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I Was Never Here

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Jon Spiro: If I go down, so do you!
Artemis Fowl: Incorrect. I was never here. The tapes will prove it.
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code

You did not read this entry. It was never written. Check the security camera footage; it shows you were alone the whole time. You never got here, you dreamed it or were too tired/high/medicated and started to hallucinate.

This phrase is not associated with The Men in Black, and No Such Agency would ever use it. There are no large number of variants.

You don't need to compare with You Didn't See That.

P.S. That Didn't Happen.

These aren't examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Men in Black who stalk around the titular protagonist's house in Serial Experiments Lain answer like this when threatened with police by her older sister.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. In Solid State Society the Japanese Prime Minister orders Aramaki not to raid the home of a radical politician because of the political problems this will cause. He orders in Section 9 anyway, but they find the man has been dead for months. After downloading his database for clues, Aramaki orders they leave everything as it was and not inform the authorities. Aramaki doesn't like it, but says they have no choice as Section 9 were never officially there in the first place.
  • In episode 4 of Planetes, there's no official record of Colin ever being on the Toybox, or of the crew helping him recover his camera that he'd forgotten while touring a space wrecknote . Of course, this also means that there's no official record of Ai socking him in the jaw, either.
  • Parodied in So I'm a Spider, So What?, when the titular spider accidentally destroys an enitre Ohts Kingdom fortress (one of several times she underestimates how much more powerful she is than humans), she scampers away declaring "I was never here!" Despite the fact that she's only imagining saying it, since as a spider she has no vocal cords to actually talk.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Gordon of Gotham: After Gordon learns that his FBI contact is working with the villains, the man reveals that he used his vacation days to come to Gotham and his superiors have no idea that Gordon ever contacted him.
    Agent Thorpe: I kill you and no one even knows I was here.
  • In Transmetropolitan, Gary Callahan arranges for a meeting with Spider that leads to him threatening Spider, practically admitting he had one of his own staff murdered and revealing he only wants to be President to mess with people. He then reveals he had all of Spider's recording gear remotely deactivated and that Spider can't prove he said anything, or that he was even there at the meeting. Callahan finishes with this line.
  • Secret Six: Spy Smasher is trying to draw Amanda Waller into a trap with a fake nuclear attack, only to find The Wall sitting in her office with a gun.
    Spy Smasher: How did you get in my office?
    Amanda Waller: Katrina, I'm surprised you think I'm even in your office. I couldn't be. Fifty excellent witnesses can place me on a boat in Jamaica right now. And this isn't my gun, it's yours.
  • In an issue of Excalibur, Nick Fury attends the funeral of the team's ally and his old friend Brigadier Alysande Stuart, warning her twin brother Alistaire that the conspiracy to cover up her murder as a suicide goes much higher up than he realizes and that he should be careful lest the conspirators subject him to the same treatment. Fury closes by saying "I was never here" as he walks away...and given his frequent use of Life Model Decoys that might even be true.

    Fan Works 
  • In one chapter of Double Agent Vader, the rebel pilots throw a raucous dance party on the anniversary of the Empire's founding (their version includes the ceremonial destruction of an effigy of the Emperor). At one point in the party, Leia encounters General Dodonna, who tells her solemnly that he is not there and has no idea the party is even taking place.
  • In the third chapter of The Glass Kingdom, the Zaldian State Sec march into a crowded restaurant and arrest Trixie and Lyra (who are both protected by Diplomatic Immunity). The next paragraph explains why they were willing to do that in full view of everypony.
    The remaining Guarsai officer turned and looked at the other ponies in the restaurant. He didn’t say anything – and he didn’t need to. This matter was not to be discussed. The arrest of two foreign nationals was not to be mentioned. There had been no abrogation of the Treaty of Valet d’Écurie. The two Equestrians and three Guarsai members had never been here. These things were simply understood by the remaining ponies – loyal Zaldians all. Actions such as these ensured that.
  • In Common Sense, James is paid extra by Mitchell, a bookmaker that owes him money, in exchange for pretending they never met. After he's accepted the money, James has this to say as he leaves:
    "I've already forgotten what you look like. Farewell."
  • X-Men: The Early Years: In "Twinkies, Holdups and Other Things that Aren't Good For You", Hank bumps into Scott, Bobby and Warren as they're trying to hide Hank's dead lab rat (long story).
    Right then Hank McCoy came sulking in to the room while carrying a box. Scott quickly hid Blinky behind his back. "Hank. What are you doing here?"
    Hank's eyes darted back and forth and gave all three of them a glare. "Nothing. What are you three doing here?"
    "Nothing," the three of them replied quickly.
    "That's what I thought you would say," Hank replied. "You never saw me. In exchange I never saw what the three of you might be doing in here."
    "Deal," Bobby announced.
  • The Self-Insert in A Twelve Step Program to Omnipotence is busy filling a shipping container with his and Dr. Sterns' lab equipment when he gets spotted by a trio of criminals on their way to a drug deal. When the seven-foot Hulk clone with literally burning eyes tells them "You saw nothing. Move along." they wisely decide to keep on walking.
  • In The Last Son, this is Nick Fury's motto whenever S.H.I.E.L.D is involved in something.

