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Immediate Self-Contradiction

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"The defendant petitions the court for a new trial on the grounds that his lawyer is incompetent."

"The boy got out in front of the car!" "There was no boy!" "The boy hit me first!"

This is for when a character says something clearly contradictory, if not completely opposite, to what they literally said right beforehand.

May sometimes happen in the context of a Hurricane of Excuses. When a contradiction seems immediate to the viewer but is not immediate in in-universe time, that would be a Gilligan Cut. See also Verbal Backspace, I Resemble That Remark!, Ironic Echo Cut, Confession Deferred. Subtrope of Hypocritical Humor. For instances where a character is contradicted by someone/something else, see Instantly Proven Wrong. If the speaker waits until their audience is out of earshot to contradict themselves, that's Two-Faced Aside. See also By "No", I Mean "Yes".


Sorry we don't have any examples of this trope for you, but we do have a list of many instances when this trope is applied to works of fiction:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball's Bad Future, Bulma tells Trunks nice things about his father while her thought bubbles reveal she really knew him only as a cold-blooded killer. When Trunks returns with good stories of Vegeta she's genuinely surprised, though she doesn't let Trunks see it.
  • In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Bobobo explains to the wealth-obsessed villain Halekulani that there are things more important than money. Like money!
  • Aquarion EVOL: Right in the middle of one of her "boys are disgusting, you should always turn them down firmly" rants, Mix suddenly remembers that she had promised to meet up with Andy, whom she's been very obviously crushing on for some time, and runs off.
  • In the 10th anniversary edition of Azumanga Daioh, Osaka overhears Kaorin gushing about Sakaki and asks if Kaorin is gay. Kaorin corrects Osaka, telling her that the correct term is "lesbian"... and then has a panic attack as she denies that she is a lesbian. Whereupon she immediately tries to play off her feelings as a "teenage thing", and when she was gushing over Sakaki she was doing it platonically anyway, and just to prove she's not a lesbian: she wouldn't mind if Sakaki was a guy... Osaka became confused.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Wakamatsu aggressively denies to Seo, Nozaki and Sakura that he's a tsundere (specifically for Seo). While doing so, he puts his hand on his hip while pointing with his other hand and afterward he stutters, "So i-it's not as if I like you or anything, Senpai!" The others snark that those are very stock tsundere traits.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 7 episode 13, Little M. realizes Clown Monster's ability is to use the energy of people's laughs to turn them into stone and he wants to make him laugh, so he confidently states he won't let himself be persuaded to laugh... and then he immediately laughs afterward, thus getting himself pertrified.

    Comic Books 
  • Achille Talon has a bulldog-faced American general claim, with absolute sincerity, that if there's one thing he hates more than the Chinese, it's racism.

    Comic Strips 
  • In this Dilbert strip, the Pointy-Haired Boss goes right from an optimistic forecast of company profits to an explanation that the company can't afford to give out raises this year. There was supposed to be something else in between, but his secretary messed with the agenda.
  • The page image from Calvin and Hobbes comes from this strip.
  • On Garfield, Garfield often utilizes this as a form of comedy whenever he's arguing with Jon over how much he eats and sleeps:
    • In one comic, Jon insists on eating 2 cookies and Garfield only have one. Garfield complains that's not fair. Camera zoom out so we see that Garfield's cookie has the radius of a bicycle wheel while Jon's two are miniature (at least compared to Garfield's cookie).
    • In one comic, Garfield claimed he's going to cut back on sleeping by taking only 2 naps per day instead of 4. However, he specifically meant 2 four-hour naps when he originally did 4 two-hour naps.
    • Garfield claimed he would cut down on coffee by drinking only 1 cup. Next panel, he has a bathtub-sized cup of coffee. Alongside 50 donuts.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table: Bob and Dave come up with a plan to steal a supposedly valuable item from a temple by disguising their characters as acolytes. When a suspicious guard stumps them with basic questions on the religion's tenets, Bob contradicts himself with just one statement: "I tell him we've taken a vow of silence."

    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • In "The Hard Cell", Vegeta goes on a tangent when Trunks wonders why they aren't giving Goku a Senzu Bean to keep him fighting Cell, ranting how his Saiyan Pride would keep him from getting help and fighting until one of them fell, until...
      Goku: [powering down] I give up.
      Vegeta: I'LL KILL HIM!
    • Another one:
      Cell: How do all these squares make a circle?! I just... no, it doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me. It bothers me. It bothers me a lot! And that one's still green!''
  • In The Prayer Warriors, Jerry insists that he and his girlfriend Mary are not dating. In the next sentence, he clarifies that they are dating, but they're not having sex yet.
  • In this MLP comic, right after the title says Trixie is "redeemable", Trixie is implied not to think it's wrong that she took Pinkie's mouth away.
  • In this She-Ra and the Princesses of Power fanart, set after a hypothetical redemption arc for Catra, Catra goes straight from insisting that the picture of her as a member of the Best Friends Squad is a fake that she most certainly didn't draw to basically admitting it by being upset that Adora is crumpling it.
  • In the Steven Universe fan fic, I Want To Understand, Peridot tries to meticulously unwrap a gift Steven got her, Steven informs her that it’s ok to just tear off the wrapping paper, to which Peridot fires back that she knew that and simply chooses to do it her way… before ripping off the paper.
    Steven: Uh, Peridot, I thought you said…
    Peridot: I changed my mind.
  • In Your Favorite Animal (Dogs), Alix claims Nathaniel always gets really mushy around dogs, which Nathaniel denies, only to immediately prove her right by cooing at Marc (who has recently been turned into a dog by an akuma) in Baby Talk.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hot Rod: When Rod introduces his Love Interest to his crew, each one of them keeps copying his "My name is [name], and I like to party" line. After a bit of back and forth, Rod finishes with this outburst:
    Rod: Oh my God, shut up! Okay, I'm just gonna do it for you. Denise, this is the crew. Dave's the mechanic, Rico makes the ramps, and Kevin is team manager slash videographer. None of them party, right? Got it? Okay. Let's party."
  • Constantine. Chas Kramer has been bugging the title character about being able to get into Papa Midnite's bar for some time. What John means in this case is that Chas is allowed to get in if he is capable of getting in. He won't object to the kid being in the bar if he can pass the psychic door test.
    Chas Kramer: Can you please get me into this bar, John, please? I'm begging you, John, please?
    Constantine: Sure, you can get in.
    Chas Kramer: I can get in?
    Constantine: If you can get in.
  • Austin Powers has this memorable quote from Powers Sr.: "There's only two things I hate in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."
  • R.O.T.O.R. is loaded with jarring discrepancies between dialogue and on-screen imagery.
    • During the establishing shots of Dallas, a traffic reporter describes severe traffic congestion, while the viewer can see that the highway is clear.
    • Coldyron claims that R.O.T.O.R. has no 'tubes', precisely as the camera is panning over the robot's... tubes.
    • Coldyron claims to have 'crippled' R.O.T.O.R.'s motorcycle. Meanwhile R.O.T.O.R. zips away at full speed, totally unscathed by Coldyron's bullets.
  • Defending Your Life: A Running Gag is the fact Daniel is told he's not on trial, but he's being tried.
    Daniel: Oh my God! So I'm on trial for being afraid!
    Mr. Diamond: First, we don't like to call it a trial. Second, yes.
  • In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Wonka has several occasions of saying something, then stopping, and exclaiming "Strike that! Reverse it!"
  • Couples Retreat has this quote:
    Dave: What we need to do now is get focused and stop pointing fingers. [points at Joey] You're a problem. You're a real, real problem.
  • Norman Bates of Psycho has a habit of doing this, which makes him a strangely Bad Liar for someone who has a lot to hide.
    Norman: [about his mother's abuse] I don't mind it anymore.
    Marion: Oh, but you should. You should mind it.
    Norman: I do, but I say I don't.
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians includes the following in its Spelling Song, and yes, the lyrics are on screen:
    You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S, hooray for Santy Claus!
  • Office Space has Tom Smykowski's attempt to explain to interviewers what he contributes to the workforce. Needless to say, he got laid off.
    I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction has Galvatron invoke this when summoning his KSI Drones:
    Galvatron: MY BROTHERS! Today I grant you your freedom, and from now on, you are commanded by me! RISE UP!
  • The Big Lebowski, the film's Stupid Evil titular character makes two at the same time:
    Big Lebowski: I don't blame anyone for the loss of my legs! Some Chinaman took them from me in Korea!
  • Gabriel Over the White House: Hammond institutes "A dictatorship based on Jefferson's definition of democracy". This of course is an oxymoron, and would completely horrify Thomas Jefferson, who wholly opposed the kind of oppressive central government Hammonds sets up.

  • A man is suspected of a bank robbery. After a long trial, the judge finds him not guilty. The man is overjoyed at the verdict, and asks, 'So does that mean I get to keep the money, Your Honor?'note 
  • There's an old joke about a man being accused of breaking his neighbor's teapot. He responds: 'I never touched it, it was broken before I got it, it was in perfect condition when I returned it, and there is no teapot.'
  • An old joke: I do not smoke, do not drink, and do not swear... Shit, I dropped my cigarette into the cognac again!
  • One boy says to the other "Did you know 'sugar' is the only word where 's' makes the 'sh' sound?" The other boy asks "Oh, really?" and the first replies "Yeah, for sure."
  • A particularly groan-inducing one: Two muffins are baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says, "Boy is it hot in here!" The other looks at the first and says, "Oh my God, a talking muffin!"

