Mrs. Tweedy: It's a pie machine, you idiot. Chickens go in; pies come out.
Mr. Tweedy: Oh, what kind of pies?
Mrs. Tweedy: Apple.
Mr. Tweedy: (excitedly) My favourite!
Mrs. Tweedy: Chicken pies, you great lummox!
... and you'll Get a Stupid Answer.
You know how obnoxious Captain Obvious can be. You just want to yell at them and say, "Any blind idiot can tell what's going on!" But then there are those Captains Obvious who can not only tell what is going on, but ask a stupid question just to verify.
This is not only when that question is asked, but to the frustrated individual this is their chance to strike back with a non-sequitur, either in a Deadpan Snarker retort or full on Mind Screw confusion. A specific variation of Sarcasm Mode.
While examples on this page are of In-Universe instances of this type of exchange, this is certainly a staple of MSTing by pointing out where people are being oblivious to their dialogue (or being repetitive in them). For example: "This is a map to Hammunaptra." "The Hammunaptra?" "No, the one in Jersey."
Of course, if you decide to avert the inevitable sarcastic retort by not seeking explicit confirmation that your friend with the house full of boxes is actually moving, nine times out of ten it will turn out (after a generous helping of Poor Communication Kills) that he is just having the house fumigated.
An attempt to maneuver someone into asking a stupid question for the purpose of delivering a snappy answer is What's a Henway? When the stupid answer is, in fact, correct, it's Don't Be Ridiculous. See Stupid Question Bait for a similar concept.
- In Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, the titular character asks quite the stupid question upon being told that he will be the official playmate to Princess Camille:
Nemo: "Wait a minute. This princess is a girl?"
- Black Lagoon. Revy gets bailed out of a firefight by a Chinese woman with throwing knives and a man driving a Jeep. She immediately asks the man:
Revy: Are you the getaway driver?
Leigharch: No, I'm a fuckin' lawyer! What you do you think?!
- While the overall premise of Bill Engvall's recurring "Here's Your Sign" routine is that stupid people should be issued signs advertising the fact to wear around their necks, his experiences in encountering people who qualify often take this form. For example:
Bill: [to gal at lost luggage counter] Yes, ma'am, you lost my luggage.
Lost luggage clerk: Has your plane landed yet?
Bill: I said, "No, princess, I'm having an out-of-body experience!" [beat] "I was just checkin' on it. Here's your sign."
Random Guy: (points to a buck's head mounted on Bill's wall) "Ya' shoot that deer?"
- And this classic:
Bill: *beat* "Aw, no — he tried to run through the wall and got stuck. Here's your sign."
- In Brian Regan's I Walked on the Moon, during the hospital segment:
Nurse: How are you doing tonight?
Brian: ...I'm on a gurney. You got any painkillers or something? This is killing me.
Nurse: How would you describe your pain?
Brian: ...It's killing me. [beat] I don't know if you remember that part.
- Jeffrey Ross gives a few awesome examples when telling a story about his great aunt (affectionately nicknamed "Aunt Tique"), who passed away at the ripe old age of 104. When he called a cousin to break the news, he got the question "How did she die?!"
Ross: "Uhhhh, her chute didn't open! She was trampled at OzzFest! Her Harley flipped over on the Jersey Turnpike... She scored some bad crack; we found her in Newark... She died in childbirth... *to the audience* You wanna know how she died, for real? She turned 104, whole family got together, we took a vote... and we shot her."
- JLA Classified #2:
Squire: Are you really Batman?
Batman: No, I'm Goldfish man. Can't you tell?
Squire: Oh, it's like that is it.
- Shows up in a few Tintin stories, usually involving Professor Calculus, who is not only deaf but apparently Sarcasm-Blind as well.
Calculus: Tell me, Captain, was that a fish jumping out of the water just now?
Captain Haddock: No, it was a grand piano!
Calculus: Ah, I didn't think it could have been a fish...
- In an early issue of Spider-Man. Betty Brant, the Daily Bugle secretary, asks Peter Parker what his "trade secret" is concerning his photos of Spider-Man. Peter tells her he gets good pictures of Spider-Man because he secretly is Spider-Man. She responds with, "Oh well, ask a silly question..."
- An Archie Comics one-shot featured Moose asking these sorts of questions. It was titled, "D-uh! Really Dumb Questions!" It even featured the classic "What's the number for 911?" line.
Random guy: Actually, I'm not an only child! I have an identical twin brother!
Moose: Really? What does he look like?
- Buck Danny: On seeing Sonny emerge on deck with a hat festooned with hooks and lures, five fishing rods, and a huge basket...
Buck: Is he going fishing, do you think?
Tucker: No, he's going fishing!
Buck: Really! I could have sworn he was going fishing.
- The French comic Agent 212 has the titular beat cop on the scene of a grisly murder. The commissioner tells him to draw a Chalk Outline around the body. The squeamish 212 asks "Who? Me?", the commissioner replies "Yes, you. I'd have asked His Holiness the Pope, but he was busy this morning."
- Welcome to Hoxford has this doozy asked of the criminally-insane Ray Delgado.
Pack Alpha: Are you insane? Oh, right.
- Most likely the earliest example: Rube Goldberg's "Foolish Questions".
Jon: Think we should order pizza tonight?
- When Jon first meets Liz:
Jon: By the way there, doc, what's your name?
Jon: Gee, what a pretty name. Is that short for Elizabeth?
Liz: No. It's short for lizard.
- In another strip:
Jon: Are you going to sleep all day, Garfield?
Garfield: Let me check my social calendar. Let's see... There's high tea with the Queen of England tomorrow, but nothing today. (falls asleep)
Jon: Ask a stupid question...
- An odd example in this exchange:
Garfield: (cue giant face splitting grin)
Jon: That was a stupid question.
Garfield: Ah-ah-ahhh...there are no stupid questions!
- When Jon first meets Liz:
- Don't Some People Ask the Biggest Fool Questions? uses this trope extensively. In one example, Gerald is building a dog house:
Man walking by: Hello, Gerald, building a dog house?
Gerald: No, I'm up in a balloon milking a chicken.
- In the original Thimble Theater comic strip that introduced Breakout Character Popeye, Castor Oyl and Ham Gravy are looking for a sailor who can take them to Dice Island.
Castor: You there! Are you a sailor?
Popeye: Ja t'ink I'm a cowboy?
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series references this:
Thunderstorm: Well, when you ask a bonehead question...
- In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, the lawyer protagonist that his case worker, Lyra Heartstrings, neglected to mention something rather important about herself:
Lyra: "I... should have probably told you a lot shooner, huh?"
- "Dying of the Light": Buffy contacts Giles when she discovers that head Watcher Quentin Travers has betrayed Sunnydale to the demons of the Hellmouth.
Buffy: Quentin's giving the orders, they...
Giles: Hold on! Quentin? Quentin Travers?
Buffy: No, Quentin Tarantino!
- Of Eagle and Lion: McGonagall takes Hermione and Harry to Diagon Alley for their introduction to the wizarding world. The Leaky Cauldron's bartender brings out the professor's snark:
Tom: Another pair of youngens?
McGonagall: No, Tom. I'm training midgets to take over Hogwarts.
- Opheliac: When Sokka asks Azula if she's doing well in the mental facility.
Azula: I'm great. I just love it here in the madhouse, where I'm not allowed to bend and everyone flinches at the sight of me, and where I can't even get a decent cup of tea because I'm supposed to be recovering from some kind of terrible disease of the mind. I'm so glad to be here, where I'm not a menace to society. And that freedom nonsense just wasn't for me anyway.Sokka: I get it. No need for sarcasm. It was just a question.Azula: It was a stupid question. Of course I'm not doing well. Idiot.Sokka: I'm not an idiot. I was trying to be nice.
- The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: John deliberately invokes this trope at the beginning, when the Nigh Invulnerable Paul has just dropped several hundred feet and crashed through the ground into an underground chamber:
John: I know this is a silly question, but are you okay, Macca?Paul: Don't be daft, of course I'm okay.
- None of them suffer fools gladly, as Spectrem found out when he asked a stupid question of George.
- The Power of the Press: Hermione shakes Harry awake shortly after discovering some interesting information.
Hermione: Were you sleeping?
Harry: No, I was examining the insides of my eyelids for defects.
- This Bites!: In Chapter 32, when Commander Drake asks if Vice Admiral Jonathan is alright after a meeting with Cross, Jonathan dryly reminds him that he is a Vice Admiral whereas Cross is a member of a rookie crew and not a terribly strong member at that.
- Through a Looking Glass, Darkly: Jack provides some choice answers.
Jellybean: Did you have that on you the entire time?
Jack: No, I teleported back to the Looking Glass while we were running from the Jabberwock and stole it then.
- Twelve Red Lines has one in Chapter 17:
Kuromarimo: Yo Boss, you want me'n Chess to take care of 'em?Wapol: No, I want you to sit there and have a tea party. Of course I want you to take care of them!
Harry: Sue? You come to watch the game?
Susan: No, Potter, Hermione and I are here to help the elves clean the castle.
- Where In The World Is Harry Potter?:
Dumbledore: Are you threatening me?
Snape: No, I just have my wand pointed at you for you to admire it.
- While the exact answer isn't give, when John in A DIC-less SI asks his magic map (which provides directions to answers for any questions you ask it) how to get Rei pregnant, it apparently tells him to have sex with her. When he clarifies he wants to know how to help Shinji get Rei pregnant, the map tells him to jiggle Shinji's balls while he has sex with Rei.
- Occurs twice in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, both times with the title character talking to Benny the Cab: "Benny, is that you?" "No, it's Eleanor Roosevelt!", and later "No, it's Shirley Temple!"
- From Chicken Run comes the exchange above, when the pie-making machine is first introduced.
- In the movie version of Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who!, Morton shows up to warn Horton about Kangaroo sending Vlad the eagle to snatch the clover, and the following exchange happens:
Horton: I know two Vlads. Is it bad Vlad, or the bunny Vlad that makes the cookies?
Morton: Yeah, Horton, she's sending you a bunny with cookies. I think we can assume it's the bad Vlad!
- Hercules gives us this awkward exchange upon meeting Megara for the first time (who is currently being held up by a centaur):
- In Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Diego fends off gulongs to protect the laboring Ellie
Diego: My paws are burning, baby! They're burning! I got a tip-toe! Tippy-toe! Tippy toe!
Ellie: Excuse me, Twinkle Toes! Giving birth here!
Diego: Oh, right! Sorry. You okay?
Ellie: "Am I okay? Am I okay?!" Do you even know anything about childbirth?!
Diego: Uh... no, not really. But Manny's on his way here right now.
- It's really easy to miss, but in The Incredibles, Helen has just discovered her kids on board the plane. She asks, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You left Jack-Jack alone?!"
Violet: (brightly) Yes, Mom, I am completely stupid. (normal voice) Of course we got a sitter! Do you think I'm completely irresponsible? Thanks a lot!
- Later on, when they are flying in a makeshift rocket that Helen has to hold together:
Bob: How ya doin', honey?
Helen: DO I HAVE TO ANSWER?!
- Later on, when they are flying in a makeshift rocket that Helen has to hold together:
- In Mickey and the Beanstalk, Mickey tries to calm down Donald when the latter is furious that he traded their cow for "magic" beans.
Mickey: If plant these beans in the light of a full moon, you know what'll happen?Donald: Yes, we get more beans!
- In Inside Out, when Anger plants the idea for Riley to run away back to Minnesota, Fear questions how they'll travel.
Anger: Well, why don't we go down to the elephant lot, and rent an elephant?Fear: Hey, that sounds nice.Anger: WE'RE TAKING THE BUS, NITWIT!
- Robin and the Seven Hoods:
Robbo: What's your racket?
Pool Hustler: Brain surgeon.
- In Bruges, Ray invokes this trope in order to pick a fight with an American who's actually Canadian.
American: (eating) It's fucking unbelievable.Ray: (very long beat) What's fucking unbelievable?American: Are you talking to me?Ray: He pauses, even though he should just hit the cunt, and he repeats: Yes! I am talking to you! What's fucking unbelievable?!
- In the comedy film Mean Girls 2...
Mandi: Yes, Chastity, Dirty Dancing. No, down and dirty!
- In the Flemish movie Moscow, Belgium, Matty is calling to her daughter from the bathroom.
Vera: Mom, are you taking a bath?
Matty: No, I'm getting a massage from a big black guy.
- In Back to the Future Part II, when Old Biff's grandson Griff walks in and demands Old Biff, who he calls "Gramps", to finish waxing his car:
Marty: Are you two related?Old Biff: (taps Marty on the head with his cane) Hello?! Hello?! Anybody home?? What, you think Griff just called me Grandpa for his health?!
- Analyze This:
- This exchange:
Paul Vitti: I couldn't get it up last night.
Ben Sobel: You mean sexually?
Paul Vitti: No, I mean for the big game against Michigan State. Of course sexually!
- From the sequel:
Jelly: Can you handle [a gun]?
Ben: What, you mean shoot it?
Jelly: No, twirl it like a fuckin' baton.
- This exchange:
- From Animal House: "You guys playing cards?"
- His Girl Friday:
Reporter: What, Hildy, you still here?
Hildy: No, I'm in Niagara Falls.
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is absolutely riddled with this trope, coming from several characters, though it's a particular speciality of Gay Perry.
- For example, after Harry finds a corpse dumped in his room:
Perry: OK, first thing's first: we gotta move her somewhere. You got gloves?
Harry: Excuse me?
Perry: Gloves, do you have gloves? We have to move her. If it's a frame-up, some asshole's probably calling the cops on you right now. Do this: wrap up the body, in a blanket, a sheet, anything.
Harry: OK, uh... any particular kind of gloves?
Perry: Yes... fawn. Will you fucking hurry?
- And of course:
Perry: My $2000 ceramic Vektor my mother got me as a special gift. You threw in the lake next to the car. What happens when they dredge the lake? You think they'll find my pistol? Jesus. Look up "idiot" in the dictionary. You know what you'll find?
Harry: A picture of me?
Perry: No! The definition of the word idiot, which you fucking are!
- For example, after Harry finds a corpse dumped in his room:
- In Jingle All the Way:
Fake Santa: That'll be 300.
Fake Santa: No, chocolate kisses. Yes, dollars!
- In Splash, Freddie informs Allen that they would be attending a dinner with the President.
Allen Bauer: The president of what?
Freddie Bauer: The president of the Three Stooges fan club. The President of the United States!
- Die Hard:
- In Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane stops a truck.
McClane: You're a truck driver?
Jerry Parks: No, I'm a beautician. Of course I'm a truck driver!
- In Live Free or Die Hard, John McClane pulls off a particularly badass stunt to throw off his pursuers while protecting Matt Farrell
Farrell: Did you see that!?
McClane: Yeah, I saw it; I did it!
- In Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane stops a truck.
- The Dude of The Big Lebowski is a master of this.
Treehorn's Thug: (holding a bowling ball) What the fuck is this?
The Dude: Obviously, you're not a golfer.
- A conversation about Dottie's husband in A League of Their Own:
Jimmy Dugan: Does he know how good you are?
Dottie Hinson: Bob?
Jimmy Dugan: No, Hitler. Yes, Bob.
- Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels has several due to most of the characters being deadpan snarkers, including the following.
Eddie: They're armed.
Soap: What was that? Armed? What do you mean armed? Armed with what?
Eddie: Err, bad breath, colorful language, feather duster... what do you think they're gonna be armed with? Guns, you tit!
- In Superman II, Lex Luthor gets one after offering General Zod the means to locate the son of Jor-El:
Zod: Jor-El? Our Jailer?
Luthor: No, (in a silly accent) Jor-El, the baseball player... (going back to normal voice when he realizes the evil Kryptonians have no sense of humor) Yes, Jor-El, your jailer.
- In Alien, Kane wakes up after he has just spent the last several hours in a coma with an alien creature on his face.
Parker: How are you doing?
Kane: Terrific. Next silly question.
- Part of the delight of the film is the witty banter.
Earl: You ever seen anything like this before? note
Val: Oh, sure Earl, everybody knows about 'em, we just didn't tell you!
- And when Earl asks Bert what he uses cannon fuse for...
Bert: [in Captain Obvious tone] My cannon.
- Part of the delight of the film is the witty banter.
Jean: This is the first time we've seen each other in God knows how many years.
Cissy: (gasps) Is it really that long? God, how time flies. (realization) You're joking.
- In V for Vendetta, When Evey first meets V she asks him who he is, to which he comments:
V: "Who" is but the form, following the function of "what", and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey: Well, I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation. I am merely commenting on the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
- The Full Monty: Gaz asks his friend Dave to borrow a jacket for a funeral from the store where he works:
Dave: What colour?
Gaz: Black! For fucks sake.
- In Eve of Destruction, a counter-terrorist expert Jim McQuade is recruited by a scientist to hunt down a nuclear-armed android. At one point the scientist asks McQuade what his speciality is. Before telling his military credentials, McQuade snarks, "My speciality is a spinach lasagna in a tomato-basil sauce."
- Under Siege 2: Dark Territory: When Travis Dane and his mercenaries interrupt the two lovebird officials they need to interrogate to activate the Kill Sat, Dane mocks them for their office romance, leading to this:
David Trilling: Is that what this is about?
Travis Dane: Ugh, yeah, right! I, uh... faked my own death and hijacked a passenger train because I care about who you're fucking! No, I was just wondering what other rules you might be willing to break.
- There's one in the opening minutes of Avengers: Age of Ultron, though the tone is more resigned dread than sarcastic.
HYDRA Mook: It's the Avengers!
Baron Strucker: Can we hold them?
HYDRA Mook: Sir... it's the Avengers.
- In Freddy vs. Jason, as the main characters run screaming from the house after Jason's first attack, Deputy Stubbs pulls up:
Stubbs: You kids need some assistance?Gibb: (thrusting her blood-soaked hands in his face) WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK!?
- In Gung Ho: "Want some ice cream? Haagen-Dazs!" "Eat shit and die." (Beat) "Are you having your period?" "STOP THE CAR!"
- Mad Max: Fury Road: after one of the Wives has just been shot in the leg. Unlike most examples, the questioner quips back.
Furiosa: How does it feel?Angharad: It hurts.Furiosa: Out here, everything hurts.
- In Ex Machina, Nathan and Caleb discuss Ava's programming as a female android;
Nathan: Caleb, what's your type?
Caleb: Of girl?
Nathan: No, salad dressing!
- In Short Circuit, Stephanie does this when she tries to convince Newton that Number 5 nearly drove her food truck off a cliff.
Newton: Are you sure you didn't do any steering or anything?Stephanie: Yeah, I like to drive off cliffs.
- Reservoir Dogs: When Mr. White badgers "Nice Guy" Eddie to get some medical help for Mr. Orange.
Eddie: I will call someone.
White: Who are you gonna call?
Eddie: A fucking snake charmer! Who do you think? I'll call a doctor.
- In Mrs. Doubtfire after Chris and Lydia discover that their new nanny is their father in disguise.
Lydia Hillard: Dad?
Daniel Hillard: Yeah, honey.
Chris Hillard: You don't actually like wearing that stuff, do you, Dad?
Daniel Hillard: Well, some of it's comfortable. No! It's a pain in the padded ass!
- In Cockneys vs. Zombies, Katy looks over a garden fence and spots yet another zombie herd in the group's path:
Katy: Fuck.One of the brothers: What? What is it?Katy: Leprechauns, what'd you think?
- Whale Rider: Variant. Pai's grandfather refuses to let her take part in the trials to become the next chief because she's a girl. The last trial is to retrieve a whale-tooth necklace that he threw into the deepest part of the bay, and none of the boys can do it. Pai does so but doesn't tell anyone, and instead saves the beached whales (mimicking the actions of her legendary ancestor) but lapses into a coma due to the effort. Her grandmother finds the necklace on her, and gives it to her husband.
Grandfather: Which one?
Grandmother: What do you mean, which one!?
- Snatch.: Bullet-Tooth Tony gets a few of these during the film.
Tony: Boris the Blade? As in, 'Boris the Bullet-Dodger'?
Avi: ...Why do they call him the 'Bullet-Dodger'?
Tony: ...Because he dodges bullets, Avi.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Zaphod is asked if he's THE Zaphod Beeblebrox. "No, just a Zaphod Beeblebrox. Haven't you heard, we come in six packs?".
- Zaphod does this a lot.
Receptionist: But sir, I umm, it was on the sub-ether radio this morning, er... it... er... said you were dead.
Zaphod: Yeah, that's right, I just haven't stopped moving yet.
- He's on the receiving end at one point:
Marvin: I'm in the car park.
Zaphod: The car park? What are you doing there?
Marvin: Parking cars, what else does one do in a car park?
- And one from the TV series:
Ford: I don't believe you.
Zaphod: Why not?
Ford: You tend to lie a lot.
- Animorphs, during a time-travel scenario involving George Washington crossing the Delaware:
Rachel: No way. George Washington?
Marco: Jake, tell her, "No, Guido Washington."
Jake: Marco would like me to pass along a sarcastic remark.
- In Magic Strikes, Kate Daniels is in a strange kitchen trying to make coffee, only someone has rearranged all the labels on the containers so she can't find anything.
"Looking for something?" Dali came up from the hallway.
"No, I'm dancing the can-can." Ask a dumb question...
Dali blinked at me. "Would you mind making coffee while you're dancing? I smell it on the bottom shelf, either first or second jar on the left."
- Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds: Sherlock Holmes tells Dr. Watson how one of the invading machines was going after him. Watson exclaims "And you escaped!", to which Holmes replies "No, Watson. I was caught and killed by the machines."
- Welkin Weasels: Heastward Ho!
"Catching up on our reading, are we?"
"No, I'm trying to burn a hole through paper with my retina."
- In the Agatha Christie novel Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, a boy comes across a scene with a wrecked car whose front-end is smashed into a stone wall with an injured woman hanging halfway out of the car. The boy asks, "Has there been an accident?" prompting another character to say, "No, the lady ran her car into the wall on purpose." Though as a matter of fact, the lady did run her car into the wall on purpose.
- The Dark Tower book Wizard and Glass has Eldred Jones ask his second-in-command how many of their men are armed. The second asks, "With guns?" prompting Jones to reply, "No, with pea-blowers, you damned fool."
Man: What does it look like?
- Referenced but averted in the Discworld short story "The Sea and Little Fishes". When Granny Weatherwax is trying to be "nice", Nanny is surprised to see her looking at a pink cardigan. Nanny's reaction is "You're not going to wear that, are you?" She would have been reassured to get the reply "No, I'm going to eat it, you daft old fool", but instead Granny just says "You don't think it would suit me?"
- In Men at Arms, the first biological dwarf in the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch, Constable Cuddy, keeps getting asked by incredulous citizens "Are you a dwarf?" He has snarky replies like "It's the nose, isn't it?" and "Are you a giant?"
- And subverted in The Truth. When William asks the man holding a tray of bread loaves whether or not he's the baker:
William: I can see what it looks like. I'm still asking the question.
Man: I'm the butcher, as it happens. Well done. The baker's off sick.
- From Rivers of London, when Peter compares magic to jazz:
Peter: You know how jazz is all about improvising on a melody?
Lesley: No, I thought it was when you sang about cheese and tying up people's gaiters.
- In The Adventures of Pinocchio, Antonio the carpenter (AKA Maestro Cherry) has just fallen to the floor in shock after hearing a piece of wood talk when Gepetto comes in.
"Good day, Maestro Antonio," said Geppetto. "What are you doing on the floor?"
"I am teaching the ants their A B C's."
"Good luck to you!"
"What brought you here, friend Geppetto?"
- Averted in Why Is Snot Green?. Most questions are given serious answers.
- From a Buick 8: the following conversation between Tony Schoondist and George, when the former orders the latter to get a pair of gerbils plus a cage so they can test if being inside the eponymous Buick is dangerous:
George: Should I get them some food, too?Tony: Absolutely not. We're going to buy a couple of gerbils and then let them starve to death out in the shed.George: Really? That seems sort of mean to-Tony: Get them food George, yes.
- Journey to Chaos: Eric is teaching Kasile magecraft and asks if she is comfortable learning the fireball spell. He does this when they are in her room which is festooned with fire imagery that references her fire goddess heritage. Kasile just stares at him, prompting him to reference the trope, Right . . . Stupid question.
- In Hawk, Vlad asks "Is that it?" when Daymar delivers the promised thorn-hawk egg. Daymar snarks back that, no, the small brown egg is a life-sized wooden carving of a dragon. Vlad is floored by the realization that Literal-Minded Daymar has told a joke, even if it's a bad one.
- Lampshaded in Wolf Hall.
Cromwell: William Brereton, good day. You are not in Cheshire?Brereton: Yes. Despite appearances, I am.Cromwell: (to himself) I asked for that.
- This later becomes a Running Gag, where "bilocation" becomes a bit of a code-word, referring to male courtiers who are shirking their duties at home to hang around with Anne Boleyn. In the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, this joke takes a much darker turn when Cromwell uses it as evidence of Anne's infidelity.
- Two popular Jewish Russian jokes:
- An old Jewish guy runs through the station, trying to catch his train, but the train drives off before his eyes. "Ha, you missed your train?" some laughing idiot asks him. "No," he says, "I chased him away."
- An old Jewish guy tries to cross a frozen lake, but suddenly collapses into the ice. At that moment, a wise guy walks by the banks and shouts, "Hey, you! Did you fall through the ice?" "No!" says the old guy, "I went for a swim, but then winter surprised me."
- This one:
A guy comes home and sees his wife naked in a messed bedroom. The guy quickly puts two and two together and starts running around looking for the wife's lover. He looks under the bed, then in one closet, then in another one...
"Oops! What are you doing here nude, man?!"
"Waiting for a bus, sir."
"What a silly thing to say."
"What a silly thing to ask!"
- A variation.
A guy comes home earlier and catches his wife having sex with their neighbour.
"Er—what are you two doing??"
The wife sighs. "Didn't I tell you he's an idiot?"
- A soldier who was just shot in the stomach is asked "Does it hurt?" He responds: "Only when I laugh." This joke exists in many variations, and the punchline became a well-known phrase.
- Mad Magazine's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, segment, created by Al Jaffee, is the Trope Codifier and may very well be the Trope Namer:
Man 1: Is this the end of the line?
Man 2: (at the end of a ticket line): No, this is the beginning! We're all facing backwards.
(Wife sees Husband come inside soaking wet)
Wife: Is it raining out?
Husband: No, it's hot out and I'm sweating!
- The song "Foolish Questions".
- The Bill Engvall song "Here's Your Sign".
- A variation is used in the Tom Lehrer song New Math, in which he tries to teach the audience how to solve 342-173... in base 8. While Lehrer treats the audience's hypothetical confusion over one of the steps as a case of this trope, the convoluted explanation is meant to illustrate how bizarre new math is.
Tom Lehrer: (singing) Now instead of four in the eights place/You've got three/'Cause you added one/That is to say, eight, to the two/But you can't take seven from three/So you look at the sixty-fours. (spoken) "Sixty-four? How did sixty-four get into it?" I hear you cry. Well, sixty-four is eight squared, don't you see? *beat* Well, you ask a silly question, and you get a silly answer.
- Given the nature of the internet, you can expect this to happen in many forums or sites.
- Quite a lot of interview segments will have wrestlers, usually heels, insult or intimidate interviewers for asking obvious questions.
- Jemjammer: When Jylilana asks how you can get tides in space.
Grak: How do you get a big rock in space? It just is. LET'S GO!
- Used in Muppets in Space, when Gonzo sits upright in bed quickly, accidentally launching Rizzo the Rat out the window.
Gonzo: [hearing Rizzo climbing back in] Is that you, Rizzo?
Rizzo: No, it's Santa. I forgot my reindeer.
- In Dinosaurs episode "What Sexual Harris Meant", Earl comes home early because someone died at work.
Fran: Oh my goodness, what happened??Earl: Fran, we push down trees for a living. You figure it out!
- Paranoia supplement "Acute Paranoia", adventure "Outland-ISH". The Troubleshooters try to find out the source of a drug affecting ISH sector by questioning the residents.
Troubleshooter: How did all these people get drugged?
Drugged Citizen: They drank the water. Snrfff.
Troubleshooter: The drug is in the water?
Drugged Citizen: Sklaxxl. No, the drug is on the inside of the cups! Of course it's in the water. Hrraww.
- When the tour guide on The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios first encounters a gangster, this exchange occurs:
Mugsy: Psst, hey, you.
Tour Guide: Are you talking to me? Are you talkin' to me?
Mugsy: No, I'm talkin' to da dame in da funny-lookin' outfit over dere. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you.
- Jak 3: Wastelander:
Kleiver: Those were some sweet moves in the Arena, boy. But a little more choke, an' you would've popped, eh?Jak: You talkin' to me?Daxter: Yeah, you talkin' to... him?Kleiver: No, I'm conversin' with me sweet departed mum. Of course you, ya bore head!
- Blade Runner features a few of these, such as:
Ray: Hmm, a piece of chrome.
Cop: From a car?
Ray: No, I think it's horse chrome.note
- Super Mario RPG, when Mario and his new friend Mallow are chasing down a thief who robbed the latter:
Mallow: He's the one who took my coin! Why didn't you stop him?
Toad: Because I forgot my bazooka at home! Sheesh... Give me a break, here.
- This exchange between Sonic and Orbot in Sonic Lost World:
Orbot: If we don't find your friend, can I be your sidekick?
Sonic: What?! Shut up! What kind of question is that?
- This exchange in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006):
Shadow: Why does Eggman's base lead to an odd place like this?
Rouge: How should I know? I just followed my orders and retrieved the item.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, if you haven't assembled the Wand of Nagamar when you go to fight the Naughty Sorceress, she'll One-Hit Kill you when she takes on her "actual true form" — a floating sausage. Afterward, you'll receive a Player Nudge encounter, starting with your Exposition Fairy asking if any of that seemed weird to you.
"You're asking me," you reply, "if I noticed anything weird while I was getting my ass handed to me by a magical floating sausage that used to be a woman and then was briefly a big tentacle monster? Because no. That's pretty much a normal day for me. Why — did you notice anything weird?"
- In Mass Effect's Pinnacle Station DLC, Shepard can get briefed on the eponymous Station's virtual combat simulator from Tech Officer Ochren, the salarian in charge of its operation. This dialogue can ensue during the briefing complete with a snippy retort from Ochren.
Ochren: It's a combination of holographic images and kinetic barriers. Holographic images help you see the objects, and the kinetic barriers keep you from walking through them.
Shepard: I assume the enemies are also holographic?
Ochren: No. Our operatives train in a simulator by killing real, actual people.
- The Grumpy Knight:
Alec: Are you going out to fight the monsters, then?
Elsa: No, I'm going over to give them flowers and chocolate and ask them out on a date! What do you think?
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gives us two examples:
Geralt: Why do they call you "Mad Man" Lugos?"Mad Man" Lugos: YEEEEEEEAAAARRRRGGGH! That's why.
Geralt: Are you the silent druid?Druid: ....Geralt: Oh yeah, stupid question.
- Dragon Age: Origins has this party banter from Wynn and Shale:
Wynn: Shale, why must you refer to me as "the elder mage"?Shale: Clearly because it is purple. And a hyena.
- Destroy All Humans! 2:
Orthopox: ...It's as if the monster is crying out, "Kill me...Kiiiiilllll meeee..."Cryptosporidium: That's gotta be the most pathetic thing I've ever heard. So you want me to hunt down this monstrosity and put it out of its misery?Pox: Actually, I want you to read its mind and intuit the source of its cognitive dissonance, so we can get it some help and, over time, teach it confidence and self-esteem.Crypto: ...You gotta be kidding me.Pox: OF COURSE I AM, YOU MUTATION! NOW GO KILL THAT THING!
- Red vs. Blue:
- Church and Grif:
Church-in-Sarge's-body: Uhh... Who ya talking to red? Me?
Grif: No, I'm talking to Lopez, because, you know, that's real rewarding.
- And another one...
Grif: Fuck off, Blue, a ship just crashed on one of our guys.
Church: What, this ship?
Simmons: No, another ship, then that ship left and this ship crashed in the exact same spot.
- The classic one...
Donut: What state were you named after?
- Tex wasn't finished, either...
Sarge: Tex, this is Sarge. Do not detonate the bomb.
Tex: I don't have a detonator. It's on a timer.
Grif: A countdown timer?
Tex: No, a countup timer. It goes from one to explode. Of course a countdown timer, you idiot!
- Church and Grif:
- The Gaston Trilogy has this exchange from "Gaston Plays Lefou's Quest IV":
Gaston: I'm dissed.Lefou: Who, you?Gaston: No! The one-armed man!
- Pops up in Llamas with Hats. Such as in the very first episode, after Carl has made it quite clear that he's stabbed a man 37 times in the chest followed by cutting off the man's hands and eating them:
Paul: What is wrong with you, Carl?!
Carl: Well, I— I kill people and I eat hands, thats— that's two things.
Paul: Why would you think any of this was a good idea?
- And in episode 4, after Carl has set off a nuke within the bounds of the city as a way to throw a surprise party for Paul (it's not even his birthday) and his "birthday decorations," faces tied to baloons, start drifting in. Carl laments that this wasn't a good idea after all; Paul doesn't like faces, the nuke didn't properly cook the faces, and raw face is just gross, prompting Paul to ask:
Carl: Probably because I'm a dangerous sociopath with a long history of violence.
Carl: I don't understand how you keep forgetting that.
- In Holiday Wars, "Ask a Stupid Question" is personified as a character who only speaks with stupid questions. An example of this can be seen here.
- Penny Arcade
- The Order of the Stick:
- Elan asks a lot of stupid questions to which Roy gives snarky answers.
- In the prequel book Start of Darkness, when Redcloak and the Monster in the Darkness meet for the first time:
Redcloak: They call me "Redcloak".
MitD: Really? Why?
Redcloak: ... Because I wear black armor.
- In an Arthur, King of Time and Space strip, Merlin responds to Lancelot's "Do you think this is wise?" with "Why, no. I woke up this morning and decided to do the least wise thing that occured to me."
- From Peter Is the Wolf:
- XKCD: How did the pole vaulters get up on the balcony?
- Used often in the old Sprite Comic That's My Sonic! Though frequently, the answer was actually quite straightforward.
Shadow: A hat? Your entire head is covered in fur! What would you do with a hat?
Tails: Wear it, duh.
Shadow: Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.
- In Sexy Losers, Mark and (chronic masturbator) Mike have this early exchange:
Mark: What are you doing...jerking off to your smut rags?
Mike: No, I'm jerking off to the idea of sucking your fat cock.
Mike: Of course it's a smut rag, you witless fuck.
- In this Girl Genius Tarvek asks what is actually a perfectly reasonable question but The Castle treats it as this trope.
- In this episode of MOLEBASHED, Wes asks a doctor, "So at what point do the machines start beeping and the doctors start yelling and stuff?"
- In Kevin & Kell, this was part of Fiona's initial reaction when she found she'd been moved into a different room when Bruno moved in with Corrie at her mansion.
Corrie: No, Kanye Wren. Of course, Bruno!
- Brazilian website Kibeloco has a comic story where a guy invites his girlfriend to watch a moviewith him. After he says the title is "Tubarões Assassinos" (Killer Sharks), she asks what the movie is about and he says it's about a horse who wants to be a singer.
- Schlock Mercenary:
- Done in this strip. To be fair, given the crazy stuff the Toughs have seen up until that point, the question isn't that stupid, just a bit redundant. Namely, Bunni learns that an operation to illegally produce Blood Nannies was being sabotaged by a plant, and she feels the need to ask the possibly stupid question of whether the plant was a spy, or flora.
- Then there's the time they discovered that the giant space station full of sky has a hurricane in it.
Trevor: Why would they put a hurricane in here?
Barry: Two hurricanes. There's one on the opposite side of the spindle.
Trevor: Sorry, stupid question. Why would they put any hurricanes in here?
- And this one from the Egosoft forum. Ego's latest game, X Rebirth has had a release date of Real Soon Now since roughly March 2011, and that thread is basically endless "When's it coming out?" A page later, the one Egosoft employee who interacts with the forum on a regular basis rounds up a dozen or so of his coworkers to come onto the forum and say, "I'm still alive."
- The Spoony Experiment has two examples: during the review of Clones of Bruce Lee, a character mentions Bruce Lee and another character asks "The actor?". Spoony sarcastically responds, "No, the golfer." Later, during Spoony's review of Ripper, a character mentions that technology similar to what the Ripper (a serial killer) is using was recently stolen from her. The main character asks, "And you think the Ripper did it?"
Spoony!Dr. Burton: No, I think Ryan Seacrest did it YES I THINK THE RIPPER DID IT!
- During one of Rooster Teeth's podcasts, Gavin mentions having a frozen egg thrown at his balls once.
Burnie: Why would they go through the trouble of freezing an egg?Gavin: Because it fucking hurts!
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, after Perfect Cell kicks Krillin through a plateau.
Trunks: Krillin, are you all right?!
Krillin: (Pained whimper)
Trunks: Do you need a Senzu Bean?
Krillin: (Pained whimper)
Trunks: You're right, that is a stupid question.
- Film Brain, in Bad Movie Beatdown, reviewing the movie Bear:
Character 1: I'm pregnant.
Character 2: You're with child?
Film Brain: No, she's going to give birth to a rubber chicken - OF COURSE SHE'S WITH CHILD!
- In the RiffTrax live showing of "Manos" The Hands of Fate, Mike is introducing the film:
Mike: "The film tonight, is, of course, Manos..."Bill: "The Hands of Fate?"Mike: "No, actually this is a different Manos: a delightful Pixar film - of course it's the Hands of Fate!"
- In the Batman Forever review of The Nostalgia Critic, upon seeing that the Batsignal is getting hijacked with a green laser so it forms a giant green question mark.
Policeman: "Who is doing that?"Last Angry Nerd: "...Catwoman. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK IT IS?!"
- Near the end of Resident Evil Abridged, Rebecca avoids being shot by Wesker by falling down and pretending to be dead. So when Chris finds out she survived and asks why she didn't help him fight the Tyrant, she plainly replies:
Rebecca: "Playing O-possom means feigning death 'til ALL the danger's passed, Chris."
- A backwards example where Skipper gets sick of a stupid answer and returns with a stupid question happens in The Penguins of Madagascar, Sting Operation.
Skipper: What do you make of it, Kowalski?
Kowalski: I'm not sure, Skipper. It could be anything.
Skipper: Oh really? Could it be Alaska?
Kowalski: No, it's probably not—
Skipper: Are you saying Alaska might be stuck upside down to the clock tower of my zoo?
Kowalski: I guess—
Skipper: Because I think people would notice if the entire state of Alaska just... packed up and... moved to the zoo!
Kowalski: All right, maybe it couldn't be anything!
- Justice League Unlimited
- Solomon Grundy gives Superman a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that involves — among other things — punching him through several buildings, smashing him between two cars, and tossing him through the supports of a suspension bridge. After that last one, Superman climbs out onto a pier, not only bruised and battered but dripping wet as well, and:
- In the Elefun and Friends short "A Tangled Tale", Elefun follows a kite string all the way to China, where he and his friends see a panda trying to launch herself across a river using a piece of bamboo. The bamboo gets stuck halfway, leaving her dangling and leading to this conversation:
Elefun: Whatcha doing?
Panda: Sipping tea. What does it look like I'm doing?
Pandarama: Who asked you?
- Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy on Heloise's new machine:
Beezy: What is this, dandruff?
Heloise: Yeah, I made a machine that makes dandruff. It's snow!
- A Running Gag in Danny Phantom would be one of the characters falling, being attacked, thrown or mauled. Cue someone else asking uselessly:
"Are you okay?"
"Sorry, standard question."
- Happens twice in quick succession in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Over a Barrel":
Rainbow Dash: Pinkie Pie, you asleep yet?
Pinkie Pie: No. Are you asleep yet?
Rainbow Dash: If I was sleeping, how could I have asked you if you were asleep?
Pinkie Pie: Oh yeah. (giggles)
Rainbow Dash: When we get to Appleloosa, you think we'll have to carry that heavy tree all the way from the train to the orchard?
Pinkie Pie: What tree? You mean Bloomberg?
Rainbow Dash: No, Fluttershy.
Pinkie Pie: Fluttershy's not a tree, silly.
Fluttershy: I'd like to be a tree.
- Animaniacs, episode "Temporary Insanity". The Warners are fighting to answer the phone first, causing Mr. Plotz's office (and Mr. Plotz himself) to be wrapped in a telephone cord.
Mr. Plotz: When will all this insanity end?!
Dot: When one of us answers the phone, silly.
Mr. Plotz: I did not know that.
- From Beast Wars:
Cheetor, recently having gotten a flying Mid-Season Upgrade he's itching to use: You mean fly?
Rattrap: ..."Do I mean fly", NO! I mean take your submarine. Of course I mean fly!
- Also, in Code of Hero...
- Rocky and Bullwinkle:
- Boris and Natasha:
Natasha: Boris, did you get blown up by your own bomb again?
Boris: No, I'm up here robbing bird's nests!
Natasha: But why?
Boris: It keeps me off the streets, that's why! About six feet off.
- In another example the "sarcastic" answer is actually the truth, but the man being answered thinks this trope is what's happening.
Man: Hi there Bullwinkle, what's the rush?
Bullwinkle: We're being chased by a man eating plant!
Man: Well, ask a foolish question, you get a foolish... [plant eats him]
- Boris and Natasha:
- The animated Punky Brewster episode "Growing Pain" has Glomer growing in size due to an allergy to pepperoni pizza. He is taken to a gym where he attempts to use a weights machine but is catapulted back and wedged within the bars of the machine:
Punky: Glomer, are you okay?
Glomer: [not too pleased] Am I looking okay?!
- In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: CAKED-THREE". Numbuh One was enthusiastic about Numbuh Two's plan to attack the Delightful Children by using a weapon that uses "a kajillion eggs" as ammunition, until...
Numbuh One: This is stupid! Why did you put the kajillion eggs in my room?!Numbuh Two: Well, I certainly wasn't going to put them in my room.
- Max Goof on Goof Troop did this with his friend PJ after he had collapsed into a covered trench behind him back-first onto a pipe.
Max: You okay?
PJ: Oh, yeah, yeah. This rusty metal pipe broke my fall!
- Bugs Bunny:
- In "Hare Way To The Stars," after he finds he's been shot into outer space as a meteor streaks by him:
Bugs: What was dat? [gets hit by a satellite] Well, ask a silly question...
- In "French Rarebit", when Francois, a French chef, prepares to cook Bugs for dinner, Bugs uses this trope to save his skin:
Bugs: Of course, if you want something really good, you can't beat a good ol' Louisiana Back Bay Bayou Bunny Bordelaise. Ala Antoine.
Francois: Antoine? You mean ze Antoine of New Orleans?
Bugs: I don't mean the Antoine of Flatbush!
- A pumpkin gets sprung from its catapult and lands square on Foghorn Leghorn's head:
"Ask a silly question and you get a silly answer."
- In "Hare Way To The Stars," after he finds he's been shot into outer space as a meteor streaks by him:
- Inverted in Family Guy, where the "sarcastic answer" is correct:
Mort: Wait, those are suppositories. Have you been eating them?
Peter: No, I've been shoving them up my butt!
- In Mike Tyson Mysteries, when everyone meets Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut who is wearing a jacket that has his name and the NASA logo.
Pigeon: Hey, your jacket says "Buzz Aldrin". You're not the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, are you?
Buzz Aldrin: No, I'm the jazz singer Buzz Aldrin. Of course I'm the astronaut.
- A rare one involving Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy when Irwin returns after being eaten by a giant bug. He now appears to be smelly as well.
Mandy: Irwin? But I saw that bug swallow you. How did you get out?
- Kim Possible: Hego reacts to encountering an old enemy:
Hego: Electronique? You broke out of the specially constructed non-conductive plastic prison?
Mego: No, she's still there. Of course she broke out, you big dolt!
- In one Astronut cartoon, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Telestar" Astronut accidentally brings down a satellite. Two crooks get it and decide to hold the satellite for ransom. Astronut solves the problem by using his ship's tractor beam to pull the satellite back into orbit while the crooks are holding it. The short ends with the crooks sitting on the satellite as it floats through space, whereupon one crook asks the other, "I know this is a stupid question, Clyde, but, how are we gonna explain this to our parole officer?"
- In Cow and Chicken, Cousin Boneless claims that he few recon kites in 'Nam. Though given how silly the show is, his response could be construed as completely sincere.
Cow and Chicken: Vietnam?
Boneless: No, Nam, Wisconsin.
- Shaggy and Scooby while investigating a gypsy camp in The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show:
Shaggy: Like, what are we supposed to find in a gypsy camp?Scooby: Rhypsies?
- The Beatles cartoon "Tell Me What You See" has the boys visiting a renowned make-up artist at a Hollywood studio.
John: Are you the Man of a Thousand Faces?
Man of a Thousand Faces: No, I'm George Washington and I'm looking for the Delaware.
- In the Rankin-Bass Frosty the Snowman special, Frosty does after hearing his human child companion Karen sneeze. They are currently riding in a refridgerated box car being sent to the North Pole.
Frosty: Are you cold, Karen? Now that's a silly question. You wouldn't be sneezing if you weren't cold.
No, they all contain atomic bombs that will go off in 3... 2... 1...