    Films — Animated 
  • Superman: Doomsday. After Lexcorp engineers Dug Too Deep and released Doomsday who then goes on to kill Superman, Lex Luthor tells his loyal underling Mercy Graves to make sure no-one can blame him for the death of the world's most popular superhero.
    Luthor: Speaking of which... You did see to it that little mess was cleaned up?
    Graves: Lexcorp was never there.
    (Luthor draws a gun and shoots her dead)
    Luthor: And neither were you.
  • Monsters, Inc.: "None of this ever happened, gentlemen. And I don't want to see any paperwork on this."
  • Skipper from the Madagascar series with his catchphrase: "You didn't see anything."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Men in Black II: J and K are watching an episode of an old show that is describing something that happened to K years before. At the end of the episode, they see "You saw nothing" on the recording.
    This is a story that "never happened", from one of their files that "doesn't exist".
  • For that matter, this is standard Men in Black operating procedure.
    Zed: You're a rumor, recognizable only as deja vu and dismissed just as quickly. You don't exist; you were never even born.
  • The Matrix: When Neo sells the bootleg disc to a client. The dialogue is heavy on Foreshadowing, for bonus points.
  • In House of Games, Margaret makes this clear to the con artist, Mike, before she kills him.
  • The Guild Navigator from the Dune (1984), after telling the Emperor to kill Paul Atreides. "I did not say this, I am not here."
  • Used in the film version of Get Shorty when Ray Barbone threatens Harry Zimm (and coerces him into shooting the dead Ronnie to frame him for the crime) in order to keep Chili from finding out that he's in LA.
  • No Country for Old Men: Anton: "You didn't see me. I was already gone."
    • Also, "That depends... Can you see me?"
  • Sneakers: "What's really important is that none of this ever happened. This box doesn't exist." Bonus points for the line being spoken by the same man who gave us the trope naming line.
  • Hitman: "We aren't here, which means when we open up on you and shred your bodies with automatic fire then this will never have happened."
  • In Goldeneye, James Bond asks CIA agent Jack Wade why he chose to meet him in the Caribbean before he entered Cuba to track down Janus. Wade answers, "I am not here. The CIA has no knowledge, no involvement, nothing to do with your insertion into Cuba, if you catch my drift."
  • In Air America:
    Gene Ryack : Well the problem is, Rob, if you and I weren't here, this conversation never happened, so I can't remember what the fuck you didn't tell me.
    • Also, at the end, when they steal the plane, Gene points that they can't possibly be stealing the plane, since the plane belongs to the US government, but the plane is in Laos, and "the US government doesn't exist in Laos, and neither does this plane."
  • In Babe, Babe the pig and Ferdinand the duck have a conversation before they remember they aren't supposed to be having a conversation and end by telling each other they weren't there.
  • Conspiracy (2001). Throughout the movie Eichmann is shown taking extensive steps to ensure there is no evidence of the Wannsee Conference (fortunately for history, one of the attendees failed to destroy his copy of the minutes).
    Eichmann: This meeting is not taking place. You are to take no calls for anyone at this meeting. Anyone. Unless the Führer calls... and he won't.
  • Twice in the Transformers Film Series.
    • In Transformers (2007), Agent Simmons is part of a we-do-not-exist MIB organization. However, one can find the folly of such organizations: Lennox tells him "I don't take orders from people who don't exist." at a climactic moment. You need to exist a bit more than Simmons does to be able to bring official pressure on members of lower organizations to obey you if you intend to be an Obstructive Bureaucrat.
    • Noah evokes this in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts after arriving in an abandoned warehouse with Mirage (due to Mirage unintentionally dragging him along), trying to convince Optimus that he never even saw the Autobots and even closes his eyes to prove it. Optimus is not amused.
      Noah: I'm nobody, I even ain't seen nothing, I'm not even seeing anything right now.
  • In Bridge of Spies, subverted in the following conversation:
    Hoffman: Has your guy talked?
    Donovan: Excuse me?
    Hoffman: You met him. Has he talked? Has he said anything yet?
    Donovan: We're not having this conversation.
    Hoffman: Of course not.
    Donovan: No, I mean we are really not having it. You're asking me to violate attorney-client privilege.
  • The Pink Panther: In the first Steve Martin reboot film, a British secret agent who goes by "006" can't let anyone know he was ever in the city, so after shooting a whole gang with sleeping darts, he hands Clouseau all the credit for stopping the Gas Mask Bandits, a crew of criminals that all Europe is looking for, but who have nothing to do with the plot of the film.
  • Played with in Outbreak. Lt. Daniels has, against orders, gone to the site of an outbreak of a deadly virus. His superior, General Ford, discovers this and also discovers that the situation is much worse than anticipated. Ford needs Daniels on the ground to battle the disease and doesn't want to waste time disciplining him, while Daniels is angry at how long it's taken for the military to respond to the situation. So:
    Ford: You were never here.
    Daniels: No, I was here. I've been here from the beginning. I followed the bug here.
  • Subverted in Blue Thunder. One of the conspirators concludes their plotting with "This conversation never happened. If it gets back to me, I'll deny it." He then pulls open the drapes to find Blue Thunder hovering outside their window in Stealth Mode, recording the entire conversation.
  • Logan. A sympathetic doctor tries to help Logan (who is slowly dying of Adamantium poisoning) but as the villains are on their trail and have been killing off various witnesses, Logan just walks out of his clinic the moment he regains consciousness while giving this trope.
    Logan: Look doc, you seem like a nice guy. You want to save a life? Save your own; forget we were here.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: After Roger is framed for murder, he hides out in Eddie Valiant's office, to Eddie's chagrin. When he sees the Toon Patrol showing up to search the place for him, he hides inside a drawer in Eddie's desk and tells him "Remember, you never saw me!"
  • Lone Star (1996) has a variation - when Chet goes to Otis' bar the night a shooting happens, Otis comes up to Chet and tells him, "You were never here", and instructs him go out back so neither of them get into trouble.
  • In The Mighty Quinn, when Miller is holding a gun on the title character, he says, "This never happened, and I was never here."

  • Repeatedly spoofed in Discworld:
    • Early on in Small Gods, Vorbis has a meeting with a general who has traveled a very long way for something that never happened, and which is in fact just one of many such meets that hasn't happened with Vorbis of late.
    • In Interesting Times, Mustrum Ridcully has trouble wrapping his mind around the idea that he is not talking to Vetinari and they are not looking at a mysterious albatross, who has not come with an important message.
    • In Thud!, Mustrum Ridcully has gotten slightly more used to the bendy thinking of Ankh Morpork politics and regretfully informs Commander Vimes that there is no way in which he can help Vimes to get where he needs to be fast. Especially not if he leaves the coaches in the alley next to the University at eight P.M. sharp tonight.
  • In Nineteen Eighty-Four, O'Brien shows Winston the picture of the old Party leaders (who are now unpersons), then throws it into a memory hole and says that it never existed and he does not remember its existence. The clear implication is that the Party can do this with any inconvenient object or person.
  • Artemis Fowl, the source of the page quote. Artemis's master plan finally becomes clear to Jon Spiro just as the boy vanishes along with any evidence he had been in the room with Spiro at all. Cue Villainous Breakdown.
  • In The Final Reflection, the protagonist is woken in the middle of the night by agents of Imperial Intelligence who take him away to a meeting with an anonymous superior. He is instructed that they were never there and that no such meeting took place.
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora: after a certain cask is delivered to the Gentlemen Bastards' hideout, Galdo pays the messenger eleven silvers: "Ten for the cask, and one more for forgetting all about this." The man replies, "Holy hell, my memory must be cacked out, because I can't remember what you're paying me for."
  • In Komarr, Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan holds a truth-serum interrogation of someone he suspects is holding out on him about what she knows of a terrorist plot. After the interrogation, which establishes that she'd deduced the plot from the outside but wasn't personally involved, she asks how much trouble she's in, and he tells her none: in the final analysis, she's given the investigation more help than hindrance, and making an issue of her reluctance to come forward will do more harm than good. Outside of his confidential report to the Emperor, there won't even be any official record that she was a suspect. "When two Imperial Auditors say they didn't see something, it can become remarkably invisible."
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Innocence Proves Nothing, Inquisition agent Danuld Drake says this to a starship security detachment he has instructed to dispose of two dead rogue psykers.
  • Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe series:
    • In the novel The Little Sister, a telephone conversation ends with this trope.
      Gonzalez: One moment, you have not told me what happened.
      Marlowe: I haven't even telephoned you.
    • In the short story "The Pencil", Marlowe is paid a politely threatening visit by Grimes, a mob boss from Las Vegas. During the meeting, he tells Marlowe that in case Marlowe has any idea about going to the cops (or, for that matter, if it should become necessary that Marlowe doesn't survive the meeting), Grimes will be able to prove that he never left Vegas.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Davos Seaworth, sent as an emissary by the rebel Stannis Baratheon, is captured by the Lord of Sweetsister, who ponders whether he should hand Davos over to the ruling King for execution. He knows however that doing so could bring the wrath of King Stannis down on his head if the rebellion succeeds. He lets Davos go on his way with the promise that "If you are caught, you were never here."
  • Seven Days in May: The military did not try to take over the United States. Also true in The Film of the Book.
  • Big Trouble: After a nuclear bomb gets lost in the city and found by two lowlifes:
    "What I mean," said Greer, "is that as far as the federal government is concerned — and I am talking about way, way, way the fuck high up in the federal government — none of this happened. There was no nuclear bomb in Miami. There never have been any nuclear bombs going around loose in suitcases anywhere in this great land of ours. Because if people start thinking there are, we are gonna have panic like you cannot imagine — people leaving for Montana, hoarding food, taking all their money outta the banks, lynching every guy with a beard, you get the picture. The economy goes into the toilet, civilization collapses, end of story. So this did not happen. Understand? Whatever happens, it did not happen."
Even better, it's implied it's not the first time, or even the second time, this has happened.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the X-Wing Series novel Solo Command Warlord Zsinj concocted a plan to brainwash dozens of New Republic citizens into unwittingly carrying out terrorist attacks throughout the galaxy, in a way that would drive divisions between the races of the New Republic. Fortunately the New Republic figured out the pattern of the sleeper agents and their targets and the plots were thwarted. At each incident a New Republic Intelligence agent assists in halting the attacks but officially there were never any intelligence agents present at any of the events and every sleeper agent was foiled by ordinary citizens, which is a better story for easing all the tensions.
    • The Essential Guide to Warfare: A short story set during New Jedi Order sees Vergere discuss her motives with Tahiri while the latter is held captive by the Yuuzhan Vong. The enigmatic woman notes that Tahiri is drugged to forget the whole conversation anyway, ending with the line "and as the holos would say, I was never here."
  • Chakona Space: In Chapter 3 of the Tales of the Folly series, Captain Foster tells Shadowchaser: "They are not here, you did not see them." regarding some rescued Rakshani recovering on his ship.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Season 3 of 24...
    Sherry: If anyone suspects that I was here, there will be an investigation, and both of us will go to prison. I was never here. You understand?
  • A Running Gag in 'Allo 'Allo! involves La Résistance leader Michelle giving Rene orders, then telling him to forget everything she just said for security reasons.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In the pilot, Sinclair tells Ivanova that she wasn't in his office to hear their latest instructions from Earth Central to vote against sanctioning the Narn Regime, and never ran into him before he left to go pirate hunting, so when she later voted for sanctions, he could claim it was a simple miscommunication.
  • On Breaking Bad, Mike the Cleaner says this to Jesse after helping him cover up Jane's not-really-accidental drug-related death, after making him repeat "I woke up, I found her, that's all I know."
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after learning that Willow is illegally hacking a coroner's files to learn more about suspicious deaths, Giles gives the line:
    Giles: Right... Wasn't here, didn't see you, couldn't have stopped you.
  • In the Danger 5 episode "Kill-Men Of The Rising Sun", Pierre runs into an old friend with whom he has an unspecified past, presumably in some form of espionage. The friend asks if he remembers Shanghai. Pierre thinks for a moment, then responds with a cheerful "Of course not!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Frontios", the Doctor and his companions visit a human colony that's so far in the future that the Time Lords (the Doctor's race) would disapprove. At the end, the colony thanks him for saving them, and he tells them, "Don't mention it." His companion Turlough clarifies, "He means it. Literally." i.e. the Doctor doesn't want the colonists to let the Time Lords find out about it.
    • In "The Caves of Androzani", Morgus has to make personal contact with the smugglers who until now have been working through his cut-out man, Stotz. They're naturally surprised to see the most wealthy and powerful man in the Androzani system is their boss.
      Morgus: Why are you staring at me? Perhaps you think you recognise me?
      Krelper: No, sir.
      Stotz: Even if he does, Krelper won't say anything.
      Morgus: It wouldn't be wise.
    • In "The Fires of Pompeii", when Metella asks the Doctor who he is, with his way with words, and his "temple containing such size within", he answers, "Oh, I was never here. Don't tell anyone."
  • A recurring character in The Fast Show.
    • "You ain't seen me, right?"
    • In one case, going into a police station, impatiently awaiting the attention of the officer on duty, before delivering the catchphrase and walking out.
  • Fawlty Towers: "You know nothing about the horse."
  • Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes has "I know NUSSINK! I see NUSSINK!" as a catchphrase - he's smart enough to realize that investigating would just make things worse for him. Sometimes he goes further and tells the heroes, "I know nothing! I see nothing! I was not here! I didn't even get out of bed this morning!"
  • During the "reality show" style competition to be part of House's new team, Amber pulls this on Wilson and a patient when using the connected balcony between House and Wilson's office to sneak out of House's office.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "Like Angels Put in Hell by God", Dr. Fareed Bhansali was never at the penthouse apartment of the Al Sharaf Towers to administer a levodopa transfusion to Daniel Molloy, who has Parkinson's disease.
    Daniel: That's the voice of Dr. Fareed Bhansali.
    Bhansali: That is not my voice.
    Daniel: He's the personal physician to the deputy prime minister and—
    Bhansali: And I am not here.
    Daniel: The vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac.
    Rashid: He's officially off the record.
    Daniel: NDAs signed by any and all who cross the threshold, eh?
    Daniel: Classic Stockholm, eh, Doc?
    Bhansali: I am not here.
    Louis: Rashid, please play the song in question for Mr. Molloy and the doctor.
    Bhansali: I'm not here.
    Bhansali: Pleasure never meeting you, Mr. Molloy.
    Daniel: He said to no one.
  • On Jack Ryan, most of what Jack Ryan and Jim Greer did in their hunt for a terrorist mastermind never officially happened. The base in Yemen was manned by Yemeni troops only and was never a secret CIA facility. Jack and Jim never traveled to Yemen, France or Turkey. Jack did not save hundreds of lives and kill a notorious terrorist because he is just a bureaucrat doing logistics work for the State Department and not a CIA analyst tracking terrorists through Forensic Accounting.
  • JAG: In "Tribunal":
    Rabb: Webb, I didn't know you were here.
    Webb: I'm not.
  • Knight Rider: "A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist."
  • Law & Order: UK. CP James Steel is suspended from the CPS after a defendant who's had his conviction overturned files a lawsuit. He and colleague Alesha Phillips are in the office, searching for proof of the man's guilt, when their supervisor George Castle appears. The latter two freeze in terror, only for George to quietly declare, "I'm still at the opera."
  • M*A*S*H:
    Henry: Don't tell me. I don't want to know about it. You guys have my full permission, and I never said that. I mean, I'm not even here, so how could I?
    • Frank starts an auction of the camp's waste, rationalizing that locals are taking it for free. Hawkeye has BJ buy the lot. After the auction Hawkeye arranges to have the garbage dumped on a visiting colonel responsible for keeping the hospital extra busy over the course of the episode.
      Col. Potter: I didn't see any of it, but I loved it!
  • Invoked by Teresa Lisbon in the Season 3 finale of The Mentalist. Upon realizing at a crime scene that their rather bizarre case is connected to the case of Madeline Hightower, which only she and Jane know the truth about, she instructs her people to put everything back and make it look like they were never there.
  • In an episode of NUMB3RS, Charlie has his security clearance taken away and is unable to officially work on FBI cases. Instead, Amita and Larry are asked to help. However, they don't have Charlie's level of genius, so he has to occasionally help out without the FBI finding out. After one such session, he leaves by quoting this trope.
  • Dwight's assistant says this to Pam on The Office (US) when he gives her the evidence she needs to defeat Dwight's evil landlord schemes... except it kind of backfires because she doesn't get it, and Dwight sent him to plant the evidence anyway because he felt bad for her after witnessing her confess to Jim that she was once again failing at her job.
  • Person of Interest:
    • An Intrepid Reporter is talking to Zoe Morgan, who concludes their conversation with: "It's been a pleasure meeting you. But it's a shame we never met."
    • And John Reese while saying Think Nothing of It. "Don't mention it. In fact, I'd rather you didn't."
    • His Distaff Counterpart Sameen Shaw cites this trope when stopping to dig out the bullets she just put in a terrorist. "We were never here, remember?"
    • His superior in MI6 tells a young Greer while sending him to kill a KGB mole, that "This operation doesn't exist." Greer responds dryly, "They never do." Subverted when he finds this isn't due to Plausible Deniability, but because his superior is covering for his own treachery, therefore this really is an unauthorized mission.
    • Harold Finch breaks into a hacker's house and steals his software. When he's caught red-handed, Finch calmly points out how the hacker sold the software he's stealing to the Russian government to infiltrate US companies.
      Finch: If you can manage to forget about me, I'll see to it that I forget about you.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Dr. Cox punched out Bob Kelso for chewing out Elliott, deliberately trying to reduce her to tears. In the following episode, Kelso revealed that he tried to press charges, but even though it happened in a lobby full of people, no one saw a thing.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • In the episode "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges":
      Bashir: "In time of war, the law falls silent." Cicero. So is that what we have become; a 24th century Rome, driven by nothing other than the certainty that Caesar can do no wrong?!
      Admiral Ross: This conversation never happened. (puts combadge back on) You're dismissed.
    • In "In the Pale Moonlight", the entire episode is framed in flashback, as Sisko's private confession into his personal log. At the very end of the episode, following Sisko's chilling admission that he can live with everything he felt he had to do, he deletes the entire log so that the truth will never be revealed.
  • Star Trek: Voyager did a somewhat literal variation that doubled as a serious Mind Screw. At the end of an episode, as Janeway is questioning an alien who nearly took down her entire crew with his telepathic powers, he tells her he'd love to accommodate them...
    Alien:...but you see, I'm not really here. [Vanishes without a trace]
  • On Supernatural, this is what the Winchester brothers usually say when the police need to be called and the problem has been dealt with, because they're wanted for a number of serious crimes.
  • Used directly in Torchwood episode "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", when John Hart drops a mugger off the roof of a parking garage. His only words to the victim are "I was never here. Go." Notable in that he actually murdered the guy to draw attention to himself, but only wanted Jack's attention instead of the police.
  • On Walker, Texas Ranger, after Alex and Sydney are kidnapped by a Mexican drug lord, the incompetent DEA agent insists that they only thing they can do is negotiate. An incensed Walker grabs him by the throat and snarls, "Negotiate this!" before storming out. When the agent turns to Trivette and Gage, demanding that they back him up, "You saw that! He assaulted me!", the other two deny seeing anything.
  • The X-Files characters were practically joined at the hip to this trope. Most notably with Mulder's informants (Deep Throat and Mister X). The former was kinder about letting everyone know the danger he placed himself in by giving up such information. The latter was downright violent about it.

  • Practically Archie's catchphrase in Absolute Power (BBC). He has never met the partners of Prentiss McCabe Media Relations, they don't have a lucrative government contract, and there isn't a large check in this unmarked envelope.
  • An ad for one office supplies company repeatedly mentioned that even the CIA used their products. After each such reference, another voice would break in to say something along the lines of, "The CIA can neither confirm nor deny that we use this company's products in our offices. If we have offices."
  • French-Canadian series Les 2 Minutes du Peuple has a man addressing the landlady of the guy he just murdered:
    Killer: I was never here.
    Landlady: Whaaaaat?
    Killer: (wallet) I (bill) was (bill) never (bill) here (bill).

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, Sidereals have a Charm called Avoidance Kata which retcons reality so that they were, indeed, never there.
  • The Parable epic destiny from the fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons supplement Arcane Power is about this — since the whole concept of that destiny is based on the character's attempt to lay bare the illusion underlying reality and physically become an in-universe Ascended Meme, the specific powers granted by it all have the common theme of them "not really being there" (which at the highest level culminates in cancelling their death once per day because it turned out that what 'died' was just an illusory doppelganger after all).

    Video Games 
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops, one of the intros for a stealth unit is "Erase all hostiles! We were never here!"
  • The VCR game of Clue- "I was never in Sumatra".
  • One of the random messages from the pirates in Privateer, when pirates are friendly to you (as in the Tayla mission series): "I didn't see you, and you're blind."
  • At the end of the Starcraft demo (which is also the prequel to the main game), you are told that you did not just kill a bunch of Xenomorphs ... and the SpecOps unit was never here.
  • In Splinter Cell: Conviction, at the end of the White House level, and thus the game, when Army troops see Sam in the Oval Office preparing to deal with Reed, President Caldwell tells the Captain present that she was the only one he saw there. The soldier gets the hint.
  • In the bad end of Emelia's scenario in SaGa Frontier, her final mission is to pretend that she never joined Gradius at all, a mission she accepted and why in other scenarios she no longer interacts with other Gradius members that she befriended before.
  • This exchange of dialogue in the end of a mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • An inversion of sorts in Disco Elysium. Near the end of the story, when the Detective and Kim confronts the culprit behind the murder they are investigating, said culprit is ready and calmly waiting for them. If the Detective asks the culprit how they knew the two detectives were coming for them and the player previously chose to play Sad FM on the Detective's portable boomblaster on the way to their hideout, the culprit says that the sound of the approaching music was how they knew. This exchange then happens:
    Kim: Told you we shouldn't play Sad FM.
    The Detective: But you didn't say that, Kim.
    Kim: I did.
    Rhetoric: We have entered a world where he said you shouldn't. It is the only world.


    Web Video 
  • The Hire. In "Ticker" a country's military leader tries to stop a mysterious suitcase containing a heart transplant from getting to his dying president. When the suitcase gets there regardless, there's a shoving match between his Elite Mooks and the president's security detail, which ends when one of the latter says, "You were not here. This never happened. Tell your men to stand down."
  • Oddity Archive After the "unscheduled," profanity-filled "guest appearance" in the Public Domain VHS Distributors episode, Ben responds to the incident by saying, "That...never...happened!"

    Western Animation 
  • Of course, The Simpsons spoofed it.
    • In "Lost Our Lisa", Lisa somehow ends up right outside Area 51a. A map next to an information kiosk has a dot on it labeled "You are here. We are not."
    • In "My Sister, My Sitter", Lisa has to babysit Bart, who makes her life a living hell by calling up random services. Lisa opens the door to find a military man who asks to see Lisa Simpson, who was reported to have seen a UFO. Lisa screams that she didn't see a UFO. The military man leans in threateningly and says, "That's right, you didn't." He then waves off a doctor with a syringe and leaves.
  • The possum from "Podunk Possum", from the What A Cartoon series, absolutely did not see any mysterious UFOs this evening, especially after being confronted with the MIBs' very shiny badge.
  • The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse: In "Just the Four of Us", Donald and Daisy try to hide in their house from an overbearing Mickey and Minnie. After randomly encountering Goofy in the hallway, Donald tells him "You didn't see me!" and runs off.
    Goofy: I didn't see him? MY MIND'S PLAYIN' TRICKS ON ME!

    Real Life 
  • The damnatio memoriae or "damnation of memory". In Rome, if The Emperor is mad enough at you, you will cease to exist.
  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, with Frank Gusenberg.
    Nobody shot me. (There were fourteen bullet holes in him at the time.)
  • It is well-known that the United States government was listening into and analyzing communications of all types during World War II. What is less known is that this happened from time to time prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. According to Captain Joseph Rochefort, one of the chief U.S. Navy cryptanalysts:
    I will put it this way. The reason we [did] not [keep records of intrusions into civilian privacy] is that they [did] not exist. The document[s] in question, as far as we [were] concerned, up to the seventh of December, did not exist.
  • One of Yogi Berra's (many, many) memorable phrases was "Nobody did nothin' to nobody."


Video Example(s):



Upon entering Bikini Bottom, Berry steals all but one of SpongeBob and Patricks' goofy goober tokens, then threatens them with a knife to not tell anyone they saw him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / IWasNeverHere

Media sources: