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Blunt "No"

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"My name is no
My sign is no
My number is no
You need to let it go
You need to let it go
Need to let it go
Nah to the ah to the, no, no, no"
Meghan Trainor, "No"

Somewhere between the Big "NO!" and Little "No", is the Blunt "No". This is used to immediately shut down any type of request or argument, no matter how impassioned it is. The effect of this is to make it known that the person on using the Blunt "No" is deadset on ignoring The Hero's impassioned speech, the Villain's Motive Rant, the Dogged Nice Guy's romantic advances, or what have you, making it clear where they stand. They will NOT change their mind. Don't even try.

Whereas the Little "No" is a bit more versatile on what it can cover, the Blunt "No" is usually delivered in a sharp manner, whether it's loud and bold or delivered in a deadpan manner.

A sub-trope of Dramatic Deadpan, though it can be used to comedic effect, sometimes in the HA HA HA—No or No Just No fashion. A form of Shut Up, Hannibal! and Shut Up, Kirk!. It's not always the exact word "No", though that's the most common variant. Another variant, usually delivered deadpan but played for comedy, is of the general format "If I may?" "You may not."

See also Blunt "Yes". Compare HA HA HA—No.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Chapter 3 of Asteroid in Love, the Earth Sciences Club brainstorms for activities for the coming year, as well as the title of the proposed newsletter. Throughout the chapter, Mikage frequently cries out "REJECTED!" to Mira's suggestions, for one reason or the other.
  • My Hero Academia: when Ms. Joke meets Aizawa again:
    Ms. Joke: Let's get married!
    Aizawa: No.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher: Frank catches up with and kills three vigilantes (Payback, Elite, and The Holy) who'd sought him out because they thought he'd approve of their actions and be their leader. What they didn't know is that Frank pretty much hates all other vigilantes for being unprofessional, not planning carefully, and harming innocent bystanders. They basically shit themselves when he rejects their pleas to lead them, breaks out his Uzi, and chambers a round.
    Payback: Hey, wait a minute!
    Elite: We're going to clean up this town!
    The Holy: Isn't this exactly what you want?
    Frank: No.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Black Sheep, a Discworld fic by A.A. Pessimal, a confidence trickster who has been captured by an Assassin makes her a request, and gloomily reflects that nobody on the Discworld can articulate the word "No", or in this case ''non!", like a Quirmian.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: From "Getting More Nurses":
    This is something I need to do! Help me with this!" she shouted.
    "Ask anyone, it's the completely wrong thing to do!" the dark general shouted back. "I won't have a part in it, even if you order me to!"
  • In Darth Vader and Son, Vader flatly states "No" before the 501st can ask him if they can take Luke trick-or-treating.
  • Evershade: When trying to pick a name for post-Gender Bender:
    "What about Krystal?"
    I shook my head. "Nah."
    "Samantha, maybe?" Lauren tossed in the next one.
    I shook my head again, mid-bite.
    "Ooh! Oh!" Gabby was bouncing with excitement. "Bambi!"
    I gave an annoyed groan. "No."
    "Aaww." Gabby looked disappointed again. But as much as she wanted it, there was no way I was picking that one.
    Back to the top, Abbey was next. "Michelle?"
  • In the Mystery Skulls Animated/Courage the Cowardly Dog crossover fanfic Forever, Arthur suggests Courage, who has nowhere to go, stay with him and his uncle, saying it'd be easy to convince him. Cut to Kingsmen Mechanics, where Lance's first line in the story is him plainly telling the two "no". Courage then wonders why he got his hopes up.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: When Ritsuko angrily asks Gendo if he even cares about her betrayal, he just says, "No."
  • Used several times in Pokémon Strangled Red:
    • When the narrator tries to open the save file of the previous week player, he's just met with the word "No." Upon playing the game, he discovers why.
    • Steven gives these to people who try to give him items in consolation for Miki's death.
    • Lastly, when the narrator selects "M@#$" and selects the "Close" option, he's also met with this.

    Film — Animated 
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022): Dale has a booth at a convention center and is chit-chatting with his neighbor boot-haver Tigra.
    Dale: Well thank you, Tigra. We should hang out sometimes—
    Tigra: Nah.
    Dale: Meanly fast.
  • Tappy Toes: After their egg has been stolen, Gertie asks Ozzy if the egg could have survived somehow. He bluntly says, "No, Gertie. No, I don't."
  • In Turning Red, Ming shuts down Mei's request to go to the 4*Town concert.
    Ming: No. Absolutely not.
  • Zootopia:
    • During A Minor Kidroduction, Stu asks younger Judy if she's ever wondered how he and Bonnie became happy with their lives. She simply says in a happy tone, "Nope!".
    • When Chief Bogo angrily tells Judy to give up her badge, Nick shuts him down:
      Nick: Uh, no.
      Chief Bogo: (glancing at him, incredulous) ...What did you say, fox?
      Nick: Sorry. What I said!

    Film — Live Action 
  • Doctor Strange: Doctor Strange is highly skeptical when he meets the Ancient One for the first time and believes her talks about the spirit being able to heal the body to be nonsense. She then sends him on a roller coaster ride through multiple dimensions to show him that there is more than the material universe.
    Doctor Strange: [after the Ancient One brings him back] Teach me!
    Ancient One: No.
  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey has an example in Ms. Johnston, a kind postal woman who knows the content of letters and messages without ever needing to read them. When the banker stops by Jangles N Things to speak with Jeronicus, she hands him a letter and informs him that his cousin is visiting for the holidays. He remarks that he hopes she's referring to his favorite cousin. She cheerfully responds "Nope."
  • In the film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Harry has a conversation with Tom Riddle through the latter's diary, the former asks if he could tell him anything about the chamber of secrets. Tom answers "No", with Harry sighing in defeat for a moment, only for Tom to write that he can show him.
  • In What's Up, Tiger Lily? (a Japanese spy thriller dubbed with new dialogue by Woody Allen), in the middle, the film cuts away from the spy movie. We see a man say that the movie is complicated and ask Woody if he'd summarize what's happened so far. Woody: "No." Back to the spy thriller.

  • The Bible: In Genesis, God reveals to Abraham and his wife Sarah, who were both old, that they will have a son. Sarah, who is long past menopause, laughs at this, and God calls her out for doubting his power. Sarah fearfully denies that she laughed, and God just blandly answers "No, but you did laugh."
  • In the Dr. Seuss book Go, Dog. Go!, a pink dog asks a yellow dog if he likes her hat, and he responds, "I do not."
  • Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen: The protagonists responding "Hard pass" to other characters' demands becomes a bit of a Running Gag by book five.
    • This is Kaito's initial response to Elisabeth's command to serve her. Twice. Kaito responds the same to her uncle Vlad's request for him to switch sides to Vlad.
    • Kaito and Elisabeth respond this way in unison to Jeanne de Rais's demand to become her subordinates.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Firefly: In "Heart of Gold", brothel workers Lisa and Emma first approach Shepherd Book, who simply tells them "No, thank you," before they can offer (he's established in another episode to be celibate). Though it turns out that they were actually hoping he would hold a worship service.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: At the country club, Will sees a beautiful girl who happens to be the daughter of Dr. Mumford. Mumford has the reputation of giving out plenty of Blunt Nos, which earned him the moniker Dr. No, to anyone he's not interested in meeting and declines guys who try to ask out his daughter. Feeling his street-wise personality won't go over with him, Will takes lessons from Carlton on how to act more preppy to impress him.
  • grown•ish: After Zoey gets financially cut off due to cheating on an exam and being placed under academic probation, she gets her car repossessed by her father, Andre. Zoey initiates a Pop-Up Texting conservation, trying to make nice. She's met with "NOPE" with every question, even when she asks if he still loved her. She then texts her mom, Rainbow if she can talk to Andre for her. She's met with another "NOPE", and to a request to stop texting her dad, as it's hard enough for him to put his foot down.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: In Episode 5.11 "Morning" June goes to former fellow Handmaid Emily's home. Sylvia (Emily's wife) tell's June that Emily called to say goodbye and has gone back to Gilead to find Aunt Lydia. It is not likely she will return. June asks if Sylvia will tell June if she hears from Emily. Sylvia's response is this trope.
  • Just Jordan: Jordan stars acting like a thug in order to attract girls and he starts seeing a girl named Tamika. In typical sitcom fashion, he's eventually busted. Tamika tells him that she just likes bad boys, and that Jordan should just be himself. To which Jordan asks if Tamika wants to date and she shuts him down with a "No." But she tells him some other girl would. Even in The Stinger of the episode, when she disavows bad boys, she gives another Blunt No when he asks her out again.
    Jordan: But I did this all to impress you!
    Tamika: Yeah, I'm not impressed by liars.
    Jordan: Yeah, but you like bad boys and I have to think they lie every now and then.
    Tamika: Yeah, they're just being themselves, and that's what I like about them. You should try it.
    Jordan: Are you saying that if I just be myself, you will go out with me?
    Tamika: No.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: When Bambang is angry that Alan tricked him into paying more money for their rent than his actual share, Alan tries to remind Bambang that he agreed to do that. Bambang bluntly says no, as he was sleeping back then.
  • First season character Senorita Rodriguez of That's So Raven had this as her Catchphrase, and this was always used for comedic effect against her students' questions, like Raven campaigning to play Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz in the school play:
    Senorita Rodriguez: Raven, I was wrong. You should've gotten the part of Dorothy.
    Raven: So I'm getting the part?!
    Senorita Rodriguez: No.
  • Played for Laughs on Top Gear (UK) when Jeremy tests out the 2003 Dodge Viper and points out all of the warning labels.
    Jeremy: [reading] This is an open vehicle. Drive carefully. [thinks about it] No.

  • Meghan Trainor's song "No", is this trope in song form, directed to men who don't take "no" for an answer to their advances.

  • Were You Raised by Wolves?: One writer for a Questions from the Wilderness segment describes this long scenario where her daughter-in-law visits without a bra on and, though she says she doesn't mind at first, she explains her husband is made very uncomfortable by this. She asks whether there's a polite way to ask someone to put on a bra. Nick and Leah give a Beat and then bluntly respond "No." And that's their entire answer. Compared to the other segments from the other 100+ episodes, where they at least give some explanation for their answers, this is both jarring and telling.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 

  • In "Avenue Jew," an Easter Bonnet Competition crossover sketch between Avenue Q and Fiddler on the Roof, Brian begins to sing "Do You Love Me?" to Christmas Eve, but she flatly replies "No" and walks away after the first line.
  • In The Comedy of Errors, Antipholus of Ephesus answers Lucianus' request to be with "his" wife with a rare one-word Shakespeare line: no. It also acts as a delayed rhyme to Lucianus' last full sentence, emphasizing it even further.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: In one possible conversation between a Smug and Snooty villagers, The Smug villager wants to put on a play and was thinking to put the other in the role as the princess, then asks the player what role he should play. If the player choses "The prince!", The Smug villager has a gender-inverted idea of Sleeping Beauty where the princess (Snooty) has to wake up the prince (him; Smug) "with a kiss. *beat* On the lips." The Snooty Villager's only reaction to that idea is simply a blunt no. The short statement in the otherwise very wordy dialogue boxes along with the series' No Hugging, No Kissing rule just makes it all the more funny.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, the titular hero saves Jack Ryder, one of the most famous journalists in Gotham City. When Batman recognizes him, Ryder asks if he's a fan of his work, to which the Dark Knight simply replies, "No."
    • Another crops up in Dr. Strange's audio interviews with Mr. Freeze: when Freeze asks Strange if he had ever really, truly loved someone, Strange's 'No.' is the auditory equivalent of a casual shrug.
  • Dawn of War II: In Chaos Rising, Araghast's boss fight is stretched over several different locations, with Araghast jumping into a portal opened by Eliphas every time he's taken enough damage. Finally, Eliphas betrays Araghast by leaving him to die at the Blood Ravens' hands.
    Araghast: Eliphas! Open the portal!
    Eliphas: ... No. I think... not. A change in leadership is in order.
  • A Game Over sequence (out of many, many Game Over sequences) in Dead Space 2 sees main character Isaac in a one-hand chokehold by a specter of his dead girlfriend Nicole from the first game, who's been haunting him the entire game. Isaac whispers that she can't possibly be real, to which specter-Nicole says "WRONG," before snapping his neck.
  • During the climatic confrontation with the rogue mercenaries in Disco Elysium, if the Detective has been talking to his garish necktie, this exchange can happen:
    The Detective: What is wrong with me?
    The Necktie: Your heart is broken, bratushka. And it cannot be mended. Believe me, I've tried.
    The Detective: Am I going to stay like this forever?
    The Necktie: No. You're going to be mowed down by gunfire from the two remaining mercs, so no. Not forever.
  • DOOM Eternal The Ancient Gods Part II ends with the Doomguy saying this to the supposed God of the universe that is the Final Boss after weakening him in a climactic fight seeing that the God is behind all the demons.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Unlike every other companion you recruit, Sten will immediately and unconditionally shut down any inquiries into his culture of origin, the Qunari. This is both due to his taciturn personality that cannot stand irrelevant small talk, and reflects his own role in said culture, that of a soldier, not a diplomat or a communicator.
  • In the Facility level of GoldenEye (2010), Bond needs a scientist to override a lockdown. Once he's done...
    Scientist: Are you going to kill me?
    Bond: No. *pistol-whips him*
  • Hyrule Warriors: Cia tries to recruit the less-than interested Volga who answers her offer with "No. Leave."
  • A funny example was in the manual for Quake in the "Commonly Asked Questions" section (you get the feeling it's something the guys at id Software had been asked many times since they released Doom):
  • So uh, a spaceship crashed in my yard.: When trying to apply Pants to ARIA's spaceship, the dialogue is:
    ARIA: No
    Mark: ...
    ARIA: Just, no.
  • System Shock 2: What the Soldier says to Shodan upon her We Can Rule Together speech.
  • During one of the Decepticon missions in Transformers: War for Cybertron, Breakdown asks Soundwave if he wants to race through the Cybertronian subways, who replies in Machine Monotone, "Negative."

    Visual Novels 
  • Liar! Uncover the Truth: If you get an event question wrong, the asker will typically respond with at least a multi-word sentence. However, getting a certain question from Sotaro wrong just gets a smile and a "No."

    Web Animation 
  • Hazbin Hotel: For the sake of his own twisted amusement, Alastor decides to 'help' Charlie with her project to rehabilitate demons. When he checks the place out, he asks Angel Dust what he can do, and the other demon replies he can give him a blowjob. Alastor says no.
    Alastor: And what can you do, my effeminate fellow?
    Angel Dust: I can suck your dick.
    Alastor: Ha! No.
  • Helluva Boss: In "C.H.E.R.U.B.", the titular team suggests that Lyle Lipton could donate and share his money to help the world. His only response is "No."
  • History Matters turns this into a Catchphrase. "Fun fact: No."

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • What If? has several examples of Randall responding to queries with a blunt "No."
    • "Train Loop" gives us one to the initial query, then subverts it by Moving the Goalposts until the answer is less definite.
      Gero Walter: Could a high-speed train run through a vertical loop, like a rollercoaster, with the passengers staying comfortable?
      Randall: No.
    • "Stirring Tea" has another.
      Will Evans: I was absentmindedly stirring a cup of hot tea, when I got to thinking, "aren't I actually adding kinetic energy into this cup?" I know that stirring does help to cool down the tea, but what if I were to stir it faster? Would I be able to boil a cup of water by stirring?
      Randall: No.
    • And again in "Pyramid Energy":
      Michael Marmol: If we could convert the energy to build the Great Pyramid, would it be enough to send a rocket to the Moon and back?
      Randall: No.
    • In the book, one of the "Weird (and Worrying) Questions" sections has someone ask if it's possible to create a tornado by spinning a hammer, like Thor does in the movie. Randall doesn't even bother elaborating on the "NO". Even better, Cueball is just standing there facepalming while a woman stands nearby spinning a hammer like an idiot.
    • He has a similar answer to the question of whether you could stop a volcanic eruption by dropping a really big bomb in it as it happens. An erupting volcano is depicted spewing ash into the sky to form the word "no" — with more ash than usual because someone dropped a bomb in it.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In the episode "The Waterbending Master," when Katara learned that Master Paku will not teach her in his class because she's a girl, she angrily tells him that she didn't traveled from the South to the North just for him to tell her "no." He does just that.
  • Bob's Burgers: One episode has the Belcher kids find a hi-tech toilet that fell off a truck in the woods. The toilet comes with the ability to speak, with the kids making it say ridiculous things, though it draws the line at Tina's second request:
    Louise: Say "pupu platter."
    Toilet: Pupu platter.
    Louise: Say "nuclear wiener."
    Toilet: Nuclear wiener.
    Gene: Say "hypothalamus."
    Toilet: Hypothalamus.
    Tina Say "I love you, Tina."
    Toilet: I love you, Tina.
    Tina: Say "I love you, Tina, I'm not a toilet, I'm a boy."
    Toilet: No.
    Tina: [disappointed] Oh...
  • Chowder has the titular character try and make a recipe on his own for the first time. Mung is very understandably hesitant to let him for obvious reasons. However he acquiesces because he doesn't want to hurt Chowder's feelings. Chowder makes the recipe but due to his lethal stupidity ends up putting poison in the bowl. This results in Mung dressing up as differing people and buying each one, which leaves him penniless. He tells Chowder that he'll be strapped for cash for the next few months and subtly asks whether he can have any of the proceeds from the sales. Chowder simply says "No."
    Mung: Think you can float me?
    Chowder: No.
  • Family Guy:
