Follow TV Tropes


Narrating the Obvious

Go To
Oops! I added a caption to the image!
"One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in 'It's a nice day', or 'You're very tall', or 'Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?'"

Any line in a movie or show that tells us what it was we just saw. "He got away!" "It's a trap!" "They are shooting at us!" You know Show, Don't Tell? This is Show, Then Tell.

Distinct from As You Know in that everyone in the audience and the cast do, in fact, know this.

This is common in children's shows, where it can help the young viewer to make the association between what's being shown and what's being told. It is also seen in Reality Shows, when participant monologues are interspliced with clips of the events they are talking about:

"He started yelling at me." (shot of person yelling)

Possibly a holdover from the days of the Radio Drama, where the medium required characters to describe the action for the audience. This behaviour would tend to make the actors sound really hammy to listeners used to visual media, and many programs would play with and lampshade characters who do this.

Perhaps writers do this because they assume that Viewers Are Goldfish. In media such as older comic books and manga, this tends to go hand-in-hand with Talking Is a Free Action.

See also Captain Obvious, Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me, Narration Echo. Contrast Unreliable Voiceover.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Cardfight!! Vanguard, expect someone to remark on how the person we just saw take damage now has more damage.
  • The Digi-Destined in both Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02 love to this a lot. They point out when a foe didn't receive any damage at all, when their Digimon partners revert to previous states... Just everything.
  • In some dubs of Dragon Ball Z, when Frieza blows up Planet Vegeta, he takes the time whilst laughing like a maniac to describe how this sight fills him with joy, then continues laughing.
    • This is a constant trope on the whole series, especially when supporting characters watch a battle to death between the main fighter and the Arc Villain.
  • This seems to be Speedwagon's only role during the first part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Other characters have since then inherited this dubious mantle. And then the obvious about him was narrated. One example that has undergone Memetic Mutation is a panel of Speedwagon looking afraid and shouting "GAAAAH!" while Jonathan, providing narration says "Even Speedwagon is afraid!" At one point, he also outright says "Speedwagon withdraws coolly" to himself early on.
  • This trope alongside As You Know is an incredibly common signature part of the anime works by Yoshiyuki Tomino. It is not uncommon for characters to narrate things that are happening that the audience can clearly see or them narrating on what other characters said just moments before. Well, tons of animes are already like this.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GO RUSH!!, Yudias has a habit of shouting the amount of damage he's just taken whenever he takes damage.
  • The first episode of Yuki Yuna is a Hero appear to be a slice-of-life school anime, and then suddenly time freezes, the real world vanishes in an explosion of light, and the protagonists find themselves transported to a mysterious pastel-coloured forest. Then a voiceover from Yuna informs us that "this was the very moment that our lives changed forever."

    Comic Books 
  • Over the top parodied in Pyton! magazine's "Stuporman" comic: One frame shows Lex Luthor in a mech, announcing that he's going to "Take over the world!", while a fleeing bystander screams "Aiee! Lex Luthor is taking over the world!" while the protagonist looks on and muses that Lex Luthor seems to be trying to take over the world. The narrator points out that Lex Luthor, the villain, is often trying to take over the world, while an arrow box pointing at at Lex clarifies that he is trying to take over the world. The next frame shows the comic's editor, asking the artist if they've made the point clear enough, since their readers are very, very stupid.
  • All the time in older Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) issues. The writers and layout artists apparently suffered from the unfortunate delusion that every panel had to have dialog in it; they don't really lose this particular delusion, but at least they learn to make the dialog semi-meaningful instead of this trope.
  • Frequently occurs in Golden Age comic books. A caption will say, "Captain Whizbang overtakes the locomotive!", while in the same panel Captain Whizbang says or thinks, "Got to—overtake—the locomotive!", and the art shows Captain Whizbang—guess what?—overtaking the locomotive. The trope carried over into the Silver Age as well. Since the Bronze Age, this has become a Discredited Trope, and a likely contributing factor to the Decompressed Comic.
  • Played for parody purpose in Sergio Aragonés Massacres Marvel and lampshaded by Doctor Doom.
    Narration: Seething with fury, the Human Torch unleashes a torrent of fireballs...
    Doctor Doom: They can see that, you idiot writer!

    Comic Strips 
  • The comics that Jason writes in FoxTrot have this trope heavily. Justified, given that he's only about ten or eleven.
  • In the early 20th century, it was not unusual for a comic strip to have captions below the panels to explain what was already obvious from the illustrations and dialogue. See Hazel the Heartbreaker (1910-11) as an example.

    Fan Works 
  • The Boy Who Cried Idiot: While on his way home from school, Lincoln narrates to the audience everything they just saw.
  • The author of My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic tends to spell out everything, such as outright telling the audience how a mirror-based monster has the power to reflect attacks right back after it's been shown to the audience multiple times already.
  • Fan Fic author JusSonic uses this trope a lot in most if not all of his work. It's so bad in Curse of the Demon Pony that the person who's currently doing an audio reading of it said that he should try to stop bringing it up so much because then it would be "restating that it's restating the obvious".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has a running gag where Joey keeps announcing "Here we are at the (place of interest)" to everyone else's great annoyance.

    Films — Animation 
  • The American dub of Asterix and the Big Fight has a narrator who narrates everything the viewers are already seeing. The original French version and the British dub don't have a narrator.
  • In The Incredibles, Violet exclaims, "The remote controls the robot!". Justified in that the audience knows it but Violet and Dash do not know about the remote and she was telling him.
  • Patou of Rock-A-Doodle has an awful habit of describing exactly what's happening at the moment, and even spoiling a few plot elements ahead of time, like Goldie's Heel–Face Turn. Not that the film is particularly deep, but he seems to believe Viewers Are Morons.
  • The recut versions of The Thief and the Cobbler, in particular the Miramax cut, decided to make a few mute characters non-mute. How, you ask? By making them narrate their thoughts. However, the original director had already made sure that the audience would know what they were thinking. As a result, you get lines such as:
    "As Zigzag's guards were taking me inside the royal palace, I gazed upon the princess for the first time."
    "Finally, I was free."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The helpful narrator of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford tells us that Jesse James was missing one of his fingers. At the same time, the camera zooms in on one of Jesse James's hands and shows us — yes, there's a finger missing. Thanks, Narrator!
  • Avengers: Infinity War pokes fun at the location titles in the previous installments with an establishing shot of the Guardians' ship floating in space accompanied by the word, "SPACE."
  • At least half of the 1974 movie Black Love consists of the narrator telling exactly (and rather unnecessarily) what's happening on screen. And it's not (supposed to be) a comedy.
  • Dogville can be found guilty of this, with the narrator filling us in on every single development and telling the viewer everything that is happening. Then there is this part towards the end:
    Grace: That's Moses!
    Narrator: "That's Moses!" she said, jumping out of the car.
  • Dune (1984) is rife with this, including but not limited to: the internal monologues of one-off characters, characters describing exactly what they have just done/ are doing/ are going to do shortly, and infodumps a plenty.
  • The beginning of Elysium has a bit of this: onscreen text explains that Earth is an overpopulated Wretched Hive, while Elysium is an idyllic space station where the rich hide from the masses, but the accompanying flyover visuals and first couple of scenes make all this perfectly clear.
  • Executioners from Shaolin: At the end of the film's climatic final battle, after Hong has defeated Pai Mei and avenged his father, the film then helpfully states, "A combination of Tiger and Crane styles is what finally defeated Pai Mei." As in, the exact same style the audience sees Hong training for the past entire hour or so of the film. Just in case the audience doesn't get it.
  • A semi-famous line in the movie Independence Day:
    David Levinson: They're chasing us!
    Capt. Steven Hiller: Oh, really, you think?
  • A large part of Indestructible Man is spent with the narrator talking over everything to the point that it might as well have been an audiobook. Surprisingly, Joel and the 'Bots didn't even touch this aspect during their review.
  • From Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
    Henry Jones Sr.: Those people are trying to kill us!
    Indiana Jones: I KNOW, DAD!
    Henry Jones Sr.: Well, it's a new experience for me!
  • The Last Airbender spends a great deal of time with Katara describing what's happening on screen as we watch it happening.
  • The narrator in Matilda often explained what was happening on screen, even things that are blatantly obvious. The biggest offender is when Matilda goes to school for the first time and the camera shows us the school; he explains that the school was a building with children.
  • Gets pretty annoying towards the end of Mission to Mars when the characters enter the Face on Mars and are shown a holographic animation about the history of the Once-Green Mars and how the Martians sent a ship to seed the ancient Earth with life before leaving to another galaxy after Mars was devastated by an asteroid impact. The visuals speak for themselves clearly, and yet, bordering on Viewers Are Morons territory, the main characters watching the holograms need to spoil the scene with Captain Obvious observations like "One stayed behind!", "They seeded Earth!" and such.
  • Lampshaded in The Naked Gun movie, when Vincent openly has a gun to Jane's head.
    Jane: He has a gun.
    Frank: I... can see that.
  • Sometimes used in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. During a ballet about the magical realms shown to the main character, it keeps cutting away for Sugar Plum to explain what each act is about, even though the costumes and staging make it obvious. (The backup dancers wearing florals and the stage being covered in flowers would seem to suggest that, indeed, this part is about the Land of Flowers.)
  • Used for a gag in Pootie Tang: Trucky's narration eventually catches up to the present day, resulting in his voice-over redundantly narrating a conversation between Pootie and himself as they're having it.
  • The localization of Santa Claus (1959) gave the movie a narrator who routinely alternates between this and condemning whatever naughty things the characters did. Mystery Science Theater 3000 naturally mocked its predictability.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi spends a few good minutes setting up the Emperor's plan, complete with the delightful reactions of the pilots as they stumble right into it... and then Admiral Akbar declares, "It's a trap!"
  • 12 to the Moon. A member of the crew records the momentous events of the first Moon landing. Unfortunately this becomes a Captain Obvious Log for the audience.
    [While being bombarded by meteors] "We are constantly being bombarded by falling rocks."
  • Some DVD Commentaries fall prey to this trope, with filmmakers offering little more than obvious descriptions of what's plainly happening on screen. For example, William Friedkin's commentary on The Exorcist has been described as "The Exorcist for the visually impaired".
  • Dorothy narrates Toto's escape in The Wizard of Oz. "He's getting away! He got away!"

  • The first few books in The Dresden Files have a pretty bad case of this when it comes to character descriptions. Harry always tells us that he is a wizard, even though it's mentioned on the blurb. He tells us who Murphy is, even though we've known that for more than four books. He repeatedly tells us how he's tall and lanky. And so on. And obviously, many long-running book series are guilty of this. They obviously write it that way so that if someone obviously starts reading the series without reading book one, they will obviously not be lost.
  • Harry Harrison's "The Fourth Law of Robotics":
    • As a humour technique, the narration often restates dialogue text before/after a statement from a character. The first incident occurs when Dr Donovan tells (young) Dr Calvin about his "pressing errand", which is to tell her that he's seen evidence that a robot has robbed a bank.
      I grabbed my mind by the neck and shook it, remembering my pressing errand. "I have a pressing errand, which is why I have burst into your office like this."
    • The narration also frequently contrasts the dialogue, providing an immediate contradiction to the claim made by a character. Since the narrator is Donovan, the contrasts often serve to highlight how he has gotten older since the tales written by Dr Asimov.
      "It is hard for a robot to sneer," the robot said, sneering, "but I spit on your ofay attitudes."
  • The Twilight series is notorious for this. Bella is quite an unobservant narrator of her own story, so half the time she doesn't notice what should be completely obvious to the other characters and/or all the readers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Justified in the Stop Motion Christmas episode of Community, so that everyone knew what was going on in Abed's delusion.
  • In Dexter, the title character provides narration which frequently strays into this territory.
  • Doctor Who:
    • This was a common staple of classic Doctor Who since it was essentially recorded live, "as is." If there's a Special Effects Failure, at least the companion screaming "It's gestating!" will get the point across to the audience. It also provides a handy cue to the video technician to start playing the filmed inserts. A certain amount continues into the modern day, with Word of God explaining that it's to make sure the audience is clear on what's happening (which, in a series as bonkers as this one, may be a fair concern).
    • During "The Chase" the protagonists are chased through time by a group of Daleks in their own time machine and make a brief stop on a sailing ship, and when the Daleks show up they fight and kill the crew before resuming the chase. The camera then pan over the now deserted ship before stopping on the name plate, which reads "Mary Celeste". That's kinda funny, right? Cut to inside the TARDIS, where Ian tells Barbara that the ship was, in fact, the Mary Celeste. Maybe the writers were afraid the audience looked away at the wrong moment.
  • As excellent as Horatio Hornblower mini-series was, it sometimes failed to avoid this trope. It's especially noticeable in the first part "The Even Chance". It feels like the writers or producers had little faith in their actors. For instance, Hornblower had to fight hard to gain his division's respect. After their first battle, Styles comes to thank him for taking care of their injured fellow sailor and Hornblower praises his men's conduct. Styles thanks him, smiles a bit and salutes him. Hornblower looks pleased and proud, and then says: "A salute! Well, that a start, I suppose." Nothing what the audience didn't see; plus his face said it much better.
  • Parodied to death in That Mitchell and Webb Look with "The Gift Shop Sketch".
  • A staple of incompetent documentarian Roy Mallard on People Like Us. Sometimes his narration uses exactly the same words that his interview subjects use seconds later (though the narration was added long after the people spoke those words.)
  • Surprisingly common in Stargate SG-1 and its spin-offs. There are countless occasions when the gate will activate, a ship will emerge from/go into hyperspace or start firing weapons...and then a character will proceed to tell us that the gate just opened/a ship exited/entered hyperspace/the enemy is firing on us!
  • Various Tokusatsu series have tons of moments where a Monster of the Week runs away from combat, upon which one of the main characters exclaims, "It got away."
    • The later seasons of Power Rangers were especially bad with this, particularly Samurai through Ninja Steel, which was during the second period when Saban owned the franchise.
  • Played with in one scene on The Young Ones:
    Vyvyan: Look, here comes the postman.
    Mike: Vyvyan, why do you keep telling us what's just about to happen next?
    Vyvyan: Because it's a studio set, Michael, and they can't afford any long shots.
  • The Noddy Shop has The Ruby Reds and The Do-Wop Penguines, two sets of characters whose only roles in the show are to do this in the form of a short song. For example, when a toy told the others that the goblins escaped in the first episode, the former group sang "Not the goblins!".
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, when Detective Boyle finds himself slipping into this at a moment of great tension:
    Detective Boyle: Terry called him?! He's shaking Terry's hand! Now I'm just describing everything that's happening. What the hell's going on?!
    Captain Holt: I do not know.
    Detective Boyle: Now Captain Holt doesn't know!
  • Heartwarming and justified example: Fred Rogers frequently did this in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, intricately describing what he was doing at any particular moment for the sake of visually impaired viewers. He reportedly picked up this habit after a young blind girl wrote in to the show admitting that she didn't know if he actually fed his fish when he did so at the start of episodes.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode "Disaster," Picard is in a turbo lift that suddenly starts falling. He shouts, "We're falling!" This doesn't need to be pointed out to everyone in the turbo lift, but it does help the audience figure out why the camera suddenly went haywire and everyone dropped to the ground.
  • Wellington Paranormal
    (Minogue gets thrown behind some rubbish bins)
    O'Leary: We've got an officer down!
    Minogue: (getting up) Officer back up!
    O'Leary: (to camera) He's back up.

  • Our Miss Brooks: Lampshaded by Miss Brooks in "School Mascot":
    Miss Brooks: Well, as they used to say before television, let's go in.
  • A Running Gag in Hamish and Dougal is Dougal doing this and Hamish lampshading how odd it is.
    Dougal: Well, here we are at the Laird's house.
    Hamish: Why did you say that?
    Dougal: It doesn't do any harm.
  • Spoofed in the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue parody of The Archers:
    Victoria Wood as Susan: It's Joe Grundy coming in on his legs. Hello, Joe Grundy.
  • The BBC Radio Drama adaptation of Guards! Guards! handles this cleverly for the scene where the alleged king fights the dragon: Carrot can see over the crowd that's come out to watch the fight, but Vimes can't, so Carrot gives a play-by-play for his captain's benefit.
  • Deliberately exaggerated in This Gun That I Have In My Right Hand Is Loaded, a spoof radio play that is often used as a didactic example on how not to do radio.
  • The Foundation Trilogy: The closest thing to a Narrator in this broadcast are the recitations from the Encyclopedia Galactica. The dramatization required changes to the dialogue to include many of the character actions that had been described by the third-person narration, causing characters to describe what they see happening to the character taking that action.
  • A monologue on The Now Show by blind comedian Chris McCausland discussed the audio descriptions for films and TV, and that sometimes they fall into this category even if you can't see — when you hear a door rattle and a voice say "Hi, it's Steve!", you don't then need to hear a voice saying "Steve enters the room".
  • No radio drama ever handled it better than Orson Welles did with his famous The War of the Worlds broadcast. Welles' decision to stage the show as a Phony Newscast (for the first two acts, anyway; Act III is a reading from a diary) justified this trope In-Universe. Instead of characters narrating what they're seeing for an audience, radio broadcasters are describing what they're seeing as they would naturally.
  • Dimension X: In "The Parade", an announcer is describing the scene of the eponymous parade. This is normal for parades over radio, and was intended to resemble the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead explicitly calls for this in the stage directions: one act opens with the title characters waking up in darkness to the very obvious sounds of the ocean, sailors shouting, ropes and timbers creaking, etc. Only when "the point has been well made, and then some" does Guildenstern helpfully declare, "We're on a boat!"
  • The majority of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 consists of characters narrating their actions, thoughts and emotions in the first or third person ("I will touch you on the cheek," "I blush scarlet," etc.), due to a good deal of the libretto being taken wholesale from the source novel.
  • Enforced by the way Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol is performed, with minimal costuming and sets and relying entirely on acting, narration, and lighting. This is necessary to describe characters and what's going on around them, with several characters finishing each other's sentences.

    Video Games 
  • The title character of Alan Wake tends to do this. In the beginning, he tells us that it was dark as he drove in his dream while doing so. He hits a man on the road, talks about it...then while looking at the lighthouse, tells the audience that he sees one in the distance.
  • Dawn of War II: Many units have a response to events like being attacked by a specific unit, but Captain Diomedes goes with this school of communication.
    It is the BANEBLADE!
    It is the HIVE TYRANT!
    Ah, a Warp Spider!
    Brothers I am hit!
    Brother I am pinned here!
  • As was a major criticism of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword because holy Christ Fi is bad for this. There are many points in the game where a character, a sign, your dowsing ability, the map, or obvious elements in the environment will flat-out tell you where to go or what you need to do next, and then Fi will unavoidably pop out and explain, again, what you were just told and add that there is "a 95% chance that you should do what you were just told to do." You could quite honestly remove almost all of her dialogue from the game and it would be no less clear what you were supposed to do.
  • Nall, hero Alex's resident Exposition Fairy of Lunar: The Silver Star, had a very bad habit of this, to the point that the game's official strategy guide came close to making a drinking game of it. He usually announces when you have arrived at a quest location or what the party has just witnessed.
  • Metroid: Other M: Samus does this a lot in the game. Sometimes repeating what another character just said in monologue form so she can state her opinion on the subject or give a deeper analysis of the actions of another character, usually Adam.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King: Olivia, the game's Exposition Fairy, tends to narrate obvious facts. For instance, after you turn a valve to drain the water from a sewer, Olivia says "Oh! The water disappeared!" When you come across a broken bridge, Olivia says "Ooh! The bridge is out." When you beat the Ice Vellumental and it gives out a Bibliofold (as with the other three Vellumentals you've already fought), Olivia still says "It's the Ice Vellumental's Bibliofold!" and nothing else.
  • Dummied Out content from Persona 5 has Joker stating what day it is at the start of each day shown here. Was probably dummied out for good reason. Imagine hearing Joker state the day of the week with all the enthusiasm of a pencil pusher convention every few minutes for almost 100 hours.
  • This gem from Portal 2, overlapping with Department of Redundancy Department:
    (Chell lands right in the middle of a huge death trap)
    GLaDOS: Well, this is the part where he kills you.
    Wheatley: Hello! This is the part where I kill you!
    Soundtrack: The Part Where He Kills You
    Achievement Unlocked: The Part Where He Kills You
    Achievement description: This is that part
  • In Shin Megami Tensei V, the protagonist's partner Aogami will alert the player when they're about to walk into a boss fight by saying "I'm detecting a powerful demon ahead. We should proceed with caution." so they can save beforehand if needed (considering this series is infamous for booting you back to the title screen when you die, this is the series standard for fairly obvious reasons). Normally, this is fine because the boss is hidden from view until you trigger the boss fight. But in one late game boss fight against Zeus, Aogami will alert you even though you can see him well in advance and you went there specifically to kill him and steal the MacGuffin he's holding.
  • The Sims 4:
    • Can be invoked if you have no intention of disguising your alien sim as a human.note  If you parade your undisguised alien sim right in front of a non-alien, the pop-up message reads, "(Sim's name) has discovered that (alien's name) is an alien!" If the armored spacesuit with the glowing green Tron Lines wasn't obvious enough, the unearthly skin tone (blue, purple, green or even paper-white) makes it even more obvious. The situation is even more hilarious if other sims don't even notice your undisguised alien waltzing around right in front of them until the alien scans their brains.
    • Viewing a specific plant (e.g. "View apple tree") will cause your Sim to announce what kind of plant it is (e.g. "This is an apple tree"), as if you didn't already know from reading the action button.
    • A spellcaster who casts Inferniate to start a fire will cause a popup message reading "(Spellcaster's name) has discovered the fire!" In the words of YouTuber Iron Seagull, "No kidding! You made it yourself!"
    • If a pregnant sim goes to the hospital to give birth, a popup message can appear stating that they have learned that the sim performing the operation is a medical professional at the hospital.
  • YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG uses a lot of Purple Prose, and at times even describes things as they are shown to the player.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied in Red vs. Blue when the Red team find an odd computer underground.
    Sarge: Huh, what's all this business?
    Simmons: It looks like a bunch of computer equipment, sir.
    Sarge: Excellent analysis, Simmons.
    Donut: And it's attached to some kind of TV thing.
    Sarge: So it is. Astute deduction, Donut.
    Grif: It shows all different parts of the canyon. Look, there's our base!
    Sarge: Ah yes, another incredible observation from the stating the obvious department! Thanks for nothing, numbnuts!
  • Rooster Teeth's short skit That's My Uncle does this naturally, being a parody of various anime tropes.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The 1960s era Adventures of Superman had the narrator state everything that was happening on screen as you were watching it, leading to such helpful narration such as "Superman hurls the rock into the volcano!" as you watch Superman hurl the rock into the volcano.
  • One episode of Family Guy takes place After the End where the Griffin family finds a shelter after the apocalypse. Turns out Randy Newman is also there on a piano. He proceeds to narrate every single thing the Griffins do, as they do it. Lois decides to get her family out of there after about 10 seconds.
  • Mocked in Futurama, and served as a Trope Namer to boot, when the Robot Devil criticizes Fry's play for doing this.
    Robot Devil: You can't just have your characters announce how they feel! (Angrily) THAT MAKES ME FEEL ANGRY!!!
  • Kaeloo: At the end of the episode "Let's Play Spies", Stumpy does this.
  • Occurs a great deal in King Rollo.
    Rollo: [paces around glumly for about 10 seconds, staring at the floor]
    Narrator: King Rollo was very sad.
  • Peppa Pig has a somewhat infamous narrator who seems intent on explaining what a character is doing or how they are feeling, when the majority of viewers would very likely be able to figure it out for themselves without the narrator treating them like idiots.
    *loud alarm goes off*
    Narrator: Daddy Pig has set off the noisy house alarm!
  • Rocko's Modern Life: The famous "Wacky Delly" episode, where after Rocko, Heffer and Filburt finish photographing a Wacky Delly episode and are ready to get the film developed, Filburt announces, "We have to take the film out of the camera, and put it in the film can."
  • The Scooby-Doo Project parodies the tendency of bad documentaries to do this, with Velma spending much of the short filming the others and giving helpful commentary such as "Fred's setting up the tent!" (after Fred has been doing so for over a minute).
  • The Simpsons: Often Lampshaded on the show.
    • When the title family visited Itchy & Scratchy Land and were attacked by murderous robots, Lisa pointed out to Homer that the camera flash scrambled the robots' circuits immediately after said event. Homer reacted: "What are you, the narrator?"
      • Similarly, in Treehouse of Horror IX, when Lisa announces that Snake's hair transplant is controlling Homer's brain. "Everyone's already figured that out," an irritated Marge replies.
    • "Well, here we are at the Brad Goodman lecture." — "We know, Dad." — "I just thought I'd remind everybody."
  • Between seasons 9-16 of Thomas & Friends, the series was extremely guilty of this, making it look like head writer Sharon Miller thought kids were morons who couldn't follow the action onscreen and needed to be told exactly what was happening. It got even worse in season 13, when the narration not only continued stating the obvious, but also spoke in rhyme along with the characters (who had gained individual voice actors starting in season 13). Thankfully, this was averted starting in season 17, when Andrew Brenner took over as head writer, restoring the sanities of many older fans.
  • Mocked in Titan Maximum. When the titular team shows up to save a bus full of children, one of the children inside the bus says "Look, it's Titan Maximum!", only to be chastised by another child, who asks why he pointed out something so obvious.

And then you, the reader, reached the bottom of this very page.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Obvious Exposition, Redundant Exposition


Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer narrates his way through a visit to the shoe shop.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / NarratingTheObvious

Media sources: