Follow TV Tropes


This Explains So Much

Go To
The joke he's laughing at is too stupid to print... that's the joke.
Mobius: Do you have candy on Asgard?
Loki: Yeah. Grapes, nuts.
Mobius: No wonder you're so bitter.

Stock Phrases are usually uttered in comedies. Basically, someone has learned something strange about another character, but rather than being surprised or shocked, they take it in stride. Why? Because it actually explains a great deal of the odd characteristics of the character in question.

Usually intended as a Stealth Insult. Basically In-Universe Fridge Brilliance and Mind Screwdriver in more serious works. Can be Played for Laughs or Played for Drama depending on general context.

Compare with "Eureka!" Moment.


    open/close all folders 

  • One of the 2015 McDonald's ads that used a revamped Hamburglar to advertise their third pound sirloin burgers depicts the Hamburglar's son walking in on his dad changing into his iconic costume and stating "That explains so much".

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku remarks that he appreciates his wife Chi-Chi being strong-willed, and Vegeta (whose wife Bulma is the same way) states that Saiyan men are naturally attracted to strong women, since Saiyan women were similarly strong. Piccolo, who's standing in the background, gets a Jaw Drop as he thinks to himself "That. Explains. EVERYTHING!"
  • In K-On!, this is Azusa's reaction when she learned that Sumire used to bring Mugi manga. Said manga is implied to be yuri manga.
  • One Piece:
    • Upon the Straw Hats meeting Garp, Luffy's grandfather, they find out about the Training from Hell he subjected his grandson to at a very young age. They all then realize where Luffy's stubborn refusal to die comes from.
    • During the "Marineford Arc", when Sengoku reveals that Luffy is the son of the revolutionary Dragon, this helps Smoker to realize why Dragon appeared back in Loguetown and prevented him from capturing Luffy.
  • In the fifth-to-last episode of Sonic X, this is exactly what Sonic says after he has been listening in on Hertia/Earthia telling a story to Amy and Rouge about how her former home planet Seedrius-Flora/Greengate got destroyed and how the Metarex, the main villains of the third season, came into the picture.
  • In Tiger Mask W this is Miss X's reaction when she learns the new Tiger Mask has been trained by a former Tiger's Den wrestler, as it explains why he's as strong as if he had been trained by Tiger's Den.
  • In To Love Ru, this is just about every human character's response to learning that Lala is an alien.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe science fiction saga The Lords of the Universe this is Mickey's reaction when Goofy is revealed to be one of the twelve Masters, as it confirms he has extraterrestrial ancestors (something Mickey had actually suspected for a while).

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin's father tells him that unlike other babies who were brought by a Delivery Stork, Calvin was unceremoniously dumped down the chimney, with his father saying it explains a lot about him.
  • In this Dilbert comic, the pointy-haired boss bursts into laughter upon seeing sarcasm formatted in such a way as to minimally resemble a joke, causing Dilbert respond with the stock phrase.
  • The June 16, 1999 strip of Garfield has Garfield quip "This explains a lot" after Jon tells him that he played pin the tail on the donkey with a real donkey on his 21st birthday and doesn't recall much after doing so.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Castlevania fic Blood Relations, Soma and Mina have this reaction when they find out Arikado is a vampire (strictly speaking, he's a Dhampyr, but they don't know that and it's a little more information than he's willing to share).
  • In A Door Jam, Twilight and Applejack give each other a look that says this when they hear that Pinkie Pie hits her head on her ceiling every morning.
  • An Impractical Guide to Godhood: After Percy meets Hercules, the God of Strength's attitude and demeanor cause him to comment that now he has a better understanding of why Zoe Nightshade became such a misandrist after he seduced and used her.
  • When Hitsuguya finds out that Ichigo's inner world is normally tilted on it's side in Ichigo, Meet Ichigo, he says, "I suppose that makes sense, now that I think about it."
  • In Magnetism, this is what Fluttershy realizes when she remembers that Rainbow Dash - who in this fic is Oblivious to Love, and prone to inadvertent innuendo that she never seems to notice - was home sick during the week when sex ed was taught.
  • In National Security, Neal wonders how America/Alfred ended up the way he did (while unaware of national personifications). When he hears Alfred's former guardian over the phone swearing and desperately chasing Tony while chanting a bizarre spell, Neal thinks that it explains everything.
  • This Bites!:
    • Luffy offhandedly tells Chopper that his grandfather taught him that concussions are harmless (they're not). Self-Insert Cross groans that if Garp really believes that, it explains much about Luffy's Idiot Hero status.
    • Played for Laughs when Cross sees the damage Luffy had caused, prompting him to wonder if Luffy was a human, a monster, or a freak force of nature.
      Soundbite: D: all of the above!
      Cross: ...That makes way too much sense.
    • Upon being faced down by the Unluckies for the third time and chased all over Water 7, Cross demands to know just where the hell an otter and a vulture could have come from to be this stupidly tough. Mr. 13 bluntly informs him that they were born on Kuraigana Island, home of Dracule Mihawk, whilst Miss Friday grumbles about the island's resident Humandrills. Cross takes a moment to process this, before admitting that it makes sense.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • This response to Duke Devlin's desire to avenge Pegasus.
      Duke: He was my idol! I've tried my whole life to be as masculine as he is!
      Yami: That would explain a lot.
    • During the matches on Kaiba's blimp, Tristan assumes they're in outer space. Then Bakura summons Dark Necrofear, a gaunt, sallow and thin figure...
      Tristan: Ahh! It's an alien! Just like the ones that abducted me when I was a child.
      Tea: That explains so much, and yet so little.
    • Then later, during the Virtual World Arc, when Team 4Kids states that their test audiences loved their dub of One Piece, the scene switches to Iruka and The Hokage from Naruto: The Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show.
      Iruka: Guess what Hokage, I was the guy who test screened the 4Kids One Piece dub!
      Hokage: That makes way too much sense.
    • During Marik's fifth "Evil Council" video, Bakura defects to Dartz' Evil Council, and Marik declares that Bakura's name is never to be spoken again, simply calling him "He Who Shall Not Be Named."
      Zorc: Bakura was Voldemort? That explains so much.
  • In Freedom From Fear, after Mrs.Beakley explains to Lena that she's a retired spy, Lena notes that explains so much about Webby.
  • Maria Campbell of the Astral Clocktower:
    • Maria spends the first twenty or so chapters under the mistaken impression that Katarina is trying to seduce her. Later, when she and Keith are discussing their past traumas, she dryly notes that she's so messed up that when someone paid her an honest compliment for the first time in years, she assumed she was being invited to join a harem.
      Keith: That explains so much of the first half of our first year.
    • When Katarina uses the phrase "trash fetish" (correctly!) her friends are shocked, and blame local not-so Covert Pervert Sophia for teaching it to her. She claims that she never uses that phrase, because she believes there's no such thing as a "trash fetish". Her friends consider that this explains a lot about her personality.
  • One for All and Eight for the Ninth: When Aizawa tells Inko Midoriya how Power Loader argued in favor of putting Mei Hatsume in 1-A's dormitory, since Izuku and the other girls are the only ones that can convince Mei to take regular breaks, Inko devolves into a mutter storm much like Izuku's to plot a routine for Mei, causing Aizawa to realize "the world suddenly made sense".
  • Spooky: Tombstones says one of the requirements of being a reaper is having "above-average intelligence"; when Claw questions how the not very bright Tombstones got the job, the Mynci says he won it in a sweepstakes. Claw comments that this fact explains a lot about him as Komo tells Tombstones his robe is on fire because of some candles he sliced in half earlier.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Almost Famous, William's response to finding out that his mother has been lying to him about his own age so that he wouldn't know that he'd actually skipped two grades is literally "This explains so much."
  • From The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, regarding Britney Spears:
    Madam Varcoloc: She's a werewolf, you know.
    Hunter: That explains a few things.
  • Men in Black:
    • At the end of the movie, J offhandedly mentions to L that Dennis Rodman is an alien, which results in this:
      L: The high consulate from Solaxium 9 wants seats for the next Bulls game.
      J: Let's put in a call to Dennis Rodman. He's from that planet.
      L: Rodman? You're kidding.
      J: Nope.
      L: Not much of a disguise.
    • And earlier, J gets this realization that his 3rd grade teacher was an alien, which he's suspected all along.
    • When Dr. Weaver and J see that the man she was performing an autopsy on was actually a human-shaped transportation unit for a dying alien, Dr. Weaver starts muttering to herself about how the presence of aliens makes so much sense, because "how else can you explain New York?"
  • In Mr. Deeds, Longfellow Deeds persuades a packed boardroom to remember their childhood dreams and ambitions, and one of his neighbours, a denim-and-flannel-shirt-clad woman announces that her wish was to become a man. Deeds' response is justified.
  • When Shakes disguises himself as a mime in Shakes the Clown to search for clues to the solving of a murder at a mime school, his two friends nearly beat him to a pulp (mimes are subject to Fantastic Racism in this movie) before realizing who it is - and even then, they remain disgusted, with one of them remarking that he suddenly understands "all those times he would just sit there saying nothing." But Shakes finally manages to persuade his friends that he's still a clown.
  • Some Kind of Wonderful has this darling piece of dialogue:
    Ray: If you wanted to, you could be a that!
    Watts: Ray, this is 1987. Did you know that a girl can be whatever she wants to be?
    Ray: I know, my mom's a plumber.
    Watts: That explains a lot about you, Ray.

  • The Cousins: When the main trio's fellow intern Brittany learns that Milly and Jonah, who have quite a bit of chemistry, aren't really cousins, she says "Everything makes so much more sense now."
  • Gravity Falls: Journal 3: Dipper's Observation #1 about Quentin Trembley. "Haircut by his third wife, Sandy. (She was a woodpecker. That explains a lot.)"
  • The Dick Francis short story "A Song for Mona" features the eponymous stable worker and her social-climbing Antagonistic Offspring daughter Joanie, who obsessively tries to cut Mona out of her life and keep people from knowing about her origins. At the end of the story, Mona's friends find a newspaper article mentioning that Joanie's father was convicted of child rape when she was ten (whether she was his victim is unclear) and comment "This explains a lot."
  • The Discworld novel Moving Pictures says that the author of the Necrotellonimicon, Abdul the "Sometimes-I-Just-Get-These-Headaches", has an About the Author section which says his other book is "The Bumper Book of Kitten Pictures", which may shed some light on things.
  • Linked: Clayton Pouncey's grandfather was a member of the KKK "and worse", and took his five-year-old son (who grew up to be a more low-key racist) to a mass cross-burning, the Night of a Thousand Flames. After hearing this story, Pouncey's friend Jordie muses that that explains why barely anyone attended Pouncey's grandfather's funeral (and some of those who did, like a younger Jordie, were ignorant of the old man's past and/or just wanted to be there for his family).

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick discovered he was Canadian in his phony Earth identity. When he told Mary that he was Canadian, she said that it explained all his weird behavior.
  • In the first episode of the last season of 30 Rock, Jack explains that he's been deliberately "tanking" NBC, so that it will turn into a money-losing embarrassment and the owner will have to sell it.
  • Angel: from "Destiny", as Spike demands an office at Wolfram & Hart:
    Spike: At least give me Wesley's office, I mean, since he's gone -
    Angel: He's not gone, he's on a leave of absence.
    Spike: Yeah, right. Boo hoo. Thought he killed his bloody father. Try staking your mother when she's coming on to you!
    Harmony: Well. That explains a lot.
  • When Felicity Smoak of Arrow learns that Oliver is The Hood, she has this to say:
    Felicity: Everything about you just became so unbelievably clear.
    • Felicity ends up on the receiving end in a later episode. When Curtis first meets Felicity's mother, he's visibly confused that this ditzy blonde is related to the technologically gifted Felicity (keep in mind that in her very first scene, Donna is shown to be incapable of properly sending a text message). Later, he meets Felicity's father Noah, an Evil Genius notorious criminal hacker, and comments that the pairing makes Felicity's characteristics "make more sense".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: From "Surprise":
    Xander: Yes, vampires are real, there are a lot of them in Sunnydale.
    Willow: I know this must come as a shock...
    Oz: Actually, it explains a lot.
  • Cheers: Frasier Crane meets Cliff's mother:
    Frasier: I suddenly have an image of Cliff being heroically well-adjusted.
  • CSI: In the episode "Happenstance", the second victim's therapist is intrigued to learn that she was adopted and says it explains a lot about how she had a harder time connecting with her family.
  • After Mike meets Susan's rather... flighty mother in Desperate Housewives:
    I had a bunch of questions about you. They were all just answered.
  • Growing Pains: When Carol complains about her nomination for Homecoming Queen in the eponymous episode, she says that Homecoming Queens never do anything consequential with their lives. Maggie argues that she was Homecoming Queen, and Carol says "that explains so much."
  • In an episode of Hannah Montana, Lily and Miley are sitting in front of their computer when they receive a video e-mail from their teacher Mr. Corelli reminding them about International Relations week at school. During the course of this video, it is revealed that he still lives with his mother and is somewhat nerdy. This causes Lily to remark "This explains so much."
  • NCIS:
    Tony: You know, repeated head trauma causes brain damage?
    McGee: Explains a lot.
    • In another episode, after Kate compares Tony and McGee's bickering to her two "practically psychotic" older brothers:
    Gibbs: Are your brothers really like that?
    Kate: Sadly, yes.
    Gibbs: Explains a lot.
  • Newhart: when the regulars are convinced that aliens are invading the inn. And then Larry, his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl arrive.
    George: They're the guys from space?
    Dick Loudon: That would explain so much.
  • Psych: In the episode "Shawn Versus Darth Vader", when a foreign exchange student learns that his host is a Stalker with a Crush who was obsessed with his girlfriend and is being accused of killing her, he muses that that would explain why his girlfriend stopped going to his host's house and had him meet her elsewhere.
  • In the last episode of Season 10 of Red Dwarf, we get a hell of a revelation that Rimmer's father really wasn't his father; it was actually the idiot family gardener, Dungo.
    Lister: And suddenly a billion-piece jigsaw puzzle falls beautifully into place!!
  • Resident Alien: After the initial shock of discovering that bumbling, strange Hugh Mann Harry is an alien, Asta remarks that it "sort of explains a lot."
  • Scrubs: In a crossover with Sesame Street, J.D. has a fantasy about treating a muppet patient, and explains that the issue is he has an arm up his butt. The muppet responds, "That explains so many things."
  • Subverted in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Kira has recently learned that Odo, whom she has been working alongside for quite a few years, has been in love with her the whole time, and is taking some time to figure out what to do about it. When she tells Jadzia about it, this conversation results:
    Jadzia: That explains a lot.
    Kira: What do you mean?
    Jadzia: ... I don't know, really. It just seemed like the thing to say.
  • In Stargirl (2020), when Yolanda finds out that Dr. King (the creepy father of her Jerk Jock ex-boyfriend) is a supervillain, her reply is, "Actually, that makes sense."
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin tells Harper that Alex thinks that there are no rules if you're on an island, prompting this exchange:
    Harper: But you live on Manhattan Island.
    Justin: I know. Doesn't that explain a lot?

    Video Games 
  • Disco Elysium: When the Militia reveal in the endgame that The Detective was a high school gym teacher before joining the RCM, Kim provides the stock phrase in an astonished tone.
  • Mass Effect 2: When Shepard and Tali discuss the geth situation with quarian admiral Daro'Xen, she snaps that someone experimenting on (sapient) machines should feel no more guilt than she did performing surgery on her childhood toys. Tali provides the stock phrase.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, taking a picture of one of the male pinup posters as Snake and sending it to Otacon will prompt him to remark, "So...this explains a lot."
  • In the lead-up to World of Warcraft: Legion, it is revealed that the entire world of Azeroth itself is more just a "hunk of rock", rather, it is actually a titan, one of the race of beings who created the world, and one of which leads the Burning Legion. Khadgar is shocked at first, but notes "That...actually explains a great many things."

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • In Season 5, when Sister first shows up, she comments that her and Grif's mother was in the circus. Prompting Simmons to respond, "You've already made my insults 45% more efficient by just saying one sentence."
    • Back in Season 2, Doc is less confused once he learns that the Reds "ran out of water months ago" and have been drinking nothing but soysauce, ketchup, and gravy.
    • In Season 14's "Meta vs. Agent Carolina" prologue, Grif and Simmons learn that Carolina is the daughter of Tex, and Simmons remarks, "Huh...suddenly everything makes a lot more sense."

  • Variant phrase, same sentiment in 8-Bit Theater. After Black Mage has been hit by what Red Mage describes as the dreaded "Goblin Punch".
    Thief: You called it a Goblin Punch. Even though it was clearly a kick. And there isn't a goblin around for miles.
    Red Mage: What? That's the name of the attack, as laid down by the greatest Red Mage cryptozoologist of all time: Blindy O'Sightless.
    Thief: The more I learn about you, the more it makes sense.
  • In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, Mario has this reaction when hears about the number of times Max Force had been hit by hallucinogenic drug-filled needles in his war on drugs. Alex states that this is the tip of the iceberg.
  • In Darths & Droids when Qui-Gon (played as an idiot kleptomaniac) suggests that he acquired his laser sword by killing a Cheddar Monk and taking it from him. Padmé/the DM says "You know...that would explain a lot".
  • In the Castle Heterodyne Arc of Girl Genius, Agatha, Gil, and Tarvek find the Heterodyne Nursery which has a rampaging huge, steel-clawed, shoulder-spiked jack-in-the-box clank that acted as a nanny to the bloodthirsty, murderous Heterodynes. After it finally stops wrestling with boys, Tarvek comments on the trope.
  • Used at least once in Andrew Hussie's second-person webcomic Homestuck: "You suddenly understand everything."
  • Subverted in Questionable Content, when Hanners reveals that she grew up on a space station. (Her dad is a Mad Scientist.)
    Faye: You're actually from space?
    Hannelore: Yes. I'd say "That explains a lot, doesn't it?", but it really doesn't.

    Web Original 
  • In The Annoying Orange video Introduction To "Ultimate Dog Tease" (when Marshmallow and Midget Apple have just watched Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog):
    Marshmallow: Yay! I love Bizkit!
    Midget Apple: You think Bizkit's gonna be okay after bashing his head against the wall?
    Marshmallow: Ooh! I love bashing my head against the wall!
    Midget Apple: That explains a lot, actually.
  • In Bibliography, Raoul answers that when he learns that his Super-Strength came at the price of his sense of direction: A moment earlier, he had gotten spectacularly lost.
  • CollegeHumor: In one of the jeggings videos, where teenagers keep coming to school wearing inappropriate clothing, the exasperated teacher eventually asks them what their parents have to say about it. When one of them confesses that all of their parents have died, he pauses and admits that does make sense.
  • The Spoony Experiment: Spoony's reaction in his "Let's Play Phantasmagoria 2", after the big reveal that the otherwise bland, dorky PC Curtis Craig is literally not of this world.
    Spoony: So let's see if I have this right—according to Warner, Curtis is really an alien made out of slime and rat testicles? ... That actually explains a lot.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's reaction when Bugs Bunny references a joint by name in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue:
    Critic: If Bugs Bunny knows of a what joint is, that means he knows what drugs are! If Bugs Bunny knows what drugs are, then the rest of the Looney Tunes know what drugs are! If the rest of the Looney Tunes know what drugs are, well, that...just explains TOO GODDAMN MUCH!

    Western Animation 
  • Archer:
    • There are many times when Malory does something to which another character (sometimes Archer himself) states "A ton of stuff started making sense [about Archer's behavior]", or something to that effect.
      Malory: 'cause he'll be back! Crying for his mommy! Just like that Christmas break when I moved and forgot to give my new address to his stupid boarding school. I mean, he rode the train into the city all by himself, he couldn't pick up a phone book? 9 years old and bawling in that police station like a little girl! Huh - what's that tell you?
      Cheryl: Kind of a lot, actually...
    • There's also several instances where Archer questions if he's on the Autism Spectrum, as he finds himself being the only one able to identify weapons at a glance, keep track of bullet counts, and other such things when in battles. Most people when they hear this theory usually say something along the lines of "Huh. That would explain a lot."
  • In Big Mouth, after Coach Steve confesses to Mr. Lizer that he's never "done sex", Mr. Lizer's response is: "That makes a tremendous amount of sense."
  • In the CatDog special "Great Parent Hunt", Rancid Rabbit hosts a fair on Parents' Day, where the show's recurring characters bring their parents. Lube brings his parrots. Thinking Lube misheard, Rancid explains he was supposed to bring the people who raised him and made him what he is.
    Lube: Duh, yeah...parrots.
    Rancid: This explains all so much.
  • In the Big Boogey Adventure movie of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Grim Reaper notes that love makes people do stupid things. Billy then declares that he loves everything...which Grim retorts explains a lot.
  • In DuckTales (2017), when Dewey finds out that constantly-tweeting Attention Whore Mark Beaks is the son of tastemaker blogger Emma Glamour, he comments, "Huh, that actually makes a lot of sense."
  • Used to the point it's a Running Gag in Johnny Test. For example, in one of the race episodes, Gil reveals to his partner, Bling-Bling, that "[He] was raised in the wild by gorillas!"
    Bling-Bling: Huh. That explains a lot.
  • In the Mighty Magiswords episode "Bewitched, Bothered and Bothered Some More", Vambre remarks "This explains so much" in response to hearing that Flonk and Helmut, both of whom bullied her and her brother Prohyas when they were kids, are brothers and Flonk stating that Helmut taught him how to behave.
  • In the Mike, Lu & Og episode "The Great Snipe Hunt", Mike Mazinski learns from Wendel that a rock is an important present for Og because Albonquetine tradition dictates that the rite of passage is done by hitting one's own head with the rock. Mike then quips that this explains a lot, having observed plenty of bizarre shenanigans with the Albonquetine natives.
  • In the Muppet Babies (1984) episode "He's a Wonderful Frog", Rowlf tries to read a book to Kermit about Kermit's life, but finds that the book contains various nonsensical and inaccurate details, such as Kermit being raised by wolves and being elected emperor of California. It turns out that the book was put together by wannabe comedian Fozzie and Cloudcuckoolander Gonzo, which causes Rowlf to remark that that explains the book's absurd inaccuracy.
  • The Rocketeer: In "Hypnotic Hughesville", The Great Orsino has this reaction upon learning chickens are his assistant Deany's favorite animal.
  • The Simpsons
    • From "Homer Alone", after Marge has a nervous breakdown and stops her car in the middle of a bridge.
      Homer: Let me through, let me through! I'm her husband!
      Eddie: Well, that explains a lot. (He and Lou laugh)
    • From the episode "The Front":
      Homer's brain: This is it, Homer. It's time to tell her the horrible secret from your past.
      Homer: Marge, I ate those fancy soaps you bought for the bathroom.
      Marge: Oh, my God!
      Homer's brain: No, the other secret!
      Homer: Marge, I never graduated from high school.
      Marge: That still doesn't explain why you ate all the soaps. (sadly) Wait, maybe it does...
    • A positive example in "Mother Simpson", when Lisa meets Homer's long-lost mother and feels a rapport with her that she doesn't with any member of her immediate family.
  • Steven Universe: In "Made of Honor", Bismuth is initially shocked when Steven tells her about Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond being the same person, but after he further explains everything, including the Corrupted Gems, she realizes that everything makes perfect sense, since The Reveal fills in a lot of logical holes and explains what happened between her and Rose.
  • From an episode of Sushi Pack:
    Ben: If you want to wear one later, Tako, just speak up.
    Kani: Yeah, we can't read your mind!
    Tako: There's nothing to read.
    Kani: That explains so very, very much.

    Real Life 
  • Seen in this short video of Kiefer Sutherland in a state of extreme intoxication.


Video Example(s):



The ninjas are as shocked as Zane is at the discovery that the latter is actually an android.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / RoboticReveal

Media sources: