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Parrot Exposition

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Naomi: I also put some nootropics in there.
Snake: Say what?
Naomi: Nootropics. It's a class of drugs which will help improve your mental functioning.
Snake: It'll make me smarter, huh?
Metal Gear Solid, in a typical demonstration

Describe Parrot Exposition here.

You want me to describe Parrot Exposition here, huh?

A type of exposition in which one character repeats another, pressing them on something they just said. Sometimes this happens repeatedly, making one of them look pretty knowledgeable and the other pretty clueless. Or it can be simply annoying.

This can easily be Truth in Television. Sometimes you just want a bit more detail, or to verify if someone's saying what you think they are. It's also worth noting that Japanese, the language that many examples are translated from, does this a lot as a mechanic of the conversational language.

Often done by The Watson. Compare Repeating So the Audience Can Hear, for when we can't hear the other side of the conversation; Repeat to Confirm, when it's considered SOP to repeat a set of instructions while executing them; and Parrot Expo-WHAT?, where the exposition is so shocking, sesquipedalian, or obscure that the other party can't repeat it.



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    Anime and Manga (Illustrated media of Japanese origin, huh?) 
  • This occurs often in many anime and manga. A particularly tongue-in-cheek example from an episode of Black Cat:
    Sven: It must be... Nanotechnology.
    Train: Nanotechnology?
    Sven: Nanotechnology.
    Eve: Nanotechnology...
  • Kyōji Kōriyama from Noein practically defines this trope. It seems like over half his dialogue is just repeating back what his partner Ryōko Uchida says to him.
  • In the Mega Man Star Force anime, Geo does this every time Omega-Xis uses a new term. Or describes the situation. Or yawns. Particularly funny is his habit of parroting whole sentences at a time: "Cygnus is creating a dimensional portal to the Twilight Zone!" "He's creating a dimensional portal to the Twilight Zone?"
  • Sort of parodied in Darker than Black. When a Clueless Detective accidentally stumbles onto the edges of a case involving the masquerade, he runs into someone who wants his trenchcoat back. They have a conversation that involves a lot of repeating things back at each other- because they have no idea what the hell the other one is talking about.
  • Slayers frequently uses Gourry Gabriev as a Dumb Blonde or even an outright Idiot Hero in order to use this trope to manage info dumps about mystical stuff (powerful spells, monster society, magical items, etc) that the other characters (all being powerful, well-studied magic-users) would know, but the audience doesn't.
  • Countless Ranma ½ stories begin this way. The first panel will have Ranma (or whoever) repeating something which was said just before the story began, usually the name of a new martial arts technique or MacGuffin which will drive the plot. The exposition character (Soun or Genma at first; in later stories it's usually Happosai) will then explain things for everyone's benefit.
    • A lot of humor manga use this variation on the trope to get stories moving quickly, and Takahashi herself popularized it in her earlier series Urusei Yatsura (though it wasn't used nearly as much as it is in Ranma.) Even her more serious works will use it on occasion.
  • Speaking of Takahashi, she modifies the above approach for Inuyasha, which likes to pick itself up from cliffhangers this way. A chapter will end with a character delivering a shock revelation ("Kikyo's alive!") Then the next chapter will start with everyone else parroting it back ("What? Kikyo's Alive?!") which handily puts the reader back in the moment and brings them up to speed. Then the character who dropped the bombshell will proceed to explain the details.
    • Many plot-heavy manga love to use this variation, though again, Takahashi seems to be one of its biggest fans.
    • Many times, this is used at the start of a new chapter to remind everyone what happened in the last chapter, because manga is published chapter-by-chapter weekly or monthly in serialised magazines. When it's been a month since you last read it, it's handy, but when the chapters are collected into one volume, it results in this trope, overlapping with Viewers Are Goldfish and the Department of Redundancy Department.
  • In the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS manga:
    Nanoha: Ah, that reminds me, Fate-chan! Do you still have pictures of those kids with you? I want to show them to Vita-chan and the others.
    Signum: (turning to Shamal) Those kids?
    Shamal: You know, them. The kids that Fate-chan always visits before a mission. Remember?
  • Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's has this by the truckloads. A fair warning: Don't make a drinking game out of this, specially involving long duel episodes, or you'll most likely die of alcohol poisoning.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has this happen in episode 3: GATTAI DA!!!
  • The manga version of Magic Knight Rayearth stretches a little longer than the anime in places, primarily thanks to the girls' tendency to break every sentence spoken to them down to its component nouns and then repeat them as questions ("You have to get to the Fountain of Power to create your magic weapons." "Fountain of Power?" "Magic weapons?"). It's parodied when they find the Spring of Eterna as a two-dimensional line in midair—the panel FX goes Lemony Narrator.
    Hikaru: What's that line?
    Umi: Line?
    Fuu: [...] It's a line.
    FX: yes, indeed
  • Saint Seiya did this a lot. Saint Seiya did this a lot?
    • One particular example the fandom absolutely adores:
      Saga: I've received a report saying that the Silver Saints have been shamefully defeated by five Bronze Saints.
      Milo: What!? The Silver Saints have been defeated by only five Bronze Saints!?
      Saga: Yes. Only five Bronze Saints.
      Milo: There must be a mistake here. I never heard about a Silver Saint being defeated by a Bronze Saint.
  • Transformers anime do this. A LOT. Headmasters and Masterforce are worst case offenders, where characters also feel the need to narrate whatever they do, as well. In the latter, its almost a Running Gag where one character will say something and another will repeat it in a shocked or awed tone.
    Devil Z: It is a powerup for Super Ginrai.
    Giga: A powerup for Super Ginrai?
  • In Sword Art Online, in the Novel, Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya and Senjirou Kikuoka, a government worker in charge of the Virtual Division, met and this exchange occurred:
    Kazuto: Given such common occurrences, it isn't such a mystery for some idiot to have brought back that practice into reality. I, too, feel the need for some sort of counter-measures to be put in place, although the law would be nearly useless in such a case.
    Kikuoka: Useless?
    Kazuto: Useless.
  • Pokémon: The Series usually has this, with a character repeating move or Pokemon's name in confusion, in order for someone else to explain the move/Pokémon for the sake of the audience. Sometimes, the same move or Pokémon can have repeated parrot exposition later on in the series due to the fact that the show is a Long Runner with over a thousand episodes to watch.
  • Played for Laughs in My Hero Academia. Apparently, Skeptic isn’t a big fan of this trope. When Giran, an ally of the League of Villains whom Skeptic's organization, the Meta Liberation Army, is hostage, responds to Skeptic mentioning that he'll have to delete the footage of Himiko Toga killing MLA member Curious, Skeptic goes off on a rant.
    Skeptic: Is something confusing you? Is this even a question you want answered? What's keeping you from answering properly like "What do you mean by footage?", do you have too much pride? If someone says "One!", do you go "One?" like a parrot? Can you think critically? Use your imagination? Are your neurons taking a vacation? You need us to spell everything out and tell you that two plus two is four? Why should we?''
  • Played for Laughs in The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You. Rentarou does this when the God of Love is telling him about soulmates. Eventually though, the God of Love tells him to cut it out since it's taking up too many panels.

    Fan Works (Unofficial tributes to popular franchises, huh?) 
  • Naturally, this can carry over into Metal Gear Solid fanfiction, although certainly not as often. One memorable example from a tongue-in-cheek Snake/Otacon Slash Fic, in which Otacon, more from being a nerd than a pervert, films the 'action' using the Metal Gear MkII and its new "accessory."
    Snake: Otacon, what's that?
    Otacon: It's a microphone boom, Snake.
    Snake: A microphone boom?
  • Done several times by Phoenix in Turnabout Storm, mostly out of sheer disbelief at the stuff he gets told in Equestria. For example, when he asks where he is and who he's talking to after recovering a little from the shock of being greeted by a talking purple unicorn:
    Twilight: My name is Twilight Sparkle. I'm a disciple of Princess Celestia, the monarch of this land. I'm chronicling in the magic of friendship for her, and you're in the town of Ponyville.
    Phoenix: Celestia? Magic of friendship? Ponyville?... Wait a minute, are you saying there's more talking ponies!?
  • 99% of all Harry Potter fanfics that has a new character (a Muggle, a new wizard, or a crossover character) is introduced to the wizarding world will include a variation of this dialogue exchange, itself inspired by Hagrid and Harry's exchange in canon:
    Wizard: are Muggles.
    Non-wizard/new wizard: Muggles?
    Wizard: What we call non-magic people.
  • Public Safety:
    Hermione: Right. You didn't finish the letter, did you? The inquiry is today.
    Harry: Today?
    Hermione: In one hour.
    Harry: One hour?
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Protection Payment," Bobby the pigeon's dialogue often contains absent-mindedly repeated phrases his friends just said, meant to affirm their observations.
    Vinny: [nervously groaning as he paces] Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! We're goners for sure this time. We ain't got our food protection payment together yet, and it's due this afternoon. There’s gonna be one steamed alley cat when three o'clock rolls around.
    Bobby: Yeah, yeah, Vinny — one steamed alley cat.

    Films — Animated (Motion pictures made from sequences of drawn images, huh?) 
  • Lord Farquaad and Gingy parody this with the children's song "The Muffin Man" in Shrek:
    Gingy: Do you know... the Muffin Man?
    Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
    Gingy: The Muffin Man...
    Farquaad: Oh yes, I know the Muffin Man... Who lives on Drury Lane?
    Gingy: Well... she's married to... the Muffin Man.
    Farquaad: The Muffin Man?!
    Gingy: THE MUFFIN MAN!!
    Farquaad: She's married to the Muffin Man...
  • Neil decides to copy the emergency alarm in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within:
    Computer: Proceed to the nearest evacuation facility.
    Computer: Proceed to the nearest evacuation facility.
    Neil: I think we should proceed to the nearest evacuation facility.
  • Spoofed in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
    Reverend Hedges: To kill such a beast would require nerves of steel and... a bullet.
    Lord Victor: A bullet?
    Reverend Hedges: A bullet!
    Lord Victor: A bu—? [pauses to shut out the Dramatic Thunder] What kind of bullet?
  • Done indirectly with the narrator in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town:
    Narrator: And then, Kris Kringle grew into a fine young man.
    Kris Kringle: I'm a man now!

    Films — Live-Action (Dramatic productions for cinema involving actors, huh?) 
  • The Court Jester:
    Hubert Hawkins: I've got it! I've got it! The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?
    Griselda: Right. But there's been a change: they broke the chalice from the palace!
    Hubert Hawkins: They broke the chalice from the palace?
    Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.
    Hubert Hawkins: A flagon...?
    Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.
    Hubert Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.
    Griselda: Right.
    Hubert Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?
    Griselda: No! The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!
    Hubert Hawkins: The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
    Griselda: Just remember that.
  • The verses of "Zydrate Anatomy" in Repo! The Genetic Opera are based around this.
    Grave Robber: Zydrate comes in a little glass vial.
    Shilo: A little glass vial?
    Everyone else: A little glass vial.

    Grave Robber: And Amber Sweet is addicted to the knife.
    Shilo: Addicted to the knife?
    Everyone else: Addicted to the knife.

    Grave Robber: Mag's contract's got some mighty fine print.
    Shilo: Some mighty fine print?
    Everyone else: *disinterested murmurs*
  • The Cat in the Hat - Making Cupcakes scene. The cook, all the way from CHE-SHIRE ENGLAND, states that the "Amazing Kupcake-Inator" can turn ANYTHING into delicious cupcakes...
    Host, The Guy in the Sweater Who Asks All the Obvious Questions: Wait a minute, did you say anything?
    Cheshire England Cat: Anything!
    Host: Anything?
    Cheshire England Cat: Yes, anything!
    Host: Anything?
    Cheshire England Cat: ...anything.
    Host: ...aaanythingg??
  • Star Wars
    • The Phantom Menace - the explanation of what midichlorians are was delivered by Anakin starting with a question of what they are and continues like so:
      Qui-Gon Jinn: Midichlorians are a microscopic life form that resides within all living cells.
      Anakin: They live inside me?
      Qui-Gon Jinn: Inside your cells, yes. And we are symbiont with them.
      Anakin: Symbiont?
      • In Anakin's defense, the first line sounded like an expression of disbelief, with the second line being more like asking "What is symbiont?"
    • Since nobody in the audience can understand Chewbacca, almost all his conversations involve someone repeating what he's (assumingly) just roared, as if to clarify. One imagines this must be annoying for him.
      C-3PO: Captain Solo, this time you have gone too far!
      Chewbacca: *roars*
      C-3PO: No, I will not be quiet, Chewbacca! Why doesn't anyone listen to me?!
      • An exception occurs when Chewie simply roars, and Han replies, "You said it, Chewie." Listening to the original tape reveals that he said "That old man's mad!" Han's next line however, is "Where did you dig up that old fossil?", so Chewbacca's line can be reasonably guessed.
    • The same is true for R2's beeps and whistles. Usually it's Threepio's job to "translate" for him (appropriately enough), but sometimes Luke does it.
  • Galaxy Quest lampshades this, given that Gwen's job is to repeat the computer voice - it's stupid, but it's her only job, so she's doing it anyway. Leads to a horrified realization at one point:
    Gwen: I'm doing it. I'm repeating the computer!
  • If Bill Harford, Tom Cruise's borderline Cloudcuckoolander protagonist from Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, didn't repeat everything everyone around him said, the film would be about half an hour shorter.
  • Amusingly, even Escape from New York has an instance of this. It can come off as pretty Hilarious in Hindsight. note 
    Hauk: You go in, find the President and bring him out in 24 hours, and you're a free man.
    Snake: 24 hours, huh?
  • This is a common tool in old Film Serials; the most obvious manifestation would be the Previously on… text recap of the last chapter's Cliffhanger, but it also shows up a lot in dialogue as the characters remind each othernote  what their goals and plans are ("Here we are, finally ready to assemble our Neutron Bomb with which we can blow the Earth out of its orbit, so that our planet Mars may take its place").
  • This classic from Labyrinth:
    Jareth: You remind me of the babe.
    Goblin: What babe?
    Jareth: The babe with the power.
    Goblin: What power?
    Jareth: The power of voodoo.
    Goblin: Hoodoo?
    Jareth: You do!
    Goblin: Do what?
    Jareth: Remind me of the babe!
  • Before the climax of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Aragorn proposes attacking Minas Tirith to draw Sauron's forces away from Frodo, who is the only person critical to defeating Sauron. Legolas remarks, "A diversion!"

    Literature (Books, huh?) 
  • 1Q84: Fuka-Eri's unique way of talking often leads Tengo to rephrasing her question-markless questions as fully fleshed out questions. These exchanges are usually some form of exposition related to Fuka-Eri and the actions she takes as the story progresses.
  • A writer to Roger Ebert's Questions For The Movie Answer Man took note of this Trope in action.
  • Harry Potter is known for doing this. The later films worked to phase it out and make Harry quicker on the uptake, but it was very much a problem in the earlier films and just about all of the books.
    Voldemort tried to kill me?
    Voldemort put something of himself... into me?
    • Notably, he's most likely to do this during scenes where it is revealed he's important. Or, to put it more simply, he has a hard time believing he's special. He is, after all "Just Harry".
  • Michael Crichton in Sphere has a character use this on purpose as a psychological trick (the character in question is a psychologist, and wants to get more info without putting much in). The other person catches on soon enough.
  • In Crichton's novel Timeline, we have Robert Doniger, an antisocial jerkass, who owns and runs the company ITC. The vice president of Doniger's company, Diane Kramer, often uses this trope to help Doniger sort out his thoughts while he's ranting towards her.
  • Used quite often in Deep Storm, usually by Dr. Crane. One example:
    Dr. Asher: Also, we'll need to get you chipped.
    Dr. Crane: Chipped?
    Dr. Asher: Tag you with an RFID chip.
    Dr. Crane: Radio frequency identification? Is that necessary?
  • Eragon from the Inheritance Cycle is infamous for doing this:
    "You refuse to sell to me!"
    "The Varden, who are my friends." "The Varden!"
    "I'm a Rider!"

    Live-Action TV (Productions for television involving actors, huh?) 
  • Doctor Who episode Midnight had this where an alien possessed one of the passengers and repeated everything the others and the Doctor said. It lasted the entire episode.
    • The trope is lampshaded in "The Invisible Enemy" with the Fourth Doctor and Nubile Savage Leela.
      Leela: There was a sort of glow all around you.
      Doctor: There was? Oh. Well, a kind of Saint Elmo's fire. It happens at sea.
      Leela: Saint Elmo's?
      Doctor: Yes, it causes a sort of halo effect round the masts of ships.
      Leela: Halo?
      Doctor: Why do you keep repeating everything I say? You're not a parrot, are you?
      Leela: Parrot?
      Doctor: Yes. A parrot's a bird that repeats things. Move over.
      Leela: (deep) Move over.
      Doctor: That's it.
  • House, for obvious reasons, has this every time a disease or treatment is mentioned. After the other parrots him, he lampshades it. Made a little more believable by (a) the frequent occurrence of extremely rare diseases it's possible they wouldn't all be familiar with, and (b) House's general condescension and near-compulsive habit of using layman's-terms analogies, which other characters have expressed annoyance at.
  • Done often in the Myth Arc episodes of The X-Files, especially as the show progressed. (No, Mr. Carter, just because you make every last one of your poor actors stop and summarize the alien conspiracy storyline at least twice per episode doesn't mean it's actually going to make sense this time...) In the two-part episode at the beginning of the fifth season, the first half of the episode consisted of nothing but voice-overs summarizing the plot. The entire episode could have been condensed down to three and a half minutes. The name of that episode? "Redux".
  • Bones, dealing as it does with forensics, but it's only used when Agent Booth is in the room. If, for instance, Zach and Cam are alone in the lab dealing with X-rays, the average viewer will have no clue what they're talking about. And Bones tends to reciprocate when they're in the field, leading to her catchphrase; "I don't know what that means."
    • It's often Played for Laughs with Booth, as it frustrates him to no end that the forensics team will use the most technical language possible to describe anything. In one episode, Zach is talking about a "small domestic container" and Booth has to clarify that yes, he's talking about a jar.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Alex animates the figures in various famous paintings (and apparently the Mona Lisa, Blue Boy and The Scream are all located in New Yorknote ) and can't get them to go back to their paintings. She calls her brother who repeats exactly what she's saying until she tells him "Stop repeating everything I'm saying". Which he repeats, then figures out that she's talking about magic and he's standing around a non-wizard.
  • In Emmerdale when Val is revealed to have cataracts everybody who witnesses it repeats the word (about a total of five times) and then...
  • Harry Hill's TV Burp parodies the Emmerdale scene after watching it as he telephones other television shows and various characters and presenters just say the word "cataracts?"
    • This is called back to later when a man accuses Val of getting worked up over a misunderstanding, she gets angry and asks if her ears have cataracts as well.
      Harry Hill: Ear cataracts?
  • This happened regularly in 'Allo 'Allo!, mostly by Rene, and out of disbelief of the next "bird-brain" plan they were going to do. Usually it helps set up the jokes.
    • The Christmas episode gives us this conversation.
      Hans: The pill [in the till] contains a drug.
      Rene: The pill in the till?
      Hans: (nods) Take it and put it in [this jug of wine].
      Rene: Put the drug in the jug?
      Hebert: (entering the cafe with the bomb disguised as a cake) We almost forgot the most important part!
      Rene: Oh my god... It's the gateau from the chateau!
      Hans: What about the gateau from the chateau?
      Rene: In contains a bomb!
      Hans: A bomb in the gateau from the chateau?
  • Happens in the Seinfeld 2-parter "The Raincoats" as Jerry is answering a call from Jack Klompus in the presence of Helen and Morty, who react this way to a couple things Jack tells them.
  • Used to disastrous consequences in Malcolm in the Middle. A therapist tells Lois and Hal to try repeating what their children say in their own words, which culminates in Lois parroting Malcolm ad nauseum instead of helping him through his problem.
    Malcolm Stop repeating what I say!
    Lois: (clearly perturbed by her inability to stop) You say something... I say it back...
  • Ever since CBS brought The Price Is Right back in 1972, every host has repeated every contestant's bid once it is made in the one-bid round. Presumably so whoever is operating the tote screens will get it right.
  • Deadwood gives this habits to sycophants. It's lampshaded by both Al and Hearst, who snap at people for simply repeating back to them in other words what they've just said.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Prince of Space, the Phantom Dictator of Krankor tells the gathered scientists that they will be leaving the planet on space capsules. However, one of the scientists replies "Huh?" and "What?", prompting an exasperated Tom Servo to reply "Oh, for crying out loud... EACH! OF! YOU! WILL! ENTER! A! SPACE! CAPSULE!"
  • My World… and Welcome to It: In "The Wooing of Mr. Monroe," John repeats what Ellen says incredulously when she accuses him of being attracted to fellow writer Dorothy Carter (though Ellen does so to John first).
    John: Well, you haven't asked me what kind of a day we had.
    Ellen: I know what kind of a day you had. I went to see Dorothy Carter at her apartment.
    John: Oh? Where was I?
    Ellen: You had just left. But we talked about you all afternoon.
    John: You talked about me all afternoon?
    Ellen: Dorothy Carter is infatuated with you.
    John: Dorothy Carter is infatuated with me?
    Ellen: Will you please stop repeating everything I say?

    Mythology (Ancient religions, huh?) 
  • Echo was a nymph in Classical Mythology who was cursed by Hera to not be able to speak anything except the words she had just heard, after she was caught consorting with Zeus. Because of her curse Echo was unable to seduce the beautiful Narcissus, and after Narcissus died Echo would only repeat the words of grief she heard other people say. Eventually Echo herself died of grief and all of her body wasted away except her voice.

    Puppet Shows (Productions involving puppets, huh?) 
  • In an episode of Fraggle Rock, Mokey is going on a hike up Wonder Mountain for a solitary meditative experience: the Aurora Fragglealis, which appears only once every thousand days. Red, worried about her safety, secretly follows her, vowing to protect her. Trying to make sure that Mokey won't fall victim to the Singing Cactus' Mind-Control Music, she gets mesmerized by them herself and has to be rescued by Mokey. This trope then ensues when Red is trying to think how to answer Mokey's question of what she was doing there without giving away the real reason.
    Mokey: Red, what were you doing out there?
    Red: Uh... what was I doing out there?
    Mokey: Yeah, and what are you doing out here?
    Red: Um... what am I doing out here?
    Mokey: Right, and how in the world did you get so messed up?
    Red: And how did I get so messed up?
    Mokey: Yeah, and why do you keep repeating everything I say?

    Radio (Stuff made for the radio, huh?) 
  • Bleak Expectations: Used for humor in the season 2 finale recounts how he and his friends had refused to believe Mr. Benevolent's claims he's summoned a Martian invasion (since after all, the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one), until one morning a visitor disabused him of this notion.
    Mr. Benevolent: I just came to disabuse you of the notion that the Martians aren't coming, because they are.
  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme:
    • One Storyteller sketch has him explaining how he got a visit from a woman from the RSPCA, followed by said woman informing him "I am a woman from the RSPCA!"
    • An "Accidental Archers" sketch has two of the Men Who Sound Tired recounting everything they were doing in the previous scene to one another, with the expectation that they will go on to the next scene and explain all this in excruciatingly tedious detail to whoever they find there.

    Theater (Stage plays, huh?) 

    Toys (Kids' playthings, huh?) 
  • BIONICLE featured this very often. One notable example from the "Visorak" story arc:
    Nuju: Rhotuka spinners are wheels of energy. Let's see what happens... (creates ice)
    Kualus: ...when it hits a mirror of ice.
    Whenua: (sees the spinner be reflected) It's reflecting!

    Video Games (Video Games?!) 
  • Metal Gear (Metal Gear!?) Solid has its protagonist, Solid Snake, repeating everything that whoever is telling him about something, or going "huh?" It is more or less lifted from the character he was based on, "Snake" Plissken from Escape from New York, who had a tendency to do the same. Used less in Snake Eater (although when the name "Metal Gear" is mentioned for the first and only time, of course Naked Snake has to say it), but still pretty abundant. Snake's voice actor, David Hayter, made fun of this tendency in a podcast, in which he joked that most of his dialogue was "repeating whatever everyone else says but with a question mark on the end." This happens less often in Guns of the Patriots, though it's less because Snake understands what people are saying and more because he just doesn't care. So, rather than saying "So it'll make me smarter, huh?" he'd say, "Okay, so... what now?" This was lampshaded in Metal Gear AC!D2, when an amnesiac Snake accesses a terminal and comes across data on the eponymous machine.
    "Metal Gear?!"
    "Huh? You're familiar with it?"
    "...No. Just... had to blurt it out."
    • The sheer amount of use this trope gets in the games is the reason why this page used to be titled Metal Gearing.
    • Parodied in the UFO: Aftermath LP with a team made up entirely of Snakes.
      Hunter: Snake! Be careful. Those cars are actually transgenants that use cars as a kind of shell. They're metal crabs.
      All 6 Snakes: METAL GEAR?!
      Hunter: What? No! No one said anything about a metal gear!
      Snake: Metal Ge-
      Hunter: Shut up, Snake. They're transgenants, just shoot them.
    • Another parody in Hiimdaisy's Let's Destroy The Shagohod. When encountering Granin who suggests his awesome idea of Metal Gear...
      Naked Snake: METAL GEEEEEEEAAAAARRRR!!... What the heck is a Metal Gear?
  • Mega Man
  • A famous line in Advance Wars:
    Andy: What's an airport?
  • Found in Metal Wolf Chaos:
    Jody: Mr. President, the information management department received an email that might interest you!
    Michael: An email?
  • All the time in Star Ocean: The Second Story, at least when Claude's the main character. Although he's justified as he's pretty much a stranger to place he just landed in while Rena's lived there her whole life. In its sequel, Fayt cannot stop using this trope. Once the player reaches Elicoor II, literal hours are devoted to Fayt and Cliff answering Nel's questions with questions or back and forth rounds of "Yes?" "Yes." with other Non Player Characters.
  • Final Fantasy V Advance (this version is noted for its very tongue in cheek translation) lampshaded this tendency when the sage Ghido described the twelve legendary weapons.
    Bartz: Twelve legendary weapons?
    Ghido: Sometimes I wonder if you say things like this to spite me.... Yes, the twelve legendary weapons. They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is fond of the trope, including, from Sonic Heroes, preceding the boss fight with Humongous Mecha Metal Gear Overlord, the following.
    Dr. Eggman: Metal Sonic has finally transformed!
    Sonic: So THAT'S Metal Sonic?
  • There's plenty of this in the Shadow Hearts series, but it's most common (and annoying) in Covenant.
  • Combined with Heroic Mime in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Time/Darkness/Sky. The hero's thoughts are related via Inner Monologue, but rather than give them actual lines the game simply has their partner or other characters paraphrase and summarize whatever the hero just told them.
  • The main character of Sigma Star Saga descends into this when and only when he's being told what to do next. Typically, the original speaker was perfectly clear about what was going on, and he uses almost the same words when repeating back, so this is probably a tie-in with Viewers Are Goldfish.
    • It could also be a case of military protocol. When you give someone complex instructions, you typically want to hear them recite said instructions back to you, to avoid any Poor Communication Kills. Granted, most of the instructions aren't terribly complex, but still.
  • Knights of the Old Republic, both games: Whenever T3-M4 says anything, somebody will repeat what it said back to him so the player can understand. (Oddly, all the various incomprehensible alien languages get subtitles... but T3's subtitles are just transliterations of his beeps.)
    • The incomprehensible alien languages were handwaved by explaining that the player character has an understanding of dozens on top of dozens of alien languages. It helps to be an extremely powerful Force-sensitive former Jedi and Sith Lord.
    • Lampshaded in the second game, during the Exile's first conversation with the HK-50 unit on Peragus.
      HK-50: Objection: Master! To commit such an act would be in violation of the ethics programming most droids are believed to possess. I am afraid there is nothing that can be done.
      The Exile: Believed to possess?
      HK-50: Irritated Statement: Master, if you insist on echoing everything I say, this already tedious conversation is in danger of becoming even longer.
    • Though this is actually a plot point, as the parts you repeat are suspiciously specifically worded. It's an indication of the HK-50s' true nature - since droids are incapable of lying, the HK-50s are specifically programmed to circumvent this by omitting crucial details, wording sentences in a way that they appear to mean the opposite of what they actually mean, abusing hypothetical clause when stating facts that are outright false, or when acting as translators, intentionally abusing semantics to get the least intended outcomes.
  • Basically every RPG ever allows you to do this. Some of it is to make sure the player understands what they have to do next.
  • Dead Rising: Fe tends to repeat things too, usually out of disbelief.
  • This happens quite often when Ryo asks someone about something in Shenmue; he will often bring up the subject of the conversation, and someone will ask about it ("Did you see a black car go by?" "A black car?"). This was parodied in the Electronic Gaming Monthly review of Shenmue II, which mentioned the awkward dialogue between the characters.
  • Leslie Withers of The Evil Within is a justified example, being a mentally disturbed young man who suffers from echolalia, meaning he often involuntarily repeats words or phrases he hears other people say.
  • Xenosaga is perhaps one of the most constant users of this trope, with one of the most common things you'll hear in the cutscenes is one character expositing, and another repeating a keyword with a questioning inflection. And this happens at least once in every. Single. Cutscene.
  • Lampshaded in Planescape: Torment, in a dialogue with Nordom.
    Nordom: Repeated word choice confirmed (Echo?)
  • In Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Spy'':
    Announcer: Intruder alert! RED Spy in the base!
    Soldier: A RED Spy is in the base?!
    Announcer: Protect the briefcase!
    Soldier: We need to protect the briefcase!
    • Occasionally happens in-game, too, since given the frantic action it's sometimes necessary to repeat over voice chat what's going on around you.
  • Downplayed in Trauma Center:
    Dr. Kasal: I'm not sure it's directly related, but they found extremely high levels of syprohedrine in her blood.
    Derek: Sypro...? What's that?
    Angie: It's a new antihistamine, Doctor. They're usually used to treat allergies.
    Derek: ...I know what antihistamines do.
  • Played for Laughs in Portal 2, with Department of Redundancy Department thrown in for good measure.
    GLaDOS: Well, This Is the Part Where... he kills us.
    Wheatley: Hello! This is the part where I kill you.
    Chapter 9: The Part Where He Kills You
    Track: The Part Where He Kills You
    Achievement Earned: The Part Where He Kills You (This is that part.)
  • Deus Ex: Not even JC Denton is immune:
  • Samus in Metroid: Other M is a frequent offender of this, reiterating plot points in drawn-out monologues.
  • Ultima IX. Repeatedly.
    Avatar: The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom?
    Avatar: I'm sorry, but who are the Gargoyles?
    Avatar: What's a Paladin?
    • Keep in the mind that with all of these and more, the Avatar really ought to know who any and all of these things are beforehand. After all, he encountered all of them in the previous games, in some cases several times. Some of them were critical to the plots of past games, and the Avatar's best friend and loyal companion through most of them was a Paladin.
      • You can even choose Paladin as your character class right at the start of the game!
  • SSgt. Griggs falls into this during a chase scene in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, though admittedly he has reasons for it (as under Real Life this is standard procedure in the Army, plus it's a pretty hectic chase with a target that they absolutely cannot afford to lose track of).
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow: Soma tends to repeat what he gets told in amazed disbelief; but then again, when you think you are an Ordinary High-School Student, the chaos that is Castlevania can be difficult to digest.
  • Kyle Hyde of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 does this a lot. At one point, he even does this to himself.
    There's a paperclip on the brochure.
    Kyle: A paperclip, huh?
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc's protagonist, Makoto Naegi, tends to do this. It is at one point lampshaded by the antagonist.
    Monokuma: You're very good at repeating what other people say. That's what I call User Friendly. You're the worst.
  • Happens often in Ace Attorney. It can be considered a Justified Trope during trials—the attorneys keep re-phrasing the witnesses' statements to confirm that there are no misunderstandings.
    Gumshoe: She ordered it [the glove]. It was custom-made!
    Wright: Custom-made? The glove was custom-made?
    Gumshoe: Yup, that's what I said!
    Judge: Hmm... So the glove was custom-made.
  • Like the above TF2 example, Overwatch will occasionally have the announcer, Athena, announce that there is only so much time left (a minute, 30 seconds, or 10 seconds) - only to have another character say something to the same effect, but with a bit more flavor. It can also happen if the enemy team has a sniper (Widowmaker or Hanzo - Ana doesn't trigger the voicelines), turret (only Torbjorn, as Symmetra has too many turrets to be constantly announcing each one), or a shield generator or teleporter. Unfortunately, if not taken care of, it can be taken to Captain Obvious lengths.
  • Asura's Wrath: Asura does a bit of this when confronting Wyzen in response to things the latter says. In this case, it's partially because he's still suffering from a bit of Laser-Guided Amnesia after spending 12,000 years in Naraka and doesn't quite remember everything yet ("Wyzen?"), and partially because he saying things that Asura legitimately doesn't know about ("Seven Deities?")

    Web Originals (Internet stuff, huh?) 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: "They were stolen from me by the Rare Hunters." "Rare Hunters?!"
      • "Card games on motorbikes?"
  • Code MENT: The "team deathmatch!" scene.
  • LoadingReadyRun's CSI: CSI, internal investigations lampshades this.
    Paul: Why do you keep doing that?
    Morgan: Doing what?
    Paul: Repeating everything I say, just using less scientific terminology.
    Morgan: Dumbing it down?
  • Parodied in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Abridgerty when Ocelot shouts "STOP SAYING METAL GEAR!" at Snake and Otacon.
  • Bad Lip Reading uses this in More Twilight.
    Jacob: We need an earwig.
    Bella: A what?
    Jacob: An earwig. It's like a rotten potato that two people flip. *beat* Seriously, we could use it.
  • This fake script, showing what The Dark Knight would be like if Michael Bay wrote it, has a few such examples.
    Officer: Sir, it appears as though the terrorists are rallying around some sort of crazed criminal. They call him the Joker.
    General: The Joker?
    Officer: Yes, the Joker. He wears clown makeup.
    • When Bruce reveals his strategy to take down the Joker.
    Bruce: We hack the internet.
    Alfred: Hack the internet?
    Bruce: Yes, hack the internet.
  • In the third episode of Atun Shei Films' Frozen 50's Man, the main character Dick Jett gets a phone call:
    Jett: (picks up phone) Hello? (talk on the other end) ...Yes, speaking. (talk on the other end) ...Bing Fluffernutters? Dead!? How?! (talk on the other end) Shut in the gut? Where? (talk on the other end) The Hotel at Bush and Stockton? Wh— (talk on the other end) Well, yes, I'm repeating everything you say! I— (talk on the other end) No! It's not annoying or weird! (talk on the other end) Well, it's just how I like to retain information! Goodbye!
  • videogamedunkey will always lampshade this trope in games with the same Metal Gear Solid clip.
    Solid Snake: Psycho Mantis?

    Western Animation (Cartoons, huh?) 
  • Bob's Burgers does this as frequently as its extreme close-up stings. With the words repeated in monotone for humorously banal effect.
  • In Captain Pugwash, Stinka is a Mexican who works for Cut-Throat Jake who speaks little English. He repeats everything that Jake says, annoying him greatly.
  • Chowder uses this a lot with Schnitzel. Occasionally lampshaded when he gives exposition and needs to tell Chowder to stop repeating everything he says.
  • On The Dick Tracy Show, this is Stooge Viller to Mumbles, only he's simply translating Mumbles' mumbling.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Ed does this a lot.
    Eddy: Ed! Quick! Hide these magazines!!
    Ed: Hide these magazines?
    Eddy: What are ya, a parrot? Hide 'em! Now! Quick, quick!!
    Ed: Huh? Who? Where? What?
    Eddy: (shoving Ed away) Numb-skull.
  • Botch did this whenever Mr. Peevly gave an order on The Hair Bear Bunch.
    Peevly: That's it for morning inspection. Everyone back to their cages.
    Botch: Yeah. Everyone back to their cages!
    Peevly: (slow burning) Uh, Botch...if I'd wanted an echo as an assistant, (full volume) I'd have hired the Grand Canyon!!
  • Used in Freakazoid! in a classic exchange between Freakazoid and Roddy McStew.
    Roddy McStew: From what ya tell me, it sounds like you can only use your telekinetic powers when you're really angry!
    Freakazoid: Then I'll only use them when I'm really angry!
    Freakazoid: I... don't think there's a goblin in there...
  • This exchange between the sheriff and a store clerk in the Looney Tunes cartoon "Bunny and Claude (We Rob Carrot Patches)":
    Clerk: Where did you get that carrot?
    Sheriff: That young couple give it to me.
    Clerk: That was Bunny and Claude!
    Sheriff: (taken aback) Say that again.
    Clerk: Say what again?
    Sheriff: "That was Bunny and Claude!"
    Clerk: That's what I said!
    • Played for laughs in What's Opera, Doc?:
      Elmer: I will do it with my spear and magic helmet!
      Bugs Bunny: Your spear and magic helmet?
      Elmer: Spear and magic helmet!
      Bugs Bunny: Magic helmet?
      Elmer: Magic helmet!
      Bugs Bunny: Magic helmet?
      Elmer: Magic helmet!
      Bugs Bunny(sarcastic aside): Heh, magic helmet.
  • The Replacements features this trope at least once an episode involving the replacee repeating whatever amazing benefit the Fleemco Messengers have told them in question form. It's actually lampshaded in one episode:
    Ice Cream Vendor: You want me to leave my store to travel the world tasting ice cream for Ice Cream Illustrated Magazine?!
    Flemco Messenger: Yes, we just told you exactly that! Why did you repeat back to us in the form of a question?
    Ice Cream Vendor: Why did I repeat it back to you in the form of a question?
  • Rick and Morty: In "Meseeks and Destroy" the Meeseeks do this amongst themselves after losing their patience, and sanity, from trying to fulfill their purpose of improving Jerry's golf game.
    Why did you even rope me into this?
    'Cause he roped me into this!
    Well, him over there, he roped me into this!
    Well, he roped me into this!
    Well, what about me? He roped me into this.
    Well, that one over there roped me into this.
  • Scooby-Doo also does this a lot.
    • "Reah, a rot!"
  • Played with (of course) in The Simpsons:
    Homer: Hello? Appear on your TV show? Tell our side of the story? You'll see us there? Goodbye? Dial tone?
  • If we had a leg of meat for every time this happened in later episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, we'd be able to feed most of the hungry children in this world. The eponymous sponge even managed to do this with the long and rather clumsy S.D.E.A.S.E. ("Snail Disease Expert and Snail Expert") - no fumbling over it or anything, he just did it.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Moist Vessel", Captain Freeman repeats Commander Ransom's suggestion on how to handle Mariner nearly verbatim, and he allows her to take credit for it.
    Ransom: Why not reassign [Mariner] to all the worst jobs? That way, transferring would be her idea, not yours.
    Freeman: Well, we could reassign her to all the nastiest jobs on the ship. That way, transferring her would be her idea, not mine.
    Ransom: Brilliant idea. That's why you're the captain.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "By the Book", Marco is shocked by Ludo re-appearing, with a wand of his own, and starts repeating the things that Ludo and Star say to each other. They eventually get tired of it and tell Marco to cut it out.
  • Wakfu, Season 2, Lampshaded by the true Big Bad when he offers an alliance with the local Demon King Rushu and he repeats what he just said in sheer incredulity.
    Quilby: "Well, actually I've come to talk about that. Invasion, carnage... the works."
    Rushu: "Ivasion? Carnage? The works?"
    Quilby "... is there an echo here?"

    Real Life (It happens outside fiction too, huh?) 
  • In Japanese society, this concept is known as Aizuchi, and is a special class of interjections. The idea behind it is that, when listening to someone, the listener makes small comments or repeats what was mentioned in the form of a question to show they are actively engaging with the conversation and understand what's being said. For example; if someone mentioned they were getting married, the listener would respond something to the effect of "You're getting married?". This is why various pieces of media from Japan tend to have characters repeat things they heard, as it conveys that the listener was paying attention and is often used to show the person is polite. This can, however, lead to some instances of confusion when a foreigner is the one speaking, as they may mistake these interjections as approval or agreement with what they're saying, when in reality these simply serve as assurances.
  • The whole thing is standard procedure within (probably) any armed forces. When an order is given the receiver will repeat the order to make sure it was understood properly because failure may have lethal consequences.
  • Practically done by everyone when they order their food at a restaurant and by the people taking the order. Getting one detail wrong in the order will result in unhappy customers and it can be lethal at other times if the screwed up order contains an ingredient that the patron is allergic to. While it may be annoying for people to repeat what they want or the waiter/server repeats what the customer ordered, it is a necessity in order to minimize on mistakes.
  • Also recommended when talking to toddlers and small children who are learning to speak; not only does it give the kid a chance to clarify if he or she wasn't understood, but it gives the adult a chance to demonstrate the proper way to say it.
  • Also a technique some use to help remember names. When you first meet someone, you try to say their name three times (in conversation) within a minute or so. Some say it works. Some say it makes you sound like a massive fool. Some say both.
    • It's also used sometimes to help oneself remember instructions.
  • Also a helpful technique for doctors and nurses to get patients to clarify their problems. Example:
    Patient: My stomach hurts.
    Nurse: Your stomach hurts?
    Patient: Yes, it feels like someone is stabbing a knife down here. *points*
    • In particular, Rogerian psychotherapy is largely based on this, at least in parodies such as Joseph Weizenbaum's ELIZA and this one from the Journal of Irreproducible Results:
      Patient: Why are you parroting me?
      Therapist: You seem concerned about my parroting you.
  • Also useful to call center operators, especially with details like numbers, dates, or unusual spellings of names. Making sure you understand the caller correctly allows you to not waste time solving the wrong problem, which makes the number-crunchers who might decide you're taking too long on calls for them to continue to employ you feel a little better.
  • This is how most memes are used. The majority of comments on YouTube simply repeat whatever was said in the video.
  • Teachers often repeat their instructions to the class in different wording to ensure that the class understands what the teacher wants them to do.note 
  • Echolalia, the unconscious, automatic repetition of another person's words, is a verbal tic common among young children and people suffering from various mental and neurological disorders.
  • During NBC's coverage of the JFK assassination, Robert MacNeil phoned from Dallas to report in fragments that Kennedy had died. At first, MacNeil wasn't heard so Frank McGee relayed the report in the NBC News studio in New York. Then the phone patch was put in so we heard MacNeil with McGee invoking the trope.

Alternative Title(s): Prince Of Space Sir, Metal Gearing