rejoinder of an answer: "You said that humanity never asked itself why it deserved to survive. Maybe you don't."
- In Torchwood, season 1, "Countrycide", after stopping a village of cannibals from eating them and other people, Gwen asked the patriarch why they cannibalized people. The patriarch's response? "Cause it made me happy." It shell-shocked her, to the point that she starts a sexual relationship with Owen in order to find some solace, because she's unable to tell her husband Rhys the experiences she went through in her job.
- At the end of the first season of The Wire, D'Angelo Barksdale is convinced by his mother Brianna to be the Fall Guy for his drug kingpin uncle Avon, because Avon's activities support their entire family. The result is D'Angelo getting sentenced to 20 years in prison, and while he's in prison, Avon's more ruthless partner decides that D'Angelo is too much of a liability, has him killed, and has the killer make it look like a suicide. When Detective McNulty finds out about the death and quickly concludes it was no suicide, he goes to D'Angelo's girlfriend to tell her about his suspicions, and never visits Brianna. When Brianna finally hears about this and comes to McNulty for answers, including why he never approached her with his suspicions, McNulty's response leaves her devastated.
Brianna: Why go to her first? Why not come to me?McNulty: Honestly? I was looking for someone who cared about the kid. I mean, like I said: you were the one who made him take the years, right?
- Babylon 5:
- In the episode "Comes the Inquisitor", the inquisitor Sebastian asks Delenn whether she'd ever considered she might be wrong about her role in the great cause she's taken on. With virtually no hesitation, she replies "yes", which actually shakes him up slightly. Later, she finally ticks him off by responding to his tortures by basically calling him out as The Bully, lashing out at her because he was himself deemed unfit. Sebastian's response was not too pleasant.
- Vir's response to Morden's "What do you want?" attempt to suborn him is both this and a Moment of Awesome: he says he wants to live long enough to see Morden, himself, executed for his unscrupulous "bargains".
- Better Call Saul, when Jimmy asks Chuck why he's sabotaging his lawyer career, Chuck's response is a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him which results in Jimmy abandoning Chuck, saying he no longer wants anything to do with him.
- In The West Wing, a tense meeting between President Bartlet and Vice-President Hoynes prompts one of these when Hoynes erupts and demands to know why Bartlet always treats him poorly. He's not prepared for Bartlet to bluntly reveal the answer:
Hoynes: What did I ever do to you? Where, in our past, what did I do to make you treat me this way? What did I ever do to you except deliver the South?
Bartlet: You shouldn't have made me beg, John. I was asking you to be Vice President.
Hoynes: [Slightly taken aback] Due respect Mr. President, you had just kicked my ass in the primary. I'm fifteen years younger than you. I have my career to think of.
Bartlet: Then don't stand there and ask the question, John. It weakened me right out of the gate. You shouldn't have made me beg.
- Bartlet himself gets one from his middle daughter Ellie during an argument after Ellie approaches reporters with a statement in support of her godmother, the Surgeon-General, who has made some politically inconvenient statements about the benefits of marijuana that make it likely that the President will have to fire her. Bartlet furiously accuses Ellie of doing it deliberately to spite him, and when she denies it, he shouts "Well, you certainly didn't do it to make me happy!" This prompts the normally shy and nervous Ellie to bitterly snap back "I don't know how to make you happy, Dad, for that you have to talk to Zoey and Liz [Ellie's sisters]." This clearly touches a nerve with Bartlet.
- A religious talk show host attempts to quote Leviticus at the president to justify her calling homosexuality an "abomination." Bartlett proceeds to cite several Bible verses which state religious laws that are no longer practiced (selling a daughter into slavery, working on the Sabbath being punishable by death, etc.) before concluding with this.
- Bartlet's on the receiving end of one from Will Bailey during the build-up to a State of the Union address, which is coinciding with an outbreak of ethnic cleansing in a Rwanda-like nation in Africa that his administration is dragging its feet on dealing with. Having stopped by Will's office to discuss the State of the Union with him, Bartlet's thoughts drift to the ethnic cleansing, and he rhetorically asks why it seems like a genocide in Europe (or a similarly 'white' area) seems more important to him and his government than one occurring in Africa. He's not prepared for Bailey to bluntly reply "I don't know, sir, but it is."
- In one episode, Dr. Abbey Bartlett is frustrated by the prospect of temporarily losing her medical license for covering up the President's MS by giving him secret injections of drugs. During her birthday party, she slips away with C.J., Donna, and Amy to have a few drinks and share some girl talk. Amy and C.J. point out that license or no license, Abbey's still done incredible work for women, holds a position of power (First Lady) that will allow her to continue to do so, and will eventually be able to practice again, so what's the big deal? Abbey replies that for all of that, she's still a doctor, and losing her license hurts—and that's when Donna remarks "Oh, Mrs. Bartlett, for crying out loud, you were also a doctor when your husband said 'Give me the drugs and don't tell anybody,' and you said 'Okay.'" The room goes completely silent, but it does help Abbey realize the scope of what she did, and prompts her to voluntarily give up her license for the remainder of her time in the White House.
- In the Frasier episode "Frasier's Edge", Frasier ends up giving one to himself. Frasier's mentor, Dr. Tewksbury, is trying to help him through a crisis of confidence, and advises him to diagnose himself as if he were a caller on his own show. Frasier tries to stall by bringing up numerous exercises, but Tewksbury pushes him to deal with his feelings. Finally, Frasier breaks down:
Frasier: But I don't know what he wants!Dr. Tewksbury: Then why do you keep trying to bury him in psychiatric exercises?Frasier: Because that's all I have![long pause, Tewksbury looks at him sadly]Frasier (whispering): ...I'm sorry, caller. I can't help you.
- Castle: In the fourth season finale "Always", Castle, unable to convince Beckett to give up her obsession with her mother's murder, announced that he was done with her, and never wanted to see her again. After Beckett's Love Epiphany, she showed up at Castle's door.
Castle (coldly): Beckett, what do you want?
Beckett: You. (Cue The Big Damn Kiss)
- ER. Doug Ross blasts his abusive father for his hellish childhood and cites that he now embodies his worst traits, declaring, "I'm you". His father's response?
- Star Trek: The Next Generation:
Geordi: No, the first thing I did was...wait a minute...
- In "The Mind's Eye", Geordi was traveling to Risa when he is abducted and brainwashed into a Manchurian Agent by the Romulans, who implant false memories of Risa to cover up his torture. In the end, Troi tries to help Geordi piece together everything that happened by asking what his last memory was prior to the abduction. Geordi's response about the Romulan ship comes out almost automatically, as if he didn't even have to think about it. And it's at complete odds with his implanted memories, and is the first step toward unraveling what was done to him.
Shelby: All you know how to do is play it safe. I suppose that's why someone like you sits in the shadow of a great man for as long as you have, passing up one command after another.Riker: When it comes to this ship and this crew, you're damned right I play it safe.Shelby: If you can't make the big decisions, Commander, I suggest you make room for someone who can.
- In "The Best of Both Worlds: Part I", Riker finds himself at odds with Lt. Cmdr. Shelby, who's leading Starfleet's recently-established Borg research division. The two finally come to blows when Shelby tells Riker that his extreme caution has been holding back not just himself, but other aspiring officers seeking the same sort of prestigious positions he currently holds.
- In the Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall", Sherlock's response to convinces Moriarty that they're not so different and that Sherlock is a worthy opponent, willing to do whatever it takes to defeat him:
Moriarty: Nah. You talk big. Nah. You're ordinary. You're ordinary, you're on the side of the angels.
Sherlock: Oh, I may be on the side of the angels. But don't think for one second that I am one of them.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- In the episode 'Heart of Stone', the B-plot is about the Ferengi teenager Nog seeking Captain Sisko's help to become the first Ferengi in Starfleet. Sisko can't possibly work out why Nog would want to pursue a career with no potential for profit in it (Ferengi culture revolving around making profit above all else) and after testing Nog's determination while he tries to work out what Nog's scheme is, he eventually confronts the boy and asks him straight up why it's so important for him to get into Starfleet. Nog's angry, almost tearful answer shocks him to the bone: "Because I don't want to end up like my father!", a man who could have been at the top of his field as an engineer but followed cultural expectations and went into business (which he has no skill at) instead.