    • The end of the episode "E. Peterbus Unum" has Peter negotiate to end the existence of Petoria, his own country that resulted from a surveying error that said the house wasn't on American soil, and being formally annexed into the U.S. After returning Joe's pool, which he annexed as way to expand his national border, Peter tries to secure rights to use it on weekends to which Joe says "no." When he tries to secure the rights of his house as an independent nation, Mayor West tells him "absolutely not." When Peter tries to get the "cheap little pen" used to sign the treaty, West says "no." Disappointed that he's not getting anything, Lois tries to console Peter by scratching his back with a matchbook, and when he asks her to call him "Big Rudy" while she does, Lois answers "no."
    • At the end of "He's Too Sexy For His Fat", Peter expresses his feelings on the episode's Aesop:
      Lois: Well, Peter, I guess you've learned a valuable lesson.
      Peter: [slouches] Nope.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Spike At Your Service", Pinkie Pie suggests that Spike can get out of his debt to Applejack by firing Applejack into a bee nest and catching her with a butterfly net. Applejack says, "No" in a deadpan voice in response to this.
    • Big Macintosh, being a stallion of few words, often bluntly responds with a simple "Nope".
    • In "Ponyville Confidential", Applejack is unusually laconic when the Cutie Mark Crusaders attempt to talk to her after they've released embarrassing articles:
      Apple Bloom: You're not even gonna talk to us?
      Applejack: Nope.
  • The Loud House: In "Lincoln Loud: Girl Guru", Lincoln admits to his sisters that he has given boys bad advice on how to impress girls. They laugh hysterically for a good few seconds and Lincoln asks them if they're done yet. Lori says, "" and they continue laughing.
  • Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon": In "Ren Seeks Help", a younger Ren has been sadistically torturing a frog. Just when he's about to dish out the final blow...
    Frog: [desperate] Haven't I suffered enough?!
    Ren: [pauses for a moment, then drops his hammer] ...No.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In episode "22 Short Films About Springfield", Skinner pretends the fire in his kitchen is the aurora borealis. Chalmers asks to see it and Skinner replies with a laconic "No".
    • "Cape Feare":
      • When the Simpsons go to a movie, Marge tells Sideshow Bob to stay away from Bart, so Bob leaves in a threatening manner. When he didn't like how that sounded, he asks Marge to say "Stay away from my son," only for Marge to respond "no."
      • Homer and Marge go to a P.I. to help them with Bob:
        P.I.: Now don't you fret. When I'm through... he won't set foot in this town again. I can be very, very persuasive. [cocks gun]
        [The P.I. and Bob sitting in a seedy bar]
        P.I.: Come on! Leave town!
        Bob: No.
        P.I.: I'll be your friend.
        Bob: No.
        P.I.: Oh, you're mean.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • At the beginning of “Pickles,” a customer asks Squidward if he can have some extra salt, which leads to this exchange:
      Man: Can I get some extra salt?
      Squidward: We’re all out.
      Man: Could you check?
      Squidward: [Beat] No.
      [Man angrily storms off]
    • Played with in "Bubble Buddy." SpongeBob approaches Squidward's door asking if he wants to play, but Squidward already has a note on his door just reading, "No" (complete with his blunt voiceover). SpongeBob asks, "Are you sure?" and removes the note to find a note saying "Yes."
    • In "Club SpongeBob", every time Squidward tries to ask the Magic Conch if he can eat anything, the Magic Conch flatly turns this down.
      Squidward: (pulls the Magic Conch's string) Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: No.
      Squidward: (pulling the string again) Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: No.
      Squidward: (pulls the string) Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: No.
      Squidward: Can't you say anything else but no? (pulls the string)
      Magic Conch: Try asking again.
      Squidward: (getting excited) Can I have something to eat? (pulls the string)
      Magic Conch: (sounding smug) No!
  • Transformers: Prime: In "One Shall Fall", Raf replaces the image of Bumblebee on the Internet with a dancing cat, something that made even Ratchet laugh. Jack then attempts to show it to Optimus Prime, only to get bluntly turned down.
    Jack: Hey, Optimus! Want to see something funny?
    Optimus Prime: No.

    Real Life 


The Simpsons

Chalmers can *not* see it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

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