A dialogue trope where a character makes a list of items, groups, or individuals and then deviates from the pattern established with the last one, sometimes the penultimate one. Usually Played for Laughs.
In literary criticism, this is called a syllepsis, or semantic zeugma.
Typically used for comedy, the last item is normally a focus of insult or Butt-Monkey status. However, it is possible to just delight in the subversion of the theme listing.
A Super-Trope to:
- And a Diet Coke: When a Big Eater orders lots of unhealthy food and just adds one small concession to health.
- And the Rest: When several characters are deemed important enough to call them by name, except for a few unworthy others who are dismissed as the "rest".
- And Some Other Stuff: Summarizing ingredients, but keeping the last few a mystery.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Listing strong, serious examples and then a weak, trivial finale.
- Black Sheep Hit: A hit song of a musician/band that does not sound anything like all or most of their discography.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Naming nice, good, or mundane things, save for the last one, which is horrible or has a greater weight than the rest.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Naming three things, the third being a combination of the first two things.
- Clue, Evidence, and a Smoking Gun: In a crisis, two things of small importance to said crisis followed by a very big one.
- Famous, Famous, Fictional: Naming famous real-life people or things, only to have the last one be of fictional origin.
- Ladies and Germs: When one part of the audience supposedly does not consist of ladies and gentlemen.
- Noodle Implements: When naming several things and one sticks out for being out of place
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Separating your friends from one individual.
- Odd Name Out: When the last name mentioned in a group sounds really odd in comparison to the other members.
- The Simple Gesture Wins: After several grand gestures, the one that works is the unimpressive one.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: When a song has a refrain or line that contrasts with the pattern set at the start of it.
- The Triple: Two normal items followed by a non sequitur or humorous third item.
- The Three Certainties in Life: Something funny is considered as certain as death and birth (or taxes).
- Token Index: The only member of a team who is not like other members.
- Weird Aside: A strange line which contrasts with the topic of the conversation.
Other examples (In-Universe Examples Only):
- Chapter 40 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has a list of stereotypical things that can happen during summer vacation. All of them are standard and within the realms of reality... except the last one, which is "time travel or being summoned to another world".
- At the start of Volume 17 of Accel World, the leadership of Nega Nebulus gives Haruyuki the following instructions for their meeting with the other Legions.
You absolutely cannot say a single word.
You absolutely have to be quiet right up to the end.
You absolutely must stay quiet.
You absolutely cannot get mad no matter what happens.
- In Asteroid in Love, most of the club members in the Earth Sciences Club, a fusion of the geology and astronomy clubs, have an interest in one of the two subjects- the Sakurai sisters and Ino are interested in the former, while Monroe, Mira and Ao are interested in the latter. The exception is Yuu "Nana" Nanami, a first-year who's the last member to join the club, and she instead is interested in meteorology.
- In Bleach, when Rangiku fights Harribel's three fracciones, she tricks them into getting close to each other, then attacks them with her zanpakuto. In response, Apache and Mila Rose say, "Not so fast," together, while Sun-Sun instead says, "You think that's enough to beat us?" before they unleash ceros together.
- One panel has several superheroes reacting to a warning of doom for them and anyone they've touched — the rest worry about their female significant others; Batman worries about Robin. Of course, what makes it funny is the insinuation that the last one isn't really all that different...
- Batman and Robin #10 (Jun 2012) has a subplot where a villain assembles a bunch of Mooks who have been permanently given Hideously Amusing Injuries in their encounters with Batman: a guy with a footprint across his face from a kick, another guy who has permanent ligature marks from being strung up in the air a long time, a girl who got a Batarang stuck in her ear (and enhanced it with other piercings), the guy who tried to throw a Batarang back at Batman and got it stuck in his head... oh, and the three guys who were knocked into a vat of toxic waste and fused into some kind of gawdawful monstrosity. Wait, what?
- Laff-A-Lympics: Yogi's reasons for Monty Cristo not to arrest Hokey: "He's my friend! He's my buddy. And besides, I need him to skate in the last event!"
- Wonder Woman (1942): Every member of Villainy Inc is driven by one of the Seven Deadly Sins (Envy-Cheetah, Gluttony-Zara, Greed-Snowman, Lust-Clea, Pride-Dr. Poison, Sloth-Eviless, Wrath-Giganta), except Hypnota whose turn to villainy was driven by brain damage, paranoia, enjoyment of manipulating others and a desire for revenge.
- Happens in Chapter Five of "The Boredom of Yoto Yokodera" where Yoto remembers his day:
Ugh, what a non-so-fabulous day. Im late for track and field club, I still taste musty lemons on the roof of my mouth, its raining, I got expelled from school and arrested for public drunkenness and I got soy sauce on my school shirt!
- When Bella is describing the Cullens in Luminosity:
[N]ow I had identifications for all five: Emmett the bear, Jasper the lion, Rosalie the Aphrodite, Alice the pixie, and Edward, the one who expected something to happen with or to or near me that wasn't[.]
- The Immortal Game: When Twilight is performing a Sherlock-esque ass-kicking on Esteem and his troops, she lists the special abilities of herself and her friends as she uses the bond granted by the Elements of Harmony to copy them: Unicorn power, mastery of pegasus martial arts, unnatural strength, instant translocation, skill with blade, whatever it is Pinkie Pie does...
- In Dresden Files fic A Bird in the Hand, Ivy tells Billy's fortune:
Ivy: Youre stubborn, but smart enough to ask for aid and guidance when you are in over your head. And your car is about to be towed. Theyre writing up the ticket now.
- In Nerve Damage Shirou summons Arturia Pendragon, Arturia 'Alter' Pendragon, Arturia 'Lily' Pendragon and.... Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
- In Officium Est Electionem, Feferi invokes this when trying to distract an unwanted suitor.
After fifteen minutes of his endless, self-centered prattling, Feferi finally shuts him up by launching into her longest speech at him since he arrived. She talks ceaselessly about reforms, the election, and the likelihood of rain tomorrow.
- Red Fire, Red Planet: One of the protagonists asks the station computer to give the top five results from a list of 447 possible explanations it came up with for a tachyon burst.
Computer Voice: Microsingularity interacting with gravity wave. Nadion inversion field. Cloaked starship entering normal space. Quantum flux—
OS2. Kybok: Repeat the third item.
- Persephone's Waltz: Upon escaping their captor, Sayaka and Madoka break into Kyousuke's hospital room. He is understandably confused.
"H-how did you do that? What's happened to you? ...Why are you in a cape?"
- An in-universe file on Molly Carpenter warns:
- In Disorienuptials, Leliana uses the penultimate variant when slipping some very important news into the school's morning announcements. It's played for laughs when one of the students pretends to then be very excited about the last announcement - that there will be pudding at dinner.
- In New Hope University: Major In Murder, the "Fall Break" chapter shows twelve fairytale-like stories that allude to the twelve remaining characters' backstories and possible futures, and are generally at least a few paragraphs long. For example, one story about a princess who ripped out her own tongue is implied to be about Lucina. Eleven of the stories are about princes and princesses, but the last one simply says:
"Once upon a time there was a pauper."
- The second chapter of The Loud House fanfiction Mall Rats is titled "Kindness, Friendship, and Shoes".
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire:
Milo: What else have you got in there?
Vinny: Oh, you know: gunpowder, nitroglycerin, notepads, fuses, wicks, glue, paper clips (big ones). You know, just office supplies.
Lewa: But what will come out of this? Some claw-tooth monster? A new Mask of Power? A Matoran marching band?
- In The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, after the kids nearly sink in quicksand and are saved by their angry parents, Cera asks if they all got the same lecture as her:
Petrie: Me too young to wander fall.
Ducky: Wenote are not grown-ups and should remember it.
Littlefoot: There are many dangers. I must always be careful.
Cera: Don't hang around with longnecks, beakfaces and spiketails!
(Beat as the others stare at Cera)
Cera: (Meekly) Well, it was mostly the same lecture.
- In Penguins of Madagascar, Skipper repeatedly subjects Dave to Accidental Misnaming. All of them are names that still start with "D", up until the end where he calls him Ramirez.
- In Wreck-It Ralph, King Candy is the last character shown in Sugar Rush and his design, name, and age are noticeably different than the rest of the characters in the game. There is a reason for this.
- In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Andy reads out the names of some of his porno tapes, such as Hairy Twatter.
Dave: And this is...Everybody Loves Raymond. You know, that's not supposed to be in there. It's just a good show.
- In American Graffiti, Curt, who is underage, attempts to purchase a pint of whiskey at a corner store by casually mentioning it in the middle of a list of other items that he asks the owner to get for him. It doesn't work; after the other items are bagged up, Curt is asked for proof of age.
- Oliver Warbucks does in the 1982 film version of Annie when he tells Annie that he's going to start looking for her parents:
- Batman Returns features a scene of comic relief (albeit with serious consequences later on) about a third of the way through, during Danny Elfman's "Batman Versus the Circus" suite. Batman is surrounded on the street by four members of the Penguin's Red Triangle Circus Gang: three males in clown makeup and wielding lethal or at least heavily injurious weapons, plus the Poodle Lady, a woman with only "normal" glamour makeup and not carrying any weapon at all. Batman calmly programs his computerized Batarang to hit all four criminals and releases it; it quickly cuts down the first three enemies, but never reaches the Poodle Lady because her pet poodle jumps up and catches it in his jaws. The Poodle Lady then just smirks at Batman and she and her dog run off. (Embarrassingly, this would be only the first time that evening that Batman would be outsmarted by a woman!)
- The Tagline to A Clockwork Orange:
Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence, and Beethoven.
- Four Christmases has an example near the end of the movie. After three dysfunctional divorced parents and their siblings, they finally reach Kate's father, who revealed that he and his wife divorced because he was so committed to his job that he couldn't make the time. Also, unlike the other three parents; he is actually very remorseful of the decisions he made and regrets them daily. Surprisingly somber for a comedy movie.
- The Gay Divorcee: 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?
Mimi: No, the one after that.
Guy: Oh, marriage?
- Played with brilliant subtlety in Ghostbusters when Peter Venkman introduces his team at the library:
Roger Delacorte: I'm Roger Delacorte. Are you the men from the university?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes, I'm Dr. Venkman, Dr. Stantz, Egon...
- Guardians of the Galaxy:
- In The Naked Gun, Frank, trying to break Jane's sensory-induced hypnosis, says "Jane, since I've met you, I've noticed things that I never knew were there before... birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf... stoplights."
- Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment: The owner of a lamp shop closes up for the night by shutting the security gates, padlocking the doors, setting a bear trap, and placing a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Dirty Harry at the door.
- An unintentional one in Plan 9 from Outer Space, though not at the end of the list.
We once laughed at the horseless carriage, the aeroplane, the telephone, the electric light, VITAMINS, radio, and even television!
- For clarification, vitamins are technically not an invention, since they can and do occur naturally.
- Predators is a movie about incredibly dangerous people being brought into an extra-terrestrial game preserve on another world. This vicious band of misfits is comprised of a former black ops mercenary, an IDF sniper, a drug cartel enforcer, Spetsnaz commando, a convicted murderer/rapist, a death squad leader, a Yakuza mafioso... and a nerdy, bespectacled doctor. Guess who's the most cold-blooded killer of them all.
- In The Three Stooges short "Fight Night", Moe and Larry watch Shemp in a boxing match Behind the Black:
Moe: There goes Shemp with a left jab! There goes Shemp with a right uppercut! There goes Shemp with a haymaker! [Offscreen Crash] There goes Shemp...
- In Zoolander, while brainwashing Derek into assassinating the prime minister of Malaysia, Mugatu warns him not to be distracted by "beautiful celebrities". The training room then offers cardboard cutouts of such examples like Lance Bass, Fred Durst, Lil Kim, and...Garry Shandling.
- One of the sections of Gulliver's Travels is titled "A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan." Admittedly, at that time Japan was almost completely closed off to foreigners and thus almost as fantastic as said other countries.
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story "Walkin' City Blues" by Joffy Brown has the Doctor describing a Femme Fatale's "glamour implants" to his companion "A subtle combination of exotic pheromones, AI wetware wit-routines, genetically-enlarged pupils, and a spray-on tan."
- In Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan laments how people often choose pseudoscience over science when science discovers so many more cool things: Quantum Physics! The building blocks of life floating in space! Colliding continents! Ancient Syrian beer advertisements!
- The Heroes of Olympus:
The coffee shops were doing a brisk business, and street musicians filled the air with the sounds of guitar, lyre, panpipes, and armpit noises.
- Brandon Sanderson's short story I Hate Dragons:
- Skip is trying to explain the pain that his ability to hear the spelling of words brings him.
Skip: Why, just today, I've heard the word dragon spelled 'dragoon,' 'daragon,' 'dragen,' 'deragin,' and 'blarsnaf.'
Sorceress: Er... 'blarsnaf?
Skip: That was from Pug the cook. He speaks Lukarvian, but the word should actually be spelled 'blarsnef' in his language.
- Also, Skip's three magical powers: hearing spelling, hearing punctuation, and smelling so delicious to dragons that they go crazy with the desire to eat him.
- Skip is trying to explain the pain that his ability to hear the spelling of words brings him.
- Dave Barry Slept Here states that, at the time of the Suez Crisis, major international crises were also happening in "Hungary, Poland, Lebanon, and the quiz-show industry."
- The narrator of Midnights Children plays with this when he describes the Love Triangle of his childhood:
To save time, I shall place all of us in the same row at the Metro cinema; Robert Taylor is mirrored in our eyes as we sit in flickering trances — and also in symbolic sequence: Saleem Sinai is sitting-next-to-and-in-love-with Evie Burns who is sitting-next-to-and-in-love-with Sonny Ibrahim who is sitting-next-to-and-in-love-with the Brass Monkey who is sitting next to the aisle and feeling starving hungry.
- Dave Barry, in the column "Daze of Wine and Roses":
There were 12 sommeliers from around the country in the contest; they got there by winning regional competitions, and earlier in the day they had taken a written exam with questions like: "Which of the following appellations belong to the Savoie region? (a) Crepy; (b) Seyssel; (c) Arbois; (d) Etoile; (e) Ripple." (I'm just kidding about the Ripple, of course. The Savoie region would not use Ripple as an insecticide.)
- The three simple rules designed by the Librarians of Time and Space to ensure those with access to L-space don't destroy the space-time continuum:
- Gravity Falls: Journal 3: The comments on the back of the book. The first two are genuine praises from Guillermo del Toro and R. L. Stine and the other comment is Grunkle Stan saying "This book is amazing! BUY IT TWICE!!"
- In The Irregular at Magic High School, the narration uses this trope. Tatsuya walks into Azusa's classroom and starts speaking to her in a very insistent manner. Onlookers comment, respectively; "Surprisingly forceful...", "So fierce..", and "That might be nice."
- It All Started With Columbus:
The United States did not get Cuba out of the Spanish-American War, but it got Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Typhoid, and Malaria.
- In The Invisible Man, a Father Brown story by G. K. Chesterton, we get this:
Flambeau ... received him in a rococo artistic den behind his office, of which the ornaments were sabres, harquebuses, Eastern curiosities, flasks of Italian wine, savage cooking-pots, a plumy Persian cat, and a small dusty-looking Roman Catholic priest, who looked particularly out of place.
- In A Bad Case of Stripes, the Specialists determine that Camilla does not have mumps, measles, chicken pox, or a sunburn, the latter one not being a virus.
- From The School for Good and Evil: "No spitting, sneezing, singing, sniffling, swinging, swearing, slapping, sleeping, or urinating in the Flowerground."
- On 3rd Rock from the Sun the Solomons try persuading an alien why he should spare humanity:
Dick: You are missing the real Earth, like the happiness in a child's eye, when a loving parent tucks him in at night.
Sally: Or the wonder of two young lovers as they stroll down the beach, dreaming of what is yet to be.
Tommy: Or the quiet contentment of a couple in their autumn years as they sit and reflect on a life well spent together.
Harry: Or hookers. [beat] Cheap painted hookers.
- All That: The original series' Ask Ashley sketches would have the host read three questions, usually sent by people who are just extremely incompetent or sometimes Too Dumb to Live, and then drop her kindly demeanor to answer them in an exasperated manner. The third question would generally throw a curveball, e.g. the sender doesn't speak English, the sender is a vampire, the sender is a kangaroo, the sender is a professor at MIT who asks Ashley a long, biology-related question (which she somehow knew the answer to), the sender doesn't know how to send mail and shows up to ask Ashley his question in person, and on one occasion, the sender missed the point entirely and sent something that wasn't a question at all.
- Angel: This conversation about Angel's Soul Jar:
Willow: There's lots of jars in the world — can't shatter them all. I mean, you could, but good things come in jars. Peanut butter, jelly, those two-headed fetal pigs at the natural history museum. (Wes doesn't respond) Come on, everybody loves fetal pigs.
- From The Big Bang Theory:
Rajesh Koothrapali: Doctor Gablehauser.
Eric Gablehauser: Doctor Koothrapali.
Leonard Hofstadter: Doctor Gablehauser.
Eric Gablehauser: Doctor Hofstadter.
Sheldon Cooper: Doctor Gablehauser.
Eric Gablehauser: Doctor Cooper.
Howard Wolowitz: Doctor Gablehouser.
Eric Gablehauser: Mister Wolowitz.
- Also, when Sheldon temporarily becomes a Crazy Cat Lady, he names all of his cats after physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project - except for the last cat, "Zazzles", who is "just so zazzy".
- From Covert Affairs: After losing a lot of money at craps, intentionally And, ironically enough, almost failing to do so as she suddenly won 30.000 dollars betting on snake eyes; Auggie's astonished expression is gold, Annie is talking to the woman they're hoping will try to turn her:
Annie: My sister's husband lost his job a couple of months ago, so they... they burnt through all their savings, I don't have anything, I don't have anyone to go to... [increasingly emotionally] I'm totally screwed, God! And if I can't leave the country, I'll probably lose my job, — I mean I have to tell them why I can't come back, and my TOOTH hurts!
- The Daily Show
- In October 7, 2008, while analyzing the "stupid" vote, John Oliver broke it down into twelve sections: paste eaters, numbskulls, nitwits, fucktards, people whose hands get stuck in pickle jars when they eat pickles, people who lose arguments to babies, douchenozzles, tiger petters, people who jump up and down on frozen lakes, shaved gorillas who've somehow managed to acquire a driver's license, the voluntarily lobotomized, and Cubs fans.
- In their commentaries on the television news media, they'll often show the news media's hive-mind collective latches onto a particular key-word or -phrase and repeats it incessantly by means of a montage. They'll show sometimes upward of a dozen clips of different news anchors, reporters, and pundits repeating the same catch-phrase about an item, then end it with one of the talking heads saying something ... really bizarre, though still on-topic.
- Jon Stewart demonstrated some pre-made protest signs for his Rally to Restore Sanity, including, "I Disagree With You, but I'm Pretty Sure You're Not Hitler", "Got Competence?", "9/11 Was an Outside Job!" and "Legalize Pot".
Jon: I don't know how that last one got in there, we didn't write it. I think this is what happens when signs breed.
- The Golden Girls, "The End of the Curse". Dorothy insists that the minks have to go. Rose counters:
Rose: We are not giving away Fluffy, Muffy, Buffy, and Joanne.
Dorothy: Rose, they are non-breeding minks who eat their weight in food every dayJoanne?
- Happy Endings, "Barefoot Pedaler":
Max: (singing) Penny, Penny, Penny, you're my closest friend.
Penny: Oh, you wrote a song about me!
Max: (singing) Want to be with you 'til the bitter end.
Penny: That is so sweet.
Max: (singing) Got the biggest calves I've seen on a man.
- Kamen Rider: The Kamen Sentai Gorider special pulls multiples of this, with varying degrees of zig-zaggery. Emu Hojo (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid) finds himself in a Closed Circle mystery along with several other Kamen Riders: Kaoru Kino, Kazuma Kenzaki, Kaito Kumon, Yoko Minato, and his friend Kiriya Kujo. The group realizes that what they have in common, aside from being Riders, is that they all died...except for Emu, which makes them suspicious of him.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: In his NRA TV segment, Oliver noted that the app had yet to be dropped on devices from "big tech companies" like Apple, Amazon, and Roku. Oliver then impersonates a Roku employee, cheering, Get in here! Someone just called us a big tech company!' For comparison, in 2018 Apple and Amazon had their market caps reach $1 trillion, while Roku was a relatively pedestrian $5 billion.
- One Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode had John Munch give a strange set of statements, "Yeah, and I want the troops home, the Kyoto Protocol signed, and a Tijuana oil job from Miss February." to a high school girl. He might have been playing up some I Take Offense to That Last One! to the "old" part of being called a Dirty Old Man.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: They loved this trope. Many sketches feature odd lines or characters that come across as being totally out of place.
- For instance, in the sketch where German and Greek philosophers play a game of soccer the German team also has Franz Beckenbauer playing along, who wasn't a philosopher but a famous soccer player. The commentator notes: "A bit of a surprise there".
- Used from time to time on Our Miss Brooks. This example comes from "Hawkins Travel Agency"; Miss Brooks is trying to sell Mr. Stone on a trip to France:
Miss Brooks (speaking with a French accent): Oh, there is nothing like Paree in the summer. The Arc De Triomphe, the Louvre Palais, the Place de Concorde... and Piccadilly Circus.
Mr. Stone: Miss Brooks, Piccadilly Circus happens to be in London.
Miss Brooks (speaking with a Cockney accent): Right-o governor, but if you were so nearby, you wouldn't want to miss that now, would you?
- On QI, Alan is always treated as the Butt-Monkey of the group and there are several running gags to this effect. For instance each episode has a theme for the buzzers and then Alan will always reveal his one last as something comically different; e.g., the first three together are sections of the Westminster Chimes and his is a cuckoo clock; the first three get a cowbell, a bicycle bell, a tea bell and then Alan gets Leslie Phillips going "Ding Dong!". They also are often introduced with some extraordinary adjective or other theme and then a similar twist for Alan e.g.
Stephen (introducing the panel as "four people who look a bit like other people"): Please welcome Tony Blair (Rory Bremner)... Tommy Cooper (Phill Jupitus)... Ruby Wax (Ronni Ancona)... and... Alan Davies.
Stephen: The city of Toronto has given its key to the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Mickey Mouse.
- In an inversion of Famous, Famous, Fictional, Saturday Night Live featured Jonah Hill as a porn-ified version of Martin Scorsese, director of such shining films as Raging Boner, Gangbangs of New York, The Departed (Hymen)...and The Wolf of Wall Street.
- Scrubs: Dr. Cox often makes long lists of things he dislikes or doesn't care about, and usually ends with, "and Hugh Jackman."
- Seinfeld has Kramer's alter-ego H.E. Pennypacker: wealthy industrialist, philanthropist, and bicyclist.
- Sesame Street is the Trope Namer, more or less. Played straight, as a teaching routine (shown as the page image); viewers were asked, in this game of same and different, to identify the odd item out of a group of (typically) four, such as three boxes having different breeds of cats, and the fourth having a dog. At times, actions were depicted and the object was to pick the box with a different type of action (such as three kids dancing or sports activity, while the fourth kid is engaged in a sedentary activity such as reading). The song that played during all this was "One Of These Things," with the lyrics sometimes varied due to the subject.
- Supernatural: In "ScoobyNatural", Sam and Dean end up in an episode of Scooby-Doo. To be precise, they end up in a retelling of the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "A Night of Fright Is No Delight". But things go even further off the rails when one of the houseguests ends up dead, and the Mystery Inc. gang rattle off their catchphrases... with Dean chiming in at the end.
Dean: ...Son of a bitch!
- Voyagers!: While trying to cheer up/distract Jeffrey during "Cleo and the Babe", Bogg lists three examples of Manly Tears occurring during history: Napoleon at Waterloo, George Washington at Valley Forge, and General Eisenhower at Bunker Hill. Jeffrey, as intended, reacts in surprise, knowing that the third is inaccurate.
- Similarly, the US version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? introduces each of the four panelists with a related non-sequitur, ending in Ryan Styles, who gets a phrase that is comparatively more mundane, insulting, or damnation by faint praise. For example, one episode introduced Wayne, Jeff, and Colin as famous landmarks, and introduced Ryan as a Cleveland bus stop.
- Sukone Tei's ships are mostly focused on Yanderes until you get to Tension; in which she is shipped with Hatsune Miku.
- "The Genius Next Door" by Regina Spektor:
In the morning the film crews start arriving
With donuts, coffee, and reporters
- "We Are the World" (the original one from the 1980s, not the remake made in light of the earthquake in Haiti) had an all-star cast of musicians ... and Dan Aykroyd.
- "Major Denial" by Bowling for Soup:
Would you like to hang around and get to know me?
Tell me things you'd like to show me?
Tie me up like I'm a pony?
- The 1812 Overture list of instruments seems fairly ordinary until you get to the percussion section:
Timpani, a bass drum, a snare drum, cymbals, a tambourine, a triangle, a carillon, and a cannon.
- Hank Williams Jr.'s cover of his dad's "Mind Your Own Business" featured Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Tom Petty... and New York evangelist Reverend Ike.
- Australia's Today Tonight ran a story in early 2007 about a man who was, quote, "an armed robber, drug trafficker, and shonky builder."
- A Piranha Club strip has several solicitors, each for different charities: "Save the Condors", "Save the Polar Bears", "Save the Whales", "Save the Pandas", "Save the Rain Forest", "Save the Elephants", and finally "Save the Leftover Spaghetti Sauce".
- Bigfoot's cave in White Water houses five items, discovered in this order:
"Hey, a flashlight!"
"Hey, a map!"
"Hey, a key!"
"Hey, a camera!"
"Hey, a... COW?!"
- The Truth multiball in The X-Files has the player unscramble four messages in order: Deny everything, the truth is out there, trust no one, and "Super Jackpot".
- When describing the Avengers, Joel Zammit of Plumbing the Death Star intentionally leaves Black Widow and Hawkeye at the end of the sentence to make a point of how out of place they are in the group.
"As I said so many episodes ago, the Avengers is like strong guy, strong guy, strong guy, very strong guy, bow and arrow, guns."
- On an episode of WWE Raw, The New Day showed up to protest The Dudley Boyz. Xavier Woods was holding a sign that said 'Save a table. break a Dudley. Kofi Kingston was holding a sign that said #givetablesachance. Big E just held up a sign that said 'Booty'.
- At the 2014 edition of WWE Payback The Shield faced Evolution. The Shield's outfits were all black, Triple H and Randy Orton wore black with white designs, even the referee was in black and white, but then Batista came out in a blue outfit. It caused "#bluetista" to trend during the whole match.
- Cyrano de Bergerac: After Cyrano wounds Viscount De Valvert while singing a ballad in his honour, Burgundy Theater's public comments about the duel:
(Acclamations. Applause in the boxes. Flowers and handkerchiefs are thrown down. The officers surround Cyrano, congratulating him. Ragueneau dances for joy. Le Bret is happy but anxious. The viscount's friends hold him up and bear him away.)
The Crowd (with one long shout): Ah!
A Trooper: Tis superb!
A woman: A pretty stroke!
Raguenau: A marvel!
A Marquis: A novelty!
Le Bret: O madman!
- In the opening scene of The Most Happy Fella, Cleo describes what her customer left on her table:
"Seven million crumbs and a gravy spot,
Teaspoon stuck in the mustard pot,
Napkin on the floor,
Ashes in the cup
And—one Canadian dime!"
- The Complete History Of America Abridged uses this twice in the Film Noir parody:
- An audio montage of assassination victims of the 1960s includes snippets, each followed by a gunshot, of the voices of John F. Kennedy ("Ask not what your country can do for you"), Martin Luther King ("I have a dream"), Malcolm X ("By any means necessary"), Robert F. Kennedy ("To follow in the footsteps of my brother"), and Anne Murray ("Spread your tiny wings and fly away").
- When the Cold War ends, the Private Eye Monologue pronounces Communism dead except in China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, Angola, Mozambique, North Yemen, and Vermont.
- Borderlands and Borderlands 2 both do this when introducing the characters and their classes. In the first game, we have Mordecai as The Hunter, Lilith as the Siren, Roland as The Soldier and Brick as Himself. The next game does Axton as The Commando, Maya as The Siren, Salvador as The Gunzerker and Zero as A Number.
- In the first game's "The Secret Armory of General Knoxx" DLC, the Crimson Lance drone enemies will occasionally quip that their contents can poison small pets, livestock and people named Jason.
- The Pre-Sequel! continues this tradition with Wilhelm as The Enforcer, Athena as The Gladiator, Nisha as The Lawbringer and Claptrap as A Mistake.
- The third game does this with FL4K as The Beastmaster, Moze as The Gunner, Amara as The Siren and Zane Flynt as Himselves.
- Civilization V had the tendency to sneak a strange or humorous city name at or near the end of the long city list, one that would be seen by few players during a normal game. There were, say, "Mumbles" (a district in Swansea) for England and "Lebam" (a tiny place in Washington state) for America. Mods often continue this trend; for instance, one based on Zootopia includes "Wilde Times" as the last city, which only appeared in an alternate draft of the script.
- Crash Bandicoot
- In Crash Tag Team Racing, in one of Cortex's lines when he's separating from a car he's currently clashed with, he claims to be "a lone wolf, a bald eagle, a burrowing hamster".
- In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, Coco plans to turn the eye of the destroyed Doominator robot into an entertainment system that will play games, watch movies, and dispense butter.
- One of the promos for Grim Fandango had an interesting description of its main character, Manny Calavera.
- He's suave! He's debonair! He's DEAD!
- Mass Effect 3:
- In Citadel, there's this little gem in the casino.
Jonah Ashland: Look at them down there. Twenty years ago you'd have never seen a shindig like this. Humans and turians together like it's nothing. Council species all concerned about the fate of batarians... Everybody trying to have sex with the asari...
Shepard: That's not new.
Jonah Ashland: Just seeing if you were awake.
- When questioned why Girly Girl Diana Allers was chosen to host the military-sponsored war program Battlespace she has this to say:
- In Citadel, there's this little gem in the casino.
- Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair has the This Is a Work of Fiction disclaimer, which says that "Any resemblance to real, people, events, locations and supernatural beings is purely coincidental."
- In World of Warcraft there's a quest which has players delivering a package containing compressed blasting powder, a tempered mithril bomb casing, and some safety goggles. If you don't understand why this qualifies, then you don't know Goblins. They are fans of Stuff Blowing Up but are not very big on safety.
- Of the five pillars of creation, four of them are named after Titansnote but the fifth is named after Elune, whose nature is unknown.
- During the Nighthold dungeon in Legion, you can come across the Secret Chambers of Grand Magistrix Elisande, a Royal Harem of handsome Nightborne Elf paramours. For reasons never explained, there is also a Gnome among them.
- In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, during Hubert and Edelgard's A support, Edelgard insists that Hubert not keep secrets from her, referring to the covert actions that Hubert took to eliminate Edelgard's enemies. Hubert then yields, leading to his Love Confession to Edelgard.
"Very well. You have me beaten. I will tell you as much as I am able. From the assassins I've eliminated, to the gold I've spent on bribes...to the identity of the one I love."
- Homestuck: The tapestries displaying the elemental symbols of the four kids hanging in the white castle read thus:
They wait for he who would extinguish candles whilst fanning a fire.
They wait for she who would thaw solid flesh and resolve it into a dew.
They wait for she who would breed lilacs out of the dead land.
They wait for he who would drop it like it's hot whilst the pimp's in the crib.
- Real Life Comics extrapolates the generational evolution of electronic technology in popular music here: In order, characters complain about music being used without instruments (synthesizers being introduced), without actual singing (autotune), without actual people (computers procedurally generating music), and finally the ability of music to be played at all (due to oppression by robot overlords). Counts as a Famous, Famous, Fictional, among other things.
- xkcd listed all the fluids in a human body, ending with gin. Although, since it's riffing on a famous Winston Churchill speech, gin should probably be higher on the list.
- The Daily Derp: "Best wishes for all of you in college/work/mars"
- In Girl Genius the librarians list the various secret writings Van Rijn used in his book. Most of them are sparky stuff like phasing ink and four-dimensional cryptograms. The last one is lemon juice.
- Wily Shorts:
Top Man: I want to be in the Indy 500!
Quick Man: I want to break the sound barrier!
Turbo Man: I just want to sit at home and eat chips.
- ASDF Movie:
Girl: I like singing!Boy: I like dancing!I Like Trains Kid: I like trains. *run over by train*
- Zero Punctuation loves to do these in the animation. In the L.A. Noire review, there is a mention of the main character "hopping around between four different police departments", which is illustrated with four doors marked Traffic, Homicide, Vice and Biscuits.
- In Bonus Stage, the last of the Cool And Unusual Punishments that Joel gets to choose from when going to hell is eating Satan's mom's spaghetti when the first two were related to watching something 24/7.
- How It Should Have Ended: Mortal Kombat has the free-for-all confrontation between Liu Kang, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, and ... a guy with a gun.
- In the fifth episode of Anyone But Me, Jonathan, Vivian, and Sophie are all late to class. Their reactions?
- This quote from Shit My Students Write
Napoleon a great leader had three main keys to his success as a leader, the terror he brought, his military, and he was a go-getter.
- From Cracked:
- "Martha Stewart, for that two percent of Cracked readers who don't know, is a media mogul known for her cooking, gardening, etiquette, arts & crafts and pure evilness."
- From "6 common movie arguments that are always wrong," we face a turn from the classical to pop cultural:
-There's really only so many basic stories that can exist. The main character is trying to get somewhere (the Odyssey), get something (the legend of the Golden Fleece), win someone's heart (the Iliad), get revenge (Cain and Abel) or save the world (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure).
- The Onion published a list of those we lost in 2011. Unless you have a particular hatred for the author of Family Circus, this trope is in full effect, since boring cartoons are not akin to mass murder.
- The news aggregator website Drew Curtis' Fark.com allows viewers to submit news articles for discussion with new, (hopefully humorous), headlines, many of which follow this trope.
- Welcome to... Tumblr when it gets on the videos:
"Do you upload videos? Great! Just make sure you upload them to YouTube, Daily Motion or xvideos.com first, because the Tumblr player is absolutely terr s absolutely terr s absolutely terr ible-ible-ible-ible! Absolutely terr"
- The Homestar Runner cartoon "Why Come Only One Girl?" has a montage of scenes towards the end showing what might happen if any of the planned female characters were ever put in a cartoon. Cue Strong Bad...
—Strong Bad: ...my style. (gets slapped, cut) ...my types. (gets slapped, cut) ...my stuff. (gets slapped, cut) ...The Cheat. (gets slapped, cut)
- On Reddit, a fan of The Dresden Files tried to compile all of the titles Harry had gained in-universe. They were all suitably regal and dramatic note , except for the last one:
Father of Two.
- The "differenze linguistiche" meme. It involves taking a word and translating it into different languages, with the last one, usually German or Finnish, sounding very different.
- Matthew Santoro:
- In 20 Haunting Halloween Facts, Matt says, "Pumpkins also come in blue, green, and white. This is great for kids that might want to carve their favourite childhood character. Like Papa Smurf, or Kermit the Frog, or... Michael Jackson!"
- In 20 Valentines Day facts, Matt says, "It's almost February 14th, and that means it's almost Valentine's Day! A day where people show they love each other with diamonds, roses, chocolates, and... other things."
- In I'm Probably on a Plane or a Ship Right Now, Matt tells the audience that if he doesn't upload a vlog the day after, then it'll be because he choked on a chicken wing, he got stabbed, the ship he's going on sank, or he got attacked by a rabbit sloth.
- In 20 Haunting Halloween Facts, Matt says, "The most common costume for male adults is a vampire. For female adults, it's a witch. For Elton John, it's a pack of fudge. [Beat] What?"
- In 20 Jolly Christmas Facts, Matt references Michael Jackson's alleged pedophilia. He says that, according to legend, St. Nicholas would bring gifts for good children, coal for bad children, and Michael Jackson for really bad children.
- In 20 Lucky St. Patrick's Day Facts, Matt says that a good classification for a leprechaun would be a troll, a gnome, or Seth Green.
- In The A.D.D Test, Matt expects instant news, instant coffee, and instant porn.
- In this weird story Guenevere "asked out Jimmy Wherever and Ilya Muromets and Maid Marian but they all said no and then England was at war with Canada and Russia and England."
- "If Quake was done today" (a satirical video by Kai Moosmann) begins with a parade of logos for id Tech 2, Bethesda Game Studios, Face FX, Scaleform, Speedtree, and Aldi Süd, which is not a middleware company but a German supermarket.
- Petscop: The pause menu before the Art Shift shows Resume Game, Options, Pets (for Bios about pets caught) and Book of Baby Names.
- JonTron once was putting decoration on his house, but feeling something is off with the picture he hung up: four pictures depicting John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and... ALF.
- A meme that started on Tumblr and migrated to other social media takes the form "Reblog/retweet/share if you are [minority group], support [minority group], or [extremely mundane trait]". The joke is that the last trait makes it a blatant Push Poll.
- In the Brandy & Mr. Whiskers episode "Lack of Brains vs. Brawns", Whiskers states that he and Brandy go together like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, and donkeys and trombones.
- Happens to Scrooge McDuck while he's reading the paper in the DuckTales (1987) episode "Robot Robbers":
Scrooge: "McDuck Assets Top $200 Bajillion" — delightful. "McDuck Stock Reaches All-Time High" — wonderful. "McDuck Loses Construction Bid to Flintheart Glomgold"... DAH!
- Like the Penguins of Madagascar example, in the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Berry Scary", Bloo repeatedly calls Berry other names that rhyme with hers, up until the end where he calls her Heather.
- Futurama in "A Head in the Polls":
Morbo: "I now present: puny human #1, puny human #2, and Morbo's good friend Richard Nixon."
- From the pilot:
Professor Farmsworth: Let me show you around. That's my lab table, and this is my work stool, and over there is my intergalactic spaceship, and here's where I keep assorted lengths of wire.
- From the pilot:
- The Invader Zim episode "Hobo 13" features Zim requesting extra ordnance from his leaders, The Tallest. His malfunctioning robot GIR adds a few items to the list, managing to combine Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking, Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick, and Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs.
- The Justice League episode "Secret Society" had this:
Gorrila Grodd: [We are not in it for the money] Sinestro has a blood oath against all Green Lanterns, Parasite simply hates Superman, Giganta is totally devoted to me.
The Shade: And the other one?
Gorrila Grodd: Killer Frost? She just likes to kill things.
- In an episode of the French cartoon Kaeloo parodying Dora the Explorer, the main four decide to each say the same thing in a different language (Kaeloo in English, Quack Quack in "quacks", Mr. Cat in German and Stumpy in Spanish:
Kaeloo: The grass is green!
Quack Quack: Quack!
Mr. Cat: Das gras ist grün!
Stumpy (singing): Tapas, parilla, grilla madre de pizza, en vida, comme cheetah gorilla!
- In the Pickle and Peanut episode "Busted Arm", Peanut's fake cast dissolves in a water slide, which results in a clogged pipage. While getting on the second slide, the water buildup sends him flying into a snack shack, a sign, and an acid tank. End result: He is left as a head with veins sticking out at the bottom of his neck.
- Happens in the Ready Jet Go! episode "Detective Mindy":
Sydney: How does [the black hole] do that?
Mindy: And how did it get there?
Jet: And how does my hair look today? (beat) Oh...not the right time?
- This happens again in Galileo, Galileo!, where Sean is listing his heroes: Galileo Galilei, Neil Armstrong, Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, and Patti Smith.note . Even Sunspot seems confused.
- In "Sean Has A Cold", when Jet explains why he chose Earth for his Best Buddy kite, he explains that Earth is round, has air and water, trees, and pie.
- In The Simpsons "Bart Gets an Elephant", Lisa asks someone if they're an ivory dealer, with the reply "Well, little girl, I've had lots of jobs in my day: whale-hunter, seal-clubber, president of the Fox network..."
- In the "Treehouse of Horror IV" segment "The Devil and Homer Simpson" when Satan brings out his jury, ending with Richard Nixon, Nixon objects that he's not dead yet.
- Steven Universe:
- "Catch and Release": Steven is getting ready for bed, and says goodnight to his stuffed animals: "Good night, happy bear. Good night, sad bunny. Good night, playful kitty. Good night, ominous triangle at the foot of my bed." The "ominous triangle" turns out to be Peridot, who kidnaps Steven and tries to get him to help fix the Galaxy Warp.
- "Back to the Moon": Steven names the Rubies based on the placement of their gems: Army (arm), Leggy (leg), Navy (navel), Eyeball (eye), and... Doc (chest).
- In an episode of The X's, Glowface sees the family at the laundromat and thinks they're plotting against him, so he thinks all of their things are weapons in disguise.
Glowface: Hand grenades disguised as lint brushes! Explosives disguised as detergent! Armed personnel carriers disguised as laundry carts! Killer robots disguised as that bush!
- The hedgehog gene, first discovered in fruit flies, has three homologues found in mammals. They are called "desert hedgehog", "Indian hedgehog", and "Sonic hedgehog", the latter being most extensively researched (enough that a molecular inhibitor for the gene was named "Robotnikinin").
- Cornell University plays this trope straight with respect to the Ivy League.
- The rest of the Ivies were founded during America's Colonial period. Cornell was founded in 1865, mere weeks after the end of the Civil War.
- While Cornell is a private institution like all other Ivies, it's the only member that receives direct funding from a state government (i.e., apart from grants for specific research projects). Cornell contracts with New York State to serve as that state's land-grant (agricultural) university and the state provides money to three of its colleges that perform land-grant functions.
- Cornell is the only Ivy member that was coeducational from its founding.
- It's also the only Ivy member whose official motto is written in English. The official mottos of all other Ivy members except Yale are written in Latin; Yale's is in both Hebrew and Latin.