  • The Hunger Games: Katniss lists three things of why Haymitch's life sucks: he has no wife, children, and he drinks a lot. In the next paragraph, she states she won't get a wife or children either.
  • Peter Pan: Wendy wakes up to find Peter crying on the floor. Before she can find out why he's crying, they have to introduce themselves, which leads to them getting sidetracked onto the subject of parents and the fact that Peter hasn't got a mother. Wendy assumes that this is why he was crying, which gets an indignant response from Peter: "I wasn't crying about mothers, I was crying because I can't get my shadow to stick on. Besides, I wasn't crying."
  • Dave Barry often uses this. For example, an attack ad claiming a politician had relations with a sheep named Bernice. The politician denies the whole thing, and besides, her name was Jennifer.
  • In Devin and the Teacher the unnamed narrator insists the title character Devin isn't a troublemaker; then promptly lists all the times he had caused trouble.
  • A Finnish logic textbook has an example where you have to figure out for yourself why it's a contradiction. The rabbit is on trial and claims not to be guilty, but when the prosecutor claims that if the rabbit did it, he had an accomplice, the rabbit says that that's a lie — whereupon the judge deems him guilty. If the "if" is interpreted as a material conditional, then the only way the claim "If he did it, he had an accomplice" gets the value "false" is if he did it and he didn't have an accomplice. You might even apply some similar reasoning with normal language, but it gets much more uncertain.
  • Discworld
    • In Moving Pictures, Gaspode the wonder dog speaks in the presence of several of the human characters. One of them asks, "Can that dog talk?" and another answers, "He says he can't." The first is left to confusedly concede, "I guess he would know..."
    • In Monstrous Regiment, one of the characters explains early on that she had a sweetheart who joined the army, and she gave him a sixpence to take to the blacksmith and be cut in half so they could each have a half, like in the "broken token" ballads, in case of No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me, but his regiment must have been called away because she never saw him again... Near the end of the book, she's told that they think they've found him. And she looks at the guy, and the expression on his face when he thinks there might be an advantage to marrying one of the heroines of the hour, and says her Johnny must have been killed. And also, she wants him to give her the sixpence back.
    • Duke Felmet's string of denials about killing Verence I at the end of Wyrd Sisters, which starts "I wasn't even there, and anyway he attacked me", and then keeps going until he eventually concludes "That's it. He tripped and fell on his own dagger in self defence."
  • In the Dragonlance novel Brothers Majere, a kender taunts an enemy with "I wouldn't tell you if your pants were unlaced, which, by the way, they are."
  • In Doglands, Pace does this.
    Pace: I don't mean to be patronizing-that means 'talking down to someone,' by the way.
  • Marquis de Sade's libertines would often offer contradictory justifications for their crimes, such as claiming that what they did is natural and therefore right, then that morals simply don't exist or are entirely relative. They might also whine that society is cruel to prevent them acting on their desires with its laws, but then say their acts can't be helped since free will is just an illusion-wouldn't that apply to the people "oppressing" them legally as well? Sometimes they were called on this by others (not that it helped them, or at all dissuaded the libertine characters), but usually it goes uncommented on. A reader may find it unsurprising though, viewing these as just rationalizations of their atrocities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The A-Team, "Chopping Spree". When Hannibal figures out that Tony Victor is planning on killing the D.A. trying to punish him at Judge Holloway's funeral, Face protests that Victor's "not crazy enough" to do something like that. After a brief pause, he admits that, yes, he is crazy enough.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Penny tries to flaunt her vegetarianism but lets loose a specific detail:
    Penny: I’m a vegetarian, oh, except for fish, and the occasional steak, I LOVE STEAK!
    • Zack tries to encourage Penny not to ditch the Justice League cosplay party when she refuses to put on the black wig to play Wonder Woman. He does this by saying, "Penny, there's no i in Justice League".
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor gives explanations for various things, only to immediately say that the explanation is wrong, since a lot of the time, he doesn't seem to have an answer or he thinks his companions need it dumbed down for them. The Eleventh Doctor is especially prone to discarded analogies.
    • The 11th Doctor tells Amy in "The Beast Below" that they are observers only, never interfering in the affairs of other peoples or planets. Amy starts to ask the Doctor if it's difficult, being detached like that, only to see him on the scanner, talking to a young girl who was crying.
    • Before the Doctor and Bill confront Lord Sutcliffe in "Thin Ice", the Doctor gives Bill a long lecture on how they are here to collect information and not reveal themselves, and no matter what disgusting thing the villain does or says she mustn't react emotionally. Cue Lord Sutcliffe walking into the room and instantly starting to racially abuse Bill, at which point the Doctor decks him and gets them both tied up.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • In episode "Zoo or False" Marshall simultaneously claims that he was and was not "mugged" by a monkey in the Central Park zoo. He was mugged by a person but he says it was a monkey in order for Lily to not want to get a gun, then feels guilty when he learns that the monkey he has accused is going to be deported.
      Lily: You weren't mugged by a monkey?
      Marshall: Yes, I was!
      Robin: So you were mugged by a monkey.
      Marshall: No, I wasn't!
    • In one episode, Barney says that it's impossible for a man wearing overalls to seduce a woman. He then vows to do exactly that. In this case, it's because his own statement leads him to realize it would be a great challenge.
  • In the British show All Creatures Great and Small, Siegfried is often guilty of telling his employees to do something, then at some point negating what he just said (he has a very bad short-term memory).
  • Firefly: Mal going back on a job for a client after finding out what exactly that job entails:
    Mal: Now this is all the money Niska gave us in advance. [...] We're not thieves. Well, we are thieves... point is, we're not taking what's his.
    • The comic book sequel Better Days echoes the exchange, with a contact asking Mal his price for delivering a stolen drone. Mal answers the price is what they bargained for before, as this isn't robbery — or at least, he's not robbing the contact.
  • Saturday Night Live did a parody Biography entry of a singer played by Queen Latifah whose songs were all very blunt bawdy songs. At the end Jack Perkins (Darrell Hammond) reads off a list of her hits, which include "I Won't Do Oral" and, a few seconds later, "Okay, Fine, I'll Do Oral".
  • On M*A*S*H in the episode, "Alcoholics Unanimous", Frank gives Hawkeye and Trapper a quiz about drinking to see if they're alcoholics. They say no to all the questions, but do exactly what the questions ask. For example:
    Frank: Question #2: Do you ever gulp drinks?
    (Hawkeye and Trapper both down the martinis they're drinking in one gulp)
    Hawkeye: No.
    Trapper: Never.
  • There's the "no, no, no, no, no, no, yes...." man in The Vicar of Dibley (Jim's Verbal Tic).
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • The Spanish Inquisition sketch in
      "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency! Er, among our chief weapons are: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and near fanatical devotion to the Pope! Um, I'll come in again..."
    • One sketch had Eric Idle playing a host at a nightclub. As he's introducing the next performer, he slowly begins to sink lower into a groveling position until he's practically prostrate on the stage, calling the next performer an "infinitely superior being" and "a man whose boots I would gladly lick clean". When told by someone off-stage that the performer cancelled last minute, Idle immediately drops the act, rises to his feet and grumbles, "Never mind. It's actually not all it's cracked up to be."
  • The "Prepared for Terries" sketch on Key & Peele has two absurd self-proclaimed terrorist fighters do this with no subtlety whatsoever to a reluctant potential "comrade":
    "I got an idea, feel free to say no, but can we switch seats? I will not take no for an answer..."
  • Rick James on Chappelle's Show:
    "I never just did things just to do them. Come on, what am I gonna do? Just all of a sudden jump up and grind my feet on somebody's couch like it's something to do? Come on. I got a little more sense than that... Yeah, I remember grinding my feet on Eddie's couch."
    • And then the segment rewinds itself and plays it in again, as if to say, "Yeah, he REALLY said that."
  • A defendant on Judge Judy lets Judge Judy know that there wasn't an earpiece in the wallet he didn't steal.
  • In Black Books, Evan, the slightly unhinged owner of rival bookstore Goliath Books does this in a pep talk.
    Evan: Selling books is like a game; it has rules, and you have to learn them and get serious about them because it's not a game!
  • Used often in Brass Eye to satirize incompetent news media, most notably with this gem:
    "Now that is scientific fact. There's no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact."
  • On Cheers, Woody comes to Norm for relationship advice.
    Norm: Okay, Woods, what you want to do is be honest with Kelly. Honesty is the cornerstone of any relationship.
    Carla: (presenting the phone) Norm, it's Vera.
    Norm: I'm not here.
  • Watchmen (2019): The Greenwood Cultural Center computer Angela consults confirm that Will really is her paternal grandfather. It also says he died with his parents in the Tulsa Massacre while still a child, before he could have sired her father. Being a computer, this discrepancy isn't noted or troubling to it.
  • During the 2010 Australian Federal Election, Peter Van Onselen of Sky News called the election for Labor at 8:01pm, before acknowledging three minutes later that this may have been premature - a good choice, since four hours later no one had a result. For this, Andrew and Chas of Yes We Canberra awarded him "Most Premature Election Call", only to immediately change their minds before he could accept it.

  • Star Trekkin by The Firm, Captain Kirk's line is "We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill."
  • Blondie's song "I Know But I Don't Know" from Parallel Lines is made up of a number of these, starting with the title.
  • The hook to Rae Sremmurd's "No Type" starts with the line "I ain't got no type; bad bitches is the only thing that I like".
  • Kyo ft Sita "Le Chemin" (The Path) has the singers claiming "I hate you with all my body but I still love you".
  • While '90s Alternative Rock was famous for this, the Trope Codifier within the genre was "Come as You Are" by Nirvana.
    Take your time, hurry up.
    The choice is yours, don't be late.
  • Other examples from '90s Alternative include Bush's "Glycerine" and Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta".
  • "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" by Demi Lovato says, "Just hold me, don't touch me" and "Don't listen to a single word I've said / Just hear me out before you run away." Played for Drama, reflecting the narrator's conflicting feelings, fears, and insecurities caused by her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Meg Myers' "Parade" says, "Cause I really love you, baby / But I'll never love you, baby."
  • In "betty" by Taylor Swift, James does this twice.
    • "Betty, I won't make assumptions about why you switched your homeroom / But I think it's 'cause of me."
    • On the subject of his infidelity:
      You heard the rumors from Inez
      You can't believe a word she says
      Most times, but this time, it was true

    Mythology and Religion 

  • Bleak Expectations: Flora Diesearly, Pip Bin's incredibly short-lived first wife, becomes this after they marry, going on about how she loves clouds, or getting scores of kittens, to which Pip agrees, only for her to immediately act like Pip's the one who suggested these things in the first place and state that she hates them.
  • The Goon Show, in keeping with its generally surreal atmosphere, uses this trope a lot, such as when Bloodnock offers to give Neddie a lamppost 'free, entirely free, for 99 pounds'. Similarly, in "The Spon Plague", a taxi driver stated that the fare was 'four and six, pronounced *silly high-pitched voice* ten bob!'.
  • In one of his rants on The Now Show, Marcus Brigstocke criticizes climate change deniers, in particular complaining that you can't say the Earth isn't getting warmer and the warming is perfectly natural.

  • Avenue Q: Immediately Lampshaded in the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist", when Brian (who is engaged to a Japanese woman) protests he isn't at all racist.
    Kate: Everyone's a little bit racist!
    Brian: I'm not!
    Princeton: Oh, no?
    Brian: How many oriental wives have you got?
    [Beat, the cast all roll their eyes]
    Princeton: Brian, buddy, where you been? The term is "Asian-American"!
    Brian: [Face Palm]

    Video Games 
  • The Flash game series Arise has, in the very first game, this wonderful claim left in a book for the player to read: "This is not a joke, and it's not a test. I put you in this shack to test you." Retsupurae called the authors out on this:
    slowbeef: Like right there! I mean, come on!
    Diabetus: Oh man, my backspace key doesn't work, but I gotta keep writing my narrative!
  • The Curse of Monkey Island has this exchange between Guybrush and Van Helgen after the former asks the latter to tell him a cool pirate story:
    Van Helgen: No, I couldn't...
    Guybrush: Come on, I'd really like to hear some of-
    Van Helgen: The year was 1675. We were on a course towards the wreck of The Rattling Phlegm...
  • EarthBound has the Onett librarian offering you a map.
    Librarian: All of the information is there, except for the information that isn't there!
    • When you talk to a Mach Pizza pizzaria employee:
      *Munch*Munch*Gulp* Uh... no, I didn't take a piece of pizza. I would never think of doing that! It was delicious, though.
  • Diablo III: The Cow King, when letting you into Whimyshire.
    "This is no time to be silly. The level of sparkling happiness and rainbows awaits you!"
  • How many people interpret Pokémon Black and White's N, who gives a speech about how battling with and training Pokemon is abusive before challenging you to a Pokemon battle. However, it later becomes clear that N doesn't actually train Pokemon himself. He catches whatever wild Pokemon are in the area and releases them afterwards. This is why N has a radically different team whenever you fight him.
  • Vegetoid in Undertale is a sentient carrot. Attempting to talk to him will cause him to say "Plants Can't Talk, Dummy".
  • Clover from Virtue's Last Reward says there's no way on Earth she would seduce Sigma into betraying Tenmyouji so she could escape the facility with 9 BP. What's the first thing she does half a minute later, when she's alone with Sigma in the AB room? Seduce Sigma. Or trying at least, if you ignore her and choose "ally" anyway.
  • Steve Burnside in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica makes a big one after clearing a path for Claire. First he says that guns are more reliable than people and how people can't be trusted, then immediately says that Claire can trust him. This makes him a huge Hypocrite, though Claire never calls him out on it.
  • Shadowrun Returns and the other standalone games in the series naturally give brief description of the game's races on the character creation page. Regarding Trolls, they mention that they're generally seen as stupid and brutish, but point out for the most part that it's just Fantastic Racism and they're as smart as anyone else. Right below that is the character build, which shows a maximum Intelligence stat for Trolls that's lower than that of Humans, or Elves, say.
  • In Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, after the events on Tan Line Island, Sky makes Shantae promise that they will never speak of the "desert princess" outfits that they and the other girls were forced to wear during their time there. While Shantae agrees, she immediately breaks the promise by asking about and WEARING said outfit, leading to a reaction of Visible Silence from Sky.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues, you get this exchange of dialogue:
    Dr. O: You know what, forget it, Klein. I hate you. [Beat] And your theory of brainial beam oscillation? The Chinese had it first, you copycat!
  • Portal 2:
    GLaDoS: "Okay, look. We both said a lot of things that you're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster."

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: O'Malley does this during Season 3.
    O'Malley: Prepare for an oblivion for which there is no preparation! (evil laughter)
  • The Most Popular Girls in School:
    • Episode 18:
      Doctor: As I was saying, the number one thing we need to concern ourselves with is managing stress. Do you often find yourself in a stressful environment?
      Mackenzie: I'm seventeen and attractive. What the fuck do I have to be stressed about? (cue various stressful flashbacks) ...Okay, maybe a little.
      Doctor: Exactly! You see, your stress levels are triggering your hair loss. If you want to keep your hair and hopefully see some of it grow back, you're going to need to maintain your composure at all times, keep your temper to a minimum, learn to relax!
      Mackenzie: Relax? I'm sorry doc, but I don't live in a goddamn mentos commercial! I am head cheerleader. Do you have any idea the incredible pressure that I'm—(a chunk of Mackenzie's hair falls out)—Oh my god!
    • Episode 58:
      Newscaster: Moments ago, the Senator released the following statement from his office in Washington. "First, I would like it to be known that I was completely unaware that you could screengrab on Snapchat. I thought that was kind of the whole point of Snapchat.".
  • Helluva Boss has this as its opening line of the pilot, establishing the show as a Work Com where the employees don't get along:
    Blitzo: All right, now I know business has been... a bit slow lately, yes. It's no one's fault! Okay? I'm not naming any names here... [fast] Moxxie.

    Web Comics 
  • xkcd: In Future Timeline, the predictions for the year 2090 include "global warming hits 7 degrees centigrade" and "global warming hits 4 degrees centigrade". 2052 predicts "Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending exceed total US revenue", while 2053 predicts "US budget balanced" (for like the fourth time), which is technically not impossible, but would be very impressive.
  • In Girl Genius when Gilgamesh Wulfenbach is going into Mechanicsburg while it's under a Time Stop
    Frau Doktor: — and whatever you do, do not listen to the voices!
    Higgs: "Voices?"
    Gilgamesh: Oh. Those. Yeah. Ignore them.
    Frau Doktor:and don't forget, we'll want a detailed account of everything they say!
  • This little gem from Looking for Group:
    Archmage: Still carrying that gem, I see? Is it still the source of your power?
    Richard: No. Turns out the power was inside of me all along. On an unrelated note, don't touch the gem. It's the source of my power.
  • Saxton Hale invokes this in one of the Team Fortress 2 webcomics when he has to work for his rival Charles Darling:
    Saxton: Darling, I'm only going to say this once. I will never work for you. Okay, now I won't ever say that again. Now tell me what I need to do...
  • A non-talking tree talks in this strip from Zero Percent Discount.
  • In El Goonish Shive, after Agent Wolf accidentally gave out more information than he should have, he gave a Hurricane of Excuses, each one contradicting the previous one.
    Agent Wolf: And that's classified. I said nothing. And if I did, it was the summary of an anime Cranium makes me watch on our dates. Also we're not dating.
  • In the Ozy and Millie storyline where Isolde needs to steal a truck full of thermometers because reasons, the news report on the incident flips between calling Greater Llewellynlland a "tiny hostile nation" and a "tiny peaceful nation" in mid-sentence. Granted, the shipment of thermometers was apparently already on its way to Llewellyn's house before it was stolen, so the story already made no sense.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In "Tails Prevails", Professor Von Schlemmer invents a machine that could potentially defeat Dr. Robotnik and needs Tails' help to finish it, so Robotnik plans to manipulate Tails into sabotaging the machine and declares that he'll make Tails cooperate of his own free will, even if he has to force him.
      • In "Zoobotnik", Robotnik teams up with Katella the Intergalactic Huntress to capture Sonic. Katella falls in love with Robotnik, but she absolutely refuses to keep her hands off him. Robotnik doesn't love her, but he's too scared to say anything, and is visibly relieved when his mother, Momma Robotnik shows up and interrupts their Shotgun Wedding, whereby Katella calls off the whole thing because she refuses to have Momma as an in-law. Momma gets mad at Robotnik when he tells her the truth about Katella forcing him to marry her, saying she raised him to be a liar. When she spanks him with her umbrella for telling the truth, he promises her that he'll never tell the truth again, then says "I hate that hedgehog!"
    • In the Sonic Boom episode "Battle of the Boy Bands", Amy is going crazy over a new pop star named Justin Beaver. While trying to convince her friends to listen to a song, she says "I don't want to overhype it... but he's the greatest entertainer who ever lived!"
  • From My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "May the Best Pet Win!" by Rainbow Dash:
    "This isn't a game, you know." [Beat] "All right, now these games will determine which of you has the most important qualities I'm looking for..."
  • The Simpsons:
    • This conversation from an educational film in "Lisa the Vegetarian":
      Jimmy: Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says its wrong to eat meat. Is he crazy?
      Troy McClure: (laughs) No, Jimmy, just ignorant. You see, your crazy friend hasn't heard of the food chain.
    • This classic from "Simpson Tide":
      Grampa Simpson: My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star!
    • When aliens assume the forms of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in a Treehouse of Horror special, the fake Clinton gives a Meaningless Meaningful Words speech that first says the country must move forward, then immediately after that he says it must move upwards, not forwards.
    • In "They Saved Lisa's Brain" when Lisa points out that she's only at a contest where Homer is humiliating himself because Marge made her come, Marge tells her that nobody's forcing her to stay, only to do exactly that when Lisa tries to leave.
    • "Lisa's Sax" has Homer telling Lisa about the time he and Barney snuck some beer when they were young children and that he ended up "wrecking his little red wagon" by wrapping it around a tree. After a cutaway where he, Barney and several children are crashed up by a tree and Barney swears "Let's never drink again", the scene then fades back to present-day Homer declaring "And we never did!" right before he takes a sip of his open beer can.
  • Futurama:
    • Professor Farnsworth continually. E.g.: "You're going to be going on a highly controversial mission!"
      Fry: Controversial?
      Farnsworth: Oh my, no!
    • From "The Duh-Vinci Code":
      Morbo: Are you ready to play?
      Fry: I didn't come here to play; I came to win. Now let's play.
    • From "The Sting"
      Leela: What's the mission?
      Farnsworth: Collecting honey. Ordinary honey.
      Leela: That doesn't sound so dangerous.
      Farnsworth: This is no ordinary honey!
    • Multiple examples occurs in the following exchange from "Love's Labors Lost in Space":
      Farnsworth: It's a sunny little doomed planet, inhabited by a number of frisky little doomed animals.
      Leela: Animals?
      Farnsworth: That's right. Animals in desperate need of rescue. You see, Vergon 6 was once filled with a super-dense substance known as dark matter, each pound of which weighs over ten thousand pounds.
      Leela: Wait! What about the animals?
      Farnsworth: Well, dark matter is extremely valuable as starship fuel. That's why it was all mined out, leaving the planet completely hollow.
      Leela: Yes, but what about the animals?
      Farnsworth: The wha?
      Leela: The animals.
      Farnsworth: I didn't say anything about animals. Now it seems that the planet will collapse within three days. Incidentally, this will kill all the animals.
    • From "Where the Buggalo Roam":
      Zapp: I am the Man with no Name. Zapp Brannigan, at your service.
    • In short, the works of Matt Groening regularly employ this trope for quick gags.
  • Justice League: In "The Great Brain Robbery", Flash and Luthor are mind-swapped. Flash does an absolutely dreadful job of passing himself off as Luthor (fortunately, his colleagues attribute his odd behavior to him getting a bit brain-fried in the mind-probe attempt that led to the situation).
    Flash-as-Luthor: My fellow bad guys, I, Lex Luthor, your leader, will speak now about my, Lex Luthor's, plan. My villainous, villainous plan. Question the plan at your peril! (pause) Uh... any questions?
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
  • DuckTales (2017): In the first episode, Scrooge makes a Badass Boast while dressing for a diving expedition, including a heavy helmet.
    Scrooge: I'm Scrooge McDuck! I made my name being tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties! And I made my money square, on my own! No nephews, no family! No one helped me then and I don't need help now, and—!
    [the weight of his diving helmet gives way, sending him rolling into some objects]
    Scrooge: Beakley, a little help?
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: K.O. confirms he's "exactly six-to-eleven years old".
  • Kaeloo: In one episode, in every dub except for the English dub, Stumpy says he's not Afraid of Needles, then faints at the sight of a needle. Averted in the English dub where he admits that he's scared instead of denying it before passing out.
  • Xiaolin Showdown has this exchange between Jack Spicer and Wuya.
    Jack: [commenting on Clay's relationship with his father] How come we don't have a relationship like that?
    Wuya: I'm not your mommy! Now pick up your toys, Jackie, and let's go home!
  • Tangled: The Series: After learning that Rapunzel has her golden hair back but won't explain how that happened, Eugene urges her not to keep secrets from those she loves. Moments later:
    Queen Arianna: (Calling from outside Rapunzel's room) Rapunzel, honey?
    Eugene: (without missing a beat) Hide. Your. Hair. Woman! You gotta hide yo' hair!
  • American Dad!: In "Black Mystery Month", Stan delivers this line to Steve:
    I guess I'm gonna have to start treating you like an adult. Now, don't forget to brush your teeth, or goblins will kill your mother.
  • In the The Fairly OddParents episode "Inspection Detection", Timmy gets into a Clear My Name situation. As soon as Chester and AJ assure Timmy that they have his back, they run off when the police catch up.
  • Central Park:
    • In Season 1 "Hat Luncheon", Paige tells Owen when they get to the Hat Luncheon they're going to be serious people doing their serious job in a serious way, until Molly puts Paige's crazy hat on her which is a miniature train looping a mountain.
    • In Season 1 "Rival Busker", when looking at the shrimp appetizers for the wedding, Anya say they're terrible but continues to eat them. Dmitry explains she's a nervous eater who gets it from her mother, then he proceeds to eat all the shrimp and admits he's nervous about his daughter's wedding.
    • In Season 1 "Squirrel, Interrupted", Enrique tells Cole no matter who wins the scavenger hunt they will remain friends, and then immediately tells Cole if he wins and he'll hate him.
  • In "Mouse and the Toy Factory" from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Mouse is invited to test toys at a toy factory by the owner and is allowed to bring his friends along as well. As they're headed there, he gushes about it, but Pig tells him not to get too excited and starts to say "It's probably just a—" but then cuts herself off as they arrive at the toy factory.
    Pig: (breathless) Oh my gosh this is the coolest thing I've ever seen!
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • In "Envoys", Ensign Mariner claims that she's serious about the mission, and then is immediately distracted by the shuttlecraft's blast shield function, which she plays with like it's a toy.
      Boimler: I wish you would take this seriously.
      Mariner: I am. Ooh! This is the new shuttle with the blast shield! Yeah! (singing) It's a blast shield, it's a blast shield. It comes down and it goes up. Blast shield!
    • In "Moist Vessel", Ensign Rutherford firmly states that he doesn't need to eat more, but then he suddenly wants to eat Ensign Tendi's pudding.
      Tendi: And you can finish my lunch.
      Rutherford: It's okay. I don't need another lunch. Oh! Pudding!
    • Later in the same episode, Tendi still very much cares about what others think of her, despite her claims to the contrary.
      Tendi: It made me realize that life's too short to be hung up on whether everyone on the ship likes me.
      Rutherford: That's great, 'cause I'm sure there's at least a few who don't.
      Tendi: (chuckles) And who cares? Not me. (angrily) So who are these few people? What did they say? Do they not like me? You know what, I don't care. (grabs Rutherford by the collar) But if someone said something, I feel like I should know. WHO WAS IT?!

    Real Life 
  • Calvin really could have made a good lawyer: in law you do something called "arguing in the alternative"; e.g., "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, and who's to say a crime was even committed?"
  • One of Vice President Dan Quayle's infamous gaffes was, when following up on a statement that "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history," said (paraphrased by reporter), "No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history." He also said "I believe we are on an irreversible trend towards more freedom and democracy, but that could change."
  • The phrase "I'm not prejudiced, but..." invariably comes before a prejudiced statement. Similarly, "no offense" is often said just before saying something offensive. While the latter is sometimes an aversion (i.e. having to use Brutal Honesty but not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings), in other situations it's very much this trope.


Video Example(s):


AVGN, high-class content

After finishing a beaver game, AVGN says he won't make a beaver joke because he has high-class internet content, then utters a string of very not high-class curses.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / ImmediateSelfContradiction

Media sources:

Main / ImmediateSelfContradiction