Follow TV Tropes



Go To

"Of course, the Sue, being noble enough to attract the attentions of two high-ranking Elves, said that she would be betraying Legolas’ trust if they slept together, and it would constitute a marriage according to the customs of the Eldar, and therefore it was best to refrain.
Protectors of the Plot Continuum, Your Unhappy Elladan

We're about to describe NOT! here. NOT!

....Okay we'll describe it.

It's an expression that was popular during the late 1980s and well into the 1990s where someone would describe an event, fact or opinion by stating the exact opposite of their intention and then saying in a louder tone of voice, NOT!

For example, to make fun of someone's ugly shirt, you might say, "Oh, wow, I really love that shirt! ... NOT!"

The joke is a variation on sarcasm. Where most sarcasm is announced by the tone of voice, making it immediately apparent as you say it, this joke is intended to trick the listener into thinking that the statement was earnest, only to reveal the sarcasm at the very end. It was popularized by the SNL sketch and subsequent movie Wayne's World, but the basic format can be traced at least as far back as the 19th century, when "...I don't think!" was the standard conclusion.

While the expression itself is rarely played straight anymore, it had a short-lived successor for The New '10s in "..., said no one ever," in the first half of the decade and "nobody:... me:...," in the second half.

The evil version involves the phrase I Lied.

Compare HA HA HA—No and Well, This Is Not That Trope.

Examples aren't listed below. NOT!

    open/close all folders 

  • There was a commercial many years ago involving a Moogle from the Final Fantasy series interviewing villains, and rejecting them one by one for not being scary enough. At one point, when one villain auditions, the Moogle comments, "Ooh, scary...NOT!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ranma pulls one of these on Shampoo in Ranma ˝ after he snatches the pork buns she made that could force you to follow a command after a certain signal is given:
    Ranma: Gee, I never realized how cute you were before.
    Shampoo: Then you love Shampoo? Oh! So happy! Now, we live happily ever after-
    Ranma: *grabs the pork buns* Ha! Not!
    • Also said in the manga when Shampoo takes from Akane what she thinks is an engagement ring from Ranma.
      Shampoo: Is mine, now!
      Ranma: *takes it back* Not!

    Comic Books 
  • In Death: The High Cost of Living, Sexton mocks a guy for saying this.
  • Used in the third issue of Milestone's Deathwish miniseries that served as a spinoff to Hardware (1993) when Marisa tries on a dress.
    Slim: Definitely you...Not!
  • Used in the 1991 Justice Society of America series, to jokingly point out how slang goes in and out of fashion.
  • The sixth issue of The Superman Adventures has Mr. Mxyzptlk quip "NOT!" after remarking that Superman has made a brilliant deduction.

    Comic Strips 
  • Used in Little Nemo, when they distribute valentine cards from their zeppelin: One policeman gets one mocking him, "You are truly a brave policeman; NOT!"

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Borat attends a lesson on humor in which the instructor tries to teach Borat this joke, apparently believing it to be cutting-edge comedy. Borat cannot seem to grasp the concept, and his attempts to figure it out becomes a Running Gag throughout the movie, with him finally getting it in the end.
  • Used in the Richie Rich movie, which instantly became Totally Radical due to the writers not realizing you actually needed "NOT!" to follow a sarcastic remark, and couldn't just have it as a random declaration.
  • Wayne's World: Invoked by Wayne and Garth. After spending time with the two, Benjamin's dragon Russell catches himself doing it, expressing regret immediately afterwards.
  • Dr. Dolittle, with a rat who is heckling the tiger Jake who is threatening suicide.
    Rat: Jump, you big pussy! I'll catch you! ...Not!

  • Dave Barry suggests in Dave Barry Does Japan that, since Japanese people are obviously humor impaired, they should begin adapting American jokes that are most easily adapted to foreign cultures. He starts with "NOT!"
  • In the 1955 Nero Wolfe short story "Immune to Murder," Rex Stout has Archie nagging Wolfe: "A fine way to serve your country. Not."
  • In Incompetence, after Harry has been bailed out of jail, he's given a court date. He sarcastically notes that he'll be there, no problems, then adds the "Not!" for the benefit of Americans.
  • In Website Creation in Plain English (an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript tutorial), this is used while describing the CSS not() function.
  • In Elias Butler's Pigs is Pigs, Mike Flannery is ordered to collect any expenses for taking care of livestock from the consignee, who had already refused to pay ten cents extra for a pair of guinea pigs:
    "Me, proceed to collect two dollars and twinty-foive cints off Misther Morehouse! I wonder do thim clerks know Misther Morehouse? I'll git it! Oh, yes! 'Misther Morehouse, two an' a quarter, plaze.' 'Cert'nly, me dear frind Flannery. Delighted!' Not!"
  • In "Ian Hislop's Guide to Libel", in the first Have I Got News for You spin-off book, states that the word "allegedly" as used in HIGNFY has exactly as much legal effect as saying "Not!" at the end of a sentence.
  • Douglas Adams used the traditional, pre-80s form in Life, the Universe and Everything, when Arthur Dent is first diverted to a darkened chamber (later revealed to be Agrajag's Cathedral of Hate) and is greeted by flickering, green neon signs.
    Welcome, the sign now suddenly said.
    After a moment, it added:
    I Don't Think.
  • The traditional version is used by Leonora Quine in The Silkworm from the Cormoran Strike Novels. She explains to Strike that since her husband has gone missing, somebody has started putting dog excrement through their letter box. "Three or four times now, at night. Nice thing to find in the morning, I don't think."
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, someone tosses Tom Riddle's diary in the girl's bathroom haunted by Moaning Myrtle, hoping to get rid of it. It ends up hitting Myrtle, much to her dismay, though Harry points out that it couldn't hurt her, it would just go right through her. This is the wrong thing to say, as she complains that people will throw things through her just because she can't feel it, that it'll be ten points if it's through her stomach, fifty if it goes through her head. "Well, ha ha ha! What a lovely game, I don’t think!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 1980s resurgence in use may have started with an MTV promo spot featuring Jim Turner of Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre, in which Turner plays both burnt-out hippy rock star Randee of the Redwoods and his business-suited alter ego, staring at each other through a mirror. After a brief, hostile exchange, his uptight counterpart departs and the image of Randee turns the camera to declare, "I like that guy... NOT!"
  • Michael uses "It's been fun...not," on Arrested Development. The narrator comments that he wishes he could have come up with something cleverer, or at least less dated.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Utopia", during the Master's triumphant return:
      The Master: Why don't we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me, I don't think!
    • In "The Unicorn and the Wasp", when one of the guests at a dinner party attended by Agatha Christie turns out to be a jewel thief known in the press as the Unicorn, she replies, "Ever so nice to meet you, I don't think."
  • Horrible Histories:
    • The William Wallace song:
      I took against the English back when I was fairly wee
      'cause an Englishman called Selby bullied my whole family
      It upset me, so I struck him dead - well, wouldn't you?
      Then an English sherrif came along - guess what? I killed him too!
      They say he killed my wife, so he deserved what he got,
      Then England's King Ed came for me - ooh, I'm scared, NOT!
    • Also used in the pilgrims' song:
      New Plymouth, man, we claimed it!
      The natives said "Not!", but ran when we shot!
  • Used in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode "The Green Candle" when Tommy and Zach make a remark at Bulk and Skull's expense.
    "Roses are red, violets are blue, we can learn a lot from you...not!"
  • In an episode of Psych, Shawn tries to bring "not" back. He then decides to also revive "said the liar" only to have it pointed out that the two cancel each other out if used at the same time.
  • Robin Hood has another variation with one of the Sheriff's many catchphrases. "A clue: No."
  • This trope was repopularized by the Wayne's World sketches on Saturday Night Live, due to it being used sparingly…NOT!
    Wayne: Alright, Best Haircut. Ted Koppel. It looks natural..
    Wayne and Garth: NOT!
  • If The Soup catches you doing this, they'll call you out on it.
  • On Will & Grace, Will's long-absent and eccentric boss, Mr. Stein, turns up unexpectedly in the office:
    Mr. Stein: You may think that just because I've been in London all this time that I've failed to notice this office's deficiencies. Well... I have. (Beat) NOT!!
  • When the Legends of Tomorrow travel back in time to The '90s, Sara is annoyed at running into someone who uses a "Nineties 'Not!' joke", while Ray enjoys it, calling it "comic comfort food".
  • In Undercover Boss: Where Are They Now?: Kylo Ren, from Saturday Night Live, Kylo Ren goes undercover as the intern "Randy" and learns that the interns do the "bitch work." He asks a stormtrooper who is in charge fuel invoices and the stormtrooper tells him that he's looking for "Deez Nuts."
    Randy: Hilarious. Said no one ever.
  • Frank Edoho, of Nigerian Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, would use this technique to announce unchosen wrong answers. This included Aroma Ufodike's 10-million-naira question. Volume alert.
    Frank: I'm sorry but... Economics was actually... the right answer NO!!! (the whole studio cheers wildly)

  • "Not", a song released by The Bellamy Brothers in 1993, is this trope in song:
    I could walk out now, get in my truck
    Never look back, forget your love
    Sure, I could leave, 'cause I'm tough enough...Not!
  • Used in the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "I Was Only Kidding":
    Weird Al: I really LOOOVVVEE you...NOT!
    • Al has stated that he actually bumped the song from its intended inclusion in Alapalooza to one album earlier in Off the Deep End so that he could use this joke before it got old and obnoxious.
  • Steven Curtis Chapman's album The Great Adventure has an intentionally corny rap song called "Got to B Tru", in which Christian rapper Toby MacKeehan makes the following observation about SCC's rap skills at the end of the song: "I think rap music is most definitely you!" *record scratch* "NOT!"
  • Homestuck: Towards the end of "GameGrl (Original 1993 Mix)" (from Homestuck Vol. 9), GameGrl claims, "I could just keep doing this all day... NOT!" as part of the song's parodying of Totally Radical 90s culture.
  • Judy Pancoast wrote a song called "The Perfect Kid-Not" which lists (sometimes stereotypical, such as in the case of not eating candy) perfect behaviour for a kid but ends every statement that the kid does them with "not!".

  • The Bride of Frankenstein sometimes does this upon meeting her husband in Monster Bash.
    Bride of Frankenstein: "Tall, dark, and handsome — NOT!"note 
  • A variation appears in Cirqus Voltaire.
    Ringmaster: You make me weak...not really! HA HA HA HA HA!

  • One of the comments when you lose in Bop It Extreme is this.
    (cue fast paced beat, then snare drum)
    "Hey, you win! Not..."

    Video Games 
  • Deltarune: In Chapter 2, Spamton pulls this in the Weird Route just as Kris reaches the Dark Fountain.
    Narrator: (It was as if your very SOUL was glowing...)
    Spamton: NOT!!! LET ME SAY LET ME SAY [Thanks] THANKS TO YOUR [Total Jackass stunts] I HAVED [Becomed] NEO.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Gilgamesh crosses this with fake surrender in Final Fantasy V after getting badly beaten:
      "I suppose I misjudged!"
      Casts Haste on self
      "Fighting all four of you..."
      Casts Protect on self
      " just too tough for me..."
      Casts Shell on self
      "NOT! Ha, I lied! Like a rug! Oh, I kill myself!"
      Attacks heroes
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, party can find and read magazines called Timber Maniacs. When trying to read the fake one found in Zell's house in Balamb, the message reads: "An old issue of [Timber Maniacs]...............NOT!"
  • Used in plenty of winquotes on SNK fighting game characters. One example here:
    Haohmaru: "What a fight, I'm speechless. Not!"
  • Pokémon:
    • Used in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity at one point. After the party, Emolga decides to pull a prank on you and your partner, where Emolga himself scatters Frisms around the house. After you spot a Frism, your partner finds out. You and your partner approach Emolga, who is setting up another Frism. Cue the following dialogue:
      Partner: ...Hey.
      (Emolga turns around surprised.)
      Emolga: {P-P-Partner name}! H-h-how's it going?
      Partner: Oh, just great... NOT! What d'you think you're doing?!
      Emolga:, I just... You know, the Frisms you brought me are just so great and so much fun, so... I was thinking about some of the ways I could use 'em... and needed a little test... B-but the important thing is...
      (Emolga is suddenly happy.)
      Emolga: It was all made possible by you guys conquering the Great Glacier! Wow! That was sure awesome! You're just the best!
      (Emolga laughs while your partner sweatdrops.)
      Partner: Why you...
    • In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after dealing with Primal Groudon/Primal Kyogre, your rival (or May, in the male player's case) does this while talking to you.
      May: But you, <player>... It seems like you just keep getting further and further ahead of me... I even started to feel like you'd gone somewhere I can't even reach. It's pretty lonely, you know? Not! What would you think if I really said something like that? Hee hee!
    • If the player is female, though, this is never brought up by Brendan. He basically says a different quote.
      Brendan: It seems like you're just dashing ahead by yourself and leaving me behind... I feel like we're not even on the same level anymore, you know? It's kinda lonely thinking like that... Or it would be if I really thought that! But... well, you did do something pretty amazing. So take it easy for a while, OK, friend?
  • Guitar Hero World Tour has a song with sections in about the middle named "Outro" followed by "Just Kidding!", and later "Ok Now It's the Outro" followed by "NOT!" Yup, Overkill has two fake out fade outs.
  • Getting a wrong answer in Wacky Jacks will sometimes earn a sarcastic "Good answer... not!" from your announcer Don Pardo.
  • The SNES version of the Wayne's World game has Wayne obnoxiously belt out a "NOT!" every time he takes a hit.
  • In Star Control 2, you get that if you ask a Spathi captain to ally with you.
    Sure, consider it done. Allies to the bitter end.
  • Narmful example in the first Tenchu game when Ayame goes up against the corrupt minister:
    "Your arrows are like you, sick and twisted, I fear them... Not!"
  • Dr. Hans Volter gets in on this sometimes in Killing Floor 2, when he acts as the voice of the Trader on Monster Ball.
    Oh, big man, killing a Scrake! I am so scared of you now... NOT!
    Is saying "not" still a thing? ...I miss The '90s...
  • In ToeJam & Earl: Ready, Aim, Tomatoes!, if you fail to to rack up enough points needed to advance to the next level, you get this line from the announcer:
    Good shooting...
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, if Phoenix decides to not accept Maya's case in Episode 2, the screen fades to black with Phoenix explaining the following day he learned the outcome of the trial was a Guilty verdict and wonders whether he made the right choice, seemingly ending as a Non-Standard Game Over. Until Phoenix pops back in the detention center shouting "Not!" since there's no way he can let that happen.
  • Due to its name, the NOT Nodon in Game Builder Garage will often say this at certain points.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails
    • A Running Gag in Trails in the Sky is that if you examine a chest after having already opened it, you receive a funny message. One of these in Sky - Second Chapter reads "You obtain the Emperor's New Clothes. Not."
    • After listening to Weissman's speech at the Aureole in Sky - Second Chapter, Estelle comments, "Boy, I bet you're a real hit at parties. Not."
    • In Sky - The 3rd, regarding Grimsel Fortress, Anelace comments that Grimsel Fortress is especially complicated and that she and Estelle had a tricky time getting through them, especially the dark ones, that it was just great... not.
    • One of the empty chest messages Trails from Zero reads "Upon further inspection, you found a Zeram Capsule.note  ...Pfft. You wish."
    • In the Trails of Cold Steel games, one of Crow Armbrust's escape from battle quotes is "See you later... Not!"

    Web Animation 

  • Chuck and Beans: Chuck and Beans manage to travel back in time to the year 1992, and attempt to post a tweet and a Facebook comment about it. When they realize their phone isn't getting any reception, a nearby squirrel kid responds with "Way to think through all the implications of time traveling to the '90s - NOT!"

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Sarah on Liberty's Kids used the "I don't think" version often.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series episode "Night of the Sentinels Part 2" has this trope with Cyclops as he is about to take down a sentinel.
    Sentinel: Surrender, Mutant.
    Cyclops: Of course... NOT!
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", the deliberately Totally Radical Poochie comes out with "Catch ya on the flipside, dudemeisters...NOT!"
  • Jackie Chan Adventures season 5, episode 1:
    Jade: Excuse me... not!
  • In the Recess episode "Outcast Ashley":
    Ashley Q.: Hey second grader, nice ensemble!
    Second grader smiles at them
    Ashleys B., Q., and T.: NOT!
  • Animaniacs: In one episode, Yakko recited a passage from Hamlet (Act 5, scene 1, the "Alas Poor Yorick" soliloquy) while Dot translated:
    Yakko: Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.
    Dot: We kissed a lot...NOT!
  • Samurai Jack: In the Grand Finale, Aku applies this to the show's original opening narration (as read by Mako), which was changed in Season 5, by shouting "NOT!" at the end announcing to the world that he's captured Jack.
  • The Biker Mice from Mars episode "Road Ravens" begins with Sweet Georgie Brown shouting "NOT!" after claiming to celebrate the recent quiet in Chicago by playing some easy listening music.
  • Kong: The Animated Series: When Jason, Tann and De la Porta take a plane to the island, Tann says he bought the plane and Jason asks if his parents are okay with it. Tann says "totally... NOT" and says it's not a problem thanks to the trust fund his grandfather left him.
  • The Loud House: Principal Huggins frequently does this.
  • In "Searching for Spring" from Stanley, after Harry and Elsie sing the first verse of the "The Great Big Book of Everything" song, Dennis tells them that their song is utterly delightful and that he adores hearing them sing it every time. "You do?" they both ask.
    Dennis: NOT!
    Harry: Whoa, I was freaked out for a moment there.
    Elsie: Me too. (They finish singing the song.)
  • Rolling with the Ronks!: "The Ronk Race" has Rob exclaim "Not!" after insincerely stating how it's a shame he'll make Flash look like a fool in front of the Ronks.

    Other Languages 
  • In the German Language, due to more liberal word order, normal sentences can end with "nicht" (not), which may remind English-speakers of this trope. Example:
    Parent to kid: "You have to learn how to deal with money, so I will raise your pocket money... NOT!"
  • This concept translates directly into Japanese. In anime and manga, it's fairly common for a sarcastic character to start explaining something and end it with "-ja nai!" (" not!") with the same meaning as the sarcastic "NOT!"
    • A variant is to end a thought with " what I'd like to say," meaning that while they'd like to say all that, the truth is the opposite. This is generally used when the intent is a softer let-down than the abrupt brush-off of "NOT!", assuring the person that they're not being put off lightly or given a mere excuse. But it does sometimes get used to be just as cruel as the ruder variant, depending on the context.
    • Sometimes it isn't meant that way but comes off that way nonetheless, when the hearer (or viewer) can't see the reversal coming and really wanted the first part to be true. Phrasing the bad news as "Your use of the Dangerous Forbidden Technique isn't going to turn your brains into pudding ten minutes after use after all... is what I wish I could say, but the truth is you should go tell your family goodbye in the three minutes you have left." is a really good way to soften the blow... not. (This has nothing to do with Could Say It, But..., by the way.)
  • Turkish once had a similar phrase "dermişim" at the end of a sentence, meaning "imagine I said that". It was popular at the end of 1990s and became obsolete mid-00s. It is mostly associated with a spoiled girl (tiki) saying it, especially when the first syllable is elongated.

There are no video examples below. NOT!


Video Example(s):


Borat Gets Detained

When Borat gets arrested for attempting to kidnap Pamala Anderson, he shouts, "I am not attracted to you anymore! NOT!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / Not

Media sources: