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Don't Be Ridiculous

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Darlene Spritzer: What do I look like to you, some kind of used appliance?
Sunny Jim: Don't be ridiculous! An appliance comes with an off-switch.

"... dogs come from the Moon, not the Sun!"

Alice says something ridiculous. Bob responds with this Stock Phrase (or some close relative), then explains why Alice's statement is ridiculous. Of course, Bob's justification is either as absurd, more absurd, or otherwise not a rebuttal one would normally make to the original statement.

Often, Bob is The Ditz, a Cloudcuckoolander, or a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. Less often, Alice is likewise one of those characters.

A common variant is that Alice's original statement was an attempt to guess what Bob is planning or doing. ("So you're going to just storm the castle?" "Don't be absurd. I'm going to storm the castle carrying this marionette. Sheesh.")

Not quite the same as the usage of the phrase by Funny Foreigner Balki Bartokomous in the sitcom Perfect Strangers. (He would say it when suspected of doing something wrong, but usually wouldn't follow up with a nonsensical rebuttal.)

See Insane Troll Logic. Somewhat related to Voodoo Shark (when Real Life fiction-creators are seen doing this themselves — albeit not in response to a theory they find absurd). May also involve Distinction Without a Difference ("No, I'm not eating an eraser. I'm eating two erasers"). Compare Worrying for the Wrong Reason ("Sharks? Don't be silly. The crocodiles will get you first").


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • An old Peanuts comic had Linus trying to throw rocks at the stars. Lucy eventually stops him, admonishing him with "You blockhead! What if you had hit one?!"

  • In Prodigy James takes his shrunken truck out of his pocket and tosses it in the corner, where it returns to full size.
    Andron: As reference, what else do you keep in your pockets? Machine guns, space stations, the Library of Congress...?
    James: Don't be ridiculous. I keep the Library of Congress on my cell phone.

    Films Animated 
  • Alice in Wonderland, when the Mad Hatter is "fixing" the White Rabbit's watch:
    March Hare: Mustard?
    Mad Hatter: Mustard, yes... Mustard?! Don't let's be silly! Lemon, that's different-er.
  • Hey Arnold! The Movie: Oscar Kokoschka thinks they can save the apartment building from being demolished by camouflaging it with vanishing cream. Ernie's main objection to that is that if it rains, the cream will wash off and they'll be able to see it's still there.

    Films Live-Action 
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, Kermit/Smollett asks who hired the crew full of obvious pirates. Everyone points to Fozzie/Trelawney, while he points to his own finger.
    Kermit/Smollett: Your finger hired the crew?
    Fozzie/Trelawney: No, that's silly: The man who LIVES inside my finger hired the crew.

  • Bryony and Roses: Before Bryony finds out why the Beast is interested in her, she comments that for all she knows he plans to sacrifice her to the moon gods at the next equinox. He tells her not to be ridiculous: sacrifices to the moon gods take place at the solstice. (Then he reminds her that he's already promised her that his plans do not include her death.)
  • Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is fond of these. But given Wonka's absurdity, it goes over everyone's heads.
    Mrs. Gloop: He'll be made into marshmallows in five seconds!
    Wonka: Impossible! Unthinkable! Inconceivable! Absurd! He could never be made into marshmallows!
    Mrs. Gloop: And why not, may I ask?
    Wonka: Because that pipe doesn't go anywhere near it! That pipe — the one Augustus went up — happens to lead directly to the room where I make a most delicious kind of strawberry-flavoured chocolate-coated fudge...
  • Discworld: In Jingo, Colon confuses "hieroglyphs" for a type of mollusc, and when Nobby asks "so if we go any deeper, they'll be loweroglyphs" Colon tells him not to be ridiculous, because everyone knows you don't get loweroglyphs in these waters.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur can't resist making the obvious Paddington Bear reference (with a side-reference to The Importance of Being Earnest) when he learns Fenchurch's name: was she found in a handbag at Fenchurch Street Station?
    Fenchurch: And the answer is no.
    Arthur: Fine.
    Fenchurch: I was conceived there.
  • In Rivers of London, Peter tells Toby the dog that Nightingale would probably turn him into mittens. Nightingale objects, a shorthair would make terrible mittens, but might make a nice hat.
  • In Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy, during Martha's first conversation with Mayland Long, he tells her a version of the tale of Thomas the Rhymer, which continues past the usual ending point to talk about Thomas' son. When he finishes, she remarks that he tells it with such authority she could almost believe he'd had it from Thomas in person.
    "From the Rhymer?" He leaned forward and lifted his eyebrows in mock wonderment. "How could that be? ... I have the story from the boy, of course. The Rhymer's son.
    "Beautiful boy," he added, after a moment. "Resembled his mother."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Stolen Earth":
      Donna: Are you saying bees are aliens?
      The Doctor: Don't be so daft. Not all of them.
    • "Day of the Moon":
      River: Apollo 11's your secret weapon?
      The Doctor: No, no, it's not Apollo 11. That would be silly. It's Neil Armstrong's foot.
    • "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe":
      Lily: I don't understand. Is this place real? Or is it fairyland?
      The Doctor: Fairyland? Oh grow up, Lily! Fairyland looks completely different.
    • "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship":
      Brian: Are you saying dinosaurs are flying a spaceship?
      The Doctor: Brian, please! That would be ridiculous. They're probably just passengers.
    • "The Snowmen":
      Clara: So you can move your cloud? You can control it?
      The Doctor: No. No one can control clouds, that would be silly. The wind, a little bit.
    • "The Name of the Doctor":
      Clara: So, how do we get down there? Jump?
      The Doctor: Don't be silly. We fall.
    • "The Pilot":
      [after entering the TARDIS at night and exiting it somewhere else in broad daylight]
      Bill: Oh my God, have we travelled in time?
      The Doctor: No, of course not. [steps aside to reveal the Sydney Opera House] We've travelled to Australia!
  • Fringe:
    [Walter is examining a body, mentions talons]
    Peter: We're looking for Big Bird.
    Walter: Don't be ridiculous. Perhaps a Pterodactyl...
  • Full House:
    Jesse: [coming into the kitchen and seeing Danny scrubbing suds between his hands] Joey, it's finally happened — he's cleaning liquid soap.
    Danny: Don't be silly. I am just cleaning my rubber gloves.
    Joey: Danny, there is no shame in therapy...
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • In "Ypres 1914", the Major tries to come up with who should sacrifice himself before a charge up the line as there are five men and only rations enough for four:
      Jenkins: How about "one potato, two potato"?
      Major: Don't be childish, Jenkins. No, I think "fisties" would be best.
    • Two accountants make a bet with each other as to which clerk will fall past their office window next:
      First Man: Come on, Parky.
      Second Man: Don't do it, Parky.
      First Man: Come on, Parky. Jump, Parky. Jump.
      Second Man: Come on now, be sensible, Parky.
      [cut to letter]
      Voiceover: Dear sir, I wish to complain about that last sketch about people falling out of tall buildings. I myself have worked in a tall building all my life and have never once—-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! [cut to man falling to the ground]
  • A.N.T. Farm: (paraphrased)
    Son: Dad, do you know Batman? 'Cuz I've been trying to contact him all day. [shows flashlight converted into a Batsignal]
    Dad: That's ridiculous. You know as well as I do that Batman lives in Gotham City!
  • In Two and a Half Men, Alan mocks Kandi, asking her if she knows Chester (their dog) is sad because he told her. She denies it, saying Chester keeps his feelings bottled up.

  • The Goon Show - in "The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler", Henry Crun and Minnie Bannister discuss shooting elephants (out of season, no less) in Sussex. The announcer then adds this:
    Wallace Greenslade: Listeners who are listening will, of course, realise that Minnie and Henry are talking rubbish; as erudite people will realise, there are no elephants in Sussex. They're only found in Kent...

  • Spamalot:
    "Where are we going to find a shrubbery?"
    "Well, maybe we can build one? Out of cats."
    "Don't be ridiculous. Where are we going to find cats?"

    Video Games 
  • C14 Dating: It's possible to have Augustin crack a joke about Sherri's speciality in forensics by claiming that some of the literal skeletons in Sherri's closet are her former lovers. Sherri chides him for making the joke, then whispers the words "just my first husband".
  • In Dragon Age: Origins Awakening, Oghren tells the Warden that he's heard about schleets, monsters that disguise themselves as a seemingly ordinary pair of pants, then gouge out a victim's eyes. The Warden can egg him on by claiming schleets then lay eggs in the victim's eye sockets, to which he retorts "What kind of moron do you think I am? Schleets don't lay eggs!"

  • Darths & Droids, when the characters are surrounded by enemy ships:
    Qui-Gon: I've got an idea!
    Obi-Wan: It's not Summon Bigger Fish, is it?
    Qui-Gon: Don't be stupid! That would only take one or two hits, at most. Tell them we're bringing up a load of the Queen's laundry.
    • Later on, on several occasions, Jim (who plays Qui-Gon) would suggest Summon Bigger Fish as a solution to the various problems they were facing. The DM would always have an objection ("You're not Qui-Gon anymore," "Luke doesn't know that power," "You're in space," etc.), but Summon Bigger Fish isn't an actual Jedi power in the first place. Ben always responds:
      Obi-Wan: That's your reason for not letting him do it?
  • In The Order of the Stick, Roy has suggested that Elan sleep, but Elan is too worried to sleep. So...
    Roy: Then go play quietly with your puppet or something!
    Elan: Don't be ridiculous, Roy! You know Banjo is even more worried than I am.
  • Team Fortress 2, when Medic is talking about the Pregnancy Inductor in his medical kit, and how it could have defeated classic!Heavy by inducing labor in the baboon uteruses he had surgically installed onto all of his men (It Makes Sense in Context)...
    Medic: Three baboons? How preposterous. The human body can gestate one, maybe two baboons at best.
  • Dumbing of Age: Joyce (a recovering fundie) laughs at the idea that dinosaur fossils are tests of faith. Obviously two of every dinosaur went aboard the Ark and were later hunted to extinction.
  • From this Girl Genius strip:
    Agatha: Anyone else will have to move more carefully. If they are still down here and we catch up to them, it could be dangerous.
    Dimo: Ho! Dangerous for who, hey?
    Agatha: That depends on what they're after and if they've found it! Maybe it's a Jager shredding machine!
    Dimo: No vay. Dey melted dot down.

    Web Original 
  • When The Angry Video Game Nerd played Ikari Warriors, he and the Guitar Guy (Kyle Justin) encountered a level with a large Pipe Maze where the green pipes impede progress, but the yellow ones are safe to walk on. GG implies that the pipes were put there by Mario, and he's traveling through them.
    Nerd: So who goes through the yellow pipes? Luigi?
    Guitar Guy: Don't be stupid. Shit goes through there.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Halloween cartoon "Happy Hallow-Day", Strong Sad accuses The King of Town of eating Halloween Night. The King of Town protests "You amateurs, you don't know what you're talking about. I'm on a diet! It's strictly Arbor Day and Earth Day for me this year!"
    • In the cartoon "Cool Things", the following exchange occurs when Homestar spots Strong Sad through a pair of Cool Shades covered in wet yellow paint.
      Homestar: Oh, hello, Dripping Yellow Madness!
      Strong Sad: What? I'm Strong Sad. Dripping Yellow Madness moved away after the fifth grade.
  • The Nostalgia Critic would like to clear up something about Anastasia in his "Top 11 Villain Songs" review:
    Critic: Anastasia is often referred to as a cheap Disney knock-off, but we know that isn't true. No. It was an expensive Disney knock-off.
  • In a Rooster Teeth Short when they find that their new intern is a puppet.
    Joel Is that a Muppet?
    Burnie: Don't be silly, Muppets are trademarked.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Amphibia episode "The Domino Effect", Anne blames a loud noise from her new pet killerpillar on a "basement ghost".
    Hop Pop: Don't be ridiculous! Basement ghosts don't sound anything like that.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: D.I.A.P.E.R.", the ending has Numbuh Five tell the other kids where babies come from. The Stinger shows the other kids reacting with disgust... except Numbuh One, who protests "Babies don't come from New Jersey, they come from Philadelphia!"
  • From the Darkwing Duck episode "Twin Beaks" when Launchpad (trying to get in touch with his aura) makes a detour in a cow pen.
    Lanchpad: Okay, Twin Beaks is a quarter mile up the road, we should take a left at the second light and stop in at "Trudy's Diner". She makes a great pie and a darn good coffee.
    Darkwing: Ooh, did the nice cow tell you all that?
    Launchpad: Don't be silly, DW; this log gave me the directions. The cow just warned us not to order the coffee.
  • Dexter's Laboratory had this in the Charlie and the Chocolate Parody "Golden Diskette", when Professor Hawk (a Stephen Hawking clone who's just a human head on a mechanical bird body) makes his big entrance.
    Boy: It's a bird!
    Girl: It's a plane!
    Man: Don't be silly. It's just a man's head on a robot body.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: In "The Incredible Shrinking Fanboy", Fanboy becomes convinced he's shrinking when he sees the marks on the flower he used to measure himself have grown away from him. Chum Chum simply points out this was because the flower grew overnight, but Famboy convinces him that's not the case:
    Fanboy: Don't be ridiculous! This is a sunflower, not a moonflower!
  • In Justice League Unlimited, The Question gets accused by Supergirl of going through her trash. His response?
    The Question: Please. I go through everyone's trash.
  • This exchange from The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Skeptic".
    Lisa Simpson: If you believe in angels, then why not unicorns or sea monsters or leprechauns?
    Kent Brockman: Oh, that's a bunch of baloney, Lisa! Everyone knows leprechauns are extinct!
  • Squidbillies: Something has wrecked the Cuyler house.
    Rusty: I think Godzilly came over here and tipped our house up off the ground!
    Early: Son... Son, now come on. That's impossible. Ol' Godziller he lives over 'ere in Ja-pan. An' that's a long-ass commute just fer a beatdown.
  • Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: Tennessee Tuxedo frequently says "Don't be ridiculous" when Chumley says something obtuse. Tennessee's ensuing thought would make as much if not less sense.
  • In the Fangface episode "A Toothy Shark Is No Lark!", Fangs says he's always wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise in the Mediterranean. Puggsy, ever the Know-Nothing Know-It-All, smugly points out that the Caribbean isn't in the Mediterranean; it's in the North Pacific!


Video Example(s):


Sunny Jim

Sunny Jim says this to justify his misogyny to Darlene Spritzer.

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Main / DontBeRidiculous

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