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I Can't Believe I'm Saying This

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"Fern, I have never, and would never, utter these words under any other calculable context hypothetical or hyperthetical in the infinity of omnixistence, but this is no laughing matter."
Crash, Awful Hospital

Sometimes, someone says something that is completely out of character for them. It may be agreeing with another character who is usually either prone to dumb ideas or of an opposite mindset. Or maybe someone is disagreeing with another's point of view when the other person is obviously wrong/making the wrong arguments. In other cases, someone is in a position that is so unique that if the phrase were to be taken out of context, it would stick out like a sore thumb. Either way, this phrase is used to highlight the oddness of one person saying it.

Another common phrasing is: "I never thought I'd say this, but..." and "As much as I hate to say this, ..." Very similar to A Rare Sentence. Similar is, "I can't believe I'm agreeing with X", where X is the The Ditz and the person saying it is often the Only Sane Man, in which case it would be Dumbass Has a Point.

For added irony, this may precede the Flashback to Catchphrase.

Not to be confused with Can't Believe I Said That, where the regrettable utterance has already occurred. Compare A Rare Sentence, where the statement is so bizarre that it would normally be out of character for anybody to say it. Contrast I Always Wanted to Say That.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Rukia requests a Mod Soul to inhabit Ichigo's body whenever his soul detaches from it to fight, only to mistakenly end up with Lovable Sex Maniac Kon. While he frequently gets on Ichigo's nerves, the latter learns later on that Rukia had intended to give him a Genki Girl Mod Soul named Chappy.
    Ichigo: Hate to admit it, but I'm glad it was Kon!
  • Said word for word in Chapter 551 of Naruto.
    Naruto: I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks for the save, Itachi.
  • In the last episode of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, during the first revelation of the episode, the main characters all shot "What did you say!?" and En points out that he never thought he'd ever say that in his life. Throughout the episode, they say it two more times, and it's always lampshaded.
    All: What did you say!?
    En: I never thought I'd say "What did you say!?" in my life, but this is seriously a "What did you say!?" moment.
    All: What did you say!?
    En: Okay, that's already the second "What did you say!?" of my life.
    En: Oh fine, I'll say it as many times as you want!
    All: What did you say!?

    Comic Books 
  • Groo the Wanderer became hyper-intelligent during one miniseries. Everyone who knew him was shocked by this, because his normal state is hyper-unintelligent. When the witches Arba and Dakarba saw him reason out a solution to a problem, Arba exclaimed, "Groo, you are brilliant!" and then thought, "There is a sentence I never thought I would say."

    Fan Works 
  • From Game Theory, a Lyrical Nanoha fic:
    Fate: I never thought I'd say this, Nanoha, but I think you should have used more firepower when you shot it the first time.
  • Sword of Slytherin:
    Harry: I guess your biggest challenge is going to be working with me, then?
    Draco: You know what, Potter? I didn't think I'd ever say this, but - I don't think even that will be hard.
  • In Transmuting Freedom Voldemort and Lucius get ahold of some highly restricted (and dangerous) files and most of the hostages needed to conduct a ritual mentioned in them.
    Madam Bones: Kill the two hostiles, and if possible, rescue the eleven hostages. However, and I never thought I'd hear myself say this, on this mission, the hostages' lives are not as important as eliminating the hostiles.
  • R.E.P. Is Magic, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic, opened with this in its author note:
    Hello all. I wish to tell a My Little Pony story. Heh, those are nine words that I never thought I would utter in my lifetime.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: "This goes way beyond leather pants, Téa, and I never thought I'd say that."
  • Souls Abound:
    McGonagall: I never thought I would ever utter these words but perhaps Sibyll has the right idea. Get the hell out of Hogwarts.
  • The Sanctuary Telepath: Janine uses the phrase every single time she agrees with Tesla on something (and given he's an Insufferable Genius it happens more often than she would like).
  • Secrets:
    Hermione: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I understand why you're taking Malfoy with you tonight.
  • No Sign of Love:
    Snape: Third, I would like you to speak with, and I cannot believe I am saying this, Neville Longbottom.
  • The AFR Universe, when Ryuji finds himself tongue tied when talking to his friends in "Boys and Queens".
    Ren: I never thought I'd say this, but speak louder, Ryuji.
  • In Chapter 31 of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Samurai roots for Ash against Joshua, who defeated him and made fun of him, and then mutters about how it feels strange to be rooting for Ash.
  • Novocaine:
    Draco: What do you want?
    Harry: I can't believe I am saying this, but we need you to work with us, Malfoy.
  • A New Dawn: A Summer's Story:
    Madam Bones: Firstly - we are going to keep Voldemort's return quiet for the moment, at least to the public.
    Harry: Why? Wouldn't it be easier to protect people if they knew they were in danger to begin with?
    Minister Fudge: Yes, and to that end, we are going to let key members of the Ministry know, including most of the Auror Corps. However, and I can't believe I am about to say this, Dumbledore does have a point.
  • In Get Busy Living Harry is fed up with shopping for a robe for his upcoming trial.
    Harry: I can't believe I'm saying this, but couldn't we get some potions ingredients?
  • Doing It Right This Time: When Kaji, Kaworu and Original Character David Croft (not that one!) pull up at a remarkably bleak rural gas station in rural Siberia in a stolen big rig (It Makes Sense in Context):
    David: "Never thought I'd actually say this, but I'd be incredibly glad to see a Happy Eater or a Little Chefnote  right now."
  • In The Weaver Option Iath Bloodweaver issues orders to his sadomasochistic warriors to not revel in the agony of Weaver's spiders eating them alive. He silently vows to destroy any recordings of the order if he survives.
  • Weary Wizard:
    Hermione: [Snape] left the Wolfsbane Potion on purpose, didn't he? He had no reason to take your invisibility cloak to hide underneath it, unless he wanted to see us attacked by a werewolf.
    Harry: I doubt that. He's more likely to want me dead than you.
    Hermione: And I highly doubt he'd have come to my rescue. He must've thought he struck gold when he found Sirius there. I can't believe I'm saying this ... good job on blasting him with an overpowered disarming spell.
  • Trichromatic:
    Harry: Right. I'm going to go kill Albus Dumbledore. He's messed with my family and those I care about for fucking far too long.
    Sirius: Harry, sit down! I can't believe I'm saying this, but stop acting like a Gryffindor and start thinking like a Slytherin. No offense, Cissa, Draco.
  • A New Reward:
    Harry: I... I know this is going to sound bad, but there's only one person, that I think wouldn't try to talk me out of this.
    McGonagall: And that is?
    Harry: I can't believe I'm saying this... The only person that I'd even think of asking would be... Draco.
  • In Press Coverage Tonks reads out loud an article about her and Harry's relationship.
    Tonks: There can be no question that in a coeducated school, conflict and tension between the sexes is unavoidable, still the Headmaster has hindered any attempts on the side of the Ministry to introduce Sexual Education classes.
    Harry: You know, I can't believe I'm saying this. But if this really is true, then I agree with the Ministry.
  • For me:
    Ron: Who will watch your back now? I can't believe I am saying this but I don't want you to get into any trouble understand? You stay safe and take good care of yourself you hear, otherwise I am coming after you. As it is, Hermione might go nuts worrying about you.
  • Trickshot:
    McGonagall: Enough. Mr Black is innocent...I can't believe I just said that.
  • The Family that Chooses You:
    Oliver: Harry, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, there are things more important than Quidditch and the Cup. Your health is incredibly important. I can't in good conscience let you play if you're not up to it. Physically or mentally.
  • I'll Play Your Game:
    Draco: I cannot for the life of me remember if it's Mafalda Prewitt, or Malvina Flint who's thrown in behind the newest legislation on limiting Wizengamot term limits, and I haven't a single person to ask! I never thought I'd say this, but fuck I'd kill for Pansy Parkinson's encyclopædic knowledge on all things personal politics right now.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Bad Guys (2022): News reporter Tiffany Fluffit says this when witnessing the Bad Guys, the most notorious criminals in Los Angeles, help raise one billion dollars for children's hospitals and orphanages during the charity gala:
    Tiffany Fluffit: Break out the umbrellas, because it's raining money! All because of — I can't even believe I'm saying this — all because of the Bad Guys!
  • In the Care Bears: Big Wish Movie, when Twinkers has been revitalized by Big Wish and the other Care Bears want her to wish things back to normal, Wish Bear demonstrates her newfound Aesop in responsibility, leading into an Unfolding Plan Montage to fix Care-a-lot the right way; good old caring and teamwork.
    Wish Bear: I never thought I'd say this, but wishing is definitely not the answer!
  • Hoodwinked!!: Wolf decides the only way to get important info to the cops in time is to give the already hyperactive Twitchy caffeine.
    Wolf W. Wolf: I can't believe I'm saying this but... (gives Twitchy a mug of coffee) drink up.
  • In Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, after finding himself in agreement with the Russian tiger Vitaly, Skipper comments:
    Skipper: I never thought I'd say this on American soil, but the Russky's right!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the end of The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda says to Andy: "I never thought I'd say this, Andrea, but... I see a great deal of myself in you." (Funnily enough, Miranda means it positively, whereas Andy perceives this as a sign that she's crossed the Moral Event Horizon.)
  • One of the newscasters in Shaun of the Dead says at the end that he never expected to say "Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain" on the air. This is most likely a Shout-Out to a Lampshade Hanging made by a newscaster in the original Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • French Kiss:
    Kate: You know, I never thought I'd be the kind of woman to say this, but it's true. All men are bastards.
  • Half Baked:
    Thurgood Jenkins: You know uh, I never thought I'd say this to anybody, but you two smoke entirely too much reefer.
  • High Fidelity:
    Barry: I never thought I'd say this, but can I go work now?
  • The Manhattan Project
    Paul Stephens: I never thought I'd say this to anybody, but I got to go get the atomic bomb out of the car.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End:
    Captain Jack Sparrow: I agree with — and I cannot believe the words are coming out of me mouth — Captain Swann. We must fight... to run away.
  • Towards the end of Star Trek III, as McCoy is speaking to the Katra-less Spock:
    McCoy: I'm gonna tell you something that I... never thought I'd ever hear myself say. But it seems I've... missed you. And I don't know if I could stand to lose you again.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Bo and Luke Duke unwittingly get some African-Americans mad at them and, before they have a chance to harm the Dukes, a police car shows up. One of the Dukes comments that he's glad to see the cops, then adds that he never expected to say that.
  • From Best in Show:
    Buck: Am I nuts? Something's wrong with his feet.
    Trevor: I never thought I'd find myself saying this, but you're right.

  • Discworld: In The Fifth Elephant, when Vetinari realises someone needs to be running the Watch in the absence of Commander Vimes and Captain Carrot:
    Lord Vetinari: I swore I'd never say this, but send for Sergeant Colon. Promotion, alas, awaits.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Summer Knight, the Gatekeeper can't believe he's saying "What the Council doesn't know won't hurt it."
    • Turn Coat:
      Dresden: I can't believe I'm about to say this. So think real careful about where this is coming from. Have you people ever considered talking when you've got a problem?
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, Nyx, the Goddess of Night, is trying to find some annoying heroes:
    Nyx: Somebody give me some light!
    Nyx: Gah! I can't believe I said that!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: When Harry, Ron and Hermione are listening to the Potterwatch radio broadcast, one of the twins (presumed to be Fred) gives a report urging people to not to get lulled into a false sense of security on the rumors that Voldemort may be abroad. He ends it by saying: "I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but: safety first!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • As Time Goes By episode "What Now?":
    Harry: I never thought I'd say this, but... You're a mate.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • From the episode "Listening to Fear":
      Xander: I still don't get why we had to come here to get info about a killer snot monster.
      Giles: Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space.... I did not say that.
    • Xander: I can't wait to see Cordelia. [horrified realization] I can't believe I can't wait to see Cordelia.
  • Chuck:
    • From the episode "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater":
      Chuck: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have to go back to Stanford.
    • Later in "Chuck Versus the Dream Job" by Casey when Chuck tells General Beckman that Operation Bartowski is their best team.
      Casey: [to himself] I can't believe I'm going to say this. [aloud] Chuck's right.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Wanda: I thought I'd never say this, but Larry is right.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Episode 4 of "The Underwater Menace":
      Jamie McCrimmon: You know I never thought I'd say this, but well it's great.
    • "World War Three":
      The Doctor: Mickey the Idiot... and I may choke before finishing this sentence... I need you.
  • Drop the Dead Donkey
    Helen Cooper: I can't believe I'm saying this, Dave, but while I'm away you'll be in charge of ethics.
  • In an episode of Frontline, Sam says this before telling Emma to page Mike. This is the punchline of a running gag with Mike reminding everyone of his pager number, oblivious to the fact that no one wants it.
  • Hannah Montana episode "My Boyfriend's Jackson and There's Gonna Be Trouble":
    Robbie Stewart: I never thought I'd have to say this to any of my kids, but why didn't you break up with your sister, Jackson?
  • In Happy Endings, Season 2, Episode 18, Alex is trying to save Penny's birthday (which is being sabotaged by a fighting Jane and Brad, a starving Max, and the presence of Dave-her ex-fiancé's-ex girlfriend as their waitress), so despite not liking the other girl, she tries to mend some fences.
    Alex: Brad, you go fix things with your wife. Just go I cannot believe I'm going to do this, but I am gonna go and smooth things over with Jackie.
  • Have You Been Paying Attention?: After Urzila Carlson gives an even more left field answer than usual in "Binge This", Tom responds:
    I can't believe I'm about to use this phrase, but...Let's see if you're right.
  • Hey You! What If...: Ben says this word for word in "You Could Dig Through The Earth?" when he has to explain that if you could dig a hole through the Earth, then you could jump through it safely:
    Ben: Earth-diving—I can't believe I'm saying this—would be perfectly safe.
  • Home Improvement episode "Mr. Wilson's Opus"
    Tim Taylor: I can't believe I'm even saying this, but you're taking all the fun out of Shakespeare.
  • House of Anubis: When Tomboy Patricia was asked to check the cellar in The Touchstone of Ra:
    Patricia: Not in this dress!... Did I really just say that?
  • Kaamelott: When Perceval, usually The Fool, says something insightful for once, King Léodagan has to reluctantly admit it.
    Perceval: What do we care about a guy who's been dead for centuries?
    Léodagan: This is going to sound weird, but... I rather agree with him.
  • Kenan & Kel: They were once arguing about who was the best superhero: Skunkator or Mothman. Roger Rockmore agreed with Kel and lampshaded the trope by admitting how odd the idea of him agreeing with Kel sounded.
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: "I can't believe I'm saying this, but tonight's main story is about Donald Trump."
  • Guardian Baird of The Librarians 2014 says something like this practically Once an Episode, considering she's an Agent Scully who was recently informed that magic is real.
  • Life on Mars (2006) - By-the-Book Cop Sam Tyler and his Old-Fashioned Copper boss Gene Hunt have this memorable reversal of roles when discussing how to get information out of a suspect
    Sam Tyler: We pull him in, we put the squeeze on him. Why is that so hard for you to agree to?
    Gene Hunt: Because I am policing in the full glare of the public bloody eye, and the Chief Super is taking a personal interest and we also have no flipping evidence! And I can't believe I just said that!
  • Luke Cage (2016): Luke is being sued by Cockroach after beating him to a pulp. Cockroach is being repped by the crooked Benjamin Donovan, and Luke is being represented by Foggy Nelson. After Luke inadvertently damages his case by breaking part of the conference room table, Foggy hesitantly brings up the fact that Matt fought crime as Daredevil in a mask specifically to avoid these sorts of situations. Hesitant, as in, he's trying to deal with his grief over losing Matt in The Defenders.
    "Given my history on the subject, I can't believe I'm even gonna say this, but [sniffles, then quickly regains his composure] ...if you're gonna fight crime, have you considered wearing a mask?"
  • In the series finale of M*A*S*H, Klinger says this when he announces he's staying in Korea to marry Soon Lee and help her track down her refugee family.
  • Midsomer Murders episode "The Magician's Nephew":
    Cully Barnaby: Now, Dad, I never thought I'd have to say this: "Put your teeth in!"
  • NCIS: Kate suggests illegally hacking a government database, and is promptly amazed that she would say that.
  • The Office (UK) episode "Training" — this is moments after Gareth has revealed that he has a lesbian Twincest fantasy.
    Tim: I never thought I'd say this, but I'd actually like to hear more from Gareth.
  • The Office (US) episode "Weight Loss":
    Jim: I can't believe I'm saying this, but Michael is actually killing it with Holly.
  • On Power Rangers Zeo Zedd and Rita are happy to see a mind-controlled Tommy battle Jason. But they then realize that it doesn't do them any good as that will let the Machine Empire take over Earth instead of them.
    Zedd: I can't... I can't believe I'm saying this. I can barely get the words out.
    Rita: Spit it out, Zedd. This is no time to be shy!
    Zedd: We have to... Oh, this hurts... We have to... help the Power Rangers!
    [Rita faints dead away]
  • Prison Break episode "First Down":
    Brad Bellick: I never thought I'd say this, Scofield, but I thank God for the day you walked into Fox River.
  • Red Dwarf:
  • Saturday Night Live's December 17th episode has a skit revolving entirely around this trope.
    • During a Celebrity Jeopardy skit, following an idiotic rant from Robin Williams, Sean Connery declares "Boy, you might be legally retarded." Host Alex Trebek replies, "He has a point", in a tone of voice clearly meant to convey this trope. (As fans of the skit know, Connery relentlessly bullies Trebek, so the idea of them agreeing with each other is mind-blowing to either of them).
  • Seinfeld:
    Jerry: Kramer, I never thought I'd say this, but that's not a bad idea.
  • The Slammer: After the Governor gets Easy Amnesia following a blow on the head, Gimbert suggests jogging his memory. Mr. Burgess' response is to say, "Good idea, lad. I can't believe I just said that."
  • From Spicks and Specks:
    Adam: "I never thought I'd say this, but listen to Hamish, he's right!"
  • Stargate SG-1: When SG-1 is given the time-traveling Puddle Jumper for a mission:
    Hammond: Okay, people. Let me remind you. This mission is recon only. Do not engage the enemy. I'm allowing the use of this ship because of the obvious tactical advantage it provides you. Under no circumstances is it to be used to travel through time. [beat] Never in my life did I imagine ever giving that order.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "What You Leave Behind": When the Cardassians pull a mass Heel–Face Turn against the Dominion and side with The Federation during the Final Battle:
    Admiral Ross: I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for the Cardassians.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Dear Doctor":
    Captain Archer: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm beginning to understand how the Vulcans must have felt.
  • That '70s Show:
    • Episode "Let's Spend the Night Together"
      Jackie: I never thought I'd say this to someone wearing cashmere, but I don't think we can be friends.
    • Episode "Who Wants It More?"
      Red: I never thought I'd say this. I'm glad you're my friend.
      Bob: Red, I never thought I'd say this, you smell nice.
  • One of the Polish partisans in the German World War II Mini Series Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter says to Viktor:
    Partisans: I never thought I'd say this to a German; "Farewell, and have a good life."

  • On November 2, 2016, the reporter on WBBM in Chicago said on the air "I can't believe I'm saying this... the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series!"

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge: After the Soviet player saves an Allied base from Yuri's mind control in the London mission.
    Special Agent Tanya Adams: I never thought I'd say this to a Commie, but... thanks.
  • Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge:
    Juliette the Cat: I never thought I'd say this, dog, but I'm glad you're okay.
  • Blaze Union:
    Jenon: I hate to say it, but Nessiah is right.
  • Ratchet: Deadlocked: Juanita, a female robot announcer for Dreadzone, says this almost word for word.
    Juanita: Uhh... The mood is positively... electric, as the audience braces to find out if they will survive the next ten minutes... I can't believe I'm reading this!
  • Sands of Destruction features a couple:
    • At one point, Naja eventually notes that Morte has ceased to surprise him with her bombastic behavior and comments that he can't believe himself.
    • Every time Morte says something remotely feminine, Agan snarks that he can't believe she just said that. Apparently he still sees her as One of the Guys, hot pink miniskirt and all.
  • In Sonic Adventure, Knuckles says this, agreeing with Tails that Sonic is the only one who can harness the true power of the Chaos Emeralds after Perfect Chaos absorbed their negative energy.
  • World of Warcraft; An Alliance quest in the Wetlands involves the player finding and recovering Surveyor Thurdan's dumpy level. ("What's that look for? That's right! I said my dumpy level! It's a piece of significant surveying equipment! I didn't name the bloody thing, all right? Go look it up!")
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, if the male Inquisitor romances Cassandra and speaks to Blackwall about it, the grizzled Warden acknowledges that the pairing is adorable — adding that "I never thought I'd use the words 'adorable' and 'Cassandra' in the same sentence."

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: Agent Washington is not very pleased by his first encounter with Caboose
    Washington: I'm investigating a critical issue and you seem to be the only person with the knowledge and experience necessary to help me. [Beat] And I just realized how ridiculous that sounded once I said it out loud.
  • In his Zero Punctuation review of The Orange Box, Yahtzee can't believe he can't think of any criticisms of Portal.
    Yahtzee: If you're a regular viewer you'll understand how insane these words feel coming out of my mouth, but I can't think of any criticism for it.... Absolutely sublime from start to finish and I will jam forks into my eyes if I ever use those words to describe anything else ever again.

  • Played for Drama in Awful Hospital. See the page quote. Said in response to Fern suggesting Crash was merely bringing her son into their discussion to manipulate her.
  • The Order of the Stick: Roy admits it about Belkar's opinion on the vampire.
    Roy: I don't think Belkar is lying — which, let's be clear, is not a sentence I'd ever thought I'd say — but I also can't assume that he's not letting his anger cloud his judgment.

  • From Out of Context D&D Quotes:
    DM: I never thought I'd say this, but do you hand your torch to the octopus?

    DM: And thank you for making me say the following sentence: How exactly are you tracking down the Titan's testicles?

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers
    • In "Bug Off", Linka has a cold and Wheeler is trying to convince her to sit out the latest mission and not infect the rest of the team.
      Wheeler: I never thought I'd say this, Linka, but what you got, I don't want.
    • In "Missing Linka", Linka nearly quits the team after her grandmother becomes sick and spends a lot of time on her own in her hometown, which is suffering a mysterious bout of illness. When Wheeler turns up during an emergency, bringing her ring, she nearly kisses him, and he tells her that, though he can't believe he's saying this, they need to focus on escaping.
  • Parodied in Chowder:
    Mung Dahl: I never thought I'd say this but... Wugga wigga wugga wugga wugga.
    Truffles: Huh?
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • There's an episode where Timmy says:
      Timmy: I can't believe I'm saying this, but Mr. Crocker, YOU ARE THE BEST TEACHER EVER!
    • After Cosmo suggests a solution to the episode's problem:
      Timmy: Great idea, Cosmo! ...Wow, there are three words I never thought I'd say together.
  • Family Guy:
    • Episode "Hell Comes to Quahog":
      Peter: Meg, that was a wonderful thing you just did for me. I can't believe this is coming out of my mouth, but... I love y— (interrupted by a tank crashing into the building)
    • In "PTV", Lois says this when she admits Peter was right about the FCC.
      Lois: I can't believe I'm saying this, but Peter, I think you were right.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum episode, "I, Fanbot", in which the titular duo's class will be rewarded with a bouncy house if everyone passes a test.
    Fanboy: I'm about to say two words I never thought I'd say... let's study!
  • Futurama, "Bender Should Not be Allowed on Television":
    Leela: As unclean as it makes me feel, I agree with Bender.
  • One episode of Gravedale High has a real estate developer get the school condemned so she can tear it down and erect condominiums. When it looks like she'll succeed, we see the students and faculty reacting to the news including Frankentyke banging his head on his desk.
    Frankentyke: I don't wanna go! I don't wanna go! Never thought I'd say that, man.
  • Zig-zagged in The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Raffle Ruckus", after Hair Bear has all the zoo animals secluded from the zoo prior to the superintendent's pending visit:
    Peevly: Oh, I hate myself for doing this but... [kisses Hair's hand] You've got to help me get the animals back before the superintendent arrives!
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: ​In the episode "Black and White and Chi All Over", Drago admits this after the interviewees who came to his henchmen tryout session gave bad demonstrations.
    Drago: I can't believe I'm gonna say this out loud, but... I never should've fired the Enforcers."
  • Kaeloo: When Quack Quack does Mr. Cat a favor, Mr. Cat responds with "I never thought I'd be saying this, but thanks, duck-face."
  • Kaput and Zosky: The Ultimate Obliterators, episode "Me, Me, Me!":
    Zosky: [having escaped his enraged clones] I never thought I'd say this, but it feels good to get away from myself!
  • The Legend of Korra: When Amon tried to intimidate Republic City into not holding the pro-bending tournament finals, Korra wanted the finals to be held despite Amon's threats. Chief Lin Bei Fong, despite how she usually feels about Korra, agreed with her.
  • The Looney Tunes Show:
    • After Sylvester explains his plan for getting home in "Ridiculous Journey":
      Tweety: You're a genius, puddy tat! [beat] Whoa! I can't believe I just said that!
    • In "We're In Big Truffle", Daffy tells Porky to let go of the rare truffle they spent the whole episode trying to find before Porky gets swept away by the rapids.
      Porky: A-are you sure?
      Daffy: I'm not going to say it twice! I can't believe I said it once!
  • The Loud House: In "The Crying Dame", Lola says this on two occasions. The first is when she declares that Fenton the Feel-Better Fox, a toy baby Lily has been playing non-stop over the past three days, has to go, and she remarks she didn't hate saying it. The second is when she says they have to get Fenton back, this time hating that she has to say it.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: In "Sphere and Loathing in Outer Space", Milo's friends end up on an alien world, and decide to head in the direction some aliens are fleeing from in order to find Milo. Zack triumphantly shouts "Let's run towards the danger! Also, I cannot believe I just said that!"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • In one episode of The Proud Family, in which Suga Mama's sister, Spice, comes to town and swindles people out of their money, she and Wizard Kelly try to get people to see the light, one of her lines is, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but everybody listen to the Wizard!"
  • In the Ready Jet Go! special "Back to Bortron 7", Sean, who is always reluctant to go to space, is convinced to go to the Propulsions' home planet of Bortron 7 through the power of song. After they sing, he says this:
    Sean: I can't believe I'm saying this, but.....let's go to Bortron 7.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Episode "Dangerous Curves":
      Homer: I never thought I'd say this, but [mumbling to himself] stupid Flanders.
    • In "Bart Gets Famous", Bart becomes "the I-Didn't-Do-It Boy" and the whole class is waiting for him to say his line.
      Bart: I can't believe I'm saying this, but... shouldn't we be learning something?
    • In "Loan-a Lisa", Lisa tells Homer to "control [his] woman", despite it going against every feminist bone in her body.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, resident Jerk Jock Flash Thompson has this to say when he gets tired of his girlfriend's two-week-long party streak.
    Flash: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I need to study!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Krab Borg", Spongebob says they need to get "the poop" on Mr. Krabs to find out if he's really a robot or not:
      Squidward: I never thought I'd say this, but SpongeBob, let's get that poop.
    • Also in the episode "Born Again Krabs":
      Squidward: Mr. Krabs, I can't believe I'm saying this, but ''how'' could you trade SpongeBob for 62 cents?!
      Mr. Krabs: [examines coins] You think I could've gotten more?
      Squidward: He stuck up for you, and you sold him out. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!
    • In "Teacher's Pests", Mrs. Puff says this when she gets tired of Mr. Krabs and Plankton destroying the boats with their competing:
      Mrs. Puff: Now these are my last boats and if you wreck 'em, none of you will pass my class. I can't believe I'm saying this, but be more like SpongeBob. He hasn't acted out once.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Second Contact", Ensign Boimler utters this nearly verbatim when he discloses to Ensign Mariner that he didn't report her breach of protocol to Captain Freeman.
    Boimler: I can't believe I'm saying it — Starfleet is better with you in it.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil, season 3 episode "Princess Turdina", when Marco decides to take Pony Head's advice and keep up the façade of being a princess.
    Marco: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm going with Pony's advice.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Deal No Deal", Ahsoka says something very similar to the trope name when she admits that she agrees with Rafa, who doesn't trust her and has been clashing against her all episode, that Trace's impulse decision to eject their cargo of unrefined spice was a very bad idea.
  • Steven Universe: In "Legs From Here to Homeworld", before Connie heads off with Steven on a important mission, her mother asks her if she has her sword, then saying she can't believe she's actually asking Connie that.
  • Stōked: When two girls asked Reef out on a date, his refusal by claiming he was taken was this trope.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Splinter has a moment of this.
    Splinter: You made a wise decision, Michelangelo.
    Turtles: Huh?
    Splinter: Yes, I never thought I'd hear myself say that, either.
  • Total Drama: There's a few instances of the characters realizing what they're saying is strange.
    • While hiding in a cave that's clearly occupied in "Are We There Yeti?", a terrified Heather says that she never thought she'd say this: "Please tell me that tongue in my ear is Owen." Owen corrects her that it's most likely a bat.
    • In "Ocean's Eight - Or Nine", Beth advises her team thusly, "Let's go rob a bank before Owen tries to eat us." She admits that's something she never thought she'd have to say.
    • In "Aftermath III: Aftermath Aftermayhem", Geoff announces that Blaineley is on her way to Siberia to meet a Total Drama superfan and this one in particular is Blaineley-obsessed. Once the obligatory host enthusiasm wears off, Geoff, who despises Blaineley, reflects in shock that he'd get to say that.
  • Transformers: From the Beast Wars episode "Crossing the Rubicon":
    Ratrap: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm gonna miss her.


Video Example(s):



Uatu, with great reluctance, goes against his oath to not interfere and ask Strange Supreme for help in stopping Ultron.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / ICantBelieveImSayingThis

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