- In "Taking to the Wind", Damar learns that his wife and children have been executed by the Dominion as punishment for his leading the Cardassian rebellion. He angrily asks what kind of people could give such orders. Kira darkly asks "Yeah, Damar, what kind of people?", reminding him that, during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, people like him gave those orders on a daily basis. Damar is shocked and horrified to realize he was once such a monster.
- In the final episode of Malcolm in the Middle, when Malcolm finds out that Lois has planned out his entire future for him, up to and becoming president of the United States:
- In the season finale of Spaced, Tim and Daisy argue about Tim's decision to get back together with his ex-girlfriend Sarah, interspersed with cutaway shots of a game of Tekken:
Tim: I think I am big enough and ugly enough to make my own mistakes!
Daisy: Well, Sarah obviously does!
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: At the end of "Mistaken Identity", Carlton gets into an argument with Will over whether or not the cops that arrested them were targeting them for being black. As Carlton tries to deny Will's thoughts, he asks his father a Trial Balloon Question whose answer begins to shatter his optimism.
Carlton: If you were a policeman, and you saw a car driving 2 miles an hour, wouldn't you stop him?Phil: I asked myself that question the first time I was stopped.
- Full House: In "Silence is Not Golden", Stephanie befriends a boy named Charles, who begs her not to tell anyone that his father beats him. When Jesse badgers her on what's wrong, she reluctantly tells him and makes him promise to keep it a secret. The next week, however, Jesse tells her that he called the authorities and that Charles has been placed into a foster home, leaving her distraught.
Stephanie: They took him away from his home?! I never should have told you! Now he's going to hate me! This is all your fault!Jesse: Stephanie, knock it off! It's not my fault, and it's not your fault. We weren't the ones hurting Charles.Stephanie: Then why did they have to take him out of his house?Jesse: They had to! He wasn't safe there!
- An episode of Sex and the City has Charlotte fretting over how Harry hasn't proposed to her yet, ending in her blowing up at him about it. His response - which is delivered in a cold, flat tone very unlike his usual boisterousness - leaves her, in the words of Carrie's narration, "on mute."
Charlotte: Do you know how lucky you are to have me? Do you know how we look? Do you know what people out there think when they see us together? Do you?Harry: Yeah. I know what people are thinking. I just didn't think you were one of them.
- In Switched, Kaga and Ayumi meet with Ukon, who tells them that Koshiro is planning to kill them both and that she got this information from the parakeet, who is really a human in a bird's body. They don't believe her until Kaga says "That's a load of crap," to which comes the response: when the parakeet says "It is not a load of crap," proving that he really is a human in a parakeet body.
- The Big Bang Theory: In "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation", the boys attempt to bring Sheldon home from Texas, but Sheldon refuses, declaring he'll spend the rest of his days in Texas trying to teach evolution to creationists, leading to an amusing confrontation with his mother.
Mary: You watch your mouth, Shelly. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.
Sheldon: Evolution isn't an opinion, it's fact.
Mary: And that is your opinion.
Sheldon: (stares at his mother, then turns to the boys) I forgive you, let's go home.
- In "Nandemo Iukoto Wo Kiite Kureru Akane-Chan", Yukari's trust in her Yes-Woman friend Akane is shattered when Akane delivers this in response to Yukari's Sore Loser rant: (translated)
Yukari: I'll send them all to hell to repent 5 quadrillion times! So, what do you think, Akane-chan?!
Akane: Sounds stupid.
Yukari: EEEEEEEHHHHHHHH?? EEEEEEEHHHHHHHH?? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...
Akane: Why don't you quit this game?
- Played for Laughs in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when the great computer Deep Thought, after 7.5 million years of intense computation, declares that the Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is "42," making the questioners realize that they never bothered to properly formulate what the Question actually was.
- In The Bible, Jesus is just as adept at this as he is with the Armor-Piercing Question. In one well-known (and oft-misquoted) example, the Pharisees try to trap him by asking "Should we pay taxes to Caesar?" (If he says no, they've got him for insubordination to the Romans; if he says yes, it weakens his standing among his followers by supporting the Roman occupation.) He asks whose image is on the coin, to which they of course answer Ceasar. He then calls them on their hypocrisy with the famous response: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." The Pharisees, being religious scholars, certainly would have caught the reference to the book of Genesis, in which man was created in God's image.
- On another occasion, a woman accused of adultery is dragged before him, and her accusers challenge him on whether she should be stoned, hoping to catch him out whether he agreed or disagreed. His response: "Let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her," calling out their hypocrisy. All of them leave in shame, and the woman is saved and pardoned by Jesus.
- In Hooters, Ricky and Ronda are stuck outside on the beach after Ricky's attempts to seduce Ronda's friend Cheryl backfire and she ends up bedding his friend Clint instead. Irritated by the whole thing, Ricky takes out his frustrations on Ronda, and after finding out that she dropped out of college, decides to badger her to learn why, until she finally screams at him that her father had a stroke. That shuts him up for a few minutes.
- In A Little Night Music, Cool Old Lady and Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire Madame Armfeldt spends pretty much the entire musical decrying the whole idea of love, marriage, and relationships, arguing that it's all a ruse that distracts people from achieving wealth and status. Towards the end of the play, she asks her granddaughter Fredrika a question about why people still bother pursuing love: "Will you tell me what it's all for?" After a moment, Fredrika replies that while love is incredibly messy and painful, "it must be worth it," because "it's all there is, isn't it?" She goes on, remarking that believing in something greater makes life worth living: "I know it's often discouraging, and to hope for something too much is childish...because what you want so rarely happens..." This stuns the usually quick-snarking Madame Armfeldt into silence, and makes her confess that while she's acquired huge sums and a massive house full of expensive things, she still remembers the first boy who ever cared for her and might have missed out on something truly valuable in her denial of love.
- Dear Evan Hansen: After Heidi finds out about Evan's occasional visits to the Murphys instead of Jared's, Evan yells to Heidi that he thinks he's nothing more than a burden to her life. She ends up going ballistic, arguing that he is the only and one good thing in her life, and sarcastically apologizes for not doing her best for him. Evan then venomously remarks that it's not his fault that other people can. This leads into "Good for You", as Heidi ends up being in bitter acceptance of Evan choosing the Murphy family over her.
- In Danganronpa's fourth case, Byakuya is visibly shaken by his own being wrong about the culprit, and he demands to know how Makoto was able to solve the case when he couldn't. Kyoko steps in to answer.
Kyoko: You still haven't realized? We don't all act according to calculations and cost-benefit diagrams. That's what makes us so complicated. That's what you don't understand, and that's why you couldn't solve this case.Byakuya: Gh-!Kyoko: See? Didn't I tell you? When you dismiss other people's feelings, it'll always come back to bite you in the end.
- Katawa Shoujo: Rin answers a question from Hisao, leading him to realise something worrying about himself:
Hisao: Remember that sketch you made of me? How you said I looked grim and gloomy or something? I'd like to know what you meant by that.Rin: Well, you see... We've known each other for two weeks and I've haven't seen you smile even once.
- World of Warcraft: In the short story "Cut Short", when Gelbin Mekkatorque tells his Evil Former Friend Sicco Thermaplugg that his designs had severe flaws that Gelbin worked out, while allowing Sicco to take the credit, prompting Sicco to ask Gelbin why he would do so. Gelbin's answer gives Sicco pause for a moment, before he declares that the gnomes should be using their superior weapons to conquer the world.
Sicco: What? Lies! If my work was so shoddy, then why let me take credit for the guns?Gelbin: Because you were my friend.
- In Beyond the Dark Portal, Khadgar calls Alleria out on her growing recklessness and obsession with revenge, which endangers her life and causes problems for her relationship with Turalyon. She then asks why he cares what she does with her life, and he says "I care because I don't get to choose!" Alleria falls silent, then Khadgar explains that because romance is out of the question for him, a prematurely old man, he doesn't want her to waste her life or Turalyon's love.
- Mortal Kombat X gives us this gem, courtesy of Mileena and Johnny Cage.
Mileena: Repulsive human!
Johnny Cage: Sleeping with Baraka's repulsive.
Mileena: WHO TOLD YOU THIS?!
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, as Marche tries to restore the world of Ivalice to normal, one of those opposing him is his younger brother Doned, who suffers from an illness that requires him to use a wheelchair, take medicine every day and go to the hospital regularly, but is fully healthy and mobile in this world. During Marche's final confrontation with Doned, Doned tells Marche about everything he's gained since coming to Ivalice, leading to the following exchange, at which point Marche drives home that Doned receives more of their parents' attention because of his condition, which Marche had to live with, and which Doned ultimately took for granted.
Doned: What then? What don't you have!? Don't tell me you want more!Marche: (angrily) I never said I "wanted" anything! I gave all the "I wants" and the "I don't wants" to you!
- In the Overwatch short "Dragons", Hanzo has just discovered that his brother Genji, who he thought he had killed in a dispute years before, is still alive in the form of a Cyber Ninja. As Genji is leaving, having told Hanzo that he forgives him and that Hanzo needs to take a side in the change approaching their world, Hanzo angrily berates his brother for thinking they can just reconcile so easily (the circumstances echo a story their father told them about two dragon brothers), only to be stunned by Genji' response:
Hanzo: Real life is not like the stories our father told us! You are a fool for believing it so!Genji: Perhaps I am a fool to think there is still hope for you. But I do.
- The Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II can give one to Master Atris. For their entire encounter Atris berates the Exile for leaving to fight in the Mandalorian wars when the Jedi Council forbid it, and accusing them of falling to the dark side. Regardless of how untrue that might be. The Exile can defend their own actions, while calling the Council and her out, without a single aggressive or threatening line.
Exile: Our teachings do not mean we should stand by and watch others die.Atris: There was no guarantee that marching to war would have saved the Outer Rim. In fact, quite the opposite.Exile: We could have waited, but defeating the Mandalorians after they had won would have been difficult.Atris: There are victories other than physical ones: the real victory lay in th-Exile: The triumph of the Jedi teachings is a cold thing when there is no one left alive to appreciate them.Atris: You do not kno-Exile: You are correct- I do not know. And neither do you.Atris: (Enraged) How dare you? The Mandalorian Wars should have been your grave and Malachor V is where you should have died!Exile: Your anger... is it because you secretly wish you'd had the strength to follow me to war?Atris: (Flustered) What? What do you mean?Exile: I can see it in you - you wanted to fight by my side, but you were too scared to defy the Council.
- Injustice 2: Right when Wonder Woman was about to kill Cheetah, Harley intervenes, reminding her of Batman's no-killing rule. This exchange follows:
Wonder Woman: You lecture me? How much blood is on your ledger, Quinn?
Harley: Oh, buckets full, honey. I was tryin' too hard to impress the wrong guy. Kinda like you and Superman.
- The Elder Scrolls Online, struggling against the usual trend of MMOs, has a quest in Glenumbra surrounding a complicated tragedy involving a forbidden love, an illicit child, an overbearing mother, and finally a wrathful ghost. At one point, a mysterious, superior character offers to help the Vestige summon the ghost, but first demands, speaking as the voice of the devs, that you answer a few questions to prove that you were paying attention, about the names of the characters, the memento at the heart of things, and finally the ghost's motivation, berating the Vestige and sending you on an extra trip if you give an incorrect answer. Unless you say that the ghost was motivated not by revenge, but love for her child, in which case the stranger nearly has a stroke before admitting he hadn't even thought of it.
- In Catherine, Vincent can do this to Archie in the nightmares, after Archie has discussed his burnout over his womanizing lifestyle, Death Seeker tendencies and admitted that he just wants a normal life.
Vincent: See? You want to live.
- In the season finale of Camp Camp, David does this in reply to Max's Breaking Speech. When Max demands to know why David doesn't just stop caring about Camp Campbell, David gives a short speech that culminates in this line.
David: Because somebody fucking has to.
- In the season 12 finale of Red vs. Blue, it looks like Felix has Tucker dead for rights and decides to give a long and drawn out speech on how he and his cohorts had been playing them for fools and why he's better than them, culminating in this:
Felix If I'm stronger than you and if I'm faster than you, then I can kill you. And that's worth more than anything money can buy.
Tucker: I don't know, I think I'd rather be rich than a fucking nut job. What do you, think Church?
Church: (appears) Yeah.
Felix: What the fuck is that!?
Tucker: This is Church. He's an A.I. who helps me run my equipment.
Felix: What equipment!?
Tucker: My helmet cam.
- Mostly Played for Laughs but this happens in this Schlock Mercenary comic :
The Captain is grilling his ship's AI for disobeying a direct order and taking actions on his own "because it was the right thing to do"
Captain Tagon: The right thing to do at the time? You're acting like I'm paying you to think!
Ennesby: Technically, you don't pay me. And technically, most of what I do is "think".
Tagon: I...rrr... umm.
Ennesby: And when you get down to it, I'm better at it than you are.
- In Girl Genius this little argument between father and son :
Klaus : Do you know that every single woman I've ever known who had the spark has tried to kill me? They're dangerous!Gil : Father - maybe it's you.
- In Cucumber Quest, Cucumber and Almond get into an argument about an earlier confrontation with the Nightmare Knight that almost ended in disaster.
Almond: You're blaming me?
Almond: You're saying it's my fault he attacked us? Is THAT it?!
Cucumber: Almond, calm down—
Almond: Shut up! I guess EVERYTHING is just MY fault, huh?!
Cucumber: Yeah. I guess so. If you hadn't treated this like a game back when we had the chance to prevent it, we wouldn't even be here at all, so, yeah. I guess it is your fault.
- In El Goonish Shive, Adrian Raven's mother brushes off most of his angry criticism toward her behavior, but when he responds to her justifying Revenge by Proxy on werewolves over one killing his father by calmly stating "Father would hate what you've become", Pandora immediately falls silent and leaves a moment later, realizing that everything her son criticized her for is right.
- In Worm, Interlude 27b
- The question: Why do Endbringers exist? Why do they attack?
- In Lovely Little Losers, when Peter tells Costa that he slept with Jaquie, hoping to get himself kicked out of Doctor Faustus, Costa's response disarms him, both figuratively and literally.
Costa: I forgive you.
- In Jacksepticeye's Pants On Fire video, Felix, administering Jack's lie detector test, asks Jack if he thinks he's a better Youtuber than him. Jack responds 'no', which is flagged as a lie. Before shoving a cream pie in Jack's face as punishment for lying, Felix decides to interrogate him first:
Felix: Oh wow, what is it? What, you think 'cause you have green hair, you're better than me?
Jack: (deadpan) I didn't turn off the comments [on my Youtube videos].
(Felix stares at the camera in stunned disbelief for a couple seconds before wordlessly shoving the pie into Jack's face)
- Justice League Unlimited:
- When Batman confronts Amanda Waller about Project Cadmus, she breaks it down to him just how exactly the world governments feel about an army of metahumans and their downward-pointing Kill Sat. Batman is so staggered by this answer, he even forgets to do his usual Stealth Hi/Bye shtick.
- Justice League Batman argues with Justice Lord Batman, his alternate universe Knight Templar counterpart, calling him out on being a tyrannical and oppressive dictator. Lord Batman points out that under said dictatorship, no eight-year-old boy ever has to fear seeing his parents gunned down in an alley. League Batman immediately drops his Batarang and sadly declares "You win".
- Justice League Batman gets back at Justice Lord Batman later. When a man is arrested for pretty much complaining about his restaurant bill, the former sarcastically points out that Mom and Dad would be proud of him for what he has helped create.
- General Wade Eiling takes a Super Soldier serum and mutates into a Hulk expy so he can publicly defeat Superman. To provoke Superman into appearing, Eiling attacks a parade headed by Justice League Badass Normals while ranting about how superheroes are unbalancing the world and superpowered beings are a menace. The parade's audience stand up to defend the heroes and point out to Eiling that he's the only one present with any superpowers. Eiling concedes that he's become everything he hated and leaves.
- Another Batman-related example in Young Justice, when Batman reveals that he knew long before the rest of the Justice League that Captain Marvel was really a 10-year-old kid.
Wonder Woman: I shouldn't be surprised, considering you indoctrinated Robin into crimefighting at the ripe old age of nine.
Batman: Robin needed to bring the man who murdered his parents to justice.
Wonder Woman: So he could turn out like you?
Batman: (somberly) ... So that he wouldn't.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: This exchange that exposes the villain's Evil Plan in "A Canterlot Wedding":
Impostor!Cadance/Chrysalis: Why does she have to ruin my special day?
Cadance: Because it's not your day! it's mine!
- Steven Universe:
Steven: Everything I do shoves me finally towards the end! The more I know, the more I know that I don't know! I can't live like this! Why did you tell me about future vision? What's going to happen to me on the roof?
