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Instantly Proven Wrong

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Monica: Sir, have you been drinking?
Jack: Of course not.
[cue his whiskey bottle crashing to the ground]

Sometimes the karmic baggage of a daring assertion or Blatant Lie is so heavy that the universe feels obliged to immediately expose said untruth by external circumstances. Usually this is Played for Laughs as we observe the perpetrator deal with the uncomfortable moment of their false testimony collapsing in front of others.

A form of Hypocritical Humor. May result in an attempt of Verbal Backspace, Last-Second Word Swap or Implausible Deniability.

Compare with:

  • Tempting Fate: The universe punishes a character, and as a side effect it proves them wrong. In this trope, being proven wrong (or a liar) is the punishment. Also Tempting Fate mostly applies to predictions (explicit or implicit) that characters make about their own futures. This trope can apply to a much broader range of statements.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: A character makes a bet on a close-to-impossible outcome and is proven wrong.
  • Advertisement:
  • Description Cut: The character remains unaware of their false statement because the contradiction happens at another place that the scene cuts to.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: The contradiction is brought about by the character themself and not by outside forces.
  • Implausible Deniability: The exposure of some truth comes before the actual denial.
  • Gilligan Cut: The proving wrong only appears instantaneous due to the narrative omitting intervening events.
  • Liar Revealed: The lie and its exposure are driving the plot while Instantly Proven Wrong is an inconsequential comedy element.



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  • Famous example involving a customer at a Chinese dry cleaner:
    Customer: How do you get your clothes so clean?
    Dry Cleaner: Ancient Chinese secret.
    [the dry cleaner's wife comes out of the back room]
    Wife: Honey, we need more Calgon!
  • An Israeli mineral water ad has a woman claim that she looks young thanks exclusively to said water. Then her son comes in and says her plastic surgeon is on the phone.
  • A series of Farmers' Insurance commercials include some examples of this, e.g. a driver moving his convertible away from perching birds only to have it filled with cement (and the birds crap on it anyway). Supposedly based on real claims Farmers' has paid.

    Anime & Manga 
  • During the second chapter of Asteroid in Love, adapted as part of the first episode, Moe encourages Mira to speak to Ao and says "You know, what I always consider to be your best quality? You take action without over-thinking." But when Mira immediately runs to Ao's classroom and shouts into that class to invite Ao to have lunch with them, Moe has to correct herself:
    Moe: But then you take it too far!
  • Black Butler: In preparation for Sieglinde Sullivan's debut before Her Majesty the Queen, she is being prepared formal attire. Sebastian, in a separate room, considers that Sullivan's hair should be coiffed in formal style and that he "can rest easy on that, as Lady Sullivan already has long hair." Cue Sullivan being burst back into the room to reveal she has undergone an Important Haircut.
    Wolfram: What have you done to your hair!?
    Sebastian: So much for the formal style...
  • Gundam: From After War Gundam X, there is this little moment when Garrod is trying to save Tiffa from the tyrannical Seidel Rasso. Garrod is effectively holding Rasso's super-weapon hostage by threatening to destroy it with the Satellite Cannon. Rasso is initially undeterred, since the Gundam X's Satellite Cannon has a huge cooldown time, but he didn't know the Double X had solved that issue:
    Seidel Rasso: Fools. Do they think such a childish threat will work? First, there is no way to fire the Satellite Cannon repeatedly...
    [gets interrupted by a crew member]
    Crew member: A second shot is coming!
    Seidel Rasso: What!?
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, after learning of the Serial Killer terrorizing their hometown Koichi tries to convince Josuke and Okuyasu that they need to do something about it. Josuke replies that they're not just going to run into him like a taxi on the street, only for Koichi to get almost run over moments later by none other than Yoshikage Kira.
  • Nagasarete Airantou: Suzu, Ayane and Machi are fighting an unidentified snow youkai who kidnapped Ikuto. Then Ayane recognizes its techniques and declares it must be Michiru! In that same panel next to her Michiru appears and is shocked at this revelation herself.
  • Roll Over and Die: During Volume Three, Milkit is kidnapped by her former master Satils who has every intention of torturing her to death. While Milkit believes Flum will come to save her, Satils mocks this notion by telling her that Flum would not be able to find this hidden room they are in nor do would her 'Master' have any interest in saving Milkit. A few minutes later, Flum breaks down the wall and saved Milkit.

    Comic Books 
  • Atomic Robo: The reborn Tesladyne is under stress because Robo brought back part of ALAN's programming and didn't tell anyone. As ALAN is getting introduced to the new recruits, Foley says that she's backing Robo in this because she thinks he's right:
    Foley: We have an obligation to treat him with respect and dignity because that's what he deserves.
    [walks into the room to find ALAN has his pants down]
    Student: Check out the ro-butt on ALAN!
    Foley: [Spit Take]
  • Les Innommables: As the heroes are swimming back to shore, Tim sees a turtle and sees it as a good omen, since turtles mean there aren't any sharks in the area. A shark eats the turtle just after he says it.
  • My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights: In Issue #3, after blowing up a roulette stand as a distraction, Tempest confidently states that it's going to take hours for the casino's security to catch up to them due to the fight that doing this started. She doesn't quite manage to finish the sentence before casino security arrives and demands she stop and surrender.
  • From a The Punisher/Wolverine crossover, where Oswald "Napoleon" Zinn and a mook are reviewing security footage of Frank mowing through his gangsters:
    Mook: And he's coming after you.
    Napoleon: Maybe he's not after me personally.
    Frank: Napoleon, whoever you are, I want you to know that I'm coming to get you. Doesn't matter where you run. Doesn't matter where you hide. I'm going to get you.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni): Seconds after Rick tells Summer there's no such thing as ghosts, the ship they're on becomes flooded with them.
  • Nintendo Comics System, in the Super Mario Bros. story "Bedtime For Drainhead", Mario begins to dream and sleepwalk that he's Dirk Drainhead, his favorite comic hero. Hearing of his condition, Princess Toadstool decides that Mario needs to be locked up in his room. Luigi thinks it'll be no problem, since "There's no way Mario's smart enough to sneak out of that room." In the background, while they were talking, Mario made a Bedsheet Ladder and already got out of the castle.
  • Wonder Woman: Black and Gold: Right after Mac says I'm telling you, Hitler and his Ratzis are a hundred miles from here. a German tank shell comes through the wall he and his men are walking behind.

    Fan Works 
  • Anger Management: At the beginning, Lynn tries to say her injury isn't severe, only to barely be able to walk when she gets up.
  • In A Different Type of Inspiration, a designer tells Marinette and Alya to be quiet when Gabriel Agreste is about to announce the competition winner and says "I don't even know why he even allows kids to enter these things. Heaven knows that they would never win. They're just wasting his time." Guess whose name is announced five seconds later.
  • In Dragonball Z Abridged, Vegeta scoffs at his more pragmatic son Trunks' idea of giving Goku a healing senzu bean to help him fight in his battle against Cell. Vegeta angrily tells Trunks that Goku is fighting for his Saiyan pride and would never accept that senzu bean, and that he'd keep fighting until it kills him. At that exact moment, Goku cheerfully tells Cell he's giving up, sending Vegeta into a shocked fury.
  • In Fate/Sunny Order, Artoria tries to argue to Medea that, despite Mordred, she still qualifies as a good parent since she helped raised Ritsuka and Kana. Cue both of them crashing into Medea's temple and fighting because Kana encouraged Blackbeard to become an Otaku... and Artoria encouraging their fighting skills.
"Use your legs, Ritsuka!" Saber screams, standing on her chair. Ritsuka sputters and flails and is smashed into the sand again. "No, YOUR legs!"
  • In Let Me Warm Your Heart, Narcis denies to Heike that he's hungry. However, he's immediately given away by his stomach rumbling.
  • In Project Delta, after the asari see Jane beating the training room with the safeties disabled, a girl named Nomila claims she must have been cheating. Jane proceeds to demonstrate her skills to Nomila personally. She does go easy on her, but that's still five cracked ribs.
  • Runaway Wind:
    Larxene: Some of us have actual work to do. (smiling) Well, okay, mostly it's just keeping the witch in line. Sure there was that stunt with the jungle. But seeing as how she's stuck on the 13th floor of that labyrinth with no idea how to open dark corridors, us stronger than her by far, and no one else knowing she exists... we pretty much have her on lockdown.
    Vexen: (returning via a dark corridor) She's gone. Naminé has completely vanished from Castle Oblivion!
  • After putting up with Player's antics in Saved for Memories, Professor Maelstrom tells him he is not as adorable as he thinks he is. Cue Dr. Bellum and Coach Brunt arriving and cooing over him, with the former literally squealing.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug fic Serendipity, Marinette says that Adrien's alter ego has "a jealous streak" and Adrien thinks that he's not jealous at all. Then he walks past a statue carved by Theo, a guy who got akumatized a few years back because Adrien falsely claimed to be dating the girl they both loved. Adrien reconsiders his self-assessment.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision: Tifa thinks to herself in Chapter 27, as she enters Elmer's weapon shop, that if she was lucky, he wouldn't even remember her. His very first words to her reference her first visit, where she broke his nose.
  • In Sudden Showers, when Izuku's classmates wonder if he got a girlfriend, Bakugou insists no girl "would ever want anything to do with that damn nerd". Cue every girl in Class-1A promptly saying they'd date him in a heartbeat.
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • The Cold Open of "Batshy Crazy" features Applejack planning to kill Fluttershy. When she gets caught in her plans, she tries to deny everything and gets immediately proven wrong each time.
      Twilight: And since Fluttershy is our friend, we're going to help her out of this problem, instead of just killing her.
      Applejack: Well, of course, Twilight! I wouldn't dream of doing it any other way.
      Apple Bloom: Hey, Applejack! I found your shotgun that you said you wanted to murder Fluttershy with, just like you specifically told me!
    • Early on in "A Sombra Affair", Twilight panics that Sombra's going to kill everybody. Shining Armor claims that Sombra might not kill them... only for Sombra to yell, "I'm gonna kill y'all with crystals!"
      Shining: Well, I guess I was wrong.
  • Vision of Escaflowne Abridged loves this trope.
    • When Hitomi shows Van her Magic: The Gathering card deck...
      Van: You should be careful with those. I hear the ink is spiked with hallucinogens so you trip out while you play.
      Hitomi: That's just an urban legend.
      [image on the card comes to life and swirls around her]
      Hitomi: Oooh, shinyyy...
      [shortly later]
      Hitomi: Okay, but Count Chocula and his army of Jewish werewolves need to stay here.
      Van: Urban legend, riiight...
    • When Hitomi and Merle are sick and Van brings them medicine...
      Hitomi: Aw, he pretends to be a self-absorbed jerk, but he really does care about...
      Guard: Raise the alarm! The Zaibach are invading!
      Van: Oh, thank God! I was about to go insane from boredom back there!
      Merle: You were saying?
  • In Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion, the Grand Moff explains that he put a secret research installation in the middle of the Maw black hole cluster because not only nobody would suspect a lab to be there, even if they did they couldn't reach it without the route, not even by accident. Cue the Millennium Falcon doing its legendary Kessel Run and streaking by the Maw Installation completely by accident.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the introductory scene of Aladdin with the merchant, he tries to give a sales pitch but is foiled by circumstances.
    Merchant: Look at this. Yes! Combination hookah and coffee maker. Also makes Julienne fries! It will not break! [taps item on table] It will not... [item falls apart] It broke.
  • Big Hero 6:
    • When Baymax makes noises upstairs, Cass wonders who it was but Hiro blames it on Mochi. Cue Mochi snuggling up against his legs.
    • At the pier, Hiro assures his team that Baymax can handle Yokai. Cue Baymax come flying through the air and landing on the car roof.
  • In Inside Out, when Riley arrives at the new place in San Francisco, Joy wants to calm everybody down but her soothing tactics are immediately torpedoed by reality.
    Joy: Guys, you are overreacting. Nobody is dying.
    Disgust: A dead mouse!
  • Lilo & Stitch: While on trial, Dr. Jumba insists that all his genetic research has been only been theoretical, and he has not been creating new lifeforms. Cue the council bringing out Experiment 626 as evidence.
    Jumba: I would never, ever ... [sees 626] ... make more than one.
  • In order to soothe the terrified kids in the opening scene of Moana, Tui exclaims "There are no monsters" but then he accidentally touches a column which leads to scrolls with painted monsters unravel all around the room. Cue a Mass "Oh, Crap!" by the little ones.
  • This happens in Disney's Peter Pan when John is explaining to the lost boys the strategy they should use to fight the Indians, while all of them except for Michael are oblivious to the fact that the Indians, disguised as trees, are using the exact same strategy against them.
    John: "Now remember, the Indian is cunning, but not intelligent. Therefore, we simply surround them, and take them by sur-" (John is pulled into the fake tree behind him) "-PRISE!" (Indians attack)
  • Upon being forced to act as lookout during the potion heist in Shrek 2, Donkey rambles on about his supposed intelligence... while completely oblivious to the guard behind him.
    Donkey: Y'know, in some countries donkeys are revered as the wisest of all creatures... especially us talking ones!
    Shrek: (noticing the guard) Donkey!
  • Sing: Buster leaves his bicycle with the valet at the fancy restaurant, claiming "It may look old, but it's a classic." Before he even enters the restaurant the bike falls apart, leaving the valet holding the handlebars while the rest of the bike lies on the ground.
  • In the climax to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the fight against Doc Ock ends abruptly in this manner, just as she charges Miles, Peter, and Gwen.
    Gwen: Buckle up, this is gonna take a while.
    [Doc Ock gets blindsided by a flying truck]
    Gwen: Welp, never mind.
  • Vivo: When Gabi mopes about how only Vivo understands her, her mother snaps that, "Vivo is in Cuba." Cue Vivo immediately smacking into their windscreen.
  • Happens four times in Zootopia.
    • Officer Clawhauser has just walked in on Chief Bogo using a Gazelle app, whose music is still playing.
      Clawhauser: Is that Gazelle?
      Bogo: NO!
      Bogo's phone: I'm Gazelle, and you are one hot dancer.
    • Bellwether tells Nick and Judie that she feels well-appreciated by her boss Mayor Lionheart. Then the intercom beeps and we hear Lionheart shouting "Smell-wether!" in a commanding voice. Bellwether plays it down by saying it was a "fun little name he likes to use."
    • When Judy and Nick find the Nighthowler lab in an old train engine, Judy tries to commandeer the engine to take it to the police as evidence.
      Nick: You're a conductor now? Listen, it would take a miracle to get this rust bucket going! [Judy starts the engine] Well, Hallelujah.
    • And then played with after the train chase sequence...
      Judy: [following a fiery crash] Maybe some of the evidence survived...
      [massive explosion that incinerates the train]

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 1776: Just as John Adams is extolling the condition of the Continental Army ("Never has training been more spirited, never have spirits been higher"), a courier arrives with a message from General Washington describing the deplorable condition of the army, the raucous behavior, disrespect, and general unsuitability of the average colonial soldier.
  • Czech comedy Adele Hasn't Had Her Dinner Yet
    • The famous American detective Nick Carter travels to Prague to meet the local inspector about a case. Following conversation occurs as they ride down the street in a carriage:
      Nick Carter: I assume my arrival has been kept strictly secret!
      Inspector: But of course!
      Paperboy: The most famous American detective's in Prague!
      Inspector: [looks embarrassed]
    • Later, the villain announces to a round of friends that the American detective won't be able to make it to their place, as he wrongly assumes his henchmen took care of him. Cue, Nick Carter's visit card arriving on a servant's tray.
  • In The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Boris and Natasha tell Fearless Leader, falsely, that they've killed Rocky and Bullwinkle, making him think he's invincible. But he's no sooner gotten through boasting that no one can stop him than Karen and Rocky burst in to do exactly that. (Although they don't exactly manage to do much in the way of stopping him; it's Bullwinkle, who has gotten separated from the group and doesn't arrive until later, who actually makes it possible to defeat the Pottsylvanians.)
  • Implied in The Amazing Spider-Man when Peter Parker comes home and Uncle Ben demands to know why he didn't answer his phone. Before Peter can speak, his phone rings, disproving any story of it being unable to do so.
  • In Ask a Policeman, Sgt. Dudfoot is being interviewed about Turnbottom Round's reputation as 'the village with no crime'. While the interviewer accepts that there may be no major crimes, he asks what about minor crimes, like drunkenness. Dudfoot claims there is no drunkenness in the village but is immediately drowned out by extremely loud drunken singing from the street. Dudfoot tries to pass this off as the church choir practising. On being told that Constable Harbottle is in charge of traffic, the interviewer asks about traffic offenses, like speeding. Dudfoot says there is no speeding in Turnbottom Round, but is drowned out by a car going past at 100 miles per hour. This time he says it is the doctor on his way to an emergency case.
  • In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin is repeatedly called out for his ownership of a Swedish penis-enlarger pump while he's picking up his belongings after the unfreezing process. This embarrasses him in front of Vanessa Kensington and causes him to resort to failed attempts at denial.
    Clerk: One Swedish-made penis enlarger pump...
    Austin: That's not mine.
    Clerk: One credit card receipt for Swedish-made penis enlarger, signed by... Austin Powers.
    Austin: [to Vanessa] I'm telling you, baby, that's not mine.
    Clerk: One warranty card for Swedish-made penis enlarger pump, filled out by... Austin Powers.
    Austin: I don't even know what this is. This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby.
    Clerk: One book: "Swedish-made Penis Enlarger Pumps and Me: (This sort of thing is my bag, baby)", by... Austin Powers.
    Austin: Ah.
  • In Big Trouble, Jack is questioned by Walter and Monica.
    Monica: Sir, have you been drinking?
    Jack: Of course not.
    [his whiskey bottle crashes to the ground]
  • In Birdman, Mike Shiner insults Riggan saying that most people don't care about him as an actor. Cue a fan of Riggan's approaching from behind asking to be photographed together with him.
  • Caddyshack II: After Jack buys the majority of Bushwood Country Club, Chandler and Claudia visit to see how much has changed. When the interior of the main building is exactly the same as before, they talk about how Jack owning the club won't be so bad. As soon as they go outside, they see that Jack has turned the country club into an amusement park.
  • A classic example from Casablanca exposing gambling activities at Rick's Café:
    Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
    Louis: I am shocked — shocked! — to find that gambling is going on in here!
    Emile: [handing him a stack of bills] Your winnings, sir.
    Louis: Oh thank you very much. [shouting to casino patrons] Everybody out at once!
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Edmund is first seen trying to enlist in the army. Since he's underage, he's trying to pass his Aunt Alberta's identification (which doesn't have a photo on it) off as Albert A. Then Lucy comes up and calls him by name.
  • In Deadpool, Wade insists to the X-Men that no-one has been hurt during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge (while on a highway littered with the corpses of the guys he's killed on said rampage). The instant he says that the splattered body of a goon he killed toward the start of the movie falls to the street behind him.
  • A serious example in the film version of Glengarry Glen Ross. Roma, a Shady Real Estate Agent, constructs an elaborate lie to assure to his client that their contract hasn't been filed yet and could still be amended. Then in comes his boss announcing that the contract was approved and the check has been cashed at the bank. Roma tries to resolve the awkward situation by claiming to his client that he didn't know about this.
  • The Fifth Element:
    • Upon boarding on the spaceship to Fhloston Paradise, Korben Dallas insists to the stewardess that he'd rather travel incognito for his vacation. That's the exact moment chosen by Ruby Rhod to makes a Big Entrance, calling his name out loud. Ruby Rhod, and the "50 billion listening pairs of ears" listening to his radio show.
    • After getting to the room where Leeloo got wounded in her fight with Zorg, Cornelius and Ruby notice the countdown clock on the door that was left behind.
      Cornelius: It's a — it's a — it's a — it's a — it's a — it's a...
      Ruby Rhod: No no no no no no. 'Cuz if it was a bomb, the alarms would go off 'cuz all these hotels have bomb detectors, right?
      [the alarms go off]
  • Get Smart: Max tells 99 not to worry, no one knows they're dating. Then Da Chief casually walks past and says "Yes we do." (Given that they work for a spy agency, it's not exactly surprising.)
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, FBI Director Tom Manning is trying to perform a Gas Leak Cover-Up of the events in the auction house when, the next floor up, Hellboy's pyrokinetic girlfriend/partner Liz sets off an explosion that blows Hellboy out a window and into plain view of the reporters.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: While watching the German convoy, escorted by a tank, Henry expresses some concern, to which Indy assures him they're well out of range. Then the tank fires a shell that destroys a car some distance behind them.
  • Johnny English:
    Pegasus: Everything in order, English?
    Johnny: I think you'll find that it's more than just in order, sir. You are now entering the most secure location in the whole of England.
    [huge explosion in the background]
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Gimli declares that he won't be caught easily, because he has "the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox." A split second later, he sees elves pointing drawn bows at him less than half a meter away.
    • In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Saruman and Wormtongue discuss Helm's Deep, saying it would take tens of thousands of soldiers to make it fall. Wormtongue argues that there is no such force just as the two step out into the balcony of Isengard, where Saruman addresses his newly formed massive army of Uruks.
  • Only just averted in Midnight. At midnight, when Helene is about to reveal Eve as an impostor, the arrival of Tibor Czerny (the husband of Eve's assumed persona) is announced which renders Helene's theory untenable, forcing her into silence.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: In Avengers: Infinity War, Tony Stark promises Pepper that there would be no more surprises... moments before Doctor Strange teleports in to recruit Tony in a fight against Thanos.
  • In The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, when Norval breaks into the bank.
    Norval: You have to know exactly what to do or else... it'll set off the alarm.
    Old Kockenlocker: Can you do it?
    Norval: Yes.
    [cue the alarm going off as Norval opens the safe]
  • In The Princess Bride, Westley notices several Rodents of Unusual Size sneaking up on him and Buttercup but denies their existence because he doesn't want her to panic. Immediately after he says that, one of the oversized rats attacks them.
  • In The Producers, after the delighted theater patrons pour into the bar where Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom are drinking, raving about the show and how much they loved it, Max tries to reassure himself and Leo that there's no indication it's their show being talked about.
    Bialystock: Take it easy, don't panic. There are a lot of plays on this street. They are not necessarily talking about Springtime for Hitler.
    Patron: I never in a million years thought I'd ever love a show called Springtime for Hitler!
  • Python: Deputy Louis tells John, when he's arrested as a murder suspect (he's innocent), that he's staying in jail and won't get Off on a Technicality, and that Louis is the law around here. The sheriff comes in just in time to hear that speech, delivers the news that John is free to go and reminds Louis that he's the law around here.
  • Ready Player One (2018): iRok is asked how long the Orb of Osuvox's forcefield will last. After pretending to count it up, iRok replies 10,000,000 years. Then the field collapses due to internal sabotage.
  • In A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die!, Eli is telling the townsfolk that the Confederate mortar is out of range when a shell explodes in the street behind him. He then amends his statement to "almost out of range".
  • Shin Godzilla sees the Prime Minister give a press conference about the crisis Godzilla caused and to assure people that he couldn't come onto land and survive. Right after he assured people everything would be okay, he's told the creature had come onto land and is waddling through Kamata. Then again, he was told to only give known facts and that it could come on land, so the egg on his face is all on himself.
  • At the beginning of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Raphael has a "turtle-tantrum" over the Turtles' isolated lifestyle; "Nobody appreciates us, nobody sees us, [starts yelling] nobody even knows we're alive down here!" At which point April O'Neil, the Turtles' first human friend who let them hide in her apartment from the Foot in the last two movies, shows up to deliver some gifts to them.
  • The Wizard of Oz: Immediately after the Wizard's Huge Holographic Head threatens Dorothy and company, Toto accidentally exposes him for the humbug he is.
    Wizard: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, at the Peace Conference Dr. Bolivar Trask states that his mutant detector could not work in that very room.
    Trask: If I turn it on, the system couldn't even activate in here.
    [ping!!! device activates — surprised looks all around]
    Trask: Unless there's a mutant.

  • An Urban Legend has an English teacher declare that while double negatives may convey their opposite meaning, no double positives will ever mean the opposite of what they say. Cue one student saying "Yeah right".note 

  • In one of the Alice, Girl from the Future books, Alice, on a planet taken over by Space Pirates, attempts to pretend in front of them that she has no idea what's going on. Right as it seems to be succeeding, a note arrives from her friend (a resistance member she helped yesterday) notifying her he's okay.
  • Discworld:
    • Combined with The Tape Knew You Would Say That in Thud! after a historical recording proves that a major facet of dwarf life is completely wrong:
      "For the enemy is not Troll, nor is it Dwarf, but it is the baleful, the malign, the cowardly, the vessels of hatred, those who do a bad thing and call it good. Those we fought today, but the wilful fool is eternal and will say—"
      "This is just a trick!" Ardent shouted.
      "—say this is a trick."
    • Ponder Stibbons once tries to explain to the faculty that a magical experiment he is about to perform is as safe as crossing the street. It certainly isn't his fault that there is a six-cart pileup just outside after he said that.
  • Dream of the Red Chamber: During one of Granny Liu's visits with Grandmother Jia (the matron of the wealthy Jia household) and several maids showing her some sights, they come across a path with mud covering some of it. Grandmother Jia suggests for Granny Liu to walk the cleaner part of the path with them, but Granny Liu declines, stating that, as a Country Mouse herself, she's done it many times already and is therefore adept at walking through muddy roads. Barely a few steps unto the muddied part of the path, however, Granny Liu slips on the mud and falls on her backside, causing many a maid (and Grandmother Jia as well) to burst out laughing while Granny Liu herself awkwardly acknowledges how quickly this trope applies to her.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Living Space": Alec Mishnoff explains how their houses are almost certainly going to encounter alien life, and he's worried about when it'll happen. Department Head Berg is in the middle of telling him how ridiculous the idea is when Bill Ching calls in to report three-eyed tentacled aliens have been sighted.
  • In Mansfield Park, Mrs. Norris is aghast to hear that her niece Fanny is to dine at the parson's house and goes on a long screed about how it's only because the Miss Bertrams aren't around, that the invitation is entirely undeserved, that she'd better keep her mouth shut and not embarrass the family, and that she is absolutely not going to have the carriage. Then Sir Thomas walks in to ask Fanny what time he should have the carriage ready for her.
  • The Overstory: A Played for Drama example when Adam thinks to himself that, no matter what the studies show, he will make sure his knowledge of cognitive biases actually makes him a better person. Seconds later, him proceeding to do nothing when his professor has a heart attack, an example of the Bystander Effect.
  • Spy School: In the fourth book, Cyrus refuses to believe that it's only a coincidence that Ben's best friend from before spy school just happens to be on vacation at the same ski resort where the mission is happening and that neither of them planned it, declaring such coincidences don't happen. Alexander speaks up, saying that actually something like that did happen to him once when he ran into his third-grade teacher on a mission in Istanbul while disguised as a nun.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agent Carter, after Peggy and Jarvis kidnap Mr. Hunt, a Mook who'd made an attempt on their lives, they return to the Stark estate, with Hunt in the trunk, to find Chief Sousa waiting for them. Since this was an unauthorized (and very illegal) mission, she tries to keep him from finding out, even when knocking from the inside of the trunk starts.
    Peggy: We... caught a possum on this property earlier this morning. Vicious little creature.
    Hunt: [from the trunk] Let me outta here!
    Peggy: Or I have a man stashed in the boot.
  • Arrested Development:
    • In episode "My Mother, the Car", Michael claims that his mother is frail right before she bursts through the locked balcony door.
    • Episode "Fakin' It" has Michael discover a secret room in the model home filled with body-building magazines, themselves filled with muscular men. Tobias enters and has a conversation with Michael where he admits the magazines are his. He says they're from a body-building phase he'd gone through (rather than using them to ogle the men) and he hasn't touched them in years. He then opens one and we hear a talking magazine ad for a new television show.
    • In "Whistler's Mother", Michael asserts the board that he has no business contact with his father in prison but is immediately proven wrong by his assistant:
      Michael: My dad in no way is talking about business from prison.
      [knocking on the door and an assistant entering]
      Assistant: Excuse me. Your father's calling from prison. He wants to talk about the land deal you made with his brother.
  • Babylon 5: Early in the fourth season, after Sheridan has seemingly died on the Shadow homeworld of Z'Ha'Dum, some of the League ambassadors try to rally a protest against Delenn's plan to attack Z'Ha'Dum full-on, claiming that no one who goes to Z'Ha'Dum comes back, just as Sheridan walks up and stands right next to them. The wind promptly goes out of their sails.
  • One time on Cheers, Carla didn't believe that a customer was waiting for friends. They immediately arrived.
  • In Doc Martin episode "To the Lighthouse", Penhale, while piloting a boat on an emergency call out, confidently boasts that the rocks are nothing to worry about because he "know[s] these waters like the back of my hand" and less than five seconds later smashes the boat right into them.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Face of Evil": The Doctor assures the fugitive Leela that if the rest of her tribe are preparing for battle, it's unlikely they'll spare anyone to search for her. Then two arrows hit the tree right in front of him.
      The Doctor: [not changing his tone at all] On the other hand, I could be wrong about that.
    • "The Empty Child": In the opening scene, the Doctor tells Rose that the tracking of a mysterious, dangerous object is perfectly safe. Cue the TARDIS's control panels exploding.
    • "School Reunion": When Rose attempts to call an ambulance after seeing one of the kitchen staff get injured after having some mysterious oil spilled on her, another woman tells her there's no need, as the injured woman will be all right. Cue a scream and billowing smoke from the other room. "Oh, she always does that."
  • The funniest moments of Steve Harvey's Family Feud episodes is when Steve will hear an outlandish answer from a contestant, mocking them on how ridiculous the answer is...and then it's on the board. Cue Steve just standing in shock before tearing up/throwing away the answer cards and storming off the stage.
  • In season six of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Uncle Phil tells Geoffry that boys the age of Geoffry's son don't play with toys. Cue Will walking in and instantly grabbing the Transformers Geoffry bought, claiming he's "been looking for Razorbeast since October" and happily playing with them.
  • In the seventh season of Game of Thrones, the Lannister forces are preparing to meet Daenerys' Dothraki horde bearing down on them. Recognizing the severity of the situation, Bronn urges Jaime Lannister to fall back and get to safety. Ever the Frontline General, Jaime refuses, grimly insisting, "We can hold them off." Cue the Mighty Roar of Daenerys' dragon, and one hell of an Oh, Crap! from Jaime.
  • An episode of I Love Lucy has her shoot a commercial for a medicine called Vitameatavegemin. While she pours a small amount into a spoon, she claims "It tastes just like candy." She then takes the spoonful and makes a face that indicates it tastes terrible.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom", under the threat of a deadly gas attack, the constables are lent some gas masks by the local firefighters. They voice serious doubts that those can protect them at all — they are conceived as a safeguard against smoke, not lethal poison gas, and are in a poor state to boot. Thus Crabtree tries to reassure his colleagues by putting on one of the masks and telling them they'll be perfectly safe... just as his mask's tank drops from its tube.
  • On one episode of My Name Is Earl, we find out that Earl and Joy once sold an Alleged Car to a man. Earl tries to right this wrong only to find out that the experience left the man bitter and pessimistic about society and seemingly plans to kill everyone. Earl tries to change his mind by showing him that people can be nice. Unfortunately, he tries to track down the car and finds that everyone who's owned it did the same thing as Earl and Joy. He later gets Darnell to pretend he was the last owner who sold the car for scrap used to build a playground. In the narration, Earl says that he thought karma would forgive this falsehood. But then the car that was supposedly scrapped drives by.
  • In one episode of NUMB3RS, David and Colby are trying to arrest an armed terrorism suspect in a garage that the terrorists had been using to build a bomb. David tries to point out to the suspect that he knows better than to fire a gun in a bomb lab, only for the suspect to do exactly that.
  • The Nutt House: Just after Reginald tells the immigration agent that the Nutt House only employs "red-blooded American workers", a Japanese painter comes in and talks to him in Japanese.
  • Odd Squad:
    • At the end of "Life of O'Brian", Olive boasts that she knows a lot about laser chicken eggs and assures Otto and Oscar that the egg she bribed O'Brian with isn't close to hatching. Sure enough, the egg begins to hatch, and everyone is quick to retreat.
    • In "Hold the Door", Otto is quick to laugh off Oscar's intentionally quiet remark about the Princess Room being the most dangerous room in Odd Squad. He's quick to change his tune when four robot princesses come marching towards an unsuspecting Ori, who is admiring a birdbath.
    • In "Bad Lemonade", Olive lets her ego get the better of her and smugly tells Odd Todd that there's no way she nor Otto would drink anything made by him. In the middle of her sentence, the ex-agent motions over to Otto as the agent grabs a cup of lemonade and drinks it.
    Otto: What? It's free.
    • The plot of "High Maintenance" kicks off when, after hearing O'Mary's and Obby's suggestion that he and Olympia should switch jobs for a day, Otis shuts them down and says that Oprah would never agree to it...only for the Director to have all four of them switch uniforms and departments and state that she would definitely agree to it.
    • At the climax of "Agent Orchid's Almost Half Hour Talent Show", Otis assures Orchid that Olympia — who had been so busy gathering performers for the eponymous show that she forgot to think of something for herself to do on stage — will think of something to perform. A couple of seconds later and Olympia, stricken with stage fright, gives a tiny "meep" of desperation.
    • This trope is a Running Gag in "The Voice", with Olympia and Otis believing that a villain is the culprit behind the theft of Oprah's voice, confronting that villain, and finding out that they're not the culprit at all.
    • A hilarious example occurs in "Dr. O: Party Time, Excellent". When Olympia hands out Dr. O masks for other agents to wear and declares that they're not creepy, Oona looks at hers and remarks that it's creepy...which is then negated by her putting on the mask anyway.
    • In "Shapely University", Otis agrees to Omaha's suggestion that they, along with Olympia and Olena, call their respective Directors to figure out who gets the case, stating that they'll resolve the conflict in a civilized manner. Unfortunately, said Directors see the conflict as a chance to compete with each other, with little regard for their employees.
    • In "Slides and Ladders", a lost Oswald begins checking various rooms in the hallways of the Mobile Unit van in order to find a way back to the bullpen. He enters the Cave Room, stating that "there's no harm in checking". A second later, the growl of a caveman is heard, and Oswald races back out with the caveman on his tail as he screams, "There's harm in checking!"
    • "Raising the Bar" opens with Omar and Opal doing work at the table in the bullpen when Omar starts to tell Opal a joke, but is interrupted by the sound of someone knocking at the van door. This exchange then happens:
    Omar: I think someone's knocking on our van door!
    Opal: That's impossible, Omar. We're flying through the clouds!
    Postal Worker: [outside] Can somebody open the door?!
    Opal: I stand corrected.
    • In "Substitute Agents", Olanda tells Oxley that she's happy being in the Maintenance department, stating that she doesn't like the danger that comes with being in the Mobile Unit department. Oxley argues that there's no danger in being a Mobile Unit agent. As the pair step into the van, they find that the Van Computer's alarm is going off.
    Oxley: Okay, maybe there's a little danger.
  • In "Funeral" of Peep Show, Toni declares "I don't waste my life looking for a man to fill a dad-shaped hole" just as her new much older boyfriend arrives.
  • In "Sarek" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Worf chats with Riker about writing up Ensign D'Amato for insubordination as the two walk to Ten Forward. Riker comments that tempers seem to be a little frayed on the ship lately, but Worf says that he hasn't noticed. They enter Ten Forward and discover a full-on brawl in progress.
    Worf: I see what you mean.
  • The Stick Stickly special Oh, Brother had Stick lampshade how dreaming about a long-lost twin is a crazy idea right before his mom tells him about his long-lost twin brother.
  • Timeless: After going back to World War II Germany, Wyatt and Lucy are found out by Ian Fleming, who begins berating them for their sloppy espionage, saying they couldn't stand out more if they tried. Cue Rufus coming in. At the sight of a black man in Nazi Germany, Fleming just says, "I stand corrected."
  • Top Gear (UK):
    • One challenge had the guys go to an auction to buy a few cars. After Richard and Jeremy buy their cars, they criticize James for not buying one. He tells them there are plenty of cars left. The auctioneer then says they're bringing up their last car of the day.
    • When Richard takes the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 to Saudi Arabia for a test drive, this happens to him three times in rapid succession. While he's driving down a road, he says that the six-wheeled SUV has more wheels than anything on the road. He's then passed by a Nissan Patrol with eight wheels. He then backtracks and says it's the biggest Mercedes on the road. He's then passed by a monster truck with a Mercedes sedan body. He backtracks again and says it's bigger than any SUV on the road unlike the army Jeep in the distance. Then he gets closer and discovers the Jeep is actually gigantic.
  • On What We Do in the Shadows, the group is called before the Vampire Council in the second season finale for killing the Baron and several other vampires. Nandor admits that Guillermo, who had just quit as their familiar, was responsible for killing the Baron, but then claims that he killed him in response. The Council then laughs this off, saying that Guillermo couldn't possibly be capable of killing vampires as he's just a familiar. They then demonstrate by having a kid playing Guillermo and showing him easily held back by a vampire. They're unaware that Guillermo is actually there and hiding backstage. Just after the portrayal of himself as incapable of harming a vampire, Guillermo bursts into action and massacres the Council.

  • In Soylent Scrooge Fred's cheeriness and asking why anyone would be miserable on Christmas is answered by Bob Cratchit crying over his ill son and miserable life.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs: the Candid Camera Prank Show Within a Show "Don't Lift That Heavy Object!" features a guy dropping a piano on his foot and yelling "Smoo!" When his son is shocked, he says "Well, it's not like we're on television or anything!" Cue him noticing the camera, which prompts a "Holy smoo!"
  • Fraggle Rock:
    Narrator: Fraggles are graceful creatures—
    [a Fraggle falls into camera shot]
  • Following conversation from A Muppet Family Christmas:
    Kermit: Outside? Fozzie, it's too cold to go outside.
    Fozzie: It's not cold.
    Kermit: It is cold!
    Fozzie: It's not cold!
    [the door opens and the snowman comes inside shivering]
    Snowman: Can I come in and warm up?
    Fozzie: [with a vague dismissive gesture] Okay, so it's cold.
  • The Muppet Movie: In the "Movin' Right Along" musical number, Kermit tells Fozzie, "You take it, you know best." Fozzie then immediately comments that he's never seen the Sun come up in the West, meaning that he not only doesn't "know best", he's in fact driving in exactly the wrong direction.
  • In the Elton John episode of The Muppet Show, Sam the Eagle expresses a dislike for Elton, particularly his outrageous, flamboyant costumes. He's also affronted when Kermit claims that Mozart wore high heels, wigs, and silk stockings. He ends up eating his words (And hat) when Scooter comes along and shows a painting of Mozart wearing period high heels, silk stockings, and a powdered wig.
  • Muppet Treasure Island: During the song "Professional Pirate", Long John Silver begins addressing "misconceptions" about pirates, how they'd never stab you in the back (someone falls dead a split second later with a knife in his back) or lie or cheat (as one of them picks another's pocket).

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Benedict tries to tell himself that the Mass Super-Empowering Event was all just a bizarre shared hallucination. Hyeon immediately points out the gaping hole in the wall that was left by the event.
    • Another example with the two is when Hyeon tells Benedict that his pet squirrel can't just go and find something weird just because he commands it to. The squirrel in question then hops up and does exactly that, finding a blood trail for them to follow.
    • When discussing how they're supposed to find Benjy after he fled the school, Michal moans that he's probably lying low somewhere and they'll have no chance of finding him. Barbra then turns around her phone to show a website where a sighting of Benjy is the front-page article.

  • In The Matchmaker, Horace Vandergelder refuses to condone a relationship between his niece Ermengarde and the artist Ambrose. He tells Ambrose that he's sent Ermengarde away and Ambrose will never find out where she's gone; immediately, a maid comes in and announces that Ermengarde has just finished packing and recites the full address of where she's being sent so Vandergelder can confirm the luggage is labeled correctly.

    Video Games 
  • In Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse, after the Cable-Car Action Sequence Shears ensures Kat that nothing's really got broken. Cue the cable car's door falling off.
  • In Far Cry: New Dawn, Ethan Seed is telling the villagers of New Eden that their founder Joseph Seed, who left to the north years ago, is never coming back, so they must continue living without him... except, just when he tells them this, the Captain walks through the crowd bringing Joseph himself with them, and Joseph promptly derails his son's speech and resumes command of the cult himself, telling New Eden that they must ally with their neighbours at Prosperity against the Highwaymen. Needless to say, Ethan's not happy to see his father back.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy X-2, Logos and Ormi has the Gullwings watch a sphere recording that they had made. Part of the sphere was recorded pointed straight at Yuna's butt. Logos insists Ormi recorded that part, but Ormi then walks by in the background.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV, the player, the Warrior of Light, and some of their allies are confronting a captured villain in her cell, the Echo gives you and one of your other allies a vision about their Freudian Excuse. When confronted about this, the villain claims a few "stolen memories" would never allow them to understand her pain, at which point her artificial Echo shows her the Warrior of Light's memories, at which point she is utterly broken by the fact that the person she fought has experienced so much pain and betrayal and still not broken under all the tragedy.
  • Wheatley from Portal 2 has a moment of this.
    Wheatley: I'm guaranteeing you, 100 percent, that it's this way.
    [enters a hallway]
    [immediately comes back out of the hallway]
    Wheatley: It's not this way.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 has a rather subtle version. "The Supernatural", the background music to Shadow's final Dark Story level, is sung from his perspective and contains the line "Nothing is unpredictable to me, nothing can surprise me". In the cutscene straight after the level, the very first thing Shadow says is: "You never cease to surprise me, blue hedgehog".
  • In the trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II (2017):
    Stormtrooper:(Over a radio) Sector is clear.
    [Enter MAUL]
    Stormtrooper: NOT clear! Not clear!
  • In World of Warcraft, Belmont sends the player and the corpse of Crowley with a valkyr back to Sylvanas, mentioning he'll find his own way back now that the worgen have lost their scent, saying he might even beat them back. As soon as the valkyr rises to the top of the cliff, a couple dozen of elite worgen are shown waiting.
  • At the end of the tutorial of DOOM (2016), while the Doom Slayer is riding an elevator Samuel Hayden tries to explain through the intercom that while he takes full responsibility for everything that's happened it was all done for the good of humanity. The Doom Slayer looks down at his feet to see a desiccated corpse, proceeds to crack his knuckles while physically trembling with rage and smashes the intercom.
    • In DOOM Eternal, The Slayer needs a fast way to get to the center of Mars and confront the final Hell Priest. And lucky enough, he's currently within walking distance of the BFG 10000, a gihugic Wave-Motion Gun. You can guess the rest.
    Samuel Hayden: You can't just shoot a hole into the surface of Mars!
    VEGA: The portal is ready.
    Mission Objective: Shoot a Hole in Mars.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, when Dennis lands on the yacht for the party, and insists that the protagonist couldn’t make it because he’d rather play video games in his room, the protagonist shows himself. Dennis still tries to keep up the charade of what he has just said.
  • Minotaur Hotel: Of the Not What It Looks Like Variant. After Luke tells you that you and Asterion look like a "Lesbian Couple", you tell him that what's between him and you is not romantic, and they're just friends. Immediately afterward, Asterion asks if you can brush his fur again. The reaction Luke gives is hysterical.
  • At the start of Remy Chevalier's first season in Queen of Thieves the heroine — newly arrived in Paris and no little starstruck — remarks with enthusiasm on the sight of the Eiffel Tower. Remy agreeably comments on the landmark's beauty, only for Nikolai to dryly point out that Remy hates the Eiffel Tower and has said so for years. It's a humorous moment, but it also sets the tone for the route by making it clear the heroine can't necessarily trust in Remy's sincerity.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: In season 8, after they try dropping a giant crate on Tex:
    Tucker: I can't believe that worked!
    [Tex lifts the crate]
    Tucker: Oh fuck, that didn't work!

  • Gunnerkrigg Court: After telling Kat she'll have to go to jail and getting a very angry response from Annie, the interpreter rushes to reassure them:
    Interpreter: Oh! Don't worry, it's not a physical jail! It's more like... a state of having your mind permanently restricted so you can't cause trouble. [...]
    [Saslamel says something]
    Interpreter: Oh... Saslamel says it's a physical jail, too.
  • In a strip of It Sucks to Be Weegie!, Luigi denies knowing Daisy, only to be found out when she calls him by his name.
  • Furry Experience: As Vikki drags Ronnie to a Mormon institute, Ronnie is trying to tell her how all the students inside will be chattering away with their self-righteous gossip, until they open the door to dead silence.
    Vikki: God heard you and made them shut up.
    Ronnie: You hush.
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha wants to break in a Parisian dress shop, since they are barely clothed and supposed to go to a costume party. Dimo objects, as according to him you should only loot from defeated enemies. Agatha counters that it's not like she's going to battle a horde of socialites on the way. Cue a horde of well-dressed socialites turning the corner and coming at her with hostile intentions, to Agatha's dismay.
    Zeetha: Wow! You can find anything in Paris!
  • In Kevin & Kell, when Hare-Link has to lay someone off, George points out that Candace is the most expendable employee. Kevin protests that her work on the telephone is valuable, at which point, Candace, likely oblivious to the fact that her job is about to be cut, cheerfully informs Kevin that she doesn't have to do as much work recently. After Candace leaves, Kevin, with chagrin, comments that "her timing could have been better".
  • The Order of the Stick: At the Godsmoot, while the High Priestess of Odin is announcing the order of the day for the meeting, Roy is ignoring her words and arguing with Wrecan that he should go looking for Belkar before he'd cause trouble. He even adds "...there's nothing anyone can say that will stop me from—" just as the Lady of Odin concludes that the gods are going to vote on whether they should destroy the world or not. That shuts up Roy real fast.
  • Downplayed in Stand Still, Stay Silent. As the author points out in her comment on the page, people should not be leaning on vehicle wing mirrors in the first place. However, the mirror in question chooses to break off right after someone comments that the old vehicle to which it is attached is probably sturdier than it looks. Later in the same chapter, an old bridge decides to start breaking down after that same person comments that it must be quite well-maintained to still be standing.

    Web Original 
  • A quote on
    * YuFFie ( Quit (Quit: Owned.)
    * YuFFie ( has joined #

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role's Mighty Nein campaign has one that is disproven by the Vox Machina campaign. In the Vo arc, Viridian claims after regaining her memories her family doesn't drink. Cue a fan video of her child Keyleth going on pub crawls and getting plastered on several occasions.
  • In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Lizzie spends most of the first episode complaining about her mother's obsession with finding wealthy husbands for her daughters, saying "It's not like we're all going to put our lives on hold because some rich single guy dropped from the sky." Cue Lydia bounding into her room to excitedly tell her that a rich family just moved into their neighborhood and happen to have a son who's single.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • In a running gag, the Critic would cite an often ridiculous hypothetical or cliche scenario that at least didn't happen, only for the screen to cut to exactly that. For example, during his review of North, he commends the movie for at least getting a Native American to play an Eskimo and not resorting to a cheap stunt such as putting someone like Kathy Bates in Brown Face... only to see that the film did exactly that.
    • In his review of Last Action Hero, upon seeing a baffling cameo appearance by Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick as their characters from Basic Instinct and Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
      Critic: You know, movie, I'm not sure if you know this, but, um... cameos have to make sense. Just because those two people were in movies doesn't mean it necessarily makes sense to have them in your movie. I mean, it's like having a cartoon cat running around all over the place— [it turns out to actually be in the movie] WHAAAAA?! What the hell is that?! Are you serious? Why is there a cartoon cat there?! That doesn't make any sense!
      [a clip from the movie plays: Jack Slater explains, "He's supposed to be back on duty. He was only suspended for a month."] Critic: No, movie, no! There's no reason a cartoon cat should be there! It's like saying... Little Richard's in the movie! [indeed, he is; the Critic pauses to think up more out-of-place cameos] Jean-Claude Van Damme. [he's in it, too] Jim Belushi. [also true] MC Hammer. [ditto] Humphrey Bogart! [Deliberately Monochrome and all] Chevy Chase and Damon Wayans walking side by side— [do we need to spell it out?] What is going on?!! Why are there so many pointless random cameos?! Am I in The Twilight Zone? I mean, movie, just because you can have someone in your film doesn't mean you should! It's like having— [finally shuts himself up, having learned his lesson] Nope! No! If I mention that person's name, they might spontaneously jump out of somebody's anus! Let's just keep watching the movie and be done with it.
    • In his review of Scooby-Doo, his past self argues that a satire is automatically funny, only for the screen to display posters for several of Seltzer and Friedberg's movies. This ends up backfiring as the Critic's past self is unfamiliar with them since they're made after his time period.
  • The Spiffing Brit: Leading to some Corpsing: During his first escape attempt in Prison Architect, the Spiffing Brit points out that if you tried legging it the instant you left the bus, you'd get grabbed by the guards before you could escape... only to instantly escape, prompting him to break into laughter.
  • In the Epic Rap Battles of History bout between Stalin and Rasputin, Stalin calls himself the "Pride of Lenin." 2 lines later?
  • Played up to the max in this video about strange things that National Football League players have been seen doing during a game. After one entry about running back Eddie Lacy eating something that was mistaken for a hot dog but which Lacy later claimed was just a pack of sunflower seeds, the video narrator remarked at length about how silly the misconception was because "you would never see an NFL player ever, ever eat a hot dog during a game. You would never see that... There's literally no one that would ever eat a hot dog during a game." After this spiel, he moved on to the next item in the list: "[Quarterback] Mark Sanchez eating a hot dog."

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: In "I Dream of Jimmy", Jimmy journeys into Carl's dreams to help him deal with a recurring nightmare. Jimmy ends up having to do something wildly out of character to convince Carl he's dreaming and wake him up, and resorts to kissing his rival, Cindy Vortex. In the waking world, the episode ends with Carl assuring Jimmy he wouldn't tell anyone about what happened... only for Cindy to barge in, slap Jimmy, and shout "Not even in his dreams, Nerd-tron!"
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The Cloning", the Aqua Teens' newest cloned TV breaks down and begins displaying disturbing footage of them. When Meatwad says something's wrong with it, Frylock denies it only to see the TV gushing blood.
  • Central Park:
    • In Season 1 "Live It Up Tonight", Birdie tells the audience that one of the benefits of being a narrator is he could do his job from anywhere. He uses the gazebo he's standing in as an example of a place that's dry and safe until a swarm of bats enters the gazebo and swarms around him.
    • In the Season 1 finale "A Fish Called Snakehead":
      • When the Tillermans sees a mother duck and her duckling enter the lake, Molly and Cole are certain that they'll be fine because they think there's probably no snakehead in the lake and the jogger who spotted it is crazy until one of the ducklings is dragged down in the water. Luckily, the duckling is able to resurface and the mother duck and her ducklings gets out of the lake. They're now certain there's a snakehead in the lake.
      • When Owen thinks Dick Flake is going to catch the snakehead before him, Paige reassures him that he won't and he's a blowhard until Dick shouts out he caught it. It's subverted later on when she discovers Dick lied and bought an already dead snakehead to claim he caught it.
  • In "A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words" from Dragon Tales, the group is getting assistance from a doodle fairy to help Ord find giggle flowers. The doodle fairy draws a picture that they finally identify as a knuckerhole.
    Zak: I know every knuckerhole in Dragon Land and I can tell you positively, absolutely, there isn't another knuckerhole anywhere near herrrrrrrrre! [he and Wheezie fall into the hole]
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Where No Duck has Gone Before", Courage cuts off Launchpad's appeal about returning to Earth, saying they never go home before encountering aliens. Launchpad says aliens don't exist — and then the Kronk ship appears.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • In the first episode, Scrooge makes a Badass Boast while dressing up for a diving expedition, including putting on 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?
    • Later in the episode, after crashing a press conference with the real Jewel of Atlantis (long story), Scrooge has this to say about the ruby Glomgold's presenting:
      Scrooge: That bauble? Sure, it's nice, but it's obviously super cursed.
      Glomgold: NO IT'S NOT[gets grabbed by a massive sea monster] AGH! CURSE YOU MACDUUUUUUCK!!
  • In "Baby Steps" from Elinor Wonders Why, Ari's father tells him that he could have used padding when he was younger to keep him from falling down. He poo-poos the idea, saying that he never falls down, then immediately trips over a stick.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In "Foul Balled", Chester tells Timmy not to mention his last name in public, telling him it's not safe to be a McBadbat because his father was the worst baseball player ever.
      Timmy: Hah, come on! I'm sure nobody takes the game that seriously!
      [cue an offscreen explosion, followed by a mailbox reading "McBadbat" falling into the shot]
      Timmy: Isn't that your mailbox?
      Chester: NOT AGAIN!
    • In "Totally Spaced Out", Timmy gets off the school bus, happy that he's going to spend this weekend with his parents. When he gets home, he finds out that his parents a going away on a business trip to a five star resort.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy", when officials from the Department of Child Disservices come to take Stewie away, Lois is enraged and wants to disprove their claims, which are immediately torpedoed by Peter's actions off-screen.
    Lois: How dare you! This is a wonderful home!
    [cue a gunshot going off in the distance]
    Peter: [shouting off-screen] Quagmire, you rat bastard! Come near my fence again, and that'll be your head!
  • In the opening of "Franklin in Charge" from Franklin, Mr. Turtle is leaving for a trip to Uncle Snapper's and Mrs. Turtle is trying to make sure he has everything he needs. He tells her that he's only going for a couple days and didn't forget anything.
    Harriet: [jiggling a pair of keys] Daddy keys!
    Mr. Turtle: Oh. I won't get too far without those, will I?
  • Futurama:
    • In the episode "The Route of All Evil", Cubert accuses the crew of using Bender as a still for brewing beer. Bender immediately calls out "Lies! Lies and slander!", then burps out some suds.
    • "The Duh-Vinci Code" has Fry disappointed by his friends' understandably low opinion of his intellect. Just as he's consoling himself by recalling that he has "street smarts," he steps off the curb and gets hit by a bus.
    • In "The Bots and the Bees", when Planet Express's new vending machine gives birth to a baby robot that looks like Bender, Bender refutes the possibility that he's the robot's father. Until it says:
    Baby Robot: Wipe my tiny, metal ass!
    Bender: Aww, crap.
  • One episode of The Get Along Gang has the kids trying out to become junior news reporters. Portia attempts to audition for weatherman only to have this repeatedly happen to her. She forecasts a bright and sunny day just before a storm begins. She then claims that the storm will then ease off. It intensifies instead. She keeps insisting that the storm will ease off, but it keeps getting worse. She finally says that the storm will last all day. The storm instantly ends. Portia walks away with her tail between her legs.
  • In "The Lucky Egg" from Guess How Much I Love You, Bluebird has two eggs of her own and agrees to adopt another, much larger egg that Little Nutbrown Hare and Little Field Mouse found that they call "the lucky egg." All three of them hatch at the same time. One day, Little Nutbrown Hare and Little Field Mouse take Big Nutbrown Hare to see the chicks. The proudly praise the bluebird chicks for their singing but say that the lucky chick doesn't sing, that he's very quiet. In response to this, the lucky chick lets out a big, loud caw.
    Little Field Mouse: And full of surprises!
  • House of Mouse: In "Donald Wants to Fly", Donald is ashamed that he cannot fly like other birds and decides that he's a donkey, declaring "Donkeys can't fly!". At that moment, Burrito, a donkey with wings, flies overhead.
    "Aw, nuts!"
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 110, Mr. Cat explains to Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack using a slideshow that vampires don't exist. While he's still talking, Quack Quack gets bitten by a vampire bat and turns into a vampire.
  • King of the Hill: In the first episode, a social worker, believing that Hank is an abusive parent, visits the Hill residence and asks Peggy about her husband.
    Social Worker: Mrs. Hill, would you say your husband has a bad temper?
    Peggy: Who, Hank? No, Hank is as gentle as a lamb.
    [Hank bursts in, totally stressed out, and sees Bobby tossing a softball against the wall]
    Hank: Dang, no more bouncing that ball!!
    [Hank grabs the ball and throws it out the window, nearly hitting the social worker]
    Peggy: Hank, we have a visitor.
  • In "Ground House Rules" from Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, Betty Beetle comments that her grandbugs are all on their best behavior. Gus agrees that they're "quiet as larvae." Immediately Dragon and Bounce are heard shouting and shown gallivanting through the room, Dragon riding Bounce and calling "Giddyup, horsey!" They then knock against the table, spoiling the adults' card game.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In an early episode, Princess Celestia declares that she "cares deeply about the well-being of all creatures." Her pet bird instantly begins having a coughing fit. Turns out the bird is doing it on purpose as a joke.
    • When Applejack and Rarity find Rainbow Dash at the spa, she protests that she's just there for a "deep tissue sports massage". Then one of the spa ponies comes up and apologizes for the wait on her "pampered muzzle massage and indulgent hooficure".
    • In "To Change a Changeling", Trixie proudly proclaims herself "The Great and Unscareable Trrrrixie!"... just before a nearby rock turns into a hissing changeling, sending her screaming in fright and cowering behind Starlight.
  • P.C. Pinkerton: In "Rain Rain Go Away", P.C. Pinkerton is telling a kid that it's harder for cars to stop when it's wet. Immediately after, a cat is crossing the street, and a car screeches to a halt right before hitting it.
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo:
    • In the first episode, Shaggy turns to his friends for help after his bicycle gets stolen. Freddie comments that he's proud to see Shaggy handling the situation like a man. It then reveals that Shaggy is on the ground throwing a temper tantrum.
    • One of show's most famous running gags was Freddie always accusing Red Herring of being the Monster of the Week, only to be proven incorrect. At first, Red was usually a genuine suspect or had a motive for committing the episode's mystery, but time went by, the connection between him and the crime became more and more tenuous until it was non-existent. When that happened, Freddie's accusation fell into this trope—immediately after he said that Red was the culprit, something would occur (like a phone call or telegram) to announce that Red was out of town or otherwise engaged, and thus couldn't have done it.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet's First Halloween", Mindy wants to see a witch fly across the moon on a broom. Mitchell insists that there's no way a witch could fly across the moon, and immediately afterward a witch does fly across the moon. Although, its really just Jet in disguise.
    • In that same episode, Sean says that for once, he doesn't feel space-sick. Immediately after saying this, he starts to feel sick (complete with his tummy gurgling right on cue).
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: After Adora uses her princess powers to defeat a giant bug, Glimmer - not trusting any agent of the Horde - takes the sword off her and insists that they need to make sure she never does that again.
    Cue giant bug going berserk
    Bow: [grabs sword] Do it again! Do it again!
  • Shrek the Halls: As Donkey pesters Shrek about Christmas, Shrek (who has never celebrated it before), insists that nobody around the swamp cares about it. At that moment, Fiona comes out with their babies and gushes over how excited she is for Christmas, forcing Shrek to try and put together a celebration to please them.
    Shrek: Donkey, will you get it through your thick head?! No-one here gives a hoot about Christmas!
    Fiona: [walks out the door] A white Christmas! Oh, how perfect. And it's our first one together as a family. Isn't this exciting?
    Shrek: Uh... Oh, yeah! How 'bout that?
    Donkey: Ahem, Princess, I think there's a little something Shrek needs to tell— [Shrek silences him]
    Shrek: Don't ruin the surprise for her, Donkey.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Rosebud": Burns is negotiating with Homer over the reward for finding his childhood toy, Bobo the teddybear;
      Burns: Naturally I can't afford to pay you much of a reward because I'm strapped for cash. [the ceiling above gives way and a heap of money and jewels fall around him, including a crown on his head] As you can see, this old place is falling apart.
    • "Homer the Vigilante": After people decide the Springfield Cat Burglar is not so bad after all and want him released from jail.
      Chief Wiggum: Oh, sorry folks. Gee, I really hate to spoil this little love-in, but Mr. Malloy broke the law. And when you break the law, you gotta go to jail.
      Mayor Quimby: Uh, that reminds me, er, here's your monthly kickback.
      Wiggum: You just... you couldn't have picked a worse time.
    • In "Girly Edition", Bart and Lisa become reporters at their school news station. Lisa tries a train story, standing next to some railroad tracks: "The old Union Pacific doesn't come by here much anymore..." Cue heavily labelled "Union Pacific" train going by for a very long time. Watch the scene here.
    • "Itchy & Scratchy Land"
      • As the Simpsons approach the titular theme park, the helicopter pilot declares it "the amusement park of the future, where nothing could possi-bligh go wrong." Upon recognizing his mispronunciation, he notes it's "the first thing that's ever gone wrong." It won't be the last.
      • Professor Frink is informing park staff that the Itchy and Scratchy robots will "eventually turn against their masters and run amok. But he adds that "According to my calculations, the robots won't go berserk for at least 24 hours." Immediately, all the robots start attacking the humans. Frink says in a slightly embarrassed tone, "Oh. I forgot to Carry the One."
  • In one episode of South Park, Jesus is interviewed who assures the audience that the conflict between the government and the farmers has been under control. Cue an explosion in the background.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Born Again Krabs," SpongeBob sticks up for Mr. Krabs to save him from the Flying Dutchman, wagering his own soul that Mr. Krabs is indeed generous. Within the next few minutes, Krabs proves just how cheap he is by agreeing to trade SpongeBob to the Dutchman for all the change in the Dutchman's pocket (a mere 62 cents) without hesitation or batting an eye.
    • In "Rock Bottom", SpongeBob tries to assert his place in line for a bus pass only to find other "people" got there before him and he becomes 329th (then 333rd) in line.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "The Gungan General" Obi-Wan and Anakin both ask Dooku if his escape route is safe, and directly after he assures them it is and they open the door they find themselves face to face with a wall of heavily armed pirates and end up shoved back in their cell.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Relics of the Old Republic", as Kanan and the crew are finishing a mission, they check in with Hera on the Ghost, who notes that there's been no sign of the Empire. About three seconds later, an Imperial Star Destroyer pops out of hyperspace.
    Hera: Ugh, just had to say that.
    • In "Stealth Strike", Ezra stuns Kanan and Rex when they come to rescue him (since both were disguised as stormtroopers), and when they wake up, he tries to tell them they were knocked out in a big fight with Imperials, but they both fought well. They seem about to buy it until Chopper plays a holo of Ezra stunning them.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Barn Mates": Peridot's attempt to fix her fractured relationship with Lapis ends when she asks Lapis "What do you want me to do?" and Lapis answers "Leave". Once Peridot stoically accepts this and walks off, Steven enters a big What the Hell, Hero? speech, ending with him dramatically saying that Peridot's never coming back again. Cue Peridot screaming in holy terror as she runs toward them, away from a spaceship that's suddenly appeared from Homeworld.
      Steven: Oh. She's coming back again.
    • In "Back to the Kindergarten", Peridot laments that nothing will ever grow in the Kindergarten, not even this flower. Subverted when it turns out she was right the first time; the flower is actually part of a corrupted Gem that tries to eat her.
    • "Change Your Mind": At the end, the Off-Colours finally arrive on Earth. Stepping off their ship, Rhodonite proclaims "No more Diamond Authority!" ...only to see the other recent arrivals at Beach City: Blue, Yellow and White Diamond (and Steven). Her reaction is "Welp, we're cracked." Fortunately, things actually aren't as bad as she might think.
    • In the same episode, Peridot boasts about how well they repaired some ships... at which point part of one falls off.
  • TaleSpin: In one episode Baloo decides to go do the one thing left he wants to do: fly across the Bearmuda Trapezoid. At the end, Rebecca is assuring him that she knew he'd come back and never doubted him for a moment, right before another pilot comes in asking about the job she had listed for Baloo's replacement.
  • In the Halloween Special of What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Daphne suspects Velma's cousin Marcy to be behind the attacks of the Scarecrows and the Ghost of Hank Banning (mainly because she dislikes Marcy for getting too close to Fred and acting catty towards her) and asks where she was before she met the gang at the town square. Marcy explains she was working her part-time job at the mall and even shows them the security footage to prove it. Daphne doesn't believe the girl in the footage is Marcy at all, declaring it's not her before a guy outside the camera's field of vision calls out Marcy's name and the girl turns her head in response, leaving Daphne embarrassed. It turns out Daphne was right about Marcy being the culprit, albeit not for the reason she thinks. She even still believed that the girl in the security footage wasn't Marcy until Velma corrected her.

    Real Life 
  • During the American invasion of Iraq, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf went on television to proclaim that American troops were stalled outside of Baghdad and killing themselves by the hundreds. As he insists that there are no American tanks near Baghdad, the sound of American tanks firing as they advance up the streets can be heard in the background.
  • At one point during Super Bowl XXXI, as the Green Bay Packers were getting into position on a first down, one of the TV commentators remarked on how the Packers, trailing the New England Patriots 14-10 near the start of the second quarter, were really struggling to make plays, particularly on first downs, and "can't really do anything against [the Patriots'] defense". Almost the instant the last word left his mouth, the ball was snapped to Favre who proceeded to connect with Antonio Freeman for an 81-yard touchdown, putting the Packers up 17-14. From that point on, the Packers ruled the day, holding the lead for the rest of the game and ultimately defeating New England by a score of 35-21.
  • Happened, quite hilariously, to commentator Tim Daggett at the 2008 USA Women's Gymnastics National Championships. He led up to Chellsie Memmel's vault by explaining that as Chellsie was coming back from injury and pacing herself in the run-up to the Olympics, she had only vaulted a Yurchenko full the previous day of competition, and how, while she was capable of more, he would be totally shocked if she did anything but play it safe because she "wasn't ready" for bigger and both she and her coaches knew it. He was just winding up this spiel when Chellsie not only busted out an upgraded — and very impressive — Yurchenko 1.5 vault, but flawlessly stuck the landing.
    Al Trautwig: Excuse me, Mr. Daggett??
  • In this infamous SAG Awards interview, a pair of reporters ask Mayim Bialik if she's ever been approached by fans who assume that she can do calculus because she plays a nerd on The Big Bang Theory. After a brief moment of being taken aback, Bialik comments that she does, in fact, know how to do calculus...because she has a doctorate in neuroscience. Bialik famously took a long hiatus from acting to get her advanced degree. You can practically see the reporters turning red as she politely schools them ("You may not have known that?").
  • After the bombing of Hiroshima, the Japanese cabinet was in the middle of discussing how to react, and speculating that that atomic bomb was probably the only one that the US had, when they received news that a second bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki.
  • As a motorsports commentator, Murray Walker made a habit of this. Very frequently, he'd state that something would happen "unless I'm very much mistaken." This would immediately be followed by that something not happening and Walker commenting "I am very much mistaken!" Murray once lampshaded this habit: "I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong."


Video Example(s):


The Indominus rex

When the kids first see the Indominus rex, Kenji thinks they'll be safe as long as they stay at the top of the observatory/zipline station, citing how it can't see them. Less than a second later, the Indomius looks up and sees them, as Ben points out.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstantlyProvenWrong

Media sources:

Main / InstantlyProvenWrong