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Rapid-Fire "But!"

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Whether you've been grounded by your parent even though you didn't do it, or your significant other wants to break up with you, or you just can't seem to be able finish your sentence when you can't comprehend a situation, a single conjunction can help fill up this incomprehension.

"But. But. But. But. But. But. But. But. But. But."

In any case, it can be responded to with "no 'buts', Mister/Miss," "don't throw your 'buts' at me," or anything other related to butts.


An alternate form is used in opposite circumstances, when a character wants their audience to clearly understand there is a 'but', and wants them to listen to what comes after it:

"BUT! But-but-but-but-buuuuuuut! Buuuut..."

See also Rapid-Fire "No!", Rapid-Fire "Yes!", and Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!" for more related rapid-fire word tropes.


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    Fan Works 
Dungeon Keeper Ami: When a Dwarf Duke is in shock over Ami doing something that is impossible for normal Keepers, he goes, "But, but, but, Keeper!"

    Films — Animation 
  • In Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit stammers "but, but, but..." when the Mad Hatter cracks open his watch, which gives the Hatter the idea to use butter to "fix" it.

  • Mansfield Park: Miss Mary Crawford has a very informal letter-writing style. She ends her letter to Fanny Price with three buts when she writes about Edmund. She likes him, but disapproves of his chosen profession. She's happy her London friends and acquaintances can't tell he's a clergyman.
    "Luckily there is no distinction of dress nowadays to tell tales, but—but—but Yours affectionately."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine, "Crime & Punishment": Multiplied buts is Jake Peralta's reaction when Lt. Hawkins brings false, but really convincing evidence against him and Rosa Diaz during their trial.
    Hawkins Oh, and one more thing. They're guilty.
    Peralta: No, we are not.
    Judge: Please don't address the jury, Mr. Peralta.
    Peralta: But... but... but...
    Judge: One more "but" and you will be in contempt.
    Peralta: [quietly] "One more 'but' and you're contempt", name of your sex tape.

  • From "Meant to Be Yours" in Heathers:
    J.D.: You chucked me out like I was trash
    For that you should be dead
    But, but, but—
    Then it hit me like a flash:
    What if high school went away instead?

    Western Animation 
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "All's Fahrenheit in Love and War", Launchpad protests with a rapid series of "but!" exclamations when Darkwing ignores him while he's trying to call attention to the villain's lackeys. Darkwing tells him to cut out the motorboat impression.
  • In the opening to the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Knighty Knight Bugs", King Arthur tells his Knights of the Round Table that they must recover the Singing Sword from the Black Knight, but they protest against this, with one of them, Sir Loin of Beef, saying, "But-But-But-But... But the Black Knight is invincib-b-b-b-ble!"
  • Whenever an invention by Phineas and Ferb disappears, their sister Candace, just in time to bust their antics to their mother, loses her words and repeatedly utters "but". One episode had Ferb beatboxing on Candace's string of "but's". Baljeet, in turn, uses these to sing "There's No Candy in Me".
    Buford: Nerd ain't no pinata!
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Cabin Fever", Ed Bighead is annoyed to find Rocko and Heffer at the same cabin that he and Bev were renting, only to stare in shock at the paper showing his vacation date while repeatedly sputtering "but" when he realizes that he arrived on the wrong month.
  • The Simpsons: In "Bart's Girlfriend", Bart visits the Lovejoy house to have dinner with their daughter Jessica. When Bart's crude language gets him thrown out, he stammers "But-But-But...", but Helen believes he's saying "butt" and covers her ears while shouting "Please, make him stop!"
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "As Seen on TV", after Mr. Krabs tells Spongebob that he'll be on the commercial, Squidward protests with a repeated "but". Mr. Krabs retorts him to not throw his "but"s on him and announces that the commercial would be aired tonight.


Video Example(s):


Rocko: "Cabin Fever"

Ed Bighead is furious to see that his rented cabin is seemingly double-booked, but then he finds out that he isn't even supposed to be here for another six months.....

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

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