- In "Future Vision", after Garnet explains the eponymous power, Steven becomes terrified of what the future has in store for him. Garnet assures him that while she can't be around to protect him all the time, he's still in control, and that he shouldn't go onto the roof, no matter what. He defies her advice, goes up to the roof (in the middle of a thunderstorm), and resigns himself to whatever comes next. When Garnet tries to convince him to come down, he refuses:
Steven: Wh... what?
Garnet: I knew you might do this if I told you about my power. I saw this, and I told you anyway.
Steven: But... Why?!
Garnet: I took a risk at your expense! There was a chance you'd understand it so we'd be closer! (takes off glasses) Steven, I see so many things that can hurt you! I should never have let one of them been me!Peridot: I won't do it! I can tell you with certainty that there are things on this planet worth protecting!Yellow Diamond: What do you know about the Earth?!Peridot: APPARENTLY MORE THAN YOU, YOU...YOU CLOD!!Yellow Diamond: (Face contorts in pure rage)
Steven: I am a child. What's your excuse?
- In "Change Your Mind", this is what finally brings down White Diamond. When she suffers a Villainous Breakdown and throws a tantrum, slamming her fists on the ground and spitting accusations at Steven, including accusing him of acting like a child, Steven's response shocks her so badly she stands down:
- Season Two of Bojack Horseman has this exchange of armor-piercers between Mr. Peanutbutter and Bojack.
PB: All I ever wanted was to be your friend. And you treat me like a big joke. You think I don't notice? Why don't you like me?
Bojack: Mr. Peanutbutter-
PB: No, tell me.
Bojack: Because... I'm jealous.
PB: Oh, of what? Diane?
Bojack: No. Of everything. Everything comes so easy for you.
PB: (Incredulously) Oh, and it doesn't for you? You're a millionaire movie star with a girlfriend who loves you, acting in your dream movie. What more do you want? What else could the universe possibly owe you?
Bojack: I... want to feel good about myself. The way you do. And I don't know how. I don't know if I can. I'm sorry, Mr. Peanutbutter. I can't tell you how sorry I am.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: OPERATION C.A.R.A.M.E.L. tells the origins of what happened between Heinrich Von Marzipan and Numbuh 5 back in Guatemala: When both kids found out how to make a ritual that can produce the Sacred Golden Caramels, Heinrich ended up having to sacrifice his most prized quality, leaving him cursed ever since. When Numbuh 5 tells Heinrich that she kept his last caramel so she could find a way to break the curse, he takes from her in a blind fury, but Numbuh 5 soon tells Heinrich that he has to willingly give away his last caramel so it'll release his trapped quality, but he refuses due to his greedy, candy-hoarding nature, and demands to know:
Heinrich Von Marzipan: WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE YOU?!
Numbuh 5: Because... YOU'RE more important to me than candy.
Heinrich Von Marzipan: (Stunned by Numbuh 5's response) I... I was so beautiful...!
- As it turns out, Heinrich Von Marzipan is actually HENRIETTA Von Marzipan, a very beautiful girl and Numbuh 5's former candy-hunting partner. Henrietta had to sacrifice her beauty in order to create her own Sacred Golden Caramels until she learned that sharing candy is much better than it sounds.
- Also done in OPERATION P.O.O.L. between Numbah 4 and his counterpart in a Bizarro Universe, who rules the world through an iron-fisted regime of fear. It winds up dissolving his entire empire, because nobody is afraid of him anymore once they know the truth:
- The Simpsons: In "Scenes From The Class Struggle In Springfield", Marge tries her best to fit in with the rich socialites of a country club and begins to ostracize her family, snapping at them to just be good (i.e. don't speak your mind, don't talk to anyone, etc). This includes even Maggie. She only realizes what she's become once Homer sadly says:
Homer: You kids should thank your mother. Now that she's a better person, we can see how awful we really are.
- South Park: Kyle gives one to Heidi Turner in "Splatty Tomato" after she mocks Kyle for rejecting his feelings for her and going back to Cartman. Kyle's response makes her realize she's turned into another Cartman. Doubles as a very short Reason You Suck Speech.
Heidi: Oh, what's the matter Kyle? You don't want me around 'cause you had the hots for me and I shot you down?
Kyle: I would never have the hots for the person you are now. (Heidi is stunned by Kyle's answer)