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Can't Believe I Said That

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"'They got me'? Can you believe I said that?"
Webster, Band of Brothers

A form of Self-Deprecation. Alice and Bob are having a conversation and Alice says something that provides Bob with an opportunity to respond with a witty or charming comment... and Bob completely blows it. This will generally lead to the conversation being over, leaving Bob to lament his stupidity in saying what he did. This usually takes on one of two forms:

Type A: Bob will repeat his statement to himself, followed by a comment about how stupid he is.

Type B: Bob will say what he should have said in the first place, followed by a comment about how stupid he is.

In slightly less extreme cases, Bob will comment on how stupid the line is rather than personally calling himself stupid. Another variation involves Bob not repeating the previous statement at all, instead opting for "I can't believe I just said that" or "Why did I just say that?"

Compare That's What She Said, Who Writes This Crap?!

Not to be confused with I Can't Believe I'm Saying This, where the subject is preparing to say something they know will be regrettable, or with lampshading A Rare Sentence.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: While attempting to cheat Rohan at a dice game, Mikitaka unknowingly makes it obvious how Josuke is doing it, causing him to shout and nearly expose himself in front of Rohan and immediately changes his wording to pass it off as luck.
    • Golden Wind: In his fight with Sale, Mista manages to land a shot, but regrets a comeback in this exchange.
    Sale: Screw you! That's twice now you shot me you gun-tuning psycho!
    Mista: Quit squirming! Next time I'll be sure to take better aim! (Geez... what kinda lame-ass line was that? What I should have said is "How are you not a pile of sausage meat? I shot your ugly mug square-on!")

    Fan Works 
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
    • Night Blade's reaction to his reaction to Rainbow Dash's crazy flying.
    • In the fifth omake chapter, this is Reel's reaction when he realizes he used a certain horse-based saying - "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" - while in Equestria. Even if nobody else was within hearing range at the time.
  • In Green Tea Rescue, after Izuku expresses worry for Iida during the Heroes vs Villains exercise (since he has to go against Todoroki's team), Ochako reassures him that he will be fine since he's partnered with Bakugo. Ochako then shivers upon realizing that she complimented the person she hates the most.
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: In chapter 34, Zephyr orders one of his men, regarding a defensive shield, to "Set that field to squirrel-only, and I cannot believe I just said that."

    Film ó Live-Action 
  • In Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Dana tells Nate that she "thinks he has pretty eyes" and he gives her a lame response. When she leaves, he says this:
    Nate: I think you have pretty eyes too. Stupid!
  • In the movie Dan in Real Life, Steve Carell's character flirts with a lady at a small bookstore. When their conversation is over, he wants to talk more, so he asks if he can call her. As she's about to drive off, he says, "Just so you know, I would even call to say I'm not calling." A couple seconds later he's driving down the road by himself and says "I'd even call to say I'm not calling?" with a self-deprecating tone.
  • In Dirty Dancing, as Baby is introduced to Johnny Castle, she awkwardly tells him that she carried a watermelon to their party. After he leaves:
    Baby: [to herself] I carried a watermelon?
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: This exchange as Newt and Tina are saying goodbye:
    Tina: Listen, Newt, I wanted to thank you.
    Newt: What on earth for?
    Tina: Well, if you hadn't said all those nice things to Madam Picquery about me, I wouldn't be back on the investigative team now.
    Newt: Well ó I can't think of anyone I'd rather have investigating me. [wince]
  • In the movie Get Smart Again, a senior government official is talking to Max on his Shoe Phone, when the call gets disconnected. He immediately orders one of his people to dial his other shoe, and then speaks the trope name (Max's other shoe turned out to have an unlisted number).
  • Love Actually: When meeting David the Prime Minister for the first time, Natalie worries about how she thought '(she) was going to say shit or something and ruin everything.' Then realizes that she has indeed, just said shit, and quotes this line verbatim.
    Natalie: Hello, David. I mean, sir. Shit, I can't believe I've just said that. And now I've gone and said shit. Twice. I'm so sorry, sir!
    David: It's fine, it's fine! You could have said fuck, and then we'd both have been in real trouble.
    Natalie: Thank you, sir. I did have a terrible premonition I was going to fuck up on my first day. ... Oh, piss it.
  • Gretchen invokes this in Mean Girls, when insulting Regina. It's pretense, of course. She perfectly well meant to say what she said.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:
    • "...I said lesbians."
    • Also happens earlier on, after Scott attempts to flirt with Ramona by talking about the history of Pac-Man.
      Scott: I'll leave you alone forever now.
  • Star Wars: A New Hope: Han Solo in the detention entryway, trying to convince the Imperials over the communications system that nothing is out of the ordinary, steadily becoming less believable and then ending with Han asking "How are you?" and cringing at himself.
    Officer: [over intercom] Who is this? What's your operating number?
    Han: Ugh. [shoots the console] Boring conversation anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!

  • A non-comedic example occurs in A Christmas Carol. Early on, Scrooge says that the poor should just die off and "decrease the surplus population". When the Ghost of Christmas Present repeats this statement to him, after showing Scrooge how the Cratchits are spending Christmas, he's utterly mortified.
  • Discworld: Making Money, gives us Moist Von Lipwig, when he sees a situation which involves Lord Vetinari and a clown, he blurts the following and realizes he just said it in front of a big audience.
    Lipwig: Look out! He's got a daisy!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in Arrested Development. Michael Bluth often invokes the trope before the other party has even left the room, mouthing "What is wrong with me?" while the other person's eyes are diverted for some reason.
  • Webster in Band of Brothers, as seen in the page quote, says this while reflecting upon his...melodramatic choice of words upon being shot earlier.note 
  • Played straight by Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory, during "The Parking Spot Scalation" episode:
    Bernadette: I donít have to take this. Iím gonna go home and have sex with my husband right now. Maybe Iíll let him do it to me in the parking spot... Which sounds dirty, but I didnít mean it that way!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Happens in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" as Everyone Meets Everyone:
      Xander: Well, uh, maybe I'll see you around... maybe at school... since we... both... go there.
      Buffy: Great! It was nice to meet you. [starts down the hall]
      Xander: [unimpressed with himself] We both go to school. Very suave. Very not pathetic.
    • Also in "Once More with Feeling":
      Spike: So that's it? You've just come to pump me for information?
      Buffy: What else would I want to pump you for? [beat] I really just said that, didn't I?
    • In the comics it's Satsu's turn to say this. After she sleeps with Buffy, a vampire is about to kill Buffy, threatening that he bets she tastes sweet. Satsu dusts him, drawls, "You have no idea," then groans, as they had been keeping their lesbian fling a secret.
    • "When Was Bad" has Buffy read a letter from Cordelia's captors: "Come to The Bronze before it opens or we make her a meal."
      Xander: They're gonna cook her dinner? [Beat Panel] I'll pretend I didn't say that.
    • Giles gets one in "Listening to Fear".
      Xander: I still don't understand why we have to come here to get info on a killer snot monster.
      Giles: Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space. I did not just say that.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Doctor Dances" (It Makes Sense in Context):
      "Go. To. Your. Room. [threat leaves] Really glad that worked, those would have been horrible last words."
    • "School Reunion":
      "Correctamundo! There's a word I've never used before, and hopefully never will again."
    • "The Eleventh Hour":
      • In response to a statement from Amy...
        "I'm the Doctor, I'm worse than everybody's aunt! And that's not how I'm introducing myself!"
      • Later:
        "Final score, no TARDIS, no screwdriver, two minutes to spare, WHO DA MAN?" [Beat] "Fine, I'm never saying that again."
    • "The Lodger":
      The Doctor: [after noticing some suspicious mold in Craig's flat] I'll fix it, I'm good at fixing rot. Call me the Rotmeister. No, I'm the Doctor, don't call me the Rotmeister.
  • Firefly:
    • In the final episode "Objects in Space", Kaylee bids her crush Simon goodnight as he heads off to bed.
      Kaylee: Don't let the space bugs bite! (rolls eyes, to herself) Space bugs...
  • Friends: In the episode "The One With The Blackout", Chandler gets stuck in an ATM vestibule with Victoria's Secret model Jill Goodacre. She offers Chandler gum and at first he turns it down. Then he realizes that he shouldn't have and tells her:
    Chandler: You know, on second thought, gum would be perfection. [thinking] Gum would be perfection? Gum would be perfection. Could have said, "Gum would be nice," or "I'll have a stick," but no no no no no. For me, gum is perfection. I loathe myself.
  • In the How I Met Your Mother episode when Ted is noticeably upset at his long-distance girlfriend not calling him and Robin invites him over, Ted doesn't even miss a beat, immediately commenting out loud at his own corniness. She suggests they drink wine and his response is "Wine not? Wow, that's the stupidest thing I've ever said."
  • In the Mork & Mindy episode "Mork Runs Down", Mindy's father has this reaction while trying to reassure a very sick Mork.
    Mork, don't worry. After you get your gleek, your gorgles will be gone! [beat] I can't believe I just said that.
  • In one episode of NUMB3RS, Colby notes that with a new piece of evidence, a lot of things in their case are starting to fall into place. How does he express this?
    Colby: A equals B equals C equals D; it's like one of Charlie's equations. [Beat] I can't believe I just said that.
  • Parks and Recreation:
    Are you interested in running for public office?
    Absotootley, I—am very sorry I just said that.
  • Rimmer does this at the end of the Red Dwarf episode "Holoship", when he quotes a movie on which earlier he had been heaping contempt: "We won't be apart, we just ... won't be together." (Look of absolute self-disgust.) "I cannot believe I just said that!"
  • In the Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode "Sabrina Through The Looking Glass", Baltimore Oriole star Brady Anderson stars As Himself and serves as Sabrina's spirit guide when she becomes trapped inside a mirror world. As she's leaving, he advises her to remember that "life is a team sport." After she goes back, Brady delivers the following line:
    Brady: Life is a team sport? How stupid does that sound?
  • In The Worst Witch, Ethel gets tongue-tied when she sees a wizard boy about her age, who smiles at her. One of her friends encourages her to say something, anything.
    • Immediately, Ethel gets a disgusted look on her face, and her friends start teasing her about it.

  • In Pippin, Charles nobly offers to leave his son Pippin with a word of advice before going, but only comes up with the cliché, "Home is where the heart is." Charles wonders why he said that, and so does Pippin a moment after thanking his father.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • For the first player choice after the title character of Melody is introduced, one option is to compliment her name. If the player chooses this, the protagonist will mentally kick himself upon hearing her reaction.

    Web Comics 
  • A comic of Funny Farm featured Ront describing the steps required to reach the town of Bucket, which involved going through the Phukket river and ends up summarizing it as "Going around the Phukket until they climax in Bucket." and, as his brother cracks up, remarks that he can't believe that sentence just came out of his mouth.
  • This episode of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
    Wonderella: ...that's like the worst comeback ever uttered by the human mouth.
  • Homestuck:
    Dave: huh
    Karkat: WHAT
    Dave: i cant believe i seriously just said dude dont touch my cape to somebody and was serious about it

    Web Originals 
  • In Agents of Cracked episode F.U.B.A.R.-King Up The Wrong Tree
    Swaim: Are you saying, that you need my quasi-legal fetishes and weird dick to make this happen?
    DOB: Is that what I'm saying? Jesus, I guess.
  • In Worm, Chapters 6.2 and 6.3 see Taylor assembling furniture with the very-good-looking Brian, and trying not to make it completely awkward:
    Brian: Relax. You're allowed to breathe. [Taylor laughs nervously] You okay?
    Taylor: [narration] What was I supposed to say? Admit I didn't know how to deal with being around a good looking guy?
    Taylor: [out loud] I get nervous when I'm close to people. I think, you know, maybe I have bad breath, or maybe I have B.O., and I wouldn't be able to tell, because it's mine, so I hold my breath like that to be safe. I dunno.
    Taylor: [narration] Bravo, Taylor. Bravo. I imagined the slowest, most sarcastic of slow claps. Talking about bad breath and B.O. was totally the way to go. One of those brilliant moments that would have me cringing every time I remembered it in the next few years or decades, I was sure.
  • The Strange Case of Starship Iris: Violet, to Kay:
    Honestly, I feel like kissing you. (Pause.) That came out wrong, I meantóI meant, ĎOh, I could kiss you,í in that, you know, likeó
  • In the Professor Juice review of Crash Boom Bang, when Rosie complains about Pura's more anthropomorphic redesign (with shorts):
    Rosie: I never thought I'd say this, but take off your trousers and get on all fours! [with her hands on her face] Oh my God, I can't believe I just said that.

    Western Animation 
  • Hurricanes: In an Enemy Mine case, Amanda and Stats (Hurricanes) entered a truce with Garkos, Wyn and Genghis (Gorgons) to find who's trying to kill commentator Winston Honeychurch. Amanda told the Gorgons they'd have a chance to act like cops. At the first attempt to capture the outside foes, Genghis told them to stop in name of Law. He'd later feel silly for having said that.
  • The Owl House: In "Clouds on the Horizon", Luz's response after she and Amity have their first kiss is "crikey". She can't believe that she even came up with that and should have been cooler about it.
  • Played for Drama in an episode of Rocket Power. Otto and Twister have a falling out over a skateboard trick that Otto did but Twister failed at. At one point Otto tries to end the feud by telling Twister that he forgives him, but this only makes Twister angrier. When Reggie finds out that Otto thinks that he warned Twister that the trick was hard and that Twister lashed out at him when he tried to help after he got hurt, Reggie shows him a video of what really happened: Otto mocked Twister for being too scared to try the trick and continued mocking him after he tried the trick and got hurt when he failed. Otto is horrified at the sight and drops the trope name word for word.
  • Total Drama: There's a few instances of the characters realizing what they've said is unfortunate.
    • In "Truth or Laser Shark", Sam tries to apologize to Dakota for his shocked reaction to her morning look. Coming up with an excuse on the fly, he tells her he was just astounded by her beautiful nostrils. As she gives him a concerned look, the scene cuts to Sam in the confessional berating himself for going with nostrils of all things.