Follow TV Tropes


Everything Except Most Things

Go To

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

Alice says X is great and claims nobody disagrees. Except maybe every member of the crew who isn't Alice. And every student of the school who isn't Alice. And maybe the entire global population except Alice.


Or Bob asks when have his cunning plans ever failed- other than on almost every single occasion he's come up with a cunning plan.

Basically, this is an informal Logical Fallacy where a generalization is made that is technically accurate, but has so many exceptions that the group which is generalized is significantly smaller than the arguer implies, and so small as to make the statement essentially meaningless.

Such exceptions can be provided when someone challenges someone else to Name One.

In its most extreme form, this trope borders on By "No", I Mean "Yes". Compare Overly Narrow Superlative.



    open/close all folders 

    Fan Works 
  • Jaune Arc in the RWBY fanfic What Happens in Vacuo Stays in Vacuo tries to make a Badass Boast, but it falls a little flat.
    Jaune: The only people who get to boss me around is my boss, my mother, my father, my seven sisters, the man who holds extensive blackmail over my head, the woman who is maybe trying to kill me, Glynda... and this psycho bitch here.
  • In Walking in the Shadows, Robin tries to explain to Starfire that humans don't accidentally set their beds on fire, only for everyone present minus Beast Boy (but including Xander and Sirius) to mention they've done it before.
  • My Hero Playthrough: All Might tells the class they are to offer each other constructive criticism. Izuku thinks the emphasis isn't needed. Except:
    Izuku: I mean, Todoroki-san was a bit cold. Iida-san was strict and somewhat hasty. Ashido-san seemed to sometimes speak without thinking. Mikoto could be a bit harsh. Okay, maybe the reminder wasn't the worst idea.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian: "All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"
  • Used as a gag in Austin Powers in Goldmember, where Dr. Evil orders everyone to leave after a moment with his son Scott, then stops everyone except Mini-Me from actually leaving.

  • Take A Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis, comparing sex to beer (also a Dissimile):
    Except that this is harder to get and the beer doesn't have to like you and you think about this more and you're proud of it afterwards and you're not supposed to have it, I suppose it is like a glass of beer. To some people. Except that this is much nicer.
  • Horrible Histories using this to describe ancient Athenian democracy. It was the first democracy ever, and everyone had the vote. Except women, of course. And slaves. And poor people. And people under the age of thirty. Otherwise, everyone has the vote.

    Live-Action TV 
  • During a "Good Burger" segment of All That, Ed asks the manager "have I ever let you down?" The manager replies "Yes, many times," and mumbles off a short list as he walks away.
  • Blackadder:
    • Blackadder II
      • "Potato": When Captain Rum informs Blackadder that his ship doesn't have a crew, Blackadder replies that he was under the impression that it was common maritime practice for a ship to have a crew. Rum replies that opinions are divided on the subject: All the other captains say it is, he says it isn't.
      • There was also Mrs. Ploppy the prison cook during Blackadder's stint as lord high executioner, who gave the prisoners anything they asked for their last meal provided they asked for sausages.
        Mrs. Ploppy: Otherwise they tend to get a tiny bit disappointed, sausages is all I've got.
    • Blackadder Goes Forth, "Captain Cook": General Melchett tells Blackadder to keep a mission top secret. Then Captain Darling provides the list of people with security clearance:
      Melchett: You and me, Darling, obviously. Field Marshal Haig, Field Marshal Haig's wife, all Field Marshal Haig's wife's friends, their families, their families' servants, their families' servants' tennis partners, and some chap I bumped into the mess the other day called Bernard.
      Blackadder: Quite so, sir, only myself and the rest of the English-speaking world is to know.
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, the Colonel says: "Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do, except perhaps my wife and some of her friends. Oh yes, and Captain Johnson. Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that's beside the point."
  • Inverted on Yes, Minister, when Hacker is arguing that high ranking civil servants don't need to receive special honours and knighthoods for doing a job they're already paid for. Humphrey states that civil servants work for a modest wage and deserve the added incentive, prompting Hacker to counter that Humphrey makes more than him. Humphrey then tries to amend it to "relatively modest wage."
    Jim Hacker: Relative to whom?
    Sir Humphrey: Well... Elizabeth Taylor, for example.
  • In the second season of Galavant, it's revealed that King Richard's people have turned the country into a proto-democracy. But obviously they're not going to let women vote. Or the poor, or non-Christians, or the handicapped, or the illegitimate, or anyone with radical ideas... Galavant does take a moment to note that it's still pretty progressive for the Middle Ages.
    "The landed, and the wealthy, and the pious, and the healthy, and the straight ones, and the pale ones, and we only mean the male ones. If you're all of the above, then you're okay!"

  • In The Marriage of Figaro, during Figaro's rant near the ending:
    Figaro: They tell me a new system of freedom of press has been instated, and as long as one doesn't talk of <long list> one can say pretty much anything.

    Web Comics 
  • In Questionable Content, Marten tells Pintsize to be good while he's out. Pintsize asks, "When am I not good?" Marten doesn't even bother replying, and it turns out Pintsize has (at the very least) 472 examples on his hard drive.

    Web Videos 
  • In the history of japan, when Kyoto became such a dreamworld the Imperial government stopped giving a shit about running the country, the only way to people to protect their shit from criminals was to hire a samurai!. Everybody was hiring samurai! Correction: Rich important people hired samurai. Poor people who could not afford to hire samurai did not hire samurai.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Rugrats, Angelica tries to persuade Chuckie (and the rest of the babies) to work on her lemonade stand:
    Angelica: Chuckie, Chuckie, Chuckie. Have I ever lied to you?
    Chuckie: Well, there was that time you told me that Spike was my brother.
    Angelica: Time to play lemonade! Okay, let's go.
    Chuckie: And the time you told me rocks was food, and the—
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog:
    Cleo: C'mon, have I ever steered you wrong?
    Clifford: Well, actually...
    Cleo: Never mind.
  • On South Park, Kyle refuses to invite Cartman to his birthday party because he's a Jerkass and always insults Kyle for being Jewish. Cartman asks when he ever said anything insulting about Kyle's Jewishness. Cue a montage of past times Cartman said something anti-Semitic.
    Cartman: ...Okay, maybe that one time.
  • On Daria after a confidence building assignment by Mr. O'Neill has backfired rather spectacularly, Daria uncharacteristically tries to cheer him up.
    Daria: We know you feel responsible because some of your students, or more specifically all of your students, got depressed over the assignment.
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force "Grim Reaper Gutters", the Aqua Teens are killing time hoping that Dan from Grim Reaper Gutters will finally leave. At one point Frylock asks the others if they remember the time he saved their asses. Meatwad and Master Shake indignantly deny that ever happened and ask him to name one time he saved them. Cue a clipshow featuring many occasions when Frylock did just that, which turns out to be a video recording Frylock somehow made and set to rock music.
  • Robot Chicken parodies FDR's "Only thing we have to fear is fear itself" speech in a Running Gag where he has to regularly amend actual phobias in at audience inquiry until he has a Long List ending with fear itself.
  • In an episode of Family Guy about the founding of Quahog, the settler Peter mentions his plans for the new land.
    Peter: We'll have a happy new life and we will have equal rights for all...except blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, gays, women, Muslims, uhmm...everybody who's not a white man. And I mean white-white, so no Italians, no Polish, just people from Ireland, England, and Scotland. But only certain parts of Scotland and Ireland. Just full blooded whites. No, you know what? Not even whites. Nobody gets any rights. Ahhh...America!

    Real Life 
  • Winston Churchill once described democracy as "the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time".
  • Henry Ford reported in his autobiography that he told his management team in 1909 that "any customer can have a [Model T] painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." (In reality, early Model Ts could be painted grey, green, blue, or red; black was not an option until 1914.)
  • The commonly cited spelling rule of "I before E except after C" has more exceptions in the English language than it has words that follow it. Even with the addition of "or sounding like AY as in neighbor or weigh," there are still so many exceptions that the "rule" may as well be forgotten.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: