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I Have Just One Thing to Say

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A character is giving a climactic speech expressing disgust for the actions of another character. It sounds like a stern rebuke, and builds to "I have just one thing to say!" The audience expects a final slap in the face, but instead the character says something entirely positive, revealing the speech to be a put-on.

Sometimes the "one thing to say" is, "Gotcha!" A fairly common alternative in children's media is, "Tag! You're it!"

Compare Arson Murder And Life Saving and Bait-and-Switch Comment. May be the climactic turn of a Milholland Relationship Moment.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • There was a two-part episode of Pokémon: Advanced Battle, where May competes in a contest to get her fifth ribbon to be able to qualify for the Hoenn Grand Festival, and two of the coordinators she goes up against are named Joshua and Erica, who turn out to be boyfriend-and-girlfriend. In the episode, Joshua and Erica are having some relationship problems, and through most of the episode, Erica thinks that May's trying to steal Joshua from her. When May ends up beating Joshua in a battle and she and Erica make it to the final round of the contest, Erica says this line, followed by an apology—Erica finally realized that May was never trying to steal Joshua from her, and she apologizes for getting so caught up in her jealousy towards May.

    Film — Animated 
  • The genie does this in Aladdin and the King of Thieves when he meets the titular King of Thieves—whom Aladdin introduces as his dad.
    Genie: If you're Al's dad, and the King of Thieves, (growling) I just wanna know one thing...
    Cassim: Yeah?
    Genie: (morphs into waiter) Will you be having the chicken or the sea bass?
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas has Angelique give the following speech to an incarcerated Belle.:
    Angelique: I told you nothing would change. I told you The Master would not allow this. I told you that Christmas was a hopeless folly.
    [Belle shuts her eyes tightly]
    Angelique: But... I was wrong.
  • Monsters, Inc..
    CDA Agent: This is the CDA. Come out slowly with the child in plain sight.
    Mike Wazowski: Okay, okay. You got us. Here we are. Here's the kid. I'm cooperating. But before you take us away, I have one thing to say. (sticks out tongue, revealing a sock) Catch! (throws sock at CDA agent)
  • The emperor gives Mulan one in Disney's adaptation.
    Emperor: I've heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father's armor, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonored the Chinese Army, destroyed my palace AND... you have saved us all.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dumb and Dumber had a good one, when Lloyd traded their van for an extremely tiny mini-bike:
    Harry: You know, Lloyd, just when I thought you couldn't possibly get any dumber, you go and do something like this. [Beat] ...and totally redeem yourself!
  • The Hobbit:
    Thorin (to Bilbo): You! What were you doing? You nearly got yourself killed! Did I not say that you would be a burden, that you would not survive in the wild and that you have no place amongst us? I've never been so wrong in all my life. (embraces Bilbo)
  • Major League
    "I've only got one thing to say to you: strike this motherfucker out!"
  • Invoked gloriously by Coach McGinty, in The Replacements (2000), after he arrives at jail to bail out his team for getting into a bar-room brawl with the arrogant, stuck-up original team they were filling in for.
    McGinty: If this ever happens again, there will be no place on this team for ANY of you! And, just for the record.... I'd have loved to have been there to see Martell get his ass kicked.
  • Done in the first Rush Hour.
    Cpt. William Diel: What you did was reckless! And completely against policy! And on top of that... You did a good job!
    Inspector Carter: Say what?!
    • This was a subversion, as the captain did not think Carter had done a good job at all, but was merely putting him on so he would accept a humiliating assignment as a supposed reward.
  • In Super Babies, the Kid Hero's 'last word' is "Duck!!" (A vehicle of his is coming for him.)
  • Three to Tango Matthew Perry's character has spent the entire film pretending to be gay, while actually in love with Neve Campbell. When she finds out, she yells at him for daring to lie to her, and ends with "I have just one thing to say to you... I take the left side of the bed." Cue coy smirks and Ironic Echo inundation.
  • At the end of Waiting..., the new guy Mitch who has never once been allowed to speak a full sentence all bloody day without being interrupted finally snaps, mutes the music, and goes off on an epic rant and calls out pretty much everyone for how obnoxious, stupid, immature, whiny, and idiotic they all are. Then before he leaves he has one more thing to say and calls out someone who never even so much as interacted with him... as a distraction to flash his dick and balls at the room and call them faggots the same way everyone in the restaurant does for fun.

  • Ebenezer Scrooge does this to Bob Cratchit at the end of A Christmas Carol. It's such a departure from the previous day that it takes a few moments for Bob to register what Scrooge has just told him, even after Scrooge has quite visibly dropped the "angry miser" act.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Shortly after Sheridan's return to the station from Z'ha'dum: "Hey, I heard that you three [Ivanova, Lyta, and Delenn] went to Z'ha'dum after me. That was foolish and dangerous. And I can't thank you enough for trying."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy is annoyed at Faith's constant sexual innuendo about her relationship with Angel. "Faith, I have one thing to say to you... duck!" (punches demon sneaking up behind Faith)
  • Castle: his response to learning that the "murder" he witnessed across the street was staged as part of a birthday surprise for him (especially since the reveal comes mere minutes after seeing Beckett struggle with a man holding a carving knife):
    "This is... without a doubt... the greatest birthday gift of my life!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Last of the Time Lords": The Doctor says this word-for-word to the Master. What does he have to say? "I forgive you."
    • "The Stolen Earth" has a variant: Davros gives a speech about their history, while the Doctor responds with "After all this time, after everything we saw, everything we lost, I have only one thing to say to you...Bye!," making it clear he has no personal interest in Davros. This is also an Ironic Echo of his conversation with the Master in the previous season finale, where he was the one trying to get his enemy to stay and talk, who shut him down with the same word.
  • Frasier, "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue" - Niles comes home chipper, which the uncouth Simon Moon attributes to his having had sex (and completes the image with a few hip thrusts). Niles rears himself up indignantly: "I find that remark rude, boorish and impossible to deny!" — now grinning fit to bust.
  • The Golden Girls "Til Death Do We Volley": Dorothy has pulled a Counter Zany in response to a friend's practical joke. The friend declares angrily, "Dorothy Zbornak, that was the sneakiest, most underhanded practical joke you have ever pulled, and I Have Just One Thing to Say: boy, have I missed you!"
  • It's something of a running gag in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that a character making a comment that starts out sounding critical, but which ends as a compliment. One example is Charlie calling out Mac on his frequent use of the word "jabroni."
    Charlie: Can I stop you? You keep using this word, "jabroni,"'s awesome!
  • In an episode of Martin, a Malcolm Xerox friend of the group spends the entire time making snide/rude comments to and about Tommy's friend, a white woman. At the end, he approaches, menacingly saying, "I've got something to say to you", as if he's about to say something really mean and racist. She approaches him in the same manner—"I've got something to say to you too", as if she's going to finally tell him off for his rude behavior. . . and they leap into other's arms and start making out.
  • Appears at the end of the Christmas episode of Modern Family. Jay has been annoyed for the entire episode over the Columbian traditions of his new wife and stepson. Finally, he explodes on them at the end.
    Jay: From now on, we'll do Columbian things while we're in Columbia, and do American things when we're in America! That means no fireworks, no practical jokes, and none of your damned cheese balls! [exits and reenters] Innocente! What, did I not do it right? You should have seen your faces! And do you know how hard it is to find fireworks at Christmastime?
  • Sesame Street: When Telly asks Samara, who is deaf, to teach her some American Sign Language, Alan interprets for her.
    Samara: Sure. Let's start with an easy one. *taps Telly on the shoulder* Tag! You're it! *runs*
  • The Tenacious D series has this between the band and their creepily attached superfan, Lee. The band have just turned the tables on Lee by stalking him instead, and after hounding him mercilessly with phone calls and breaking into his house to see him, he's a sobbing wreck in his home after all of Jack and Kyle's hijinks. Which leads to this:
    Jack: Lee... why are you crying??
    Lee: You guys are scaring me! You're sick!!! ...and I hope you never get well. I mean, I've never been loved so much. And it feels so good. Thank you! Group Hug]
  • The Thick of It has an example in one of the very final scenes. Various characters are forced to resign throughout the series, and usually exit with a standard "The Reason You Suck" Speech (deserved or otherwise) or a "fuck you" of some kind to their former allies/enemies, but Malcolm Tucker himself goes with one of these. After his lawyer informs the baying press-pack that his client won't be making a statement, Malcolm then says "No, I want to say something," and looks like he's gearing himself up for one of his trademark rants - but he says, "It doesn't matter," in a tone of voice that is more exhausted than anything else, and walks off without another word.
    • Possibly played with, because in some ways, that is actually the most devastating condemnation of his line of work and the people in it in the series; it perfectly shows the sheer disgust, weariness and contempt he feels for everything, coupled with demonstrating that he knows nothing he would say would make a difference, and he cares so little that he's not even going to try any more, or even bother thinking up a final insult.
  • Three's Company "And Baby Makes Four": Cindy is irate that Jack and Janet thought she was pregnant. She rants, "Stop treating me like a child! I'm an adult and I can take care of myself. I Have Just One Thing to Say: you two are the best friends a girl could ever have."


    Professional Wrestling 
  • An episode of WWE Raw in 2004 saw Triple H and Batista tease a split, culminating in Batista allegedly laying him out backstage, leaving Triple H's steel cage match with Chris Benoit cancelled. They met later that night in the ring for an impromptu brawl... where Triple H invoked this trope, revealing that he just wasn't in the mood to wrestle a cage match that night. As it would turn out, this was major Foreshadowing towards Batista making a Heel–Face Turn for real in 2005.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • A Last-Second Word Swap turns a rant into this on a Royal Canadian Air Farce skit, featuring a newspaper editor-in-chief berating an incompetent typesetter over his incredibly embarrassing mistakes ("For three dollars, have your car cleaned, polished, and sodomized!"). He is building to his indignant climax:
    Mr. Chapman: Ridgeley, you are an incompetent idiot, a dummy, a moronic imbecile! I have only one thing to say to you, and that is —
    Secretary (bursting in): Mr. Chapman, good news, our circulation has just tripled!
    Mr. Chapman: ...keep up the good work, Ridgeley!

    Video Games 
  • In Wing Commander III, after Blair accepts a simulator duel against arrogant test pilot Flash, the captain takes Blair aside and starts a lecture on how reckless he's being. He ends it with the following statement: "Kick the little twerp's ass."

    Western Animation 
  • Danger Mouse does this in "All Fall Down" as he and Penfold are in the grip of a monster in Mac The Fork's hideout.
    DM: You think you're good, don't you? Just because you're a mammoth-sized mutation with razor-sharp teeth and claws. Well, I just have one thing to say to you. G'bye! (He and Penfold break loose and land in the Mark III)
  • Inch High, Private Eye is returning from the case of "The World's Greatest Animals" with Lori, Gator, Braveheart, and his boss Finkerton, whose goldfish had been stolen.
    Finkerton: (tersely) Inch, I have just one thing to say to you. (Gator suddenly gives him the goldfish bowl with his rescued goldfish)
    Inch High: What is that one thing, boss?
    Finkerton: (sincerely) Thanks.
  • Superman: The Animated Series, in the episode "Heavy Metal", after Steel saves Superman by taking down Metallo.
    Superman: You're going to hear this a lot from now on, so you'd better hear it from me first. (Beat) Thanks.