Follow TV Tropes


I Meant to Do That

Go To

From a kitten's book of etiquette, this lesson I take
You don't have to be embarrassed when you make a mistake
You pull yourself together, and you brush off your hat,
And tell the watching crowd, "you know, I meant to do that!"
Catherine Faber and Arlene "Callie" Hills, "I Meant to Do That"

A spill or tumble can be quite embarrassing if there are witnesses.

How to reduce the humiliation? Turn it into a stunt. Claim it was intentional, a show for their benefit.

The most common subversion to a pratfall, an I Meant To Do That typically involves the clumsy character either managing to land on his feet (despite all odds) or springing up unhurt immediately after a fall.

There is a bit of Truth in Television to this: if you trip up while walking, people are less likely to notice if you just keep walking afterward without looking sheepish or saying "whoa". Oh, they'll probably still snicker, but not as much. It is also a house cat's standard method of preserving dignity.

Some characters may create an apparent Gambit Roulette by doing this, claiming random events to be all part of their plan.

This trope can sometimes be used in less comedic circumstances, such as in a Fight Scene. Compare All Part of the Show, Exactly What I Aimed At (or Accidental Aiming Skills), and Unintentional Backup Plan.

A Deliberate Flaw Retcon (and its subtrope, Parody Retcon) is what happens when an artist claims an entire work was Meant to Do That.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • One chapter of Ayakashi Triangle has Matsuri's team planning to raid Shadow Mei's base, but Reo and Suzu spend so long fighting over Matsuri that Shadow Mei (who saw them coming) gets tired of waiting and comes out herself. She asks if that was intentionally and says it would be very clever if it was. After a Beat Panel each, Suzu and Reo confidently say (or rather, think) it was, and Shirogane shouts that they're lying.
  • Cowboy Bebop, in "Stray Dog Strut", when they activate the "Dog Whistle":
    Boss: Is it on? I don't hear anything.
    Lab Tech: It's high-pitched, only dogs can hear it.
    Boss: [long pause] I knew that. I was just testing you.
  • Played for laughs in Inuyasha, where Miroku "exorcises" a house (just to get some free accommodation), only to have a demon fly out of the roof, as the house really did need to be exorcised.
  • Implied and then confirmed in supplemental materials that Frieza of Dragon Ball Z fell into this when he failed to destroy Namek like he claimed he'd do, having held too much power back in fear of being killed in the resulting explosion. Caught with egg on his face and not wanting to admit his mistake, Frieza claims the planet is exploding in a mere five minutes to cover for this blunder.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Absolutely glorious example from the end of Part 2. Joseph Joestar drops Kars into a volcano to try and kill him. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't work, and Kars re-emerges and cuts Joseph's hand off, and it goes tumbling off into oblivion. Half a chapter later, Joseph manages to trigger a massive eruption, and Kars is planning to just fly away from it...until Joseph's severed hand comes flying out of the volcano again, propelled on venting gas, and hits him right in the throat, distracting him from the process of forming wings. His last words before he's blasted into orbit are directed at Joseph, accusing him of having planned this all along (which isn't as implausible as it sounds, in this series). Joseph immediately takes credit for it, while simultaneously thinking "As if! That was just total luck! But if it'll piss him off..."
    • In Part 3, Alessi has a de-aged and wounded Polnareff cornered, and attacks him with his Stand. The attack causes Silver Chariot's rapier to snap, and the point accidentally ends up lodged in Alessi's neck, allowing Polnareff to escape. As he flees, Polnareff claims he did it on purpose.
  • One Piece:
    • As the Straw Hats are escaping from the Navy in Alabasta, Usopp's cannons hits a Navy ship, causing it to blow up, and then causing the ship next to it to blow up as well! Judging from his reaction, it was a total accident, but Ussop immediately takes credit for it.
    • A very vicious and vindictive example; At Enies Lobby, Spandam is trying to contact the other CP 9 for help when he mistakes his normal transponder snail for the golden one, which when activated, will summon a devastating military a force to raze the island to a wasteland. He initially panics, then composes himself, rationalizing that he did it to stop the Straw Hats from taking Robin back. He ends up broadcasting not just his mistake, but his vile glee at everyone, including the island's garrison, dying horribly for his promotion with the normal snail.
    • Zeo seems like a rather harmless villain at first, to the point that Brook accidentally stood on his face for a while without noticing. But then Zeo reveals his master plan. Brook was never standing on his face at all. Zeo was in fact headbutting the bottom of Brook's foot! Genius! Anytime things don't work out for Zeo, he claims the negative result was what he was aiming for. To the point that he claims that he let himself be stabbed in order to dull the blade.
    • When Usopp is trying to knock out Sugar, he gets beaten up and captured by Trebol. Sugar force-feeds Usopp an ultra-spicy grape, which causes him to have a such a nightmarish reaction that Sugar ends up fainting from shock. Usopp then claims that he planned to have it happen that way.
    • The first time Sasaki prepares to launch himself at Franky, he accidentally rotates his propeller frill the wrong direction and flies backwards a good ways. He immediately claims with a straight face that he was intentionally putting space between him and Franky to set up his attack, which Franky doesn't believe for a second.
  • Place to Place: Subverted when Mayoi opens her second umbrella (having lent the first one to Hime), only to have it break and shoot forwards spear-like. The rest of the cast expect her to laugh it off as another of her usual goofy tricks... but Mayoi's reaction is actually a surprised "Eh?". Nobody was expecting it from her, of all people.
  • Samurai Champloo uses this with an overblown samurai who claims he's going to make it big one day. In a duel, he rushes up, draws his sword — and gazes skyward when it flies out of his hand and into the air. It looks like it's all over for the blowhard, until the sword falls from the sky and lands on his opponent's head, knocking him out. His response? "That Flying Dragon technique!"
  • Slam Dunk: In the Shohoku vs Sannoh match, at one point Miyagi sees everyone is being marked, so he tries to score himself. Sawakita blocks him, only for the ball to hit Sakuragi in the face bounce off and land right into the basket. Sakuragi then claims that he did a "face shot" on purpose, and Miyagi plays along saying that he expected Sawakita's block too.

    Comic Books 
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), in a bid for publicity, Ixis Naugus heals Bunnie of a wound she received in battle. Not only does he do so, he turns her back into a fully organic Mobian. He clearly is surprised by this, but (at the urging of Geoffrey St. John) quickly claims he meant to do it.
  • Loki is dreadfully prone to defeat himself/themself and plans going awry so accidentally fixing or breaking the situation (guy could take the title God of Unintended Consequences) but this so never stopped the jerk from claiming that he meant to do that... highlights include: taking credit for turning Thor back after the frog incident (actually the Asgardians destroyed the machine powering the spell); and claiming that he meant to die in the Siege of Asgard (past Loki's ghost downright denied this, but he isn't the Loki of the now so his opinion doesn't count); or meant to turn Nisa into an Intrepid Reporter by destroying her home.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, this is how the Red Bat (Fethry's superhero alter ego) has earned a reputation as a superhero: no matter what happens, he acts as if it was all part of the plan, right from when, in his debut story, he stopped the Beagle Boys and when asked if he had done that alone he pointed at Donald in a gorilla disguise too tall for him (they had been at a masked party, with Fethry's disguise being the one he'd use as a superhero), said "No, this headless gorilla helped me", and left. And considering this guy patrols Duckburg riding a pogo stick and yet he's still effective, people tend to believe him.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader: A large part of the plot involves Darth Vader having to compete with cyborg rivals for his job, created by Cylo. Afterwards Emperor Palpatine tries to explain it all away as part of his Evil Plan. Vader is having none of it.
    Palpatine: My true apprentice would frustrate the copies. Eventually, driven by pride and desperation, Cylo would go too far... and then, when he was simply a traitor, we could purge him. Do you understand, Vader?
    Vader: I do. If any of Cylo's toys had succeeded, you would be making this speech to them.
    Palpatine: [Stunned Silence]
  • In the Astro City story "The Menace From Earth", the First Family routed the Zirr Empire by destroying their mighty Ubersaurus, humiliated the leaders, and smashed their communications array before leaving. Afterwards, the Zirr Empire tells its citizens that their emperor mercifully allowed the humans to live, exiling them after their deeds, and dismissed the communications array as merely an art piece. Zo the Zirr, who witnessed these events, realizes the official account is a massive pile of Blatant Lies.
  • Comic Book/Melusine: Mélusine's niece Malicella, a young witch, often pretends after-the-fact that the results of her out-of-control Wild Magic, however random, were exactly what she meant to do.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Lauren Lopez, Draco's actress in A Very Potter Musical, claims that this trope is the reason her Draco rolls around on the floor all the time; he tries to look cool in front of Harry and his friends by posing, fails miserably, then tries to make it look like he did it on purpose.
  • In this Death Note fancomic, L hits a tennis ball right into Light's crotch. Light later claims to Ryuk that he knew that would happen, and deliberately didn't shield himself to avoid giving away his identity.
  • Calvin says this after shooting Hobbes in the nose trying to get him down from his trap in the first episode of Script Fic Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • A frequent characteristic of Vesta in Game Theory.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: In "File Under 'I' for 'Impossible'", Zizanie is caught out by Trixie, and asks if she'd seen through her act, and that this is the reason for Trixie's Bad Boss tendencies. Trixie claims it was totally all part of the plan, which Zizanie immediately sees through.
  • The renegade hero!!!....Invader Zim?: While trying out the Galactic Guardians' training room as a demonstration, Zim blasts random parts of it before the training even starts as a lesson in the element of surprise. A little while later, some of the damage from this causes part of the roof to collapse onto a Killer Robot sent after Zim and take it out of commission, giving his audience the impression that that was his strategy all along.
  • Rise of the Minisukas: As getting away from Rei, "Prankster" Minisuka grabs her hang glider, launches herself off a walkway...and an errant gust of wind makes her smack with the Fifth Angel. She then hurts it with her Lance, and proclaims that was her plan all along, and nobody can prove otherwise.
    If anyone asked, she planned that. She absolutely didn't lose control of her glider and get thrown directly into the core of the Angel by an errant gust of wind. Anybody who suggested that was just jealous of her skills.
  • Serpentine:
    Tonks: The crowd did look pretty wild. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor aren't exactly rivals like you guys are with Slytherin, but the gloves come off for Quidditch. Did you see how I smashed that bludger Fred sent at Diggory? I can't believe I got it!
    Harry: I can't believe you knocked the Quaffle in on accident. Ron went mental.
    Tonks: I meant to do that!
  • In The Weaver Option the Mighty Iconoclastic Brotherhood was sent to assault the Cadian Gate. While the exact details aren't revealed, the Dark Council which ordered the assault insist that everything went according to the plans of Chaos and disagreeing on that is treason. What was left of the Brotherhood disagreed and took to piracy.
  • In The Internship by Neeko96, when, during the presentation of Gabriel's Miraculous-themed Fashion Week collection, the akuma model stumbles, Adrien catches her and attempts to pretend it was part of the show. While it does fit with the theme (akumas are people who lose their footing thanks to Hawk Moth and are saved by the heroes), it's not enough to save the model's reputation... at least, until evidence is presented the stumble might have been due to deliberate sabotage.
  • What a Strange Little Colt: After her conversation with Gabriel in “Truth”, Rainbow says this when she stumbles and lands in a heap.
    Gabriel: Yeah, I could tell you rehearsed.
    Rainbow Dash: [smirks] Whatever.

    Films — Animation 
  • Chicken Run: Nick and Fetcher the rats bring the eponymous chickens a radio. Upon one of them patting the side, the tuning knob shoots across the coop. "It's supposed to do that."
  • Hercules: The Hydra battle. Hercules loses his sword, struggles to fight the Hydra until he retrieves it, and is caught off guard when the Hydra threw him into the air and swallowed him whole. But after a moment, Hercules cut his way out from inside the Hydra's throat. Covered in green slime and swaying on his clumsy feet, Hercules tells Philoctetes, "See, Phil. That...that wasn't so hard." However, he tries to sheath his sword, only to drop it on the ground, before he himself collapses. Looking at Phil, who asks how many horns he see, a dizzy Herc sees triple and his answer is "Six?"
  • Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
    • When Toby rings his bell very loudly to distract the Evil Diesel 10:, causing Diesel 10 to destroy the shed he and his cronies are under.
      Diesel 10: It's the teapot! Smash him!
      [Diesel knocks down shed roof with Pinchy, which traps him, Splatter, and Dodge inside]
      Dodge: Uh, Boss? Did you mean to make the roof fall in?
      Splatter: All the way in?
      Diesel 10 Grr...I always mean what I do, ya rattletraps!
    • Though in most cases, it just seems like a blatant lie on Diesel 10's part. He tries to deny the accidents he unintentionally causes and puts himself into, just to make him not look stupid, though Splodge don't buy it.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Codex Alera:
    • In the final book, Tavi struggles to tear down the gates of one of the great cities of Alera, which are centuries old and have been continuously fortified and strengthened since their construction. He does manage to bring them down—as well as everything in a hundred foot radius. He doesn't say anything, but does play it off like part of the plan, to look more impressive.
    • In a previous book, he does another wordless variation. When he's declaring that he's the Princeps of the realm, the ground shakes and a bright red light fills the sky as a result of a volcano erupting in the B plot miles away. Tavi has no more clue about what's going on than anyone else, but he decides to act as if he'd planned for it and use it to add dramatics to his speech.
  • This is how Yossarian got his medal and rank in Catch-22: the military was unsure of how to handle his most recent flight, which destroyed the target but in an unusually risky manner and at a fairly high cost, so they decided to pretend this was intentional.
  • Ciaphas Cain got the beginnings of his heroic reputation from this. While running away from a Tyranid attack, he discovered that it was a diversion and that his escape route went right into the main attack. Thus forewarned, his unit survived, and he got the credit because he couldn't very well admit that he'd tried to run.
  • In Brothers of the Snake, one of the Space Marines is tasked with making a shot that's supposed to blow up the explosive charges. He takes it...misses...and promptly claims that the first shot was just checking the distance.
  • In the second novel of Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium, Emperor Grey trips and falls while visiting a planet in The Empire. In order to save face, he then begins to offer praises to the planet and its people (similar to the Real Life example below). This turns into the Prostration ritual, during which he visits all the planets in his domain and prostrates and prays after leaving his shuttle. Once, though, he forgets to do that and then simply declares that he is changing the ritual.
  • In the first chapter of Redwall, an unnamed bird swoops down on a basket left behind by Matthias hoping for a free meal, only to find inedible (to him) nuts. To avoid embarrassment "lest any other birds had been witness to his silly mistake" he makes it out like he just flew down to look for something else to eat.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lockhart founds the Dueling Club and is dumb enough to suggest Professor Snape as his sparring partner. Snape promptly wipes the floor with him, but Lockhart cheerfully explains that he just wanted to show what you shouldn't do in a fight.
  • Discussed in Making Money; Moist thinks that Bent, rather than freaking out and locking himself in the vault after making a mistake, should have claimed that he made the mistake on purpose to test the clerks. "Even schoolteachers knew that one!" (Bent is both scrupulously honest and extremely serious, neither of which are qualities that have ever been ascribed to Moist.)
  • Fire & Blood: When Baela Targaryen proves entirely uncontrollable to Aegon III's regency council, by sneaking out of the Red Keep and marrying her cousin rather than the man they'd tried to get her to marry, Tyland Lannister throws up his hands and says they should just claim this was the plan all along.

    Live-Action TV 


  • Similar is one of the running gags of El Chapulín Colorado (a Mexican TV Superhero spoof); he would fall and then say one of his catch phrases: "Lo hice intencionalmente, todos mis movimientos estan friamente calculados." ("I did that intentionally, all my movements are coldly calculated.") He would also add silly reasons to the fall or otherwise klutz action, such as "testing the ground's stability" or "checking the balance of the walls".
  • El Chavo del ocho: One time la Chilindrina mentions to Quico of one instance when El Chavo punched him in the nose hard enough to draw blood. Quico counters that he was "hitting Chavo's hands with his nose".
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Time of Angels": When River demonstrates that she can pilot the TARDIS better than the Doctor can, and shows off some features he didn't know about, he insists that his method of piloting is better because it's more interesting.
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The Doctor is doing some work to on the TARDIS and generally showing off for Rory and Amy when the console sudden erupts in an alarming shower of sparks. After an embarrassed pause, the Doctor defensively snaps "It's meant to do that."
  • In one episode of Frasier, the characters are arguing with Martin, who is stubbornly refusing to get glasses despite clearly needing them. They're at their favourite coffee shop, and finally Martin snaps, leading to this moment:
    Martin: There's nothing wrong with my eyes! [picks up a cream server] Now, if you don't mind, I just want to sit here quietly and have a...[realizes which cup he's picked up]...have a drink of cream, do you have a problem with that?! Good.
    • And then, for added stubbornness points, he proceeds to take a sip of cream.
  • Maxwell Smart from Get Smart is a master of this art. Often the unintentional pratfall does in fact save his life.
  • Tim from Home Improvement constantly does that due to being The Klutz. He constantly screws up, then tries to act like he did it that way on purpose. People who know him well, like Al or his family, are never fooled. However, he does occasionally fool a stranger into believing that an Epic Fail was deliberate, like when he was bowling with Jill and accidentally managed to throw his ball down the lane of the people bowling next to him and successfully convinced them that it was a joke.
  • Foggy from Last of the Summer Wine never misses a chance to boast about how he was putting on a façade of cluelessness to imply that the conversation is best held in private, how he acted all cowardly and prevented a situation from escalating into actual violence...generally how he did really badly, but nobody calls him on it because he'll just boast about that next.
  • In MythQuest's depiction of the story of Minokichi and Yuki-Onna, Mosaku falls off an icy path. He assures Minokichi, "I'm alright. I just did that to prove how well I bounce."
  • Rich Hall tells of such a moment in QI:
    Rich: Funniest thing I ever saw was John McCririck fall out of a boat.
    Stephen: [looks very interested] Really?
    Rich: Pretended it didn't happen, and I was interviewing him, and so none of the crew could laugh until two hours later. Everyone laughed at the same time and didn't stop for half an hour. They kept it in for two hours. It is possible.
    Stephen: That's fantastic. Because he was so...sort of...pompously refusing...?
    Rich: Well, yeah, he's a big, blustery guy, and he had a cigar...and he fell right on top of me. And then fell out of the boat. And then got back in and said; 'Right. Where were we?' [makes 'Whut?' face] 'You just fell out of the boat! You're dripping wet!' Cigar just hanging out of his mouth...Guy pretended it never happened! So we all pretended it didn't happen until two hours later. We're driving back and the guy driving was just...(makes zigzag gesture)...almost wrecked, he was laughing so hard.
  • Red Dwarf: In "White Hole", Lister is attempting to shoot a planet into the eponymous "white hole" as you would pocket a ball in a game of pool (long story). He shoots, misses, hits a completely different planet and "pockets" that one instead. Lister immediately starts crowing about how it was a perfectly executed trick shot. Everyone else thinks he was just a very lucky git.
  • Seinfeld: In "The Glasses", George takes a bite of a raw onion instead of an apple and tries to play it off as a conscious decision.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Face of the Enemy", Troi, disguised as a Romulan Tal Shiar officer, is having dinner with the Romulan Commander Toreth. Toreth suggests that Troi try a dish called viinerine. However, Troi is unfamiliar with Romulan cuisine, so she grabs a random dish, only to be pointed out by Toreth that wasn't viinerine, to which Troi says "I've smelled fresher viinerine aboard a prison barge."
  • In the math round Series/8oo10cdc, after correctly guessing the correct steps, or while Rachel Riley is explaining the steps, sometimes comedians will act as if they knew it all along and were just leaving it to Rachel to solve.


  • Mr. T's absolutely hilarious educational video Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool tells you that if you trip over a pebble, turn it into a break dance move. The people will applaud you and you'll look awesome.

  • On a Great Big Sea live album and DVD, Alan begins a song on the wrong verse. He claims it was on purpose, to prove that they aren't lip-syncing.

    Puppet Shows 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Happens occasionally in pro wrestling. Due to the nature of the enterprise being a live performance in front of a crowd, action during the matches can be botched. Often when a botch is noticeable, the crowd will chant "You fucked up!" at the offending wrestler, especially if they didn't like him much to begin with. A heel wrestler who falls victim to this will sometimes turn to the crowd and sneer "I MEANT TO DO THAT," just to play up the fact that he is, in fact, a bit of a dick, for the sake of the show.
  • Jake The Snake Roberts has said this was how he invented his Finishing Move, the DDT. He had his opponent in a front facelock and accidentally fell backwards, knocking his opponent out in the process.
  • This is how the infamous botch of Kevin Nash powerbomb attempt of the Giant got turned into an angle. Nash, who had earlier successfully powerbombed the Giant without issue, attempted it again, but since the last time the Giant had put on some weight, and Nash's back gave out mid move as a result, dropping the Giant on the back of his head. A week later the Giant accused Nash of doing it on purpose, leading to this promo.

  • In the Cabin Pressure episode "Helsinki", while Carolyn is showing her sister Ruth her Alleged Aeroplane, she claims that the wing is supposed to be doing that and the plane is supposed to make that sound. She is unable, however, to go through with claiming that bits of the plane are supposed to fall off.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, after getting some Riddler trophies and/or solving some riddles, he starts delivering snide jabs on this vein, including at how he expected you to find it much sooner. Considering that it doesn't take him very long to get rather annoyed when you find more of them, this probably isn't true.
  • Lady Aurelia Hammerlock from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has a skill called "Warning Shot", which grants her bonuses whenever she misses a shot with a sniper rifle. She also frequently insists that she's missing on purpose during this effect.
  • Used in Call of Duty: Black Ops. The achievement/reward for scoring a kill with a tomahawk that you first bounced off a wall or floor — a feat that will almost surely come by accident — is named "I Meant to Do That!"
  • A slight variation in Final Fantasy X. Happens if Tidus fails to do the Jecht Shot on the trip to Luca. He notices that Yuna was watching him and quickly does another flip, ending with a 'ta-da'. She isn't fooled.
  • Guild Wars has a warrior skill called "I Meant to Do That!" that gives the player a boost if he's knocked down. Even better, the skill is a shout, so a speech bubble with the skill name appears above the player's head when he uses it.
  • In Lost Horizon Fenton glues a broken Josephine Baker record together, hides the glue with gunpowder and slips it into the stack of German marching band records a Nazi interrogator is torturing Thomas with. When it explodes instead of playing and knocks the Nazi out, Fenton mutters that he meant to do that.
  • In The Owl Consults Professor Dirk Radon uses his atomic jetpack to return to the airship which he claims Captain Dashing has stolen from him.
    Excellent! Disregard the crash you may have heard, Owl; that was just me gently brushing up against a bookcase during my VICTORY DANCE on having accomplished such a perfect landing. And no, there is of course no bookcase on the main deck of the ship. Instead, I used my SPECTACULAR INTELLECT to reroute to a side room off the main deck because...well, to gain the element of surprise. My plan is running smoothly and COMPLETELY ACCORDING TO PLAN.
  • In Persona 5, during Ann's romance arc she impulsively confesses that she loves the PC.
    Ann: W-wait, what did I just say!?
    Ren: You said 'I love you'.
    Ann: I- I said what!? I...I mean...(assumes a daring expression)...yeah, I said it! And I meant it too! I really love you! Like, REALLY really! (Ren kisses her) H-hey...wait a-
  • The Riddle of Master Lu: Ripley peeks down into the tomb of the first emperor of China with a matchstick and drops it when it burns his fingers. It hits a line of oil that lights up all the ancient lamps within. When Mei Chen asks what happened, he says he saw that would happen and dropped it on purpose.
  • Rocket League: The quick chat line "Calculated.", almost always used by players after unintentional errors or lucky goals.
  • In SSX 3, Psymon Stark says things like "Obviously intentional!" when he gets a power-up or a money token...and when he almost wipes out.
  • Guybrush says this in Chapter 1 of Tales of Monkey Island after he has caught the Desingeograph of his Poxed hand with his feet and flips it onto the picture bucket near the Illuminopictoscreen. Even though he says that as if he were doing it by accident, it is all a part to escape from the operating table in De Singe's laboratory.
  • Merasmus of Team Fortress 2 says this sometimes when he acts like a Tactical Suicide Boss.
    Merasmus: YOU...ARE...GODS! I...meant to do that! It will go badly for you. You watch.
  • If you ask Remilia Scarlet from Touhou Project what she won in the Super Power Lottery, she'll boastfully tell you that she won the ability to Manipulate Fate. If you ask her little sister, Flandre, she'll tell you that Remilia won the ability to invoke this trope whenever she wants to look cooler than she really is.
  • In Unleash the Light, one of Amethyst's quotes after being revived is "Yeah... I meant for that to happen!"
  • One of Cherub's quotes on a missed shot in XCOM: Chimera Squad is "That was a warning shot!".
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed actually has it Played for Drama. N killing Ghondor, his own son, is framed as a Kick the Dog moment, and he acts smug when the topic comes up, but it later turns out that it was really a Murder by Mistake. N had come to the City to fight Alpha and tried to avoid Ghondor entirely, but they met anyway; N's refusal to fully explain the situation resulted in his son interfering and N unintentionally stabbing him. N is clearly horrified by what he's done, but feels that I've Come Too Far; he claims that he has the right to kill any of his descendants, deliberately giving the impression that he slew Ghondor in cold blood and isn't bothered by it at all. Putting on the attitude of a heartless killer and refusing to acknowledge his guilty conscience leads to N gradually degenerating into the Entitled Bastard seen in the main game.

  • Beach WZRD: Wizard's attitude no matter what happens, because in her logic, whenever her spells go horribly wrong, they haven't and that was the intended result since Wizards cannot fail. Whenever they go horribly right, that's just more proof that wizards can't fail.
  • Chairman Jack: Emerge: For all his seriousness and rationality, when Chairman Jack's plan to make short work of some sky pirates ends up badly to the point of him almost falling to his doom, he feels the need to assure his partner that this was all a deliberate attempt to distract the pirates.
  • In Exterminatus Now, Virus tells the others about how Eastwood had his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend put to death on heresy charges. Eastwood indignantly defends himself pointing out that the guy actually was a heretic, but Virus reminds him that they only found that out after they had him executed.
  • Free Fall: Sam Starfall, upon discovering the hard way that microgravity is the perfect environment for stalking someone:
    Sam: No, you did not surprise me. My plans to scream like a little girl when I reached the kitchen were made hours ago. It's pure coincidence that you happened to be here at the time.
  • Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne delivers the line when the coffee machine she's rebuilding explodes. Subverted in that she doesn't even have to use it at all to save face, the crowd of onlookers/helpers cheers at the explosion. The Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle official novelization makes clear she indeed meant to do that.
  • Looking for Group has this exchange when Richard runs out of steam fighting Assaracus's whalephants:
    Richard: Hey. Was it your plan to make incredibly flammable creatures, knowing I would expend the majority of my power simply to watch whalephant fat burn?
    Assaracus: Behold my genius!
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Strip 3149: "All my mistakes are performance art."
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Riff, about his robot. "That's a feature. It plays dead! ...That's another feature. It's got interchangeable parts! [angrily] That's another feature!"
    • In "Chapter 73: The Immortal King - Bound and Unbound", Riff accidentally fires his laser cannon instead of turning on his flashlight. He briefly admits his mistake but then corrects that that was his cooler but less effective flashlight.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, Onni shows up in Mora with just a bag too small to contain even a change of clothes. When Taru asks him if it's really all he packed, we get to see a brief flash-back in which Onni's refusal to board the boat until the very last minute causes him to abandon most of his luggage on the pier and drop the one extra bag he had managed to grab in the water. Onni's official explanation? He "has no need for wordly possessions".

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!:
    • In one episode, Francine joins a womens' society but tries to get out when they expect her to cheat on Stan. Just as they prepare to kill her to preserve their secrets, Francine's neighbor Linda interrupts and gives her a VERY passionate kiss. This convinces the women to back off ("No wonder she refused to cheat on Stan with a man...), and afterwards Francine thanks Linda for saving her with the fake lesbian kiss. Linda's response is this trope combined with Suspiciously Specific Denial ("Oh, here is your husband. I should get home to my husband, whom I love and am still sexually attracted to.")
    • In another episode, Stan says "I'm the one who made the decisions that kept this family on track for twenty years. I deserve a little respect!" and storms off...into a pantry. When Francine points this out, Stan shouts "I'M LOOKING FOR PEACHES!"
  • Lasso Lass, in the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: C.O.W.G.I.R.L.", says this after crashing through the rotten floor of her treehouse with her horse. And again at the end of the episode when she crashes through Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb's fence when trying to ride off into the sunset.
  • Earthworm Jim: In the teaser for "Assault and Battery", Jim and Peter Puppy are bound to an enormous boulder by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, who is about to blast them with an enormous laser cannon. Jim tries to use his super-strength to break free, but instead yanks the rock out of the ground and squashes the Professor with it.
    Jim: Would you believe I meant to do that?
    Peter: Not a chance, big fella.
  • King of the Hill: In the "Hank's Back Story", Dale and Hank are practicing for an upcoming mower racing event and end up mowing towards each in a game of chicken and both stop just before the get to the hedges that divide their yards. Then Dale indicates he will back out and twists around to see where he is going, but instead of reversing, the mower shoots forward through the hedges, and Dale yelps and almost falls off. Once his mower stops, Dale feigns deliberateness and tells Hank, "there's more where that came from," then calmly reverses out.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Snow Jam," Trini shoots a basket and ends up bouncing the ball between the backboard and the scoreboard multiple times before it finally drops into the basket. Then she claims she planned it that way.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Applejack slips on some soap, knocking over the other ponies. She immediately invokes this trope. Somewhat of a parody, as she was hypnotized by Discord to lie about everything at the time.
    • Done visually by the Wonderbolts flying team in "Secret of My Excess": While fending off a rampaging dragon, they get captured in a water tower. They're freed after the crisis has passed, adopt a heroic pose, then fly off without a word.
    • In "One Bad Apple", Babs Seed tries to impress Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon by knocking a wheel off of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' float. However, it ends up wrecking the entire float. She is clearly shocked, but since the two bullies are impressed by her act, she goes along with it.
    • In "Newbie Dash", Rainbow Dash tries to pretend she was just testing the other Wonderbolts by not looking left and right before crossing the runway. None of them are fooled.
  • Robot Chicken satirizes the Ass Pull ending of The Rise of Skywalker by having Palpatine insist that everything that happened in the trilogy was according to his plan, while Rey says that nothing makes sense and looks more like he was winging it. When the mechanical arm sustaining Palpatine malfunctions and yanks him away, he also says that this is part of his plan, and also when the arm beats the top of his head against the ceiling.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: After Adora thrashes Seahawk at arm-wrestling in a contest to see whether he'll take them to their destination, Seahawk insists that he let her win to boost her confidence and anyway he was just looking for an excuse to sail that way.
  • Shimmer and Shine: Zac says this to Leah after crashing into a second mailbox in "Backyard Ballet".
  • Sofia the First: In "The Enchanted Feast", Cedric botches up his spell to conjure up the feast, so hehe claims that it's part of a joke before his main act.
  • Sonic Boom: In "Translate this" Tails shows off his new invention to the team, the Universal Translator, and proudly claims it not only translates any language into English, but also retranslates any English phrase into what the speaker actually means. This is promptly retranslated into "I didn't intend for it to do that, but I will gladly accept full credit".
  • Special Agent Oso: The title character's catchphrase: "It's all part of the plan...more or less."
  • Wakfu:
    • Sadlygrove tries to pull this out after being tripped and tumbling during his duel against Prince Armand. Nobody's fooled.
    • In season 2's Gobbowl arc, Kriss Krass also protests this when the Masked Gobbowler takes back the gobball whithout Kriss even noticing.
  • We Bare Bears has Ice Bear getting the basketball stuck next to the hoop in a game. But as Ice Bear says, "Ice Bear meant to do that".

    Real Life 
  • When Julius Caesar went to Africa (to fight his nemesis, Pompeius Magnus), he stumbled and fell when leaving the ship. Since this could be considered a bad omen, he immediately exclaimed, "I have you, Africa!"
  • William the Conqueror did something similar upon tripping on the shore of England, then proclaiming that he would "grasp it with both hands". Overall, this precise story seems to be something of a wandering anecdote and as the tales of the conquering are usually written when the conquering is done, it's hard to say whether the falling down and quipping about it happened as described or at all.
  • When a sex scene in his novel I Am Charlotte Simmons won the "Bad Sex in Fiction" award, Tom Wolfe started telling anyone who would listen that the sex scene was supposed to be bad.
  • One time when Demi Lovato was performing "Until You're Mine", they tripped and started laughing. During one of the instrumental breaks, they said "I planned that, the whole falling thing? That was already planned."
  • Freddie Mercury's bottomless microphone stand originated during a gig very early in Queen's career, when his mic stand snapped in half in the middle of a song, but he carried on with the intact bit and decided it would be more interesting to keep it like that.
  • On occasion, during sharpshooting performances, Annie Oakley would miss her target purely for show and visibly pout about it afterwards. Oakley never missed a target without meaning to.
  • Donald Trump has one of two tactics to choose from to save face after he's done or said something dumb: Either deny he did/said it despite actual video and audio evidence, or this trope. A perfect example of the latter is a tweet reading "Despite the constant negative press covfefe", which was so nonsensical it immediately went memetic, especially the nonsense word it ended in. After deleting the tweet, he attempted to save face by challenging followers to guess the meaning of the Perfectly Cromulent Word he'd accidentally coined and apparently compelling then-press secretary Sean Spicer to imply it was some sort of codeword or in-joke if challenged on it. He's also insisted that the bankruptcies he suffered in The '90s were actually strategic business decisions.
  • This is how Pete Townshend of The Who's famous guitar smashing started. Townshend accidentally cracked the neck of his guitar on a club's low ceiling, then smashed his guitar out of frustration and to make it look like he'd done it on purpose. The band's manager, Kit Lambert, loved it so much he asked Townshend to do it for every performance.
  • After the unlikely cult success of his movie The Room, director Tommy Wiseau has since insisted the film was always intended as a comedy. Most viewers perceive it simply as a terrible film that was so badly done it was unintentionally hilarious.
  • Cats will often play off goofy moves or obvious failures as something they meant to do.


Video Example(s):


"Because of Metacritic."

After taking a jab at Canon Kayaba's "I Don't Even Remember", Abridged Kayaba states that the reason behind everything that happened in SAO was because he was extremely exhausted from programming the game three weeks straight, with the Players dying with their Avatars was because of a glitch he created accidentally and his attempts at covering it up.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (42 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExhaustionInducedIdiocy

Media sources: