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Is That a Threat?

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"Presidents don't threaten, Jack. They don't have to."

When threatened, a character responds with, "Is that a threat?" or "Are you threatening me?" regardless of how poorly veiled the actual threat was. Stock answers include, "No, it's a fact", "No, it's a promise", and "Yes". A common variation is having the character asking "is that a threat or a promise?", and it's usually used as a form of Threat Backfire, when the threatened thing wouldn't inconvenience them, or even would benefit them.

If the threatened punishment is perceived as an Unishment or the threatened character is Too Kinky to Torture, the recipient of the ultimatum may reply, "Why must you tempt me so?"

Compare "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word and Implied Death Threat.


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    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who: "Faith Stealers":
    Bordinan: Are you threatening me?
    Carder: Come, come, Bordinan, we're both adults here... of course I'm threatening you.

    Fan Works 
  • Escape from the Moon: In the sequel The Mare from the Moon:
    Celestia: And if you harm my student, you will discover what happens to a body when it is exposed directly to the sun.
    Spliced Genome: I can already tell what would happen; massive radiation poisoning, the body would more than likely combust the closer you get, decompression from a lack of air would happ— oh you are threatening me, [she says this last in a scared tone]
    Celestia: No, I am not. I am simply stating a fact about your more-than-likely prison if you attack one of my nation's most beloved heroes for at least six hundred years, give or take our busy schedule to keep track of such things, [...] That is only if you prove to be a threat and as an immortal myself, I have a very long memory.
  • The Heart Trilogy:
    • In Heart of Ashes, Kathryn and Lord Beronor both get to use this line in their last conversation.
      Lord Beronor: Do not stand in my way, witch... life will become very unpleasant for you if you do.
      Kathryn: Is that a threat?
      Lord Beronor: No, that was truth. A threat would be if I proposed something I had a chance of completing; when I say truth, I mean it with utter certainty.
      Kathryn: Do you believe me to be a little puppet for you to pull the strings?! Do not think that because I am a woman, I am feeble! I too can command the winds sir! I have a hurricane in me so great it will strip the leaves of your Noble House bare if you dare to try me!
      Lord Beronor: You dare to threaten me?!
      Kathryn: I do!
    • In Heart of the Inferno, Gimli uses a variation of this line at the Council of Elrond when Smaug speaks to him insultingly.
      Smaug: If I must listen to your drivel as well as remain in your presence, I might very well forget the pact of civility I am currently maintaining for my own amusement.
      Gimli: Careful there, laddie. That sounded like a threat...
  • Old West: Said in the 26th chapter.
    Sheriff Rango: For your own sake, I'm asking you to leave us be.
    Dufayel: Is that a threat, Monsieur Rango?
    Sheriff Rango: You don't wanna corner a wild animal.
    Dufayel: And you had best not attempt to outfox a fox. It goes badly for you in your cause.
  • Relief from Nightmares:
    Unspeakable Croaker: I would not be so quick to speak if I were you, Rukar, we have measures against your kind here.
    Harry: And I would not put myself at risk so readily if I were you. First, you take my godfather, then my friends - including your own nephew - now you threaten my mate? Do you have a death wish?
    Unspeakable Croaker: Is that a threat?
    Harry: No. A conviction.
  • Rocketship Voyager. Captain Janeway wants to leave Sickbay but the Auto Doc wants her to stay for observation.
    "Give me some Dexedrine and I'll be as right as rain. Now unless you have a Zeroth exemption for the Third Law of Robotics, I suggest you get out of my way."
    "Is that a threat?" The Autodoc spun its upper turret to bring a bell-shaped nozzle in line with the captain.
    "Are you threatening me, you wretched robot? Sedate me and I'll have you dismantled!"
    "Actually, I was going to suggest you get dressed. Unless you're planning to establish a nudist colony on Voyager?" note 
  • Son of the Sannin has this exchange between Jiraiya and Danzo in the prelude to an invasion to Kirigakure, in regards to Jiraiya's decision to ally with Mei Terumi to topple the current Mizukage.
    Danzo: You will regret this, Hokage.
    Jiraiya: [eyes narrowed) Is that a threat?
    Danzo: It's a warning. And it's not me I'm warning you about. [leaves the room]
  • Unova Mansion has this exchange:
    Krookodile: You've been on my ass ever since we came here, and I'm telling you, I'm not up to ANYTHING. I may have the reputation of a crook, but I'm no murderer. But if you don't stop giving me shit, I might become one.
    Stoutland: You're threatening me?
    Krookodile: Yeah. What's your point?

    Films — Animation 
  • Ice Age: The group has found a shortcut under a dangerous-looking cliff, which is dangerously close to breaking.
    Sid: No thanks, I choose life.
    Diego: Then I suggest you take the shortcut.
    Sid: Are you threatening me?
    Diego: MOVE, SLOTH! [avalanche starts]
    Sid: [patting Diego] Way to go, tiger.
  • The Lion King has a variation, with Mufasa saying "Is that a challenge?" In the original film, Scar reassures his brother, "I wouldn't dream of challenging you." In the 2019 remake, he adds "Again", under his breath.
  • The Swan Princess:
    Prince Derek: Don't let her die!
    Rothbart: [sounding utterly bored] Is that a threat?
    Prince Derek: [grabs Rothbart] Don't you dare let her die!
    Rothbart: Ooooh, it is a threat.

    Films — Live-Acton 
  • Babylon A.D.: The High Priestess of the Neolite Cult is on the phone to Russian mob boss Gorsky.
    High Priestess: Mr Gorsky, when I kill, I kill for good.
    Gorsky: Are you threatening me?
    High Priestess: Bless your soul.
    Gorsky: You'll need a nuke to kill me!
    [Gorsky's security system detects an incoming missile]
    Gorsky: Bitch...
  • Blue Thunder
    Colonel F.E. Cochrane: You threatening me, Murphy?
    Frank Murphy: No, I'm telling you. Back off!
  • The ButterCream Gang has the cliché:
    Pete Turner: Are you threatening me? Is that a threat?
    Scott Carpenter: No, that's a promise.
  • Cinderella
    Grand Duke: Are you threatening me?
    Lady Tremaine: Yes.
  • Club Dread:
    Juan: Yu and Hank are dead!
    Coconut Pete: ...What did we do?
    Juan: No! Yu and Hank are fucking dead!
    Coconut Pete: Is that a threat?
  • Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen:
    Carla: I'll show you what it's like to be in my school.
    Lola: Is that a threat?
    Carla: Absolutely!
  • The Dark Knight
    Lawyer: Are you threatening my client?
    Rachel Dawes: No, I'm just assuming his cooperation with this investigation.
  • The Dead Pool: When Dirty Harry finds his name is on the titular dead pool (a bet that certain celebrities will die by the end of the year) a suspect tells Harry it's Nothing Personal. When Harry says he might just start his own dead pool with the suspect's name on it, he wants to know if Harry is threatening him.
    Harry: You wanna play the game, you'd better know the rules.
  • Death Warrant:
    DeGraf: You're not gonna last too long.
    Burke: Is that a threat?
    DeGraf: No... that's a promise.
  • Dr. Dolittle 2:
    Dr. Dolittle: [talking to an animal] You're an endangered species!
    Archie: Is that a threat, buddy?
  • In the Lifetime Movie of the Week Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, Prince Harry writes an angry statement condemning the harassment his girlfriend Meghan Markle is being subjected to and asks for his father's permission to release it. His father refuses, claiming that it goes against the family's Stiff Upper Lip policy:
    Charles: It's emotional. It's reactionary. It's not what we do.
    Harry: You mean it's not what you do. If you won't put it out as an official palace statement, then I'll tweet it myself.
    Charles: Is that a threat?
    Harry: Yes. I'll give you twenty minutes to decide. [storms out]
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
    Malfoy: My father will hear about this!
    Mad-eye Moody: Is that a threat? Is that a threat?!
    [Malfoy flees]
    Moody: I could tell you stories about your father that would curl even your greasy hair, boy!
  • If Looks Could Kill:
    Mrs Grober: And despite what you are saying, if I don't have Michael Corben by the end of this week, she is going to be one very unhappy lady!
    Haywood: Is that a threat, Mrs. Grober?
    Mrs Grober: French teachers do not threaten, Monsieur. They say, "S'il vous plait."
  • Meet Joe Black:
    William Parrish: You're at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong woman!
    Joe Black: Are you threatening me?
    William Parrish: Yeah, I certainly hope so.
  • Nixon: A conversation between President Richard Nixon and Jack, a Texas billionaire (appropriately played by Larry Hagman), where they are both subtly threatening each other until Nixon comes out on top.
    Nixon: If you're not happy with the E.P.A. up your ass, try the I.R.S.
    Jack: Dick, you're not threatening me, are ya?
    Nixon: Presidents don't threaten, Jack. They don't have to.
  • Payback: Porter is holding Carter, one of Bronson's Co-Dragons, at gun point while talking to Bronson on the phone. When Bronson takes exception to Porter's demands we get the following exchange.
    Porter: How much is this Carter guy worth to you? ... well, either I get my money or I'll kill Carter.
    Bronson: Are you threatening me?
    Porter: I'm not threatening you, I'm threatening Carter.
  • The Principal: During the confrontation between the principal and the leader of the school gang. The threat is about as blatant as it can get (not to mention in front of the whole school), the guy who's being threatened just wanted to prove that he's not afraid.
    Victor: I expel you, you fuck! You're not the principal here anymore, fucker! And if you come back tomorrow and you try you're leaving in a body bag!
    Rick: You threatening me?
    Victor: You're a dead man if you come here tomorrow!
  • Revolutionary Road:
    Frank: Listen to me, you do this April, you do this and I swear to god...
    April: What? You'll leave me? Is that a threat or a promise?
  • Rules of Engagement:
    Sokal: Is that a threat?
    Colonel Hodges: Oh yes, sir.
  • Played with in Scream 3:
    Dewey: Is that a threat, Detective?
    Detective Kincaid: When it's a threat, you'll know it.
    Dewey: Is that a threat?
  • Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith:
    Mace Windu: In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor.
    Supreme Chancellor Palpatine: Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?
    Mace Windu: The Senate will decide your fate.
    Palpatine: I am the Senate.
  • Sweet Smell of Success
    Sen. Harvey Walker: Why does everything you say sound like a threat?
    J.J. Hunsecker: Maybe it's a mannerism, because I don't threaten friends, Harvey.
  • Time Chasers
    J. K. Robertson: Are you threatening me?
    Nick: No, I'm telling you!
  • The 1970 horror flick Torture Dungeon:
    Ivan: I'd like to break you neck.
    Rosemary: Not if I break yours first.
    Ivan: Is that a threat?
    Rosemary: Take it anyway you like it!
    Ivan: I usually do!
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    George: Try and I'll beat you at your own game.
    Martha: Is that a threat, George, huh?
    George: It's a threat, Martha.

  • American Gods: The Monarch of the Glen has a third-party variant, where the typical response fails to impress.
    Smith: Mr. Alice will not be pleased.
    Old lady: note  Are you threatening him?
    Smith: I don't threaten.
    Old lady: Ah. Well I do. And if you or that fat bastard you work for hurt this young man it'll be the worse for both of you. [smiles with sharp teeth] There's worse things than dying, and I know most of them. I'm not young, and I'm not one for idle talk. So if I were you, I'd look after this lad.
  • Blood and Chocolate:
    Aiden: Is that a threat?
    Rafe: No... [headbutts him] This is a threat!
  • Broken Angels. Matthias Hand (a Voodoo practitioner) implies there may supernatural retribution if any harm comes to him. The commander of the Wedge mercenaries asks this trope, and on confirming that he is being threatened, blows Hand in half. His Body Backup Drive means Hand doesn't actually die, but the act makes it clear the Wedge are not to be taken lightly.
  • Greg Mandel Trilogy: Averted in The Nano Flower by Peter F. Hamilton. Victor Tyo, chief of the security division of Event Horizon goes to talk to the head of their SETI project, and starts the conversation by reminding him of his confidentiality agreement.
    "I'm not interested in restricting the flow of ideas, I simply ask that our conversation is not bandied about."
    "Otherwise I'm for the chop."
    Victor sat back in the chair and gave Rick Parnell a searching look. "Tekmercs make threats, Mr. Director. I work on the other side of the fence. We try and ensure that a dedicated researcher's life's work isn't stolen from under their nose, that the pension fund you've paid into for forty years doesn't get emptied by some hotrod with a smart decryption program. Now, you and I are employed by the same lady, and she suggested I ask your professional advice on a matter I'm involved with. Is that really so hard for you?"
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
      Uncle Vernon: Are you threatening me, sir?
      Mad-Eye Moody: [pleased Vernon's caught on so quickly] Yes, I am.
      Vernon: And do I look like the kind of man who can be intimidated?
      Moody: Well... [reveals his magical eye, making Vernon jump backwards into a luggage trolley] Yes, I'd have to say you do, Dursley.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows features a rare example where the one asking the question wasn't being threatened. Harry (at the time using Polyjuice Potion to impersonate an Ministry worker named Runcorn) gets confronted by Arthur Weasley for giving information about Dirk Cresswell. Harry tells him he's being tracked, and Mr. Weasley takes it as a threat.
      Harry: No, it's a fact! They're watching your every move—
  • The Murderbot Diaries
    • In Artificial Condition, when Murderbot says it will rip out the tongue of the Corrupt Corporate Executive if she steps out of line, she suggests it come up with better threats. Murderbot replies, "I don't make threats. I'm just telling you what I'm going to do." This becomes an Ironic Echo in the following story when Murderbot finds itself up against combat bots who state they're going to tear them apart.
      I reminded myself a combat bot wasn't a human, it wasn't a villain from one of my shows. It was a bot, and it wasn't threatening us.
      It was just telling us what it was going to do.
    • In "Network Effect", when one of the humans complains that ART and Murderbot have killed all the alien-infected humans who attacked them, so they don't know anything about them, ART says they're free to put a corpse in the Auto Doc so he can cut it open for examination. When asked if ART is making a subtle threat, Murderbot replies no, it's not being subtle.
  • Two examples in A Song of Ice and Fire.
    • Ser Kevan Lannister warns his niece the Queen Regent not to take him lightly.
      Cersei: Are you threatening me?
      Kevan: I am counseling you.
    • In an earlier novel, Tyrion Lannister does something similar when he finds his nephew King Joffrey having Sansa Stark stripped and beaten in public.
      King Joffrey: The King can do as he likes!
      Tyrion: The Mad King did as he liked. Did your uncle Jaime tell you what happened to him?
      Ser Meryn: No one threatens His Grace in the presence of the Kingsguard!
      Tyrion: I am not threatening the King, I am educating my nephew. Bronn, if Ser Meryn speaks again, kill him. See? That is a threat.
  • Star Wars Legends: Vision of the Future:
    Tierce: That sounded like a threat.
    Disra: It was half a threat. Here's the other half.
    [Disra draws his concealed blaster pistol]
  • Warrior Cats:
    Skipper: I've seen Red around a lot lately. Next time, it might be a tuft of her fur that's left beside a dead Twoleg pet.
    Stick: Leave Red out of this. And don't make threats you can't keep.
    Misha: Oh, they're not threats. They're promises.
  • Winner Take All, by Barry Eisler.
    I returned his stare, and something in my eyes made him look away. “If you want to play fishing games with me,” I said, “you’re just wasting time. But if I think your I-took-a-course-at-Langley-on-verbal-manipulation-techniques bullshit contains an element of threat, I’ll take you out before you even have a chance to beg me not to.”
  • Wolf Hall:
    • Thomas More, who is cracking down on Protestantism, tells Cromwell that he knows about Cromwell's correspondence with William Tyndale.
      Cromwell: Are you threatening me? I'm just interested.
      More: [after a pause] Yes... yes, that is precisely what I'm doing.
    • When Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell asks what he's going to do with his retirement.
      More: Write. Pray.
      Cromwell: My recommendation: write only a little, and pray a lot.
      More: Now is that a threat?
      Cromwell: My turn, don't you think?

    Live-Action TV 
  • 7th Heaven:
    Robbie's Father: You can't stop me from moving in with my son.
    Rev. Camden: The state of New York can.
    Robbie's Father: Is that a threat?
    Rev. Camden: No, it's not a threat. (pause) Okay, it's a threat.
  • The Bluth company's former Secret-Keeper Kitty turns this around on Michael in the Arrested Development episode "Missing Kitty" when she meets him in a crowded restaurant to get her job back:
    Kitty: I know where things are and you don’t and you are asking for a whole world of trouble.
    Michael: If you're threatening me, you're going to be very sorry.
    Kitty: Are you threatening me?
    Michael: Yeah, that's a threat. I'm threatening you.
    Kitty: (shouting) Did you hear that everyone?! Michael Bluth is threatening me!
  • Arrow:
    • From "The Offer":
      Sarab: If you insist on pursuing this path of resistance there will be consequences.
      Oliver: Is that a threat?
      Sarab: It is the will of Ra's al Ghul.
    • In "Due Process", Felicity Smoak drops a hint that she might put Anatoly's name on the no flight list, calling it an "enthusiastic suggestion" rather than a threat.
  • Batwoman. In "Grinning from Ear to Ear", a lawyer threatens to expose some dirty secrets of Crow Security unless Jacob Kane does a favor for his client.
    Jacob: That almost sounded like a threat.
    Lawyer: It is. Let's not turn it into more.
  • Blake's 7.
    • In "Gambit", Supreme Commander Servalan is pressuring crime boss Krantor to help her find a fugitive.
      Krantor: My dear Commander, there are many wanted men here. They come to Freedom City because we are outside the Federation.
      Servalan: Not very far outside.
      Krantor: I do hope that is not as threatening as it sounds. That would be ... most unwise.
    • From "Orbit".
      Avon: Oh, that sounds unpleasantly like a threat.
      Egrorian: It is a threat. Like you, I have a price on my head. So, having revealed my little sanctuary, I cannot allow you and your colleagues to leave. Not, at any rate, until we've reached an agreement.
  • Dallas:
    Vaughn Leland: IT WAS CROOKED! And I believe you knew that! You'll regret this!
    J R: Is that a threat, Vaughn?
    Vaughn Leland: A promise!
  • Daredevil:
    • Fisk's accountant Leland points out that if Daredevil does something fatal to him, a lot of Fisk's money will go down with him.
      Fisk: That sounds like a threat.
      Leland: No, just stating the obvious. Never thought I'd have to with you.
    • Karen Page is interviewing Wilson Fisk, currently in protective custody, when he makes a pointed reference to Ben Urich whom he murdered. Karen gives this trope, hoping to get Fisk on tape threatening a journalist so his parole will be revoked, but he doesn't fall for it, claiming to be just making an observation.
  • Day Break: Chad understandably misinterprets some of Hopper's assertions that Rita is going to die (because he already knows what will happen on the day) as a threat.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Sensorites":
      Sensorite: You're in no position to threaten us.
      The Doctor: I don't make threats, but I do keep promises. And I promise you I'll cause you more trouble than you've bargained for if you don't return my property.
    • Another example in "Partners in Crime":
      The Doctor: Seeding a Level Five planet is against galactic law.
      Matron Cofelia: Are you threatening me?
      The Doctor: I am trying to help you, matron. This is your one chance.
    • In "The Pyramid at the End of the World", every clock and watch on Earth has somehow become a Doomsday Clock.
      Col. Brabbit: Is this a threat?
      The Doctor: I wish it was. Threats are easy. I think this is a warning. Somewhere, somehow, the end has begun.
  • Dragnet:
    Battered kid's mom: Is that a threat, sergeant?
    Sgt. Friday: No. That's a promise.
  • The Expanse. In "Godspeed", Mao realises that Avasarala is wise to their conspiracy and says he'll start taking matters into his own hands. When Errinwright demands to know if he's being threatened, there's a significant silence from Mao's end of the conversation.
  • Game of Thrones:
    Tyrion: The Mad King did as he liked. Has your Uncle Jaime ever told you what happened to him?
    Ser Meryn: No one threatens His Grace in the presence of the Kingsguard!
    Tyrion: I am not threatening the King, ser, I am educating my nephew. Bronn, the next time Ser Meryn speaks, kill him. That was a threat. See the difference?
  • Grimm:
    Catherine: She is not here! I have no reason to protect her anymore.
    Nick: Well, then find her. Or else things are going to get a little dangerous here for you.
    Catherine: Are you threatening me?
    Nick: I'm sorry... Must have done it badly, I thought I made myself pretty obvious.
  • Harry & Meghan:A Royal Romance
    Prince Charles: [regarding a statement his son wants to release condemning the racist attacks on his girlfriend] It's emotional. It's reactionary. It's not what we do.
    Prince Harry: You mean it's not what you do. If you won't put it out as an official palace statement, then I'll tweet it myself.
    Prince Charles: Is that a threat?
    Prince Harry: Yes. I'll give you twenty minutes to decide. [storms out]
  • Jekyll:
    Hyde: Are you threatening my family?
    Benjamin: Yeah. I am. Explicitly, and directly, and emphatically threatening the lives of Dr. Jackman's family.
    Hyde: That's all I needed to know.
  • Law & Order:
    • Lennie Briscoe isn't shy about it:
      Witness: Are you threatening me?
      Lennie Briscoe: You catch on pretty fast!
    • Another example:
      Ron Drexler: Is that a threat?
      Det. Fontana: A threat? No. A threat would be more like... "If you stonewall this investigation any more I'm gonna break your jaw. And when you're on the ground, I'm gonna kick you 'till you spit blood you cheap shyster." That would be a threat. This is more of a request.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    Elliot Stabler: Oh good, I see I got your attention. You ever lay a hand on your wife or your daughters again, I'm gonna pay you a visit.
    Suspect: Is that a threat?
    Elliot Stabler: [Beat] Yeah.
  • Medium
    Joe Dubois: I'm saying I know my daughter better than you do. I'm saying I know she didn't cheat. And I'm saying if you penalize her based on your completely unfounded suspicion, then I am going over your head.
    Ariel's Math Teacher: Are you threatening me, Mr. Dubois?
  • The Mentalist
    • In "Blood for Blood", Agent LaRoche offers Van Pelt a deal. He asks her to help him with his case into the investigating the death of a suspect in CBI headquarters, though it might mean wearing a wire to spy on her fellow agents. He tells her that it'll show that she's a good cop, and would help her case in regards to her having possibly left a door open during a witness protection case. She asks if he's threatening her.
  • Merlin:
    • "The Coming of Arthur, Part 1"
      Cenred: Don't worry, Morgause. I'll find him soon enough.
      Morgause: See that you do.
      Cenred: Are you threatening me?
      Morgause: Trust me, Cenred, when I am threatening you, you'll know about it.
    • Given a call back in the next episode when Morgause cheerfully informs Cenred that she's threatening him right before having him killed.
  • Oz: Martin Querns, the new unit manager of Emerald City, uses the "Are you threatening me?" version in a mocking tone towards the leader of the Muslim prisoners to emphasize how unimpressed he is by the toothless display.
  • Passions:
    Rebecca: Is that a threat, Peee-lar?
    Pilar Lopez-Fitzgerald: No. I don't make threats. I make promises.
  • The Punisher:
    • In the final episode, Frank Castle takes David Schultz hostage, and David's father goes Papa Bear. The Punisher is not impressed.
      Frank Castle: You threatening me?
      Anderson Schultz: That was more than a threat. It's a fact. I'm gonna see you dead!
      Frank Castle: Nah. I think it was a threat. [hits David] Your son is bleeding. That's a fact.
    • After Frank threatens to kill his hostage...
      David Schultz: Is that a threat... or a fact?
      Frank Castle: What do you think?
  • Red Dwarf, "Balance of Power":
    Lister: Okay, Rimmer, Okay.
    Rimmer: Is that a threat, Lister?
    Lister: Yeah.
    Rimmer: Actually, "okay" is not a threat, technically speaking.
    Lister: It is when you're meaning it to mean what I'm meaning it to mean, and I'm meaning it to mean okay, Rimmer, O-kaaaay!
    Rimmer: Lister, "okay" is never a threat, no matter how many "aaaay"s you put on the end of it.
  • Rome
    Mark Antony: Caesar has many more legions than the Thirteenth.
    Scipio: On the far side of the Alps.
    Mark Antony: Winter does not last forever. Spring comes. Snows melt.
    Scipio: That's a threat!
    Mark Antony: I assure you it is no threat. Snows, always, melt.
  • The Sopranos, "Meadowlands":
    Tony: What's that, a threat?
    Carmela: No, Tony, it's a rave review!
  • Spooks:
    Harry Pearce: Are you threatening me?
    Tessa Phillips: You threatened me from way up there on your moral high ground. You hypocritical arsehole.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    First Minister Dreylock: Need I remind you that the Stargate is in our possession?
    Tarthus: For the moment.
    First Minister Dreylock: Is that a threat?
    Tarthus: It's an assurance that when it comes to the survival of our people, we will do whatever is necessary.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation. In "Redemption", Lursa tries to sway Captain Picard to their side in the arbitration, warning that doing otherwise could mean an end to the Klingon/Federation alliance if he doesn't and her side is able to win regardless.
      Lursa: This is not a threat, Captain. Just an unfortunate truth.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • "Prophecy":
        Kohlar: It is possible that the sacred scrolls were scrolled by a madman in a cave. Or perhaps they really were divinely inspired. Either way, they've guided us for over a century. If my people start to believe that the sacred scrolls have led them astray, there may be violence.
        Captain Kathryn Janeway: Is that a threat?
        Kohlar: Merely a fact. You're doing everything you can to get your people home, Captain. That's all I'm doing for mine.
      • "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy":
        Seven of Nine: The Doctor and I are going to Sickbay.
        B'elanna Torres: Any excuse to be alone with him, eh, Seven?
        Seven of Nine: Assimilation is an unpleasant fate.
        B'elanna Torres: Is that a threat?
      • "Alliances"
        Janeway: I won't pretend that our alliance wasn't an attempt to make a show of strength. Separately, we and the Trabe are vulnerable. Together, we are stronger.
        Surat: Are you threatening us, Captain?
        Janeway: It is important that you understand our determination, but it's not a threat, it's an offer. A negotiated peace among all of us would provide a greater stability in this quadrant. How could that do anything but benefit us all?
    • Star Trek: Enterprise. In "Storm Front", while trapped in a Nazi-occupied New York, Captain Archer and Silik enlist the help of La Résistance which includes The Mafia boss Carmine.
      Silik: Do we really need these people?
      Carmine: What do you mean, 'these people?'
      Silik: I don't see how they can be of any use to us.
      Carmine: I'll tell you how I can be of use to you. How about I start removing your teeth with my knuckles?
      Silik: Are you threatening me?
      Carmine: Hey, give the man a prize!
      Silik: Why would you do that?
  • Star Wars:
    • Andor: When Luthen brings up his ISB mole's new daughter, the agent questions if it's a threat. Luthen doesn't give him a straight answer; the threat is implied to be both on Luthen's behalf and the ISB's behalf, pointing out that the mole can't try to quit without attracting suspicion and worse from the ISB.
    • The Book of Boba Fett: When Cad Bane tells Marshal Cobb to be careful where he sticks his nose, Cobb replies "Is that friendly advice or a threat?"
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody:
    Zack: What are you doing here?
    Maddie: Saving your butt before I kick it!
    Zack: Is that a threat or a promise?
  • A variation from an episode of of the sitcom Taxi; Louie has enraged Alex to the point that Alex has ripped the front off of Louie's dispatcher cage and bodily dragged him forth:
    Louie: Are you threatening me with physical violence?
    Alex: [growls]
    Louie: I'm not sayin' it won't work! I'm just askin'!
  • Teen Wolf:
    Ethan: Why are you even talking to me? I helped kill your friend. How do you know I'm not gonna kill another one?
    Stiles: Is he looking at me? Are you threatening me? You know what I'm gonna do? I'm going to break off an extra large branch of Mountain ash, wrap it in wolfsbane, roll it in mistletoe, and shove it up your freaking..
    Scott: whoa, Stiles, okay. We get it. We're talking to you because I know that you didn't want to kill Boyd. And I think that if something like that happened now, you wouldn't do it again.
  • Parodied in Two and a Half Men:
    Charlie: Is that a threat?
    Jake: No, it's a promise.
    Charlie: What's the difference?
    Jake: I don't know — one's a threat and one's a promise.
  • Westworld.
    Maeve: I also know your future. You have none.
    Hector: Is that a threat?
    Maeve: The start of a proposition.
  • Wiseguy. During the Sonny Steelgrave arc, Frank McPike gets into an argument with a supervisor from a rival agency.
    Frank: Interfere with my investigation again, and your next job will be night watchman at the Meadlowlands.
    Rival Supervisor: [pulls a tape recorder from his desk] You just made an on-the-record threat towards a law enforcement official.
    Frank: No, that wasn't a threat. But if you keep this up, I'll make sure even the Meadowlands won't hire you. Now THAT'S a threat. [walks out]
  • Without a Trace:
    Agt. Jason Farrell: Are you threatening me, Agent Malone?
    Jack Malone: You take it any way you want!
  • There's this heated exchange between a (maybe) UFO witness and one of the Men In Black in The X-Files "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'".
    First Man in Black: Mister Crikenson, your scientific illiteracy makes me shudder, and I wouldn't flaunt your ignorance by telling anyone that you saw anything last night other than the planet Venus, because if you do, you're a dead man.
    Roky Crikenson: You can't threaten me.
    1MIB: I just did.

    Pro Wrestling 

  • A Man for All Seasons:
    The Duke of Norfolk: Aaahh, he won't attend the wedding.
    Cromwell: If I were you, I'd try and persuade him. I really would try... if I were you.
    The Duke of Norfolk: Cromwell, are you threatening me?
    Cromwell: My dear Norfolk... this isn't Spain. This is England.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: After a failed mission caused in part by Cinder prioritizing Revenge Before Reason, Salem gives her underlings a speech to this effect.
    Salem: It's important not to lose sight of what drives us: love, justice, reverence... But the moment you put your desires before my own, they will be lost to you. This isn't a threat; this is simply the truth. The path to your desires is only found through me.


    Web Original 
  • Worm:
    • A third-party variant:
      Director Tagg: And you don't care about your savior, locked away in that cell?
      Dinah Alcott: Are you threatening Taylor?
      Director Tagg: I don't know. You said she'll do damage in some form. Maybe we need to stop that from happening. And you said that no matter what happens, the outcome's more in our favor than it was before she surrendered. Why? Is it that important to remove her from Brockton Bay? To unseat her from her throne?
      Dinah Alcott: I'm not answering any more questions.
      Director Tagg: You'll answer what I ask you to answer, because we need to go into this with our eyes open. We can't have Skitter damage us.
      Mrs. Yamada: Director, this isn't constructive. The last thing she wants—
      Dinah Alcott: The last thing I want is another arrogant dickface telling me what to do. You want answers, Director? Fine. Twenty two point eight one three percent chance you die painfully, over long, slow minutes or hours. Maybe soon, maybe in twenty years, but it'll bring you to tears, and you'll wail in pain. That's a freebie. Want more details?
    • Alexandria and Taylor have this little discussion in Cell 22.4. It later gets turned around, in the most gruesome manner.
      Alexandria: You wanted to be on board, I presume. You had to be informed, so you understood exactly what it means when I make a threat.
      Taylor: You're planning to make threats?
      Alexandria: Threats is the wrong word. But English is a limited language in some ways. There's really no word to articulate what I mean. A threat with a measure of inevitability to it. A promise? Too feeble. People break promises too often. A curse? A malediction? Too... magical. An oath? The connotations are wrong. When I say I'll do something, I make it happen.

    Web Videos 
  • Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on Twitch and YouTube.
    • A little more than three hours into "When Scammers Think You're a Bitcoin Millionaire", Kitboga's character is refusing to cooperate with the refund scam, given that she's a Bitcoin millionaire and therefore doesn't really care about wasting time trying to claim a $300 refund. The scammers tell her that she has to take the money, saying that if she doesn't take the money "then there will be a problem with your banking." "Are you threatening me right now?!" wonders Kitboga, asking just what sort of problem there's going to be.
    • In "Scammer Smashes Phone After Losing $3,000," the scammer insists that Kitboga tell him his zip code fast so that he can look up where the nearest Target store is to get gift cards. Kitboga, however, is growing bored with the scammer due to his ineffectualness and it doesn't help that the scammer's next move is to state that if Kit doesn't hurry up with the zip code he will go into his bank account and "took out all the money," a standard scammer threat when they're otherwise out of options. "You wanna see that?" asks the scamer and Kit asks if he's threatening him right now.
  • Made into a Running Gag in Scott The Woz's Wii Play episode, in response to the game's tagline. The joke was repeated in French and Spanish, matching the multiple translations on the back of the box.
    "Wii Play. Do You?"
    Scott: Is that a threat?
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: Played With in one of Marik's Evil Council videos after Steve Luna and Steve Umbris have been talking about how things are on the moon.
    Bakura: Well, we're not on the moon, are we?
    Steve Luna: That can be arranged.
    Bakura: Is that supposed to be a threat?
    Steve Luna: No. I was simply drawing attention to our luxury moon vacation plan. Buy a ticket and receive one free ass-whupping upon your initial payment. That part was a threat.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Roxy Richter

When Scott realizes that Roxy is one of Ramona's evil exes, Ramona insists that it was just a phase. Roxy does NOT take her words well...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / GayRomanticPhase

Media sources: