Follow TV Tropes


Do I Really Sound Like That?

Go To

George: Why won't the doors lock?
X: Because I've taken control of the lab's computer systems. I also have control of the intercom system. Listen. "Attention all robots! This is George. Please come to the training room. X has something cool to show you."
George: Wow, do I really sound that nasally?
Bob and George, comic #1890

Alice encounters a doppelgänger or a recording of herself and is shocked as to the style of speech she uses, and how stupid it sounds, and inquires of her friends as to whether she really sounds like that and/or says those things all the time.

Truth in Television - or so, at least, it's often claimed. We hear our own voices through our own ears, which are interrupted by our brains' perception and we often perceive it as different from how it really is and are surprised by the real thing. Part of this is because your voice reverberates through your own skull, making it sound deeper. However, your voice doesn't necessarily sound bad if you don't like it, it's just that you're more used to how you hear it than how everyone else apparently does. Some audio devices do change voices somewhat when playing them back, further contributing to the belief in this idea, however.

Compare with Reality Is Unrealistic. Contrast with Voice Change Surprise.

Here is a compilation with a lot of examples of this quote and other variations.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Meru from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei stopped talking after some boys made fun of her voice, and she recorded her voice to hear what it sounded like. She was so shocked, she started communicating via text messages. Abusive Text Messages.

    Comic Books 
  • Daredevil: In an early issue, Foggy Nelson impersonates Daredevil to impress Karen Page as the real DD looks on. Matt reacts to Foggy's attempts to sound like Daredevil with disdain. "Now there's a remark worthy of Spider-Man! I wonder if I sound that cornball?" Later, after realizing he actually does sound as silly as Foggy sometimes, he says "from now on I'm the old-fashioned strong, silent type crimefighter."
  • Played with in the IDW crossover between the movie versions of the Ghostbusters and their animated counterparts since Real!Janine wasn't voiced by her movie actress. Movie!Ray uses his team's trans-dimensional portal to enter the "Real" dimension to try and get some readings that could help the situation. He also has a video camera that sends footage to their computer, and gets Real!Janine on camera. Upon hearing the latter's voice, Movie!Janine then has this exchange with the "Real" versions of Egon and Ray:
    Movie!Janine: Wait, is that me? That can't be how my voice sounds. Is it? (next panel, looking annoyed) Well?
    Real!Egon: Ah, that depends.
    Real!Ray: Would you yell?
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake asks "What's with, 'Good evening citizens'? I don't really talk like that do I?" after Superboy impersonates Robin in order to help Tim out.
  • Early in Superior Spider Man, Doctor Octopus, having taken over Peter Parker's body, is checking out one of his old labs. He triggers a trap with a video recording of Ock in his prime boasting of his greatness and moans over both the voice and the arrogance.
    • When Peter gets his body back, he briefly pretends to still be Ock in a hammy manner. Peter then asks "wow, I spent months talking like that and no one noticed?"
  • Robot Thor frequently repeats "Please tell me I don't sound like that." upon meeting the real Thor in The Ultimates Volume 3.

    Comic Strips 
  • A The Far Side cartoon had two scrawny geeks listening to a tape-recorder: "Does my voice really sound that funny?"

    Fan Works 
  • In Plans, Hannah is watching a Crime TV episode showing her crimes (that is, an actress pretending to be a younger version of her) and is greatly distressed at how the actress is mangling her accent:
    Hannah: This isn't what I sound like. (to Lumen) I don't sound like that. Do I sound like that?
    Lumen: You don't sound like that.
  • The Triptych Continuum story Mechanical Aptitude opens with a unicorn wandering into a repair shop because he simply can't believe that the recordings of his own startlingly obnoxious voice are accurate. His issues are, of course, worse than that.

    Films — Animation 
  • A variation from The Emperor's New Groove: Yzma has been turned into a fluffy little cat and reacts to her voice sounding higher with "Is that my voice? Is that... my voice?!"
    • Of course, she is played by Eartha Kitt...
    • Apparently, this was Eartha's reaction when she heard what cat! Yzma's voice sounded like. They threw it in.
  • Inverted in Hoodwinked!. Twitchy (Cory Edwards) is high on coffee and has to speak into a tape deck, which is played back at quarter speed to make it intelligible. His voice sounds just like Cory Edwards. Twitchy puts on a rather impressed, suave expression on hearing it.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hiccup is less than amused by Astrid's spot-on impression of his body language (and more joking impression of his voice).
    Astrid: [in squeaky, nasal tones] Not now, Dad, I've got a whole day of goofing off to get started!
    Hiccup: Wha...? Okay, first of all, I-I don't sound like that. Who - what is this character? And...and second, what is that thing you're doing with my shoulders?
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation CGI parody Sev Trek: Pus in Boots, Lieutenant Barf (Worf) is impersonated by a shapeshifting alien who he takes on in a dramatic batleth duel while exchanging the usual insults and Bond One Liners. Later Barf pours out his troubles to the ship's counselor.
    Barf: To destroy myself in combat brings me dishonor as a Klingoff warrior. And does my voice really sound that funny?
  • Toy Story 2: Buzz encounters another Buzz who believes himself to be the real Buzz.
    Buzz 2: All Rangers are to be in hypersleep until awoken by authorized personel! You are breaking ranks, ranger! Buzz Lightyear to Star Command, I have an AWOL Space Ranger!
    Buzz 1: Tell me I wasn't this deluded.

    Films — Live Action 
  • In The 13th Warrior, as Ibn Fadlan is learning the Norse language, he catches the end of one Viking doing an impression of another, to which the other says "I don't sound like that" in the exact same voice.
  • In 22 Jump Street, Schmidt is the only one who doesn't think Mr. Walters' impression of him is spot on.
    Schmidt: That doesn't sound anything like me.
    Jenko: It's not not you.
  • In Annie (2014), when the title character sees video footage of herself for the first time, her reaction is "Whoa, my hair's gigantic!"
  • In The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training Ahmad cringes at watching himself give a quite respectable interview to at TV news reporter.
  • A variation from Casablanca; when Rick Blaine reads Major Strausser's dossier on him, he asks, "Are my eyes really brown?"
  • Noteworthy variant in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Hermione gets a look at her past self:
    Hermione: Does my hair really look like that from the back?
  • A variation happens in Super Troopers, when Farva quotes O'Hagan's favorite expression in the same fake Irish accent. The (drunk) O'Hagan asks the other cops if he really sounds like that. Their expressions are priceless, as they try to come up with a good answer, especially since they're all pretty wasted.
    Rod Farva: [terrible Irish accent] I'll believe that when me shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet.

  • There is a novel about the Communist-Nationalist war in China. One of the rebels produces a recording of another and plays it for him. The other character, who is unfamiliar with records, refuses to believe that it is his own voice, until the first rebel explains why this is the case.
  • In the Forgotten Realms novel Azure Bonds, Giogioni Wyvernspur does a frighteningly accurate impression of King Azoun IV of Cormyr—so much so that an assassin tries to kill him in the mistaken belief that he's the king in disguise. When Giogi ends up meeting the king, he's asked to demonstrate his impression. The king is not amused and insists that he doesn't sound like that, to which his court mage replies, "With respect, Your Highness, you do."
  • In one of the Red Dwarf books Rimmer recalls being horrified at hearing his own voice on an answering machine, as he learned that what he'd imagined to be a clear and proper voice of command proved to be a heavily accented mumbling. He's remembering this because of meeting a hologram of himself, and seeing his own mannerisms and personality from the outside is 1000 times worse.
  • In Skyward, the protagonist Spensa has a habit of making grandiose insults as a form of bravado. When her starfighter's AI starts emulating her, she begs her comrades to tell her that she doesn't sound that ridiculous. None of them can bring themselves to reply.
  • Star Wars Legends: In the first book of The Thrawn Trilogy, Threepio's voice is modded to sound like Leia's so that he can act as a decoy. Leia herself, listening to him, wonders the phrase of this trope.
  • In The Tamuli series by David Eddings, Sparhawk has this reaction when they magically disguise Berit as Sparhawk.
  • Emma Bull's War for the Oaks has the heroine under a spell that removes all glamours. A side-effect is that she can hear her voice as she sounds to other people, which is a bit disorienting.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrested Development: "Ready, Aim, Marry Me" Michael asks Tobias to record and listen to his own voice in order to hear himself, hoping he would notice that almost everything he says is Innocent Innuendo. Tobias does notice something unusual in his style of speech but still manages to completely miss the point: he realizes he sounds conceited. As an added bonus, his reaction to this realization is itself an innuendo: "Tobias, you blowhard!"
  • In one episode of The Big Bang Theory Bernadette has become tired of hearing about Howard's trip to space and suggests he find something else to talk about, later he tries to bring it up at a Halloween party but he's afraid she'll tell him to stop and he gets upset, when she asks him what's wrong he responds while mocking her high pitched voice and she replies in a completely different voice "I don't sound like that!"
  • Castle, in "Nikki Heat", when actress Natalie Rhodes starts dressing and acting like Beckett in order to research the lead role in an upcoming Nikki Heat movie. She gets Beckett's mannerisms eerily close:
    Beckett (watching Natalie chew her knuckle): Do I really do that?
    Castle: Yes, and it's adorable.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The visual variant shows up in "Space"/"Time", with Amy Pond.
      Amy 1: Do I really look like that?
      Amy 2: Yeah. Yeah, you do.
      Amy 1: Mmm... I'd give you a driver's licence.
      Amy 2: I'll bet you would.
    • A similar version happens in "Listen" when Clara Oswald checks out herself from slightly earlier in her timeline, striding away in a tight skirt.
      Clara: Is that what I look like from the back?
      The Doctor: It's fine.
      Clara: I was thinking it was good.
  • Lampshaded mercilessly on Friends. Ross starts insulting Russ's diction, totally unaware that Russ speaks exactly as he does (if a bit more exaggerated). The others are clearly trying their best not to break out in guffaws, but Chandler manages to calmly ask whether that's annoying. Cue Ross using exactly the same diction to reply "... Yeah!"
    • Inverted when Phoebe professionally records her song "Smelly Cat". Phoebe is astonished as how good she sounds, despite is being obvious to everyone else that she has been dubbed by a real singer.
  • Averted in an episode of Get Smart, when Sigfried has captured Max to replace him with a duplicate (also played by Don Adams). Max remains calm until the duplicate demonstrates he's also got the voice down.
    Max: They'll never fall for it, Sigfried. He may look like me, but I have a very distinct and unique voice!
    Fake Max: You hear that, Sigfried? He has a very distinct and unique voice!
  • Lois & Clark episode "Virtually Destroyed": Clark is bemused by the Virtual Superman's style of speech, using cheesy terms like "Good Day Citizens!" and asks Lois if he really talks like that.
  • Another variant in Mystery Science Theater 3000, "Invasion of the Neptune Men".
    Mike: [as Japanese scientist looking at blurry photo] Is that really what I look like?
  • On one episode of MythBusters, Grant recorded the "Coming up on Mythbusters!" pre-commercial thing on one of the oldest voice recording machines, and after hearing it played back asked if he really sounded like that. Then the next several things he said were all in a deliberately deeper voice.
  • In The Nanny, Fran usually seemed absolutely oblivious to her nasal goose-honk like voice. One time, when hearing herself on TV, she said there must be something wrong with the set because sounded so nasal. However, later, when she's trying to climb out of a stuck elevator, she screams.
    Fran: Oh, my God.
    Max: What is it, another rat?
    Fran: No, there's an echo in here. I just heard my own voice.
  • Royal Pains had a serious example. Their patient of the week has an Eastern European accent, but is referenced as being from the American mid-west. This leads them to realize that she's suffering from Foreign Accent Syndrome and likely has serious brain damage. They reveal this to her by recording her voice and playing it back for her. She even says the trope name when she hears her voice.
  • In Runaways (2017) season two, Nico's reaction to Xavin shapeshifting into her exact double is to ask if she's really that short.
  • In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode "Charades", a now-human Spock is being taught how to act like a Vulcan by Number One, Uhura, La'an and Ortegas. The girls are obviously taking the piss on him by speaking like he used to speak, leading him to ask this question. They all respond with a Blunt "Yes".
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch features Alec Baldwin as a man trying to record his voicemail message and while he speaks in his normal voice to record it, when he plays it back he sounds increasingly Camp Gay. He insists he doesn't sound like that but everyone says he does, even his wife.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In one of the audio dramas, Vala is being held in a prisoner and Daniel has to come in and negotiate for her release. Vala narrates the events that led to this situation, starting off with when she and the rest of SG-1 were beginning a mission. She imitates each of their voices.
      Vala: (as Daniel) Er, there are some interesting ruins in the shallows. I'd like to take a look at them and do some archaeological things.
      Daniel: I don't sound like that.
      Vala: Shut up. I'm talking.
      Daniel: "Archaeological things"?
    • There's also an episode of the show where a bounty hunter uses a device to imitate Mitchell's voice.
      Mitchell: Do I really sound like that?
  • Supernatural. When Sam meets his soulless self in a Battle in the Center of the Mind, Soulless!Sam asks if he's really that gawky.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • When Edge and Randy Orton impersonated D-Generation X, Orton (playing Shawn Michaels) imitated Michaels' "dancing" to the ring. When the real DX came out, the first thing Michaels says to Triple H is "You gotta tell me: do I really look that stupid?" HHH's reply? "Shawn, I'm not gonna lie to ya. (to Edge and Orton) What's with you guys?"

  • In a Z100 Phone Tap, a woman yelled a lot of insults and curses, then hung up. Then the radio hosts called back and played back a recording of her very same yelling. It was hilarious as she didn't realize that she was arguing with, well, herself.
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who episode Caerdroia, the Doctor gets a Literal Split Personality and comments that he thought he was taller, which doesn't really make much sense, despite being rather funny and endearing because he really isn't all that tall. (As far as playing this trope straight goes, the three versions all speak quite differently)

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect
    • During Thane's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, Captain Bailey mentions that there's a Shepard VI—and you get to see it in Mass Effect 3. It's an exaggerated version of Shepard's canon "personality" - the Paragon version is ridiculously cheery and gung-ho, while the Renegade version suggests you tear it out of its socket and run off if you can't pay.
      Paragon VI: There's nothing in this galaxy we can't beat if we work together! [Beat] Except the Reapers. Ever seen the size of one of those things?
      Renegade VI: I find the best advanced battlefield strategy is to have more bullets than the other guy.
      Shepard: I don't really sound like I?
    • The Citadel DLC mission takes this one step further - the villain is an evil clone who borrows Shepard's infamous "I should go" before sealing the team in a vault. Guess what Shepard's biggest concern is?
      Shepard: Do I sound like that? (...) How come nobody told me about this before?! I'm open to feedback here!
    • Reactions from the said comment above ranges from confirmation, constructive criticisms about how Shepard show weakness with that line, genuinely thought that it is a traditional human farewell so they didn't fuss about it, to sharing the same sentiment of abusing a phrase/word and thus has no place to talk. And when Shepard is still worrying over their catchphrase, the rest of the squad are panicking and tell Shepard to focus on their predicament.
  • Max Payne: In one of Max's drug-induced dreams, he gets a phone call from himself, where the other him is firing off a really off-color Private Eye Monologue. Max never realizes that it is himself talking, and thinking it is a load of gibberish he dismisses it as a prank call, but he still can't help but get a nagging sense that the caller sounded familiar.
  • This can happen in The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, after you've acquired Arthur and jumped back to the time zone you found him in. If you backtrack along the path you took to get to him, Arthur makes fun of how his past self tries to sound spooky to warn you off, then after the act is dropped, he asks you if his voice sounds dorky.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: During the last part of the Shisno Paradox trilogy, both Sarge and Donut express this when they heard their past selves talk. In Donut's case, it's a key part of starting his Character Development, as he realizes just how much innuendo he accidentally lets into his speech and starts making efforts to correct it.
  • In RWBY Volume 9, having spent decades in the Ever After, when Jaune is restored to his original age, he can't help but express this after hearing his more younger, dorkier voice.

  • As noted by the page quote, George of Bob and George wonders if his voice is that nasally when X does an impersonation of him.
  • Diane of El Goonish Shive is resistant to the idea that Susan looks and sounds just like her. While the audience obviously doesn't get to hear either character's voice, both Ellen and Rhoda have commented that they sound identical. Diane is less than convinced.
    Rhoda: Listen to her voice. She sounds just like you!
    Diane: Pfft. I don't sound like that.
  • In Girl Genius, when the Dingbot containing Agatha's holographic message about the Other finally turns up again in England, playing the message shows its journey through snippets of conversation, since apparently it plays all its recordings and then records a new one, presumably assuming it's a reply. The snippets all begin with the person who's handing it off reacting to the recording of them receiving it, including "Goodness, do I really squint like that?" "Heavens — Hadn't realised I was that fat..." and "Ugh, do I really sound like that?"

    Web Original 
  • The souls in both Heaven and Hell in Who Says speak with the consonants of toddlers, but they do not realize that they themselves are not speaking eloquently.
    Angel Teacher: It's pronounced 'birds', honey. 'Bluebirds'. Not 'boobirbs'.
    Anika: That's what I said... bluebirds.
    Angel Teacher: Blue. Birds.
    Anika: Blue. Birds.

    Western Animation 
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Persona":
    Chameleon Spider-Man: How 'bout a taste of Spider-PUNCH!
    Spider-Man: Please tell me I don't sound like that, or at least that I offer a higher-quality quip.
  • Invader Zim had Dib comment on how boring his explanations are when he meets a future version of himself. Played with in that it's actually Zim talking through a robot duplicate. He even lapses into his usual speech patterns at one point.
  • Transformers: Animated
    • In the episode "Along Came a Spider": Sari dresses up as Optimus for Halloween.
      Sari: Oh look at me, I'm Optimus Prime, I'm scared of spiders.
      Optimus: That's not what I sound like.... Is it?
    • Then she can't resist borrowing his "Transform and roll out".
  • South Park: After a dragon is summoned from everyone overusing the word "shit", it sounds exactly like Cartman.
    Cartman: Man, that voice is lame.
  • Futurama, "A Head in the Polls": Nixon hears a recording of himself and says...
    Nixon: My god, do I really sound like that? I thought my voice had more of a Clark Gable quality!
  • Family Guy
    • Lois hears her own voice when she speaks into a microphone.
      Lois: Oh God, is that my voice? God, it's all whiny and nasally and... egh.
    • In an earlier episode, Lois has this reaction when she sees Fran Drescher playing her in a reality show based on the Griffins.
      Fran: [as Lois] Oh Peter, you promised you wouldn't drink at the stag party. Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe...
      Lois: Ugh, I do not sound like that!
    • In "Crimes and Meg's Demeanor", when Lois tries to talk to Meg about her drinking, Meg says she knows what she's gonna say and how she'll say it:
      Meg: (imitates Lois) I don't want you drinkin' or your life's gonna go down the crappah.
      Lois: (laughs) That's not bad. I mean, I sound nothing like that, but it's a fun character.
  • The Simpsons
    • Marge.
      Marge: Testing, 1, 2, 3... oh my! Do I sound like that?
    • And again with Homer in another episode. Bart tells him his voice sounds perfect for a cartoon, and...
      Bart: Haven't you ever listened to your own voice?
      Homer: No.
      Bart: Here, speak into this. (pulls out a tape-recorder)
      Homer: (into the microphone) Hey, this is Homer Simpson sayin’ “howdy” to all the girls out there in radio land! ... (Bart rewinds and plays the recording) AAH! I don't sound like that, do I? Oh… I don't like having such a hilarious voice.
    • They also subverted it in one episode, where Bart plays a recording of a "conversation" he "had" with "Marge" (it was Bart doing both voices, poorly imitating his mother's) about whether Otto could live in their garage.
      Homer: Marge, how could you?!
      Marge: That's not my voice!
      Homer: Oh, everyone says that when they hear themselves on tape!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • The leads are very defensive of this trope. Particularly Katara in "The Ember Island Players":
      Actor!Katara: And we must never relinquish hope, even to our dying day!
      Katara: Well that's just silly, I don't sound like that!
    • Zuko too.
      Zuko: They make me look totally stiff and humorless.
      Katara: Actually, I think that actor's pretty spot-on.
      Zuko: How could you say that!?
      Actor!Iroh: Let's forget about the Avatar, and get massages!
      Actor!Zuko: HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT!?
    • Subverted with Toph, who finds the depiction of herself as a deep-voiced macho man very flattering.
  • Sean says this in the Ready Jet Go! special "Back to Bortron 7" after a bunch of TV screens show him saying "Booyah! Science!"
    Sean on the screens: Booyah! Science! Booyah! Science! Booyah! Science!
    Sean: Wow, do I really sound like that? Haha, coolsome.
  • Dipper of Gravity Falls says this word-for-word after the others play him a recording of his pubescent voice. He tries to change his voice because of it.

    Real Life 
  • Allegedly, regarding the voice actors' impersonations of them in Yellow Submarine, each of The Beatles believed that his own voice was slightly off, but the other three were perfect imitations.
  • This was a variation on Ventrilo Harassment called Nerd Confusion, where the soundboard was stocked with recordings of the occupants of the channel. Shit, as they say, was so cash.
  • On the MegaTokyo website, Dom (the real-life guy who inspired the character, and "drew" Filler Strips) once blogged that having appeared once on Jeopardy!, he could never watch the tape because his recorded voice disturbs him too much.
  • C. S. Lewis once noted his dismay, upon first hearing a recording of himself, at realizing that his Ulster brogue had faded during his years in England. He also admitted that the recording proved some students' cheeky imitations of his voice were more accurate than he had realized.
  • According to this interview, the voice actress Andrea Libman, best known as Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, isn't very fond of listening to her own voice.
  • According to this behind the scenes interview, when Reba McEntire listened to the recordings she did for the character Betsy in the 2006 live-action version of Charlotte's Web, she refused to believe that she sounded like a hick, but she also said she was proud of it.
  • Eric Idle of Monty Python has said over the years that he absolutely hates how his voice sounds on recordings, to the point of actively avoiding watching his own body of work.
  • Related to the previous few entries, many award-winning singers and performers dislike their own voices and have a much better view of their co-stars compared to themselves.


Video Example(s):


Dipper Voice Remix

Soos made a crazy remix of Dipper's unusual adult voice for a 12-year old.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoIReallySoundLikeThat

Media sources: