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Pre-emptive Declaration

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Someone says something seemingly out of the blue, causing just enough pause to allow the statement to be true (if it isn't true already; if it's not true, it's gonna be true very soon). There are three types to this trope:

  1. When a character announces something he is about to do, much to the surprise of everyone else. Very often, it's a very indirect, off-hand remark, an unnatural segue in the conversation. Bonus points if the confusing line is also mumbled. Example:note 
    [The Master puts on a facial gas mask]
    Albert Dumfries: Excuse me, Prime Minister, but do you mind my asking, what is that?
    The Master: It's a gas mask.
    Albert Dumfries: Yes, but why are you wearing it?
    The Master: Well, because of the gas.
    Albert Dumfries: What gas?
    The Master: [leans back in his chair] This gas.
    [the speakers on the two table phones pop up and immediately spray toxic gas around the room]
    Albert Dumfries: [sputtering] YOU'RE INSANE! [drops dead on the table]

    This might also happen when the person says something, realizes afterwards it isn't true, and then makes steps to fix it:
    Swamp King: For, since the tragic death of her father—
    Courtier: [tending to said father] He's not quite dead!
    Swamp King: Since the near fatal wounding of her father—
    Courtier: He's getting better!
    [the Swamp King nods to one of his guards, who draws his sword, walks over to the father, and stabs him in the chest]
    Swamp King: For since her own father who, when he seemed about to recover, suddenly felt the cold hand of death upon him.

  2. A character pulls a weapon or insult on another character. The attacked shrugs it off, quips something like "How will you do that with a broken sword?" and promptly snaps the sword in half.
    Gandalf: Saruman, your staff is broken!
    [Saruman's staff is firmly in his hands... then suddenly, Kerboom! it goes.]

    Specific subtrope: Character is pulled over by a sheriff:
    Guy: What seems to be the problem, officer?
    Sheriff: Busted tail light.
    Guy: Which one?
    [perfectly functional tail light is BATON'D]
    Sheriff: That one.

  3. The trope is not used in a confrontation, but as a backhanded joke where perhaps the joker was confused, or hiding something a bit.
    Alice: How did you get in?
    Bob: I used your back door.
    Alice: I don't have a back door!
    Bob: do now.

Contrast Instantly Proven Wrong. See also Preemptive Apology, Preemptive "Shut Up", Pre-Mortem One-Liner, Joke and Receive, Already the Case, Improbably Predictable, This Is the Part Where..., the fact that your monitor is smashed in...

Foreshadowed listings:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Baccano!!
    Jacuzzi: Please, lower your guns! I don't want anyone to die!
    Thug: You mean you don't want to be killed, right?
    Jacuzzi: No, you're wrong, I don't want you to be killed! So Donny, please wait a little longer! I'm sure they'll lower their guns. Please!
    Thug: Who the hell are you talkin' tooaaaAAAAAAHHHHGH! [Immediately has his hand broken by aforementioned and insanely huge Donny.]
  • Hellsing (paraphrased)
    Recruit: I heard there's a vampire in this unit, that true?
    (laughter from other recruits)
    Seras: (steps close to the recruit) Oh dear, it seems there's something wrong with your gun.
    Recruit: What?
    Seras: (Bends barrel) Oh, it seems your barrel is bent, you might want to get that looked at.
  • Joseph Joestar likes telling people what their next words will be. It pretty much always plays out like this:
    Joseph: Whammu, your next line is: "Don't dishonor our battle, Jojo!"
    Whammu: Don't dishonor our battle Joj— hm!?
  • This style of attack is how Brook from One Piece got the nickname "The Humming Swordsman". He tends to make quips along the lines of "Sorry for defeating you", and then hums as he sheaths his sword. It is not until the sword is sheathed that the opponent realizes they have already been defeated.
  • In Bleach, Ichigo and Chad became friends when Ichigo came across Chad being beaten up by a gang of bullies and refusing to defend himself. Ichigo promptly pulls out his cell phone and calls for emergency services, telling them a bunch of guys have been beaten up and they need to send ambulances. For how many people? "One...two...three..four..."

    Comic Books 
  • The Ultimates:
    Captain America: C'mere, let me get a closer look at that big gash on your cheek...
    Bruce Banner: But I haven't got a gash on my cheek.
    [Cap kicks Bruce in the head]
    Captain America: You do now, son.
  • In Watchmen, as Dr. Manhattan puts an end to a police riot:
    Dr. Manhattan: Pay attention. You will all return to your homes.
    Rioter: Oh yeah? And what if we don't, ya big blue fruit?
    Dr. Manhattan: You misunderstand me. It was not a request.
    [He teleports the rioters en masse, each to his home.]
  • From X-Force #20:
    Kimura: X-23 has killed three facility heads. She has to die.
    Third facility head: Three? That's not right, she only killed— [is shot in the head by Kimura]
  • The Pointy-Haired Boss in Dilbert is fond of setting these up during performance reviews.
    Dilbert: What do you mean by "Doesn't handle criticism well"?
    Pointy-Haired Boss: This is a perfect example. I say one little thing and you go all nuts on me. (to himself) And the trap is set.
  • Non-verbal example: A fortune teller in an Iznogoud story annoyed him by always knowing what he was going to say next. Suddenly she jumps back, looking startled.
    Iznogoud: Why did you jump?
    Fortune teller: Because you're going to scream!
    Iznogoud: ENOUGH!

    Fan Works 
  • Devil You Know (High School DxD/Dresden Files: Harry is accosted by a local gang member and called a "giant red-neck yankee thug", to which he replies "At least my nose wasn't broken."
    Harry's narration: "The punch line didn't hit him until a few seconds later when I did."
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Early in the Namek arc:
      Namekian: Come on! Bring it! There's three of us and one of you!
      Dodoria: Man, you must suck at math even worse than me.
      Namekian: What do you mean?
      Dodoria: There's only two of you.
      Namekian: That's not right- (gets punched through) Aargh!
      Dodoria: (after killing the Namekian warriors) Whoops, looks like I miscounted. I must be having an off day.
    • Gets better with the disclaimers in the outtakes.
      Announcer: Warning! The following contains language unsuitable for minors! So if you are under the age of 18 and have not heard the word fuck before... well... you have now.
    • Vegeta walks right into one too.
      Android 18: So who's got two broken arms and is a total bitch?
      Vegeta: You... stupid bint. You only broke one a-(crack)-AAAAAAAAAAHHHH!
      Android 18: This guy.
  • In A Little Red and Blue, Sharon is inadvertently sent to the year 1944 by Wanda and is later found by the past Steve and Bucky, claiming that her name is "Kate" in order to hide the fact that she's from the future. At one point, when advising Steve and Bucky that they should better help the common people, Sharon points out a man who is beating his wife, a child who is being abused by his mother's boyfriend, and an overweight man with heart problems eating a sandwich and tells Steve and Bucky that she's going to beat up the abuser, tell the woman off for willingly being in a relationship with someone who abuses children, and take the man's sandwich for herself before proceeding to do just that.
  • Sword Art Online Abridged: In the Alfheim Online arc, Yui tries to explain that Kirito is on a rescue mission, but Leafa is convinced her brother is only logging into the game to mess with her and refuses to believe Yui. Then Leafa learns that it's a bad idea to antagonize an AI with admin privileges.
    Yui: (sigh) A pity. If you will not listen to reason, perhaps more... drastic methods will be necessary.
    Leafa: Ha! Nice try, kid, but you've got a terrible poker face.
    Yui: At least I still have a face. (giggles)
    Leafa: What's that supposed to mean—? (her avatar distorts, leaving her The Blank)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has a moment, after Weevil bluffs about tearing apart a card containing Yugi's soul.
    Yami: You know, it really is a shame. If Yugi were here, he might have been able to prevent me.
    Weevil: Prevent you from what?
    Yami: From doing this.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dark Knight:
    • The Joker's goons take one another out in the opening bank robbery. Eventually it's just Grumpy and Bozo (actually the Joker posing as one of his own henchmen).
      Grumpy: [gun drawn on "Bozo"] I'm bettin' the Joker told you to kill me as soon as we loaded the cash.
      The Joker: [scoffs] No-no-no-no. I kill the bus driver.
      Grumpy: [confused] Bus driver? ["Bozo" glares back at him] What bus dri-[The back end of a school bus bursts through the bank doors and runs over him]
    • In addition to the example above:
      Joker: You wanna know how I got these scars?
      Batman: No, but I know how you got these. (fires shurikens)
    • Two-Face's way of dealing with Sal Maroni. He flips the coin for Maroni, and lands on heads.
      Two-Face: You're a lucky man. (flips the coin again; lands on tails) But he's not.
      Maroni: Who?
      Two-Face: (buckles seatbelt) Your driver. (shoots the driver)
  • Christopher Nolan must be a fan of this, as it also shows up in his first feature film, Following:
    Cobb: Nice suit. Shame about the bloodstains, though.
    "Bill": What bloodstains?
    [Cobb headbutts Bill, and proceeds to beat the tar out of him.]
  • Batman Returns has one from Penguin, responding to a crack from one of his image consultants which has everyone laughing (including Penguin, who laughs right along with them).
    Penguin: Still, could be worse! My nose could be gushing blood!
    [Everyone laughs except Josh, who looks mystified]
    Josh: Your nose could be...what do you mean by that — !
    [The Penguin proceeds to viciously bite Josh's nose and draw blood.]
  • The Matrix franchise:
    • The Matrix (original):
      Agent Smith: What use is a phone call if you are unable to speak?
    • And, of course, the original Oracle scene.
      Oracle: Oh, and don't worry about the vase.
      Neo: What vase? [looks around, knocking over a vase in the process]
      Oracle: That vase.
      Neo: I'm sorry, I—-
      Oracle: I said, don't worry about it.
      Neo: You knew I would do that?
      Oracle: What's really gonna bake your noodle later on is: would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?
    • Combined with Apologetic Attacker in The Matrix Reloaded.
      Seraph: You seek the Oracle.
      Neo: Who are you?
      Seraph: I am Seraph. I can take you to her, but first I must apologize.
      Neo: Apologize for what?
      Seraph: For this. [attacks Neo]
  • In Die Another Day, James Bond enters a room with a wheelchair.
    Patient: What the hell do you want? I don't need a goddamn wheelchair.
    James Bond: No?
    (punches him)
    James Bond: You do now.
  • A View to a Kill. Zorin informs a corrupt crony of his in San Francisco City Hall how he intends to stage Bond and Stacy Sutton's deaths.
    Howe: What have they done? [gestures to Bond and Stacy]
    Zorin: You discharged her, hmmm? So she and her accomplice came here to kill you. Then they set fire to the office, to conceal the crime. But they were trapped in the elevator, and perished in the flames.
    Zorin: Dead! (shoots him in the chest) That's rather neat, don't you think?
  • Fight Club:
    Narrator: What is this?
    Tyler: This...
    (pours lye on the Narrator's hand)
    Tyler: a chemical burn.
  • Army of Darkness has Ash's famous "Hey, what's that on your face?" line, just as he begins burying his Enemy Without alive.
  • The Walking Tall (2004) remake with The Rock:
    Vaughn: Get your taillights fixed, sir.
    Hamilton: What's wrong with my taillights?
    Vaughn: They're broken.
  • In Death to Smoochy, after Sheldon interrupts Nora in her office:
    Sheldon: Oh, you didn't have to get off the phone.
    Nora: If I didn't you'd still be here.
    Sheldon: I am still here.
    Nora: I'm hoping to correct that.
  • William "D-Fens" Foster in Falling Down:
    Innocent Bystander: If you haven't noticed, others are waiting to use the phone.
    Foster: Others want the phone?
    IB: Right, asshole!
    Foster: Jeez, that's too bad, because you know what?
    [shoots the phone down]
    Foster: I think it's out of order.
  • Star Trek (2009) "I've got your gun."
  • Dogma
    Metatron: What are you gonna do? Hit me with
    (cut back to Bethany, whose baseball bat has miraculously transformed into a big fish)
  • Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles:
    - I'm off to Havana, sir.
    - With two broken legs?
    - My legs, sir? Oh, they're quite... Oh! Very cleverly put, sir.
  • A confrontation between the title character of Major Payne and a Badass Biker: the former claims to be about to deliver a kick to the latter's head, but then goes for the Groin Attack. Writhing in pain on the ground, the biker protests:
    Biker: You said you were gonna kick me in the head!
    Maj. Payne: You callin' me a liar? (Kicks biker in head)
  • The Dead Pool has this during the Chinatown restaurant robbery scene:
    Harry Callahan: You forgot your fortune cookie.
    Lead Robber: [turns] WHAT?
    [Harry gives a smug grin, and pulls out a fortune]
    Harry Callahan: It says, "You're shit out of luck." [shoots the lead robber]
    • Callahan gets two mafia mooks to back off by asking a woman to call for an ambulance, describing the mooks and listing their potential injuries.
    • The same tactic is used in the 1972 movie The New Centurions to make a Scary Black Man come along quietly — he regards it as Actually Pretty Funny when he realises the cops never called for the ambulance.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Iron Man
      Iron Monger: You had a great idea, Tony, but my suit is advanced in every way!
      Iron Man: How'd you solve that icing problem?
      Iron Monger: Icing problem?
      Surely enough, Iron Monger's suit ices over and begins to fail
      Iron Man: Might want to look into it.
    • Avengers: Infinity War:
      Doctor Strange: I think you'll find our will equal to yours.
      Thanos: "Our"?
      (Iron Man propels a giant piece of debris into Thanos from above)
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
    Willie: What's that?
    Lau: Antidote.
    Indiana: To what?
    Lau: The poison you just drank, Dr. Jones.
  • Victor/Victoria uses this trope for slapstick, practically citing it by name.
    Club owner: Be careful.
    Private eye: I am always careful.
    Club owner: That chair is broken.
    Private eye: It is? (chair collapses)
  • Serenity:
    The Operative: You are fooling yourself, Captain. Nothing here is what it seems. You are not the plucky hero, the Alliance is not an evil empire, and this is not the grand arena.
    Inara: And that's not incense.
    [A flash bomb goes off, allowing Mal and Inara to escape]
  • At the end of the Tollywood movie Pokiri, Mahesh Babu's character has just taken out the Big Bad, but there's one more loose end to take care of...
    Pandu (on the phone): Sir, it's me. Your daughter is safe. Ali Bhai is dead. Bad luck...our SInote  too is dead.
    [Sub-Inspector Pashupathy gets an Oh, Crap! face as Pandu hangs up.]
    Pashupathy: What are you saying, sir?
    [Pashupathy tries to kill Pandu, but is gunned down without mercy.]
  • When Jason tries to stop Buddy Love from taking over Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor:
    Buddy: I have a date at the Alumni Ball, and you have a date with linoleum!
    Jason: What? [Buddy knocks him out]
  • Son of the Mask, during the climactic fight between Tim and Loki:
    Tim: You can't fight me if you're locked in a trunk.
    Loki: Huh?
    (Tim punches Loki into a trunk and throws him into the sea, though being a Reality Warper god Loki quickly recovers)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick contains the following exchange:
    Inmate: What, you'll kill me with your soup cup?
    Riddick: Tea, actually.
    Inmate: What?
    Riddick: I'll kill you with my tea cup.
    [kills him with the tea cup]
  • Riddick. Riddick is chained up and about to be decapitated by mercenaries. He predicts they're about to take off his chains, whereupon he'll kill the mercenary leader with his own machete and fuck The Squadette. Sure enough...
  • True Lies has this scene with a Harry pumped full of Truth Serum:
    Harry Tasker: First I'm gonna use you as a human shield, then I gonna kill this guard over there, with the Patterson trocar on the table. Then I was thinking about breaking your neck.
    Samir : And how are you going to do all that?
    Harry: You know my handcuffs? [hold his hands up] I picked them. (proceeds to exactly as he foretold!)
  • In Charlie's Angels (2000), Dylan is tied up in a chair by the Big Bad's Mooks who are about to pounce on her. She gets her legs free and yells for the mooks to stop.
    Dylan: Wait, wait, wait! I have something to tell you! By the time this is over, every one of you is gonna be face-down on the floor, and I'm gonna moonwalk out of here. (the mooks scoff and start to rush her again) No, no no! You're not listening to me. First, you're going to help me out of my chair. Then I'll leapfrog over you...before I break his nose. And since my trusty lighter isn't working I'm gonna do all of this with my hands tied behind my back.
  • The Miracle of Morgan's Creek: On the porch with her father, Emmy mentions that she heard a police siren. The father notes that there are no sirens in town. Seconds later, her prediction comes true as a convoy delivers Trudy and Norval to their doorstops.

  • From The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Kate Schechter has just caught Dirk Gently following her car.
    Kate: I'm not letting go of your tie until you tell me why you were following me.
    Dirk: You haven't got hold of —
    Kate: I have now, mister!
    Dirk: Unhand me!
  • Discworld
    • In Moving Pictures Silverfish offers Victor Tugelbend a job in moving pictures after he saves him from muggers, but when Victor arrives at the studio, he tries to get out of it.
      Victor: I did save your life twice.
      Silverfish: Twice?
      Victor Yes, sir. Then. (deep breath) And now.
    • Used as a Noodle Incident in another Discworld novel. According to Sam Vimes, Nobby's way of informing the family of murder victims is something along the lines of "I'll bet you a dollar you're the widow Johnson."
    • In Pyramids, Pteppic is trying to buy a camel but has no money.
      Teppic: I could give you this knife.
      Camel Dealer: What use do I have for a knife?
      Teppic: I could give it to you point first.
    • Used as a Brick Joke in Small Gods. A footnote refers to a religious leader who was regarded as a prophet because he correctly predicted that his group would be victorious in battle- while they were clearly winning said battle. Later, Brutha issues the same kind of technical prophecy when he sees a tortoise plummeting toward Vorbis' head and informs him that he's about to die.
  • Obi Wan Kenobi from the novelization of Revenge of the Sith:
    Kenobi:: (riding on Boga, the giant battle-lizard) I hope you have another vehicle, General! I believe there's some damage to your sublights!
    Grevious: You're insane! There's no—
    Kenobi: Show him, Boga.
  • From A Song of Ice and Fire:
    Jaime Lannister: (to Ryman Frey) Only a fool makes threats he's not prepared to carry out. If I were to threaten to hit you unless you shut your mouth, and you presumed to speak, what do you think I'd do?
    Ryamn: Ser, you do not unders- (cut off by Jaime backhanding him in the face)
  • Used by Father Brown in G. K. Chesterton's story "The Blue Cross." The priest was trying to get police detectives to follow him before any crime has been committed.
    Waiter: The parson at the door he says all serene, 'Sorry to confuse your accounts, but it'll pay for the window.' 'What window?' I says. 'The one I'm going to break,' he says, and smashed that blessed pane with his umbrella.
  • In The Stainless Steel Rat for President, Jim DiGriz is gambling with several card sharps who initially mistake him for a naive offworld tourist. However when he goes to his bag for more money they draw guns on him, having now become convinced he's an agent of the Secret Police going for a hidden weapon. Given that he's a card sharp himself, DiGriz explains that he was actually going to clean them out, then demonstrates. And then shoots them with a hidden weapon while they're gaping at his hand.
  • War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches . In "Foreign Devils", the Guangxu Emperor is a Puppet King for his Evil Chancellor, but eventually gains enough confidence to regain control, which he does by offering to demonstrate a sword move for the Chancellor called The Dragon moves from Low to High.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Better Call Saul: Before provoking Tuco into a fight to get him arrested and sent to prison, Mike calls 9-1-1 from a payphone across the street and describes what the cops are going to catch Tuco in the act of doing.
    Mike: Uh, uh, y-yes, I would like to report a fight going on at the El Michoacano Restaurant in the 5000 block of the Isleta Boulevard. There is a man threatening another man with a gun. It looks to be some sort of gang thing. Oh, uh, uh, uh, sorry. I-I-I'm a passerby. I-I don't want to get involved.
  • Blackadder
    Blackadder: He'd better watch out. One more insult and the contract between us will be as broken as this milk-jug.
    Baldrick: But that milk-jug isn't broken.
    Blackadder: You really do walk into these things, don't you? [Smashes the jug over Baldrick's head]
    • And, from Blackadder Goes Forth:
      Capt. Darling [explaining why he didn't bother rescuing Blackadder]: ...we weighed up the pros and cons, and decided it wasn't a reasonable use of our time and resources.
      Lord Flasheart [argumentatively]: Well, this isn't a reasonable use of my time and resources, but I'm going to do it anyway!
      Darling: What?
      Flasheart: This! [head-butts Darling into unconsciousness]
    • In Blackadder the Third:
      Blackadder Does your father know?
      Amy: He had to go.
      Blackadder: You mean he's dead?
      Amy: Yes, as dead as that squirrel.
      Blackadder: Which squirrel?
  • Boardwalk Empire: In "La Belle Femme", Prohibition agent Eric Sebso is driving Billy Winslow out of Atlantic City, after Van Alden has gotten Winslow to implicate Jimmy Darmody in the Woods Massacre. On the road outside Atlantic City, Sebso pulls over so he can relieve himself, and lets Winslow out of the car to stretch his legs. But as soon as he's finished his business, he reveals that he's corrupt and in Nucky's pocket.
    Eric Sebso: You shouldn't have done that.
    Billy Winslow: [confused] Done what?
    Eric Sebso: Tried to lunge for my weapon.
    Billy Winslow: What are you talking about?
    Eric Sebso: [unholsters his gun] You lunged at me, tried to commandeer my gun.
    Billy Winslow: What?
    Eric Sebso: That's why I killed you. [Sebso shoots Winslow dead, then proceeds to hit himself in the head with a rock to make it look like Winslow attacked him]
  • From Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    Xander: "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word.
    Amy: I didn't say blackmail.
    Xander: Yeah, but I'm about to blackmail you, so I thought I'd bring it up.
    • Also:
      Buffy: You ever heard the expression, "biting off more than you can chew"? ...Okay, um, how about the expression "Vampire Slayer"?
      Vampire: What the hell are you talking about?
      Buffy: Wow. Never heard that one? Okay... How about, "Oh God, my leg, my leg"? [breaks his leg]
      Vampire: Oh God, my leg!
  • In an episode of Castle, Esposito requests a bag of ice from a bartender. The bartender barely has time to ask why when Esposito pulls a Groin Attack on the killer's bodyguard.
  • Coupling:
    Sally: "I didn't marry her!" How do you think that makes me look?
    Patrick: I had to say something, you slapped me!
    Sally: Twice!
    Patrick: Once.
    Sally: (slaps him) Don't argue!
  • Criminal Minds: In one episode, after the chief of police realizes one of her officers is the serial killer they're hunting, he kills her and frames the leader of a local gang. He and another officer go to arrest the leader, whereupon the unsub unceremoniously kills him too. As the innocent officer protests and demands to know why he did it, the unsub explains that he had to do it, since the gang leader "killed two cops." He then promptly shoots the other officer.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Rise of the Cybermen":
      Dr. Kendrick: I'm sorry, sir, but it's my duty. I shall have to inform them.
      John Lumic: And how will you do that from beyond the grave?
      Dr. Kendrick: I don't quite understand...
      John Lumic: [to Cyberman] Kill him. [the creature electrocutes and kills Dr. Kendrick]
    • The Master gassing the Cabinet in "The Sound of Drums" is quoted above.
    • A sort of example from "The Pandorica Opens":
      River Song: This is a Callisto Pulse. It can disarm micro-explosives from up to twenty feet.
      Dorium Maldovar: What kind of micro-explosives? [drinks]
      River Song: The kind I just put in your wine.
    • The Comic Relief two-parter "Space"/"Time" has a version. The cast get stuck in a time loop and are instructed by a future Amy on what to do.
      The Doctor: When does this Amy step into the box? We need to maintain the timeline.
      Amy: Ah. As soon as she's slapped Rory.
      Rory: OK... No. Why do I get slapped?
      The Doctor: Because we have to stick to the established chain of events. One mistake and the whole timeline could collapse. We'd end up with two Amy Ponds forever, and then what would you do?
      [Rory gives Amy a suggestive look, she slaps him]
    • In "Death in Heaven", Missy tells Osgood she will kill her in a minute. And she does too, even counting down the time For the Evulz.
    • "The Husbands of River Song": While seemingly cornered by Hydroflax's body and several other psychopaths on the Harmony and Redemption, River and the Doctor discuss where would be the best place to stand in the event of a meteor strike.
      Scratch: What meteor strike?
      Ship's Computer: Alert. Meteor storm imminent.
      River: That meteor strike.
      Flemming: How could you know?
      River: I'm an archaeologist from the future. I dug you up. See you in four hundred years.
  • From the Eureka episode "Momstrocity":
    Carter: It's only a matter of time before Allison sees you for what you really are, which is a smug, selfish, Einstein wannabe with no moral compass and only one functioning kidney.
    Grant: Both my kidneys function fine, thank you.
    Carter: Well. The day's not over, is it.
  • Happens in an episode of Friends. When Rachel doesn't want to run with Phoebe because of the...erm, interesting manner in which Phoebe runs, she tells Phoebe that Monica tripped her and hurt her ankle.
    Monica: Rachel, I'm sorry about your ankles.
    Rachel: Ankle.
    Monica: We'll see.
  • From the Fringe S4/E9 episode "Enemy of my Enemy", An agent of David Robert Jones is a doctor in an Emergency Room. She calls up Fringe Division, asks them to listen closely, and walks out the ER (leaving a canister behind her):
    Orderly: [to the exiting Dr. Samuels] Doctor Samuels, do you want me to give that little girl with the bike injury a Tetanus?
    Dr. Samuels: Not necessary. I don't think she's gonna make it. [orderly gives her a confused look as the canister begins to release a gas that kills everyone in the ER]
  • In the Grey's Anatomy episode "What Is It About Men", this exchange occurs as Dr. Hunt approaches the ER, where a very large, angry patient is beating up a guy in crutches.
    Dr. Hunt: [to nurse] Book ORnote  2 for a possible concussion and a broken jaw.
    Nurse: We have a patient with a broken jaw?
    Dr. Hunt: We're about to. [Knocks the large patient out with a punch to the jaw]
  • From early in Heroes third volume, when Hiro meets Daphne after she compromises his time-stop:
    Daphne: This whole time-stopping thing, how does it work, exactly? I mean, if you chase me to Bangkok, will time stay frozen in Tokyo?
    Hiro: I don't know.
    Daphne: Well, something to think about when you get back on your feet.
    Hiro: But... I am on my feet.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, after Ted's girlfriend embarrasses her on air, Robin announces "In other news, later today a Manhattan architect gets punched in the throat". One Gilligan Cut later...
  • In the iCarly episode iFind Lewbert's Lost Love, when Spencer discovers that Chuck is the one who stole all of the TV remotes from the apartments, we get this exchange:
    Spencer: I'm calling the police
    Chuck: Then you'd better tell them you need a new PearPhone
    Spencer: Why, this is the new G5, what's wrong with it? ( Chuck smashes it against the wall.)
  • The original run of Knight Rider subverts a Type 2a: corrupt cop pulls over Michael and tries to bring him to his corrupt judge boss on charges of having a broken tail light. KITT's tail lights are just as armored as the rest of him.
    • Played straight in another episode where Michael's boss Devon Miles is pulled over in his Mercedes by a hick sheriff and his deputy for running a concealed stop sign and the deputy promptly busts one of his tail lights to add to the ticket.
  • From Lost:
    Jones: Unless you're answering my questions, don't speak. I want you to tell me everything or I'll cut off her other hand.
    Juliet: What?!
    Sawyer: Other?
    Jones: The first one isn't negotiable. It's just to illustrate how serious I am.
    • Jones proceeds to yell "Do it!" at his henchman with a machete as Sawyer desperately promises to tell him everything.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil (2015): In "Condemned", a crooked NYPD Emergency Service Unit team working for Wilson Fisk storms an abandoned building where Matt Murdock is holed up with Vladimir Ranskahov and a rookie police officer who stumbled upon him. One group of four ESU officers sweeping the second floor comes upon the rookie cop, tied to a column and gagged with duct tape.
      ESU Officer: [into radio] Officer Sullivan is dead.
      Officer Sullivan: [muffled] HMM?!
      ESU Officer: I say again, Officer Sullivan is dead.
      Officer Sullivan: NO, I'M FINE! NO! [The ESU officer produces a small knife and stabs the officer in the neck]
    • Iron Fist (2017): Danny Rand has been brought before the board to deliver a statement regarding his actions, when he was caught on camera apologizing to the mother of a plaintiff in a lawsuit against one of Rand's Staten Island chemical plants. Danny announces that he's shutting down the plant until a proper investigation can be done, but keeping the workers on payroll. Which earns disapproval from the other board members, who are intent on dragging their feet and keeping the plant open:
      Maria Rodriguez: Danny, you may have a voice on this board. But it's only a voice.
      Lawrence Wilkins: Don't expect anyone here to be listening to a kid who got his MBA from a Himalayan monastery.
      Joy Meachum: Lawrence, you don't have to attack him. Danny's plan is...
      Lawrence Wilkins: The idiotic dream of a child.
      Danny Rand: Karen Page at the Bulletin seemed to like it.
      Donald Hooper: You already went to the press?
      Danny Rand: She seems to think it's gonna make the front page tomorrow. [Everyone grabs their phones and opens the Bulletin app to find an article headlined "BREAKING NEWS: Rand Shutters Staten Island Chemical Plant, Keeps Workers on Payroll", By Karen Page]
  • In Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake", Stottlemeyer and Disher capture their suspect, Darryl Wright, as he and his accomplice are trying to kill Sharona.
      Darryl Wright: Son of a bitch!
      Captain Stottlemeyer: I'm surprised you can talk with a broken jaw.
      Darryl Wright: I don't have a broken jaw!
      [Stottlemeyer punches him in the face]
    • This one from "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees", when Dewey Jordan and Rob Sherman are staging a burglary of the latter's house.
      Dewey Jordan: [seeing Sherman pulling a revolver] What's that?
      Rob Sherman: This, uh, this is your gun, Dewey.
      Dewey Jordan: My gun? [Sherman promptly conjures a nickel-plated pistol in his right hand]
      Rob Sherman: This one's mine. This is the one that I'm gonna kill the intruder with.
      Dewey Jordan: Intruder? [Sherman shoots and kills Dewey with the pistol. His wife comes downstairs, and he shoots her with the revolver, that he then plants in Dewey Jordan's right hand to make it look like he killed the burglar in self-defense]
  • One skit from Mr. Show has a two-fold example: The skit in question concerned a group of mobsters getting into an extended conversation about numbers, in particular how 24 is the highest number. The don gets infuriated the longer the conversation goes on, especially as numbers higher than 24 (inevitably) get brought up, leading him to threaten to shoot them with his .45 if they keep it up. When one mobster, Frankie, tries his luck by mentioning "46", the don forces him into a confrontation while another, Danny, mentions "47", prompting the don to snap "I'll deal with you in a minute". And then, when the don tries getting Frankie to say 24 is the largest, Frankie starts panicking in confusion:
    Frankie: (near tears) I'm so confused anymore! Danny said 47, and I-
    Don: Danny's dead.
    Danny: (stands up) I'm right here, boss- (is shot)
  • New Zealand drama Outrageous Fortune
    Monica: How about I don't book you for the broken tail light? Call it a warning.
    Cheryl: I don't have a broken tail light.
    Monica smashes the tail light out with the breathalyzer.
  • In an episode of Oz Clayton Hughes walks up to undercover cop Johnny Basil while he's lifting weights and says, "Your son, do you think he's gonna be okay growing up without a father?" When a nonplussed Basil replies "What?" Hughes stabs him to death.
  • Person of Interest.
    • In the pilot episode, John Reese is being taken off to be killed by Dirty Cop Fusco. Reese not only tells Fusco he's going to escape, but that Fusco will be working for him from now on. Fusco bursts out laughing...until Reese produces a grenade.
    • In "Lady Killer", Root spells out to a psychiatrist exactly how she's going to escape from the mental hospital. And then does so.
    • When about to make her own escape in "Reassortment", Sameen Shaw tells a prison nurse, "It's not like I'm gonna spill a glass of water on the nightstand, stomp on your foot, throw an elbow to your chin, and stick you with that sedative." She takes down the nurse, then realises the glass of water is undisturbed so knocks it to the floor as well.
  • Sherlock comes home to find a CIA agent holding Mrs Hudson hostage. He rescues her, ties up the agent, then helpfully explains to the police over the phone that the man has a lot of horribly graphic injuries that have not yet been inflicted.
    Sherlock: Lestrade? We've had a break-in at Baker Street. Send your least irritating officers, and an ambulance. Oh, no-no-no-no, we're fine. No, it's the, uh, it's the burglar. He's got himself rather badly injured. Oh, a few broken ribs, fractured skull. Suspected punctured lung. He fell out of a window. [Cut to Mrs Hudson's downstairs flat, where John is cleaning her face]
    Mrs. Hudson: Oh, it stings. [The shadow of the CIA agent falls past the window and crashes on top of a dumpster] Oh! That was right on my bins!
    [Cut to the agent being driven away in an ambulance as Sherlock stands by Lestrade on the sidewalk]
    Lestrade: And exactly how many times did he fall out the window?
    Sherlock: Oh, it's all a bit of a blur, Detective Inspector. I lost count.
  • This happens in an episode of That '70s Show when Kelso, Hyde and Jackie fight over who Donna gets to take to a Led Zeppelin concert. Kelso brings a batch of cookies to persuade Donna into taking him:
    Kelso: Don't touch. Those are for Donna.
    Hyde: Kelso, Donna doesn't want a bunch of dirty cookies.
    Kelso: They're not dirty.
    [Hyde kicks them off the table]
    Hyde: They are now.
  • From True Blood:
    Luke McDonald: How's that lip?
    Jason Stackhouse: It's okay. How's your nose?
    Luke McDonald: Huh? [Jason punches him in the nose.]
  • In the second episode of The Umbrella Academy (2019), Five tries to get information about a glass eye he found from a doctor at the lab where it was made. However, Five currently has the body of a thirteen-year-old, so things don't go well. He gets his brother, Klaus, to pretend to be his father and tries again. The doctor is still uncooperative, so Klaus improvises:
    Klaus: Who gave you permission to lay your hands on my son?
    Doctor and Five: What?
    Klaus: You heard me.
    Doctor: I didn't touch your son.
    Klaus: Oh, really? Well, then how did he get that swollen lip, then?
    Doctor: He doesn't have a swollen—

  • In Ray Stevens's song "Sitting Up With the Dead", a man who died with a crooked back "sits up" during a nocturnal wake. The song amusingly describes the ensuing mass panic. In one passage:
    The preacher nearly knocked me down, he said
    "I'm headed out that kitchen door over there."
    I said "Rev, that kitchen ain't got no door in it!"
    He said "Don't worry son, it will have in a minute!"

  • From Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, during the tooth-pulling section of the contest between Todd and Pirelli:
    Pirelli: You, boy! Get on that chair!
    Toby: Me, sir?! I haven't got a twinge! Not the slightest pain!
    Pirelli: (smack) You do now.
  • Holy Musical Batman! Batman is beating up two hoods, calling out each damage as he inflicts it.
    Batman: Shattered tibia!
    Hoodlum: What's a tibia? [crack!] My fucking tibia!

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: Early on in the game, Batman is interrogating a thug on Scarecrow's whereabouts; the thug informs him that Scarecrow is working out of a penthouse in Chinatown.
    Batman: If you're lying, I'll break the other one.
    Thug: The other wha- [Screams as Batman breaks his wrist]
  • Costume Quest: The first meeting with Dorsilla, where she summons a tornado to get rid of the player:
    Dorsilla: "What's that? I couldn't hear you over that sudden tornado." *Snaps fingers*
    Player: "What sudden t—" *Blown away*
  • In Hearthstone, Medivh's Valet says "Excuse me, you are on fire" when summoned. If his battlecry activates, he will then toss a flame at a designated target.
  • On the Crimson Flower route of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the leader of "those who slither in the dark" arrives after the Black Eagle Strike Force captures a strategic Kingdom fortress. When he learns that one of his generals (Edelgard's real target, though she half-heartedly tries to convince him it was a sad case of mis-identification in the chaos of battle and the like) was killed in the raid, he warns that such rash decisions would imperil the future of her unified Empire, sarcastically praying that it doesn't turn into "another Arianrhod". Just a few moments after he says this, his forces destroy the fortress she just captured, killing everyone inside, including a significant number of Imperial troops.


    Web Original 
  • Someone within the impenetrable depths of the Round Robin website Addventure, there is a part where your character is dealing with a Jerkass Ronald McDonald in a restaurant. At one point, you find a coupon in your Happy Meal which makes you eligible to become king of the world. When you show it off, Ronald promptly declares that tickets snapped in two are not accepted. When you protest that it isn't snapped, Ronald immediately tears it. "Well, now it IS!"
  • Wheezy Waiter episode "The Poe Toaster".
    Clone: I miss the Poe Toaster.
    Craig: I miss it when you explode.
    Clone: But I've never exploded. Oh, I see what you're getting at- (Explodes.)
  • Homestar Runner managed to invert this one:
    Bubs: Saying 'sbu' makes me lose my super power.
    Strong Bad: What's your super power?
    Bubs: Being able to fly.
    Strong Bad: (excitedly) You can fly?
    Bubs: Not anymore.
  • ASDF Movie
    • From 3
    Man: (points to another man's face and gasps) There's something on your face! (punches him) It was pain!
    • From 7
    Brian: Hey, Stacey, do you wanna go to the Prom with me?
    Stacey: Uhh... I'm sorry, but I'm a ghost.
    Brian: But, you're not de- (Gunshot offscreen, blood splatters over Brian)
    Stacey's ghost: (floats upwards) Bye, Brian...
  • In Red vs. Blue Season 13, Felix has this exchange after he is picked up by a military prisoner transport ship.
    Mayers: Truth be told, no one gives a rat's ass about the people on this ship. Anybody out there really wanted 'em, they could have 'em.
    Felix: Alright. I'll take 'em.
    Stassney: What, uh... what'cha mean?
    Felix: I mean, I'm going to kill you... and take your prisoners.

    Western Animation 
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; the gang try to open a treasure chest by dropping it on an anvil at Piglet's house:
    Piglet: Where'd it go?
    Tigger: In the basement.
    Piglet: But I don't have a basement.
    Tigger: You do now.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: During "The Words", Darwin becomes far too assertive and gets utterly tired of Teri's hypochondria and fear of germs flaring up:
    Darwin: Oh my gosh! Your hand, it's covered in germs!
    Teri: What!? WHERE!?
    (Darwin slowly licks Teri's hand)
    Darwin: There.
    Teri: ....nnnyyyaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
  • American Dad!: "Rough Trade"
    Stan: Mad? Why would I be mad? Just because I'm being held without bail for domestic abuse, animal cruelty, child pornography, and attempted murder?
    Roger: Attempted murder?
    Stan: I'LL KILL YOU!
    • In "100 A.D.":
      Stan: Jeff, you're not good enough for our daughter. You have no job, no home and no future! Plus you're always wiping your face.
      Jeff: No, I'm not...
      Stan: sprays Jeff with a hose
    • "Familyland":
      Roger: They all ditched you. Not me, though! I just rudely walked away while you were talking.
      Francine: What? When did you — oh, I get it.
    • "Introducing the Naughty Stewardesses": Steve and Roger have switched faces so that Roger can make a girl Steve likes be interested in him. Roger decides that he would rather just keep dating her, but Steve demands they switch faces.
      Roger: Yeah, yeah, you make a good point. Okay, we'll switch faces just as soon as I fix this lamp.
      Steve: What's wrong with it?
      Roger: It's broken. (smashes the lamp over Steve's head)
  • Arthur.
    D.W.: Speaking of birthdays...
    Arthur: Who's speaking of birthdays?
    D.W.: No one, but now that you mention it, my birthday is coming up.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "Road to Rhode Island":
      Brian: I just need some time to think. Alright?
      Stewie: Oh, yes. You have got lots to think about, haven't you? Public drunkenness, grand theft auto...
      Brian: You left out the part where I made you smash your head against the windshield.
      Stewie: Huh, I don't recall—
      (Brian slams on the brakes, which propels Stewie forward into the windshield)
      Stewie: Well, I suppose I walked right into that one.
    • In "Cool Hand Peter", a Southern sheriff breaks the guys' headlight. Later, Joe returns the favor to him.
      Joe: And I see you've got a flesh wound. (shoots him in the leg)
    • Deconstructed in the episode, "Brian's a Bad Father":
      Security Guard (at the studio where Brian's son Dylan works): Sorry, Brian, Dylan says he doesn't want to see you anymore. We're not allowed to let you in.
      Brian: Well, you know what? I'm sorry, too.
      Security Guard: For what?
      Brian: For this!
      (Brian takes a swing at the security guard, but the guard catches Brian's arm and then hits Brian with his baton)
      Stewie: Yeah, you know, you probably would've had a better shot if you hadn't yelled "For this!" You know, that...that kind of telegraphed what you were gonna do.
    • In one scene, Meg asks a boy out on a date while they're in shop class. He says, "Sorry, but I'll be in the hospital" and then shoots himself with his nail gun.
  • Gravity Falls:
    Stan: Kid, if you're trying to see my tattoo, you're going to have to try harder than that.
    Dipper: A-ha! I thought you said you didn't have a tattoo!
    Stan: I don't, but you do. (pulls out a marker)
    Dipper: What do you mean I— (yells as Stan reaches for him)
    (cut to later; shows that Stan wrote "GOOBER" on Dipper's forehead)
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears), "Ice Age":
    Ice Man: We just came by to get out of the storm.
    Guard robot: There's no storm.
    Ice Man: There is now! (freezes the guard)
  • Robot Chicken: In their 24 parody featuring Dracula as Jack Bauer, Drac drains several terrorists to figure out which plane they've planted a bomb on. After he deals with them, he calls his superiors and announces that he stopped the terrorists, "but all the passengers are dead." The flight attendant cheerfully points out that no one is dead, and her smile fades as Dracula hangs up the call and she realizes his plan.
  • Screwy Squirrel vs. the asylum guard dog:
    Squirrel: Here, take this aspirin.
    (dog complies)
    Dog: Wait, I don't have a headache!
    Squirrel: Oh, yes, you have! (pulls out a mallet)
  • More than once, Daffy Duck would pull a similar stunt, claiming he was performing phrenology.
    Daffy Duck: (impersonating Jerry Colonna) Let me read the bumps on your head. No bumps. We make some! (cue baseball bat)
  • The Simpsons:
    • Chief Wiggum tears down Bart's T-shirt stand since he doesn't have a license to do so. Then he busts one of the lights on Bart's sneakers.
    • From "White Christmas Blues", when Martin Prince notices that Comic Book Guy's robot standee is wearing mittens.
      Martin: Why would a robot need to wear mittens?
      Comic Book Guy: Why would a nerd need aspirin?
      Martin: I don't know. (gets hit on the head with a rolled-up comic book)
    • From the episode "She Used To Be My Girl", when Lisa and Bart are sneaking out of the house on the tree outside their bedrooms:
      Lisa: Thanks for helping me make up my mind.
      Bart: Thanks for cushioning my fall.
      Lisa: I didn't cushion your—
      (Bart lands on her)
    • In "Burns' Heir", Mr. Burns dares Lenny to come up with a good excuse not to be fired without using the letter E:
      Lenny: Uh, I'm a... good... work... guy...
      Mr. Burns: You're fired.
      Lenny: But I didn't say...
      Mr. Burns: You will. (presses a Trap Door button)
      Lenny: (falling) EEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee!
  • Happened to the girls on Totally Spies!, when the villain of the week opted for the "leave them stranded in shark-infested water" Death Trap.
    Henchman: if I were you, I'd be concerned about that hole in your boat.
    Sam: There's no hole in this boat.
    Henchman: You're right. (punctures the bottom with a two-pronged pitchfork) There's two holes.

    Real Life 
  • In the law of contract, the doctrine of anticipatory repudiation works kind of like this: Suppose a baker and a flour wholesaler have an ongoing contract for the sale of flour:
    Baker: I can't buy your flour anymore.
    Wholesaler: Wait, what?
    Baker: I'm going out of business. I'm not buying your flour. Bye!
    What makes this similar to the trope is that whether or not the repudiating party (here, the baker) has breached the contract depends entirely on what the non-repudiating party (here, the wholesaler) chooses—they have the option of treating the repudiation as a breach and suing for damages, or treating it as a threat and simply demanding performance (so the wholesaler can choose to either sue the baker for the contract price of the flour the wholesaler never got to sell, or it can simply tell the baker, "Cool story, bro, but I'm still gonna send you flour next week and you'd better pay for it").

It's OK, by the way, you can put the monitor down.

Alternative Title(s): Your Blank Is Broken, Your X Is Broken


Bond with a Wheelchair

Bond enters a room with a wheelchair.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / PreemptiveDeclaration

Media sources: