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Captain Obvious

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"It's a weapon! It's really powerful, especially against living things!"
Barry Burton handing Jill acid rounds for a grenade launcher, Resident Evil
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We are describing Captain Obvious here, on a trope page. You just read the quote and are reading this now.

He strives to be Mr. Exposition... but there's something wrong with his exposition. Most of the time, whatever he has to say should already be obvious—both to the viewers and to any other character with half a brain. After saying anything, another character might state "Gee, you think?" Or if someone's attempt at humor was disrupted, they might say "Don't Explain the Joke!"

In other words, Captain Obvious states the obvious. This means that his statements are self-evident.

In some cases, this is justified because Captain Obvious is also The Ditz, or so puzzled by something that he can't help but state, well, the obvious. This can be because he doesn't know that it should be obvious, and/or because he's just realized what was obvious to everyone else. In other cases, somebody has to be Captain Obvious because more than one person has been Lieutenant Oblivious. (That is, it sounds really obvious once you hear it, but you'd be surprised at what some people don't find obvious...)

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See also As You Know, Exactly What It Says on the Tin, Narrating the Obvious, Shaped Like Itself, Department of Redundancy Department, Captain Obvious Aesop, Captain Obvious Reveal. Can very often be an Understatement as well. Not to be confused with Captain Oblivious. Sometimes, may be demoted to Commander Contrarian, a commander who disagrees. It Makes Sense in Context is what fans will say when other people bring it up. Slightly justified if everybody else is Captain Oblivious.

This trope sometimes overlaps with Mathematician's Answer and Circular Reasoning, when Captain Obvious is stating the obvious to be a smartass or to avoid giving a more helpful answer to a question. It can also overlap with Non-Answer if the answer is self-evident and clearly not what the questioner wanted to know.

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Incidentally, do not confuse this trope with Lampshade Hanging. In the case of a Captain Obvious, a character notes something that is self-evident to the characters as well as to the audience (us). A Lampshade Hanging occurs when something that is obvious to us, but should go unnoticed by the characters, is noticed by the characters. Note that you can click on the words in blue, and they will take you to a new article.

That was a description, on a website called TV Tropes, which can be found on the Internet.

Being one is often the cause of this reaction: You Can Talk? Obviously.


In-Universe Examples Only: (Please only write examples of this trope that occur within the context of the fictional "universe" of the media itself)

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    This folder is about Asian Animation 
  • Motu Patlu:
    • In the episode "Motu Ke Sawaal", Motu watches a TV show where the host mentions that one's knowledge will increase if they ask questions... which is the whole point of asking questions in the first place.
    • The songs the show has uploaded to YouTube feel the need to point out that they're "Available Worldwide!" They're normal YouTube videos, so why wouldn't they be?note 

    This folder is about Comedy 
In this folder are all the examples of comedy not fitting anywhere else.
  • Stan Freberg, "St. George and the Dragonet":
    Chief: Say, did you take that .45 automatic into the lab to have them check on it?
    St. George: Yeah. You were right.
    Chief: I was right?
    St. George: Yeah. It was a gun.
  • Bill Engvall likes to do this to set up jokes, often ending with his Catchphrase "Here's Your Sign". Granted that this is more of an Ask a Stupid Question... example, Bill still sometimes channels his inner Captain Obvious for his comedy act. Usually the "Here's Your Sign" jokes are about other people's stupid questions, but sometimes he himself just can't resist.
    Random Guy: (points to a buck's head mounted on Bill's wall) Ya' shoot that deer?
    Bill: (beat) Oh no. He tried to run through the wall and got stuck.
  • In one stand-up special, comedian Greg Behrendt acknowledged that his book He's Just Not That Into You is filled with "duh"-inducing information, but explains that some of the people who hit him up for advice are seriously that dense, as illustrated by this exchange:
    Woman: Greg, I have a problem. My boyfriend is married, and I—
    Behrendt: Okay, stop right there and repeat that back to yourself.
  • Dara O'Briain has a bit making fun of a cover story in the London Examiner titled "10 Symptoms You Should Not Ignore". The first 3 symptoms listed were rectal bleeding, loss of height, and sudden blindness.
    Who ignores sudden blindness?! Who sits in the office at lunchtime going "Oh, who turned out the lights? Oh, no, I can't see a thing, it's awful, I'm no use to anyone today. I'll answer phones, that's all I can do, that's all I'll be good for today. Oh, don't make a fuss, don't make a fuss, don't make a fuss."
  • Tim Hawkins does a bit in which his mother gave him good advice as a kid—after the fact. She tells him to be careful (after hitting his head on the table), and tells him his wallet must be somewhere (yes, yes it is) and that he should look in the place he left it last (when he was looking in the place he left it FIRST!!!).
  • From the Clarke and Dawe skit "The Front Fell Off", in reference to the Kirki oil spill off the coast of Western Australia in 1991:
    Bryan Dawe: Well if this (the oil tanker) wasn't safe, why did it have eighty thousand tons of oil on it?
    "Senator Bob Collins" (John Clarke): I'm not saying it wasn't safe, it's just perhaps not quite as safe as some of the other ones.
    Dawe: Why?
    Clarke: Well, some of them are built so that the front doesn't fall off at all.
    Dawe: Well wasn't this built so the front wouldn't fall off?
    Clarke: Well, obviously not.
    Dawe: How do you know?
    Clarke: Because the front fell off! And twenty thousand tons of crude oil spilled into the sea caught fire! It's a bit of a giveaway! I would just like to make the point that that is not normal.
    Dawe: Well, what sort of standards are these oil tankers built to?
    Clarke: Oh, very rigorous maritime engineering standards.
    Dawe: What sort of things?
    Clarke: Well, the front's not supposed to fall off for a start.
    Dawe: And what other things?
    Clarke: Well, there are... regulations governing the materials they can be made of.
    Dawe: What materials?
    Clarke: Well, cardboard's out.
    Dawe: And?
    Clarke: No cardboard deriviatives.
    Dawe: Like, paper?
    Clarke: No paper. No string, no sellotape.
    Dawe: Rubber?
    Clarke: No, rubber's out. Um, they've gotta have a steering wheel. There's a minimum crew requirement.
    Dawe: What's the minimum crew?
    Clarke: Oh, one I suppose.

    This folder is about Mythology & Religion 
All examples found in mythology and religion are here!
  • The Bible: Exodus 16:15 helpfully explains the Israelites' thought process when they first saw manna.
    They said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.
    • The last line of 2 Kings 7:4 gives us this gem:
    If they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

    This folder is about Pro Wrestling 
All examples found in professional wrestling are here!
  • Professional wrestler-turned—commentator Tazz is in the habit of calling his broadcast partners "Captain Obvious", when they sum up something that the viewers just saw fifteen seconds ago.
  • The really bad ones will actually do this to themselves, thanks to Department of Redundancy Department. (Michael Cole: "[Name] has been completely embarrassed! ...they're humiliated!")
  • Former TNA commentator Mike Tenay does the same thing whenever the wrestler Rellik is mentioned ("That's 'killer' spelled backwards.") Eric Young later started parodying Mike Tenay on this, referring to Rellik as Rellik-that's-killer-spelled-backwards, as if the entire thing was the guy's name.

    This folder is about Theme Parks 
All examples found in theme parks are here!
  • The skippers on the Jungle Cruise at the Disney Theme Parks tend to be this; for instance, Disneyland's version starts with the skipper pointing out the first sign of danger: A "Danger" sign.

    This folder is about Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney
    • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix states during the first case that the "missing fifth ace", could have been swapped out of the victim's hand either before, during, or after the murder. Payne responds with a variation of this trope.
      Payne: Well, yeah! Thanks for the news bulletin, Mr. Wright!
    • In The Great Ace Attorney, early on in the first game's fourth case, Inspector Gregson tells Ryunosuke and Susato that a policeman witnessed their client stabbing the victim. Susato, who's usually Ryunosuke's Hypercompetent Sidekick, ends up having a moment as Captain Obvious.
      Susato: A policeman witnessed the incident... As your judicial assistant, I must warn you that this could make our job very difficult indeed!
      Ryunosuke: ...Yes, as a non-judicial assistant, I could have warned me of that, too.
  • Shirou in Fate/stay night and the infamous "People die if they are killed." note 
  • Kindred Spirits on the Roof: In an extra scene, Seina Maki searches for a place in the school that's out of the way, so she and Miki Aihara, her sempai and the girl she likes, can have some time with each other without anyone bothering Miki. Aki Ariu, a member of the disciplinary committee, shows Seina around the campus, but warns her that this is her patrol route, so her colleagues will be patrolling the area. Seina, disappointed, remarks that Aki is on the disciplinary committee, which disciplines people.
  • The protagonist of Melody makes expository summaries of every single chapter.

    This folder is about Web Videos 
All examples found in web videos are here!
  • Life Hacks For Kids:
    • "Careful kids! Hot glue guns are HOT!"
    • "Make sure you always have adult supervision when using knifes!"
  • The TRY Channel, a YouTube channel where people try things, has an early video ("Irish Craft Beers"), where one person says the beer "Tastes like beer". Almost Shaped Like Itself territory, there.
  • Echo Rose: Carma starts "the truth" by informing the viewers that what they are watching is a YouTube video she is filming at that moment.
  • Drew Gooden:
    • The oh-so-helpful Scorpio horoscope of "You're a Scorpio", which Drew's character enthusiastically notes is true.
    • "What's the difference between regular ketchup and fancy ketchup?" "This one has the word "fancy" on it."



 
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Alternative Title(s): Stating The Obvious

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