Follow TV Tropes


How Did You Get It?

Go To

A character has gotten something that is really rare, expensive, shouldn't exist, or at the very least, they are not supposed to have at all, and is questioned on how it was obtained. Thus, the character has to think of a plausible answer. Blatant Lies ensue, especially if the actual answer is incriminating, shocking or otherwise secret. Frequently there will be an assertion that the something Fell Off the Back of a Truck, was a gift, or that they borrowed it without permission.

Frequently the object in question is a MacGuffin, valuable object, or a very large sum of money.

This question is frequently asked to people whose lifestyle would not allow the specified object to be obtained in a normal way. Having a ridiculously expensive item while looking like you cannot afford a bag of chips is a very fast way to get accused of theft.

The character can also get their hands on an item that is infamously hard to get or was even thought to not exist. Many people who were in search for the item will now try stealing from them instead of finding their own object.

Sometimes, the character does not even know how valuable the item is and completely baffles someone in the know.


    open/close all folders 

  • In The Hobbit, where Bilbo lies to the Dwarves about how he got the ring and what it can do.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Pops up in Eragon. The eponymous hero has a mark on his hand because he's bound to a dragon, and needs to explain it. He just says he's had it for as long as he can remember.
  • In The Moonstone, the eponymous diamond is pawned to a moneylender. His first question is "How did you come by this?" and he refuses to lend anything until he's got a truthful answer.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: after being forced to flee Kings Landing, Princess in Rags Arya Stark is asked how she got her castle-forged sword Needle. She replies truthfully that It Was a Gift, but everyone just assumes that she stole it as she's posing as a Street Urchin.

    Video Games 
  • In Dragon Age II, when you give Bartrand maps of the Deep Roads, he asks how you got them. If Anders (a mage who stole those maps and gave them to you) is in your party, he quips, "a wizard did it".
  • There was a minor meme, "Kronk smash!", in World of Warcraft, spawned by a Noob asking said Kronk how did he get the Infinity Plus One Hammer of the time, Sulfuras. Kronk's answer became a universal answer to every question for a short time.

    Web Comics 
  • Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything:
    • When Steven finds a five dollar bill, he and White Pearl go to a convenience store. When Steven expresses interest in a shelf of snacks, White Pearl stores all of it in her gem when he is not looking. When he finds out about this later, he reprimands her and tells her they need to pay for food with money lest they get arrested. She then takes out a stack of dollar bills. Steven does not ask where she got it, but the look on his face shows that he is clearly worried about the implications.
    • When Steven asks if White Pearl has an ID of some kind, she gives him one. It is not her's, but rather an out of date ID of an old Russian Man from the late-70's.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Doug, Al and Moo have to ask for Skeeter's help in dealing with an invention that's become increasingly erratic and dangerous. When Skeeter looks it over, he's impressed with the design, but becomes alarmed when he realizes it's fueled by Plutonium. When he asks the twins where the heck they found Plutonium, they respond in unison that "we found it".
  • Dragons: Race to the Edge: In "In Plain Sight", one of the things Dagur tries to bribe Ansson with is a gronkle iron sword. When Fishlegs demands to know where he got it, Dagur admits that he plundered it at some point back when he antagonized them every other week.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • Timmy's response to people asking where he got his stuff from wishing by saying it's from the internet. Up to and including:
      Dad: Where did you get heat vision??
      Timmy: Uh... Internet?
    • This led to one episode where his parents think that he's been stealing the items he's been wishing for, especially since those exact same items had just been stolen.
  • In the Family Guy Empire Strikes Back parody "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" Darth Stewie is talking to an underling, and suddenly notices that the underling is eating a piece of cake. "Cake? Where did you get cake?" "Oh, it's Gary's birthday, but I think there isn't any cake left." (Quotes not 100% accurate, but that's the gist.)