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Repeat What You Just Said

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Bob is talking to Alice. Alice may have a problem and be looking for inspiration to solve it; Bob engages in a long and unhelpful monologue while Alice ponders, but one of Bob's comments ignites a Eureka Moment. Alice promptly turns to Bob and says, "Wait. Repeat what you just said." Bob, bemused, repeats the very last thing he said — which is usually irrelevant. Alice impatiently retorts: "No, what did you say before that?" Bob repeats it, and it's exactly what Alice needed to hear.


Compare Comically Missing the Point and Dramatically Missing the Point, when the comment Alice fixates on is much less important than the other things that Bob says.

Alternatively, Bob's monologue may be an attempt to hide the truth inside a long distraction (see also Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick):

BOB'S DAD: So what'd you do with Alice?
BOB: Not too much, went out for pizza, stopped at the mall, got a parking ticket, hung out at the arcade, went down to the park, same old stuff.
BOB'S DAD: Wait... Repeat what you just said.
BOB: I went down to the park?
BOB'S DAD: Before that.
BOB: Stopped at the mall?
BOB'S DAD: After that...
BOB: "comma, space?"

If he can remember so clearly what it isn't, he could probably save a lot of time by remembering what it is, but that wouldn't be as interesting.

Is very much a case of Truth in Television.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Detective Conan:
    Policeman: *rushes in* Inspector Yamamura! We've finished getting all of the Ryokan employee's alibis! At the time of the crime, it seems everyone was preparing breakfast.
    Yamamura: Say that one more time.
    Policeman: Umm... At the time of the crime...
    Yamamura: No, before that.
    Policeman: The Ryokan employee's alibis...
    Yamamura: Before that.
    Policeman: In- Inspector Yamamura...
    Yamamura: Ah! That's it, that's it! Good work!

    Fan Fic 

  • There's an absolutely hilarious version in A Bronx Tale. An eight year old boy from the Bronx witnesses a mob boss kill a man, but follows the code of silence by not telling the police anything. When he goes to confession, however, rather than leaving it out entirely he tries to squeeze it in between sins like missing Sunday Mass and eating meat on Friday. Naturally the priest catches on and responds with this trope. Link to full scene.
    Young Calogero: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been one month since my last confession, and these are my sins: I missed Sunday Mass twice... I lied about witnessing a murder once. I ate meat on Friday...
    Priest: Wait. Can you back up a bit?
    Young Calogero: I ate meat on Friday once?
    Priest: Not that one. Back up a little more.
    Young Calogero: About witnessing a murder?
    Priest: Yeah, that's the one. Do you realize what you said?
    Young Calogero: It was only once, Father!
  • The Gay Divorcee: Zigzagged a little by sneaking in the unusual item at the end, but it's still an attempt to slip something serious into a casual list, which is caught by the listener. When Guy finally catches up with Mimi in the park, he pulls out a picnic basket and props it on the running board of her car.
    Guy: Can I offer you anything? Frosted chocolate? Cointreau? Benedictine? Marriage?
    Mimi: What was that last one?
    Guy: Benedictine?
    Mimi: No, the one after that.
    Guy: Oh, marriage?
  • In I, Robot, the hero's grandmother says, reminiscing, "I could follow your trail of breadcrumbs all the way to school" to which the hero replies, "Breadcrumbs... Gigi, you're a genius!"
  • In Back to the Future, the band members playing at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance scare off Biff's cronies and mean to get Marty out of the trunk only for this to happen when Marty tells them the car keys are in the trunk with him. Doubles as an Oh, Crap! moment.
    Band Leader: Alonzo, where're your keys?
    Marty: The keys are in the trunk!
    Band Leader: Say that again...
  • In Back to the Future Part II, Marty is walking on the street in 2015 and discusses the sports news with Terry:
    Marty: Wait a minute. Cubs win the World Series... against Miami?
    Terry: Yeah, it’s something. Who would have thought? Hundred to one shot! I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season, put some money on the Cubs.
    Marty: I just meant Miami... What did you just say?
    Terry: I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season, put some money on the Cubbies!
    [Marty goes and buys the fateful sports almanac.]
  • From Independence Day:
    Julius: Get off of this freezing concrete floor before you catch cold. Come on.
    David: What did you just say?
    Julius: You mean about faith? Well, you see, a man can either...
    David: No, no, I don’t mean that part.
    Julius: What? I don’t want you to catch cold?
    David: Duh!
    Julius: What’s the matter with you?
    David: Genius, Dad! [In the next scene, David introduces a plan to disable the alien ships with a virus.]
  • From Ralph Breaks the Internet which leads to the plot:
    Felix: Isn't that just a blessing? [chugs root beer] Eeeee-oh-boy!
    Ralph: Wait. What'd you say, Felix?
    Felix: Um, isn't that just a blessing?
    Ralph: No, the weird sound thing.
    Felix: Oh. Eeeee-oh-boy?
    Ralph: Yeah. Eee-oh... Sorry, say it again?
    Felix: Eeeee-oh-boy.
    Ralph: Eeeee-oh-boy.
    Felix: Eeeee-oh-boy.
    Ralph: Eee-boy! Say it again?
    Felix and Ralph: Eeeee-oh-boy. eboy! eboy! eboy! eboy? eboy? Yeah.
    Felix: Um, what are you getting at there, Ralph?
    Ralph: That kid out at the arcade said there was a steering wheel part on the internet, it's something called eboy or eBay! That's it, it was eBay!

  • Happens in Jingo, when a chance remark of Leonard's plants the seed of Vetinari's grand plan. The two are discussing an island which just rose out the sea a few days ago.
    Leonard: Oh, yes, Leshp. I made some sketches there a few years ago.
    Conversation continues. Eventually, a dissatisfied Vetinari leaves. Ten minutes later:
    Vetinari: (coming back in after navigating the numerous death traps leading to Leonard's room like he was playing the fastest, deadliest game of hopscotch) You did what?

    Live-Action TV 
  • Full House did the second variation in the episode in which Rebecca goes bungie jumping.
  • The Mentalist:
    Lisbon: Where is everyone?
    Van Pelt: Weird, they all called in to sign out. Jane wasn't feeling well, Rigsby's got a hot date, and Cho got Kings tickets.
    Lisbon: Son of a—
    Van Pelt: What?
    Lisbon: Jane doesn't get sick, Rigsby's not on a date because he's in love with you, and the Kings aren't playing tonight.
    Van Pelt: You know about that?
    Lisbon: Yeah, they're on the East Coast road trip. They're playing the Knicks tomorrow night.
    Van Pelt: No, I mean about Rigsby. How do you know about that?
    Lisbon: Everybody knows that. The attorney general knows that.
  • Monk:
    Suspect: When are you people gonna stop hassling me? You've got the real killer here. That dope-smoking, chain-snatching, little thug right over there. He killed her. Everybody knows it.
    Monk: Excuse me. Wait a minute. Hey, did you hear what he just said?
    Stottlemeyer: Yes, I did. I wonder why you're asking.
    Monk: Did you hear what he just said?
    Suspect: I didn't say anything.
    Monk: You just called that young man "a chain-snatching, dope-smoking little thug."
    Suspect: I was being kind.
  • A jarringly awkward one in Stranger Things. Class bully Troy is in the sheriff's office to report a little girl breaking his arm. Sheriff has more important things to worry about, like missing kids and a mysterious bald girl.
    Deputy: So what'd this girl look like?
    Troy: She had no hair, and she was bleeding from her nose. Like a freak.
    Sheriff [turns around]: What'd you just say?
    Troy: I said she's a freak!
    Sheriff: No, her hair. What did you say about her hair?
If he didn't hear him, why is he suddenly interested... and if he did hear him, why the comedy routine? You been working too hard, sheriff.

  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as a running gag, ending the show as an unfinished punchline:
    Rosemary: Darling, I don't care if you work in the mailroom, or you're Chairman of the Board, or you're President of the United States, I love you.
    Finch: Say that again.
    Rosemary: I love you.
    Finch: No, before that.


    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara first notices Aang as a potential romantic interest because of one of these: an offhand comment by Sokka had echoed a Fortune Teller's prediction of her love life.
    Katara: Wait, what did you just say?
  • Danger Mouse: Penfold and the Prophet of Puttingham Down have a go with this in trying to find Merlin's Mystic Inkwell.
    Prophet: Have you got a mystic word?
    DM: No.
    Prophet: (to camera) Straight to the closing credits, then.
    DM: Now, look here!
    Penfold: 'Cor, you've got a bally nerve! This is Danger M—
    Prophet: What did you say?
    Penfold: I said, this is Danger M—
    Prophet: No, before that.
    Penfold: Um...'Cor.
    Prophet: No.
    Penfold: You've.
    Prophet: Keep going.
    Penfold: Got.
    Prophet: No, no.
    Penfold: A.
    Prophet: Nope.
    Penfold: Bally nerve.
    Prophet: That's it! That's the mystic word!
  • Danny Phantom:
    • From the episode "Maternal Instinct"
      Vlad: I've forgiven Jack for many things: causing the accident that ruined my life, stealing you, the backwash incident-
      Maddie: Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up. What was that?
      Vlad: Causing the accident that ruined my life?
      Maddie: No, after that.
      Vlad: The backwash incident?
      Maddie: (Annoyed) No, in the middle!
      Vlad: You mean the stealing you part? Oh, Maddie, you could always see right through me! I'm just going to come out and say it! Maddie, please dump Jack and stay here!
    • And again in "Secret Weapons":
      Jazz: Oh, Uncle Vlad, I've runaway from home; my father's an idiot, my brother hates me, and I wanna live with you.
      Vlad: Wait, what was that?
      Jazz: I've runaway from home?
      Vlad: N-No, after that.
      Jazz: My brother hates me?
      Vlad: No, in the middle!
      Jazz: My father's an idiot?
      Vlad: *joyous* That's the one!
  • Used in the Doc McStuffins episode "That's Just Clawful" when they find a crab toy buried in a vegetable garden.
  • Used in an episode of Fairly OddParents when Mr. Crocker offers coffee to Cosmo and Wanda who are disguised as Timmy's parents but he knows better:
    Mr. Crocker: Can I get you anything? Cream? Sugar? Magic?
    Wanda: What was that last one?
    Mr. Crocker: Sugar?
  • Family Guy:
  • Some beautiful back-tracking in episode 201 of Home Movies:
    Paula Small: What were you saying?
    Brendon: Can we move the flowers?
    Paula Small: Before that.
    Brendon: This meatloaf is dry.
    Paula Small: Before that.
    Brendon: This is meatloaf?
    Paula Small: Before that.
    Brendon: This fish is dry.
  • Kim Possible:
    • In "A Sitch in Time", Future!Shego gloats to Kim and Ron by explaining how she took over the world.
      Future!Shego: Went back in time, went big into dot-coms, got out before the bubble burst, opened a bank, transferred your sidekick's mother to Norway, started an evil think tank...
      Ron: What a minute, what?
      Future!Shego: Evil think tank. You know, mind control, weird ray things and...
      Ron: No, before that!
      Future!Shego: Oh. Oh yeah, I transferred your mama to Norway. You know, break up the team.
    • In "A Very Possible Christmas", Ron and Drakken are fighting aboard the spaceship Drakken built in his latest attempt to take over the world. After they accidentally push some buttons:
      Drak-Force 1: Initiating emergency system test. Launching escape pods. Initiating self destruct.
      (A shelf extends from the wall with a glass, toothbrush, and teddy bear)
      Drak-Force 1: Initiating bedtime sequence.
      Ron: Wait a second... what was that?
      Drakken: (moves in front of the shelf to hide the teddy bear) I don't know what you're talking about.
      Ron: Before the teddy bear!
      Drak-Force 1: Self-destruct in twenty....
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Daring Done?, Pinkie is reading a newspaper when a particular ad catches Rainbow's attention:
    Pinkie Pie: "Noodles Named Official Food of Whinnyapolis". "Author A. K. Yearling Announces Retirement". "Cloudsdale Election Heating Up for Candidate in Favor of Cooling It Down".
    Rainbow Dash: What? Let me see that!
    Pinkie Pie: I never knew you were so into politics, Rainbow.
  • Used in Phineas and Ferb, by a (maybe purposely) obtuse Jeremy;
    Jeremy: *to Candace* What I like about you is...
    [they are interrupted by a giant rainforest growing underneath their picnic spot]
    Jeremy: Wow, this is incredible!
    Candace: Um, what was that you were saying?
    Jeremy: I said "this is incredible!"
    Candace: No, before that?
    Jeremy: I said...."wow"!
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In "Slave the Day", Big Billy of the Gangrene Gang comes into their hideout crying about his time trying to help the Powerpuff Girls for saving him.
    Billy: Ace, it was terrible! First, the Powerpuff Girls save Billy from choo-choo, then Billy try to help Powerpuffs, then Powerpuff Girls be mean...!
    Ace: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a second! Billy, start over.
    (Billy walks out of the hideout)
    Ace: Um, after you came in, Billy.
    Billy: Oh, sorry.
  • Variation in Quack Pack, as the thing that's being repeated is actually the one that you'd expect should be, but the triplets only hear what they want to.
    Huey: Uncle D wants us to clean our room.
    Dewey: But that's a lot of work!
    Louie: So we thought you might have something that would do it for us!
    von Drake: Okay, what do I got around here? We got a karaoke simulator, Belgian cheese duster, superhero machine over here, subatomic room cleaner...
    Louie: What did you just say?!
    von Drake: The subatomic room cleaner! Ho ho, that's it, hoo! You know, if you can keep it from exploding and blowing up.
    Huey: No no, this! The superhero machine!
  • An example from ''Penguins of Madagascar', though the statement being repeated is from earlier in the episode.
    Skipper: Kowalski! What was you were saying earlier?
    Kowalski: Uh... "This stinks"?
    Skipper: No, no, before that!
    Kowalski: "Mama, I make boom-boom"?
    Skipper: Too far back.
    Kowalski: (Beat) "No land mammal should be able to move that fast"?
    Skipper: Bingo!
  • Played with in SpongeBob SquarePants, "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost":
    Patrick: He really needs to get to the great beyond.
    SpongeBob: Patrick, say that again.
    Patrick: That again.
    SpongeBob: No, the other thing.
    Patrick: No, the other thing.
    SpongeBob: No, what you said before when you...
    Patrick: No, what you said before when you...!
    SpongeBob: Never mind! I've got an idea.
    Patrick: Never mind, I've got an idea.


Example of: