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Mr Popo: This carpet gets 10,000 miles to the soul.
Bulma: What?
Mr Popo The gallon.

Comedy trope: Alice says something. Then Bob says something or something happens that makes it clear that what she just said doesn't make sense. Alice quickly revises her statement and repeats it. On Second Thought is a more specific case of this, as are some forms of Inflationary Dialogue.

Alternatively, Alice attempts a compliment or insult. However, Bob responds with information contradicting what they thought, which could include Compliment Backfire or Insult Backfire. So, Alice tries again with a new insult or compliment, directly opposed to what they had just said. Could be compounded by a Hair-Trigger Temper.

Students of rhetoric may describe this as "epanorthosis". If Alice has to retract a practical idea that uses bad methods, it's a case of ...And That Would Be Wrong. If she has to retract a controversial opinion, it's a case of Not That There's Anything Wrong with That or Present Company Excluded. If she's retracting an opinion based on who else does or doesn't agree with it, it just might be a Favouritism Flip Flop. If she's retracting an insult to someone she hadn't meant to insult, it's because of Insult Friendly Fire.


Compare Freudian Slip (where the character says something that reveals thoughts he's concealing or repressing) and Last-Second Word Swap (where the character revises what he was just about to say before he actually says it). Also see Verbal Backpedaling where a improper statement is covered up with a flimsy explanation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Chapter 19/ Episode 6 of Asteroid in Love, the Newspaper Club interviews the geology team's attempt to perform boring (as in drilling) at the school playground using a makeshift bore.
    Ayano: But it looks too shabby to call a machine.
    (Mikage gives Ayano a dirty look)
    Ayano: Wow, it combines a simple design and affordability! Fantastic!
  • In The Demon Girl Next Door, Momo admits she gave Yuko her Twitter handle to get to know her better...right before claiming that was just a joke and it's just to keep an eye on her. One look at Momo's face makes it clear that it wasn't a joke.
  • In Fly Me to the Moon, Chitose and her maids, Charlotte and Aurora, visit the Arisugawa bathhouse. Chitose isn't impressed by the bathhouse, especially since her older sister Tsukasa is staying there, and Chitose doesn't consider it a good place for her. When Kaname notices the disparaging tone and gets offended, Chitose sheepishly says she "didn't mean anything bad by that," and tries to placate Kaname, prompting Aurora to call Chitose "a wuss."
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: Kuroe goes on a date with Arata at Destinyland, and her mother Rinko disguises herself in the costume of a Mocky Mouse called "Mitchy" to spy on them. When Kuroe's emotions get the better of her and she starts going through a Partial Transformation into Harugon as a result, Rinko runs up to her and starts calling her "Kuro-tan", only to quickly catch herself and start talking in a more Mitchy-esque manner while pretending not to know who Kuroe is.
  • The above dialogue from Morita-san Wa Mukuchi plays out when Mayu's trying to thank Ritsuki for fetching a book for her earlier.
  • In I Think Our Son Is Gay, these are part and parcel of Hiroki's Transparent Closet:

    Fan Works 
  • In Alpha and Omega, when Shinji has taken Councilor Tevos hostage, Aria demands to know what's going on from Tisala, a deep cover agent posing as one of her strippers.
    Aria: Do you still have your Spectre clearance?
    Tisala: Yes but I really shouldn't-" *Death Glare from Aria* "-really shouldn't be worrying about that right now.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Quirrell suggests to Dumbledore that Harry take Occlumency lessons, with the as-of-yet undetermined teacher to have his memory wiped after every training session and an unbreakable vow to not reveal anything.
    Dumbledore: Such services are extremely expensive, as you well know, and I cannot help but wonder why you deem them necessary.
    Harry: If it's money that's the problem, I have some ideas for making large amounts of money quickly—
    Dumbledore: [without missing a beat] Thank you Quirinus, your wisdom is now quite evident and I am sorry for disputing it.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, after Kyon receives a longcoat as a gift from Mikuru.
    Kyon: I won't be able to get much use out of this until next winter, but I know once I do, I will greatly appreciate this! Asahina-san, I don't know what I've done to deserve such a fine present, but I am very grateful.
    Tsuruya: I've seen that coat before. You had it on when you beat up those Sumiyoshi-rengo fellows who hurt Kasai!
    Koizumi: Y...yes. I've seen that once before, as well, that day you left even Mori-san impressed.
    Kyon: Or, you know, maybe even sooner than that.
  • There is also one in Time Braid after Sakura decimates Pain.
    Sakura: Hell, yeah! 'Not a front-line combatant' my ass, Sasuke! I am the champion of ass-kicking, you arrogant nutjob.
    [Sakura looks over and notices Naruto is winning a fight against three copies of himself with their will suppressed to release the Kyuubi entirely]
    Sakura:...Ok, maybe I'm the runner-up. That's alright, I can live with being second to a guy that can knock out the damned Kyuubi.
  • The Hamsterball Show has this exchange in its Get Smart parody:
    Ranger Fink: I happen to be an expert on escaping from these traps. Why, I've learned all kinds of escapes from watching four straight hours of MythBusters! Would you believe it? Four hours of MythBusters!
    Bonk the Hammer: I find that hard to believe.
    Ranger Fink: Would you believe three hours of Gilligan's Island?
    Bonk: I don't think so.
    Ranger Fink: How about half an hour of Odd Squad?
  • I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC: Spider-Man lamenting Marvel losing the licensing to Transformers some twenty years ago:
    Spider-Man: This is the worst decision Marvel has ever ma—
    [Deadpool holds up the head of his X-Men Origins: Wolverine In Name Only counterpart, a.k.a. Dude-Peel]
    Spider-Man: This is the second worst decision Marvel has ever made!
  • The Joker has one in episode 8 of The Joker Blogs.
    Joker: One or the other. It's the fork in the throat—road, fork in the road. Henry's the one with the, ah, fork in the throat.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Episode 10:
      Vegeta: You... you cut through my armor! This was a gift from my father!
      Yajirobe: I'm sorry, I'm sure your father was a great man!
      Vegeta: I HATED my father!
      Yajirobe: Oh, well then, I'm sure your father was a total prick.
    • Episode 11, where Bulma is amazed at the speed of Mr. Popo's magic carpet:
      Mr. Popo: Yep, this baby does 10,000 miles to the soul.
      Bulma: What?
      Mr. Popo: The gallon.
    • Episode 16:
      Freeza: You know, Zarbon, I'm starting to think my people don't understand what I pay them for.
      Zarbon: You don't pay us.
      Freeza: Allow them to live for.
    • Part 3 of Episode 60, when Krillin is denied a wish to turn Androids 17 and 18 back to full humans:
      Shenron: Look, I don't make the rules.
      Krillin: Then who does?!
      Mr. Popo: Hi.
      Krillin: ...because they are incredibly fair and balanced.
  • Foxy Lady: When Buffy, Xander, and Faith meet a Willow from an alternate universe.
    Faith: I doubt your world sucks as much as this one does.
    Willow: Pissed off mad scientist with access to the multiverse released a virus that caused a good portion of the female population to mutate at puberty, taking on supernatural traits. The whole fighting in darkness thing was dragged into the light and a lot of stupid people made a lot of stupid decisions. Major demonic incursions occur every three to five years.
    Faith: Welcome to Sunnydale!
  • The final episode of Hellsing Ultimate Abridged has Integra wrap up a saber fencing session.
    Integra: Alright everyone, hit the showers. And stop bullying Penwood Jr. Jr.!
    Penwood Jr. Jr.: I don't want to fence... I want to make reaction videos!
    Integra: Never mind. Bully him harder!
  • Ultra Fast Pony. After establishing that the zebras are subject to Fantastic Racism, Twilight tries to introduce herself to one of them:
    Twilight: Hey, Zecora. You wanna hang?
    (beat; Oh, Crap! expression on Twi's face)
    Twilight: Wow, that came out so wrong. I mean, do you wanna hang out?
  • The Muppets' fansite Tough Pigs had an article explaining how you, a rational adult Sesame Street fan, should explain to people who haven't watched Sesame Street since 1974 that "different" doesn't mean "bad".
    You: The Count is still around too, and so are all your other favorite characters.
    Binky: Like Sam the Robot?!
    You: ...almost all your other favorite characters.
  • On Texts from Superheroes, Tony gives Steve an online dating profile.
    Steve: And there were replies?
    Tony: Uh, yeah. Women, men, heroes, villains, talking raccoons, Pepper, which kind of annoyed me. All told you got 800 responses!
    Steve: Forgetting the ones that were from Coulson?
    Tony: You got 200 responses!
  • In It Started With a Kiss Botan who wants to join the others on a mission is tricked by Yusuke into thinking the only way to do so is to do a mission transfer with Hiei and the process involvesd a kiss. Not thinking it over she goes and does it and realizes she's been tricked with a now angry Hiei.
    Botan: I've just wasted my first and possibly only kiss on you!
    [Hiei's glare intensifies]
    Botan: N-not that it wasn't a nice kiss. In fact it was unexpectedly pleasant! You have very warm and inviting lips for such a cold and uninviting man.
  • Robb Returns: Pycelle doesn't like the fact Jon Arryn has elevated Bronn, a sellsword, to nobility, and begins expounding on the topic. However, Jon then mentions it was Bronn who found Baelish, his books, his secret books, and was key in his execution, and Pycelle immediately changes his mind, welcoming a bit of fresh blood.
  • A psychiatrist in Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum unofficially diagnosis Harry Potter with Bipolar Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, paranoia, and possibly schizophrenia. When she's told Harry's "conspiracy theories" about fighting Voldemort multiple times and teachers trying to kill him actually happened, she revises her diagnosis to claiming he's a well-adjusted young man.
  • In Thieves Can Be Heroes!, Izuku wonders how Kamoshida's victims can just take his abuse and not do anything about it. Then Izuku remembers his own bullying at the hands of Katsuki Bakugou and immediately takes his statement back.
  • At the start of the Thriller Bark saga in This Bites!, Leo objects to Brook joining the crew. Until Cross "innocently" drops the fact that Brook is also a swordsman, meaning Leo will no longer be Zoro's sole sparring dummy. He quickly goes to shake the skeleton's hand and welcomes him in.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Pyrrha tells Salem that no matter what Salem's evil plan is, it will never work. Salem says she was just going to show Pyrrha some of Jaune's baby pictures. Pyrrha quickly says there's no reason Salem can't try this evil plan anyway.
  • In Wood it Work, a vampire spots Xander, Jesse, and Sharon near a valley and says that it seems lunch is on him. Once he recognizes who they are, he promptly adds that he meant that he'll be paying for the first round at Willy's bar.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Megamind, after Roxanne's report:
    Hal: Wow, okay, the stuff they make you read on air, that's un-freakin'-believable. It's crazy!
    Roxanne: I wrote that piece myself, Hal.
    Hal: What I was trying to say was, I can't believe that in our modern society, they let actual art get onto the news.
    Roxanne: Nice save, Hal!
  • Robots:
    Crank: Yeah, 'cause there's seven of us, and only one of you.
    [Madame Gaskett's minions appear]
    Fender: Let's see. There's seven of us and eight...nine...
    Crank: Did you count that one?
    Fender: I think so. Will you all quit moving around? It's so frustrating! I think I counted one of you twice!
  • In Beauty and the Beast:
    LeFou: That crazy old loon! He needs all the help he can get!
    Gaston: (laughs uproariously)
    Belle: Don't talk about my father that way!
    Gaston: Yeah! Don't talk about her father that way!
  • Shrek:
    Donkey: Wow. Who would want to live in a dump like that?
    Shrek: That would be my home.
    Donkey: And it is lovely! You know, you're really quite a decorator. It's amazing what you've done with such a modest budget. I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder.
    • And after that:
      Donkey: Please, I don't wanna go back there! You don't know what it's like to be considered a freak! (beat) Well, maybe you do. But that's why we gotta stick together!
  • In The Road to El Dorado when Tulio and Miguel first set off to find the treasure.
    Miguel: (dramatically cutting away foliage) The trail that we blaze! (the foliage falls, revealing solid stone behind it) (points to the side) That trail that we blaze!
  • The LEGO Movie:
    Vitruvius: Your [Emmet's] training beings now.
    Robo-Cowboys: Hey, piano-man, open up!
    Vitruvius: Your training begins later!
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    Shifu: Master, that panda is not the Dragon Warrior! He wasn't even meant to be here! It was an accident!
    Oogway: There are no accidents.
    Shifu: (sighs) Yes, I know. You've said that already. Twice.
    Oogway: Well, that was no accident either.
    Shifu: Thrice.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
    • Quasimodo does this when he and Frollo go over their alphabet.
    Frollo: A.
    Quasimodo: Abomination.
    Frollo: B?
    Quasimodo: Blasphemy.
    Frollo: C?
    Quasimodo: C-C-Contrition.
    Frollo: D?
    Quasimodo: Damnation.
    Frollo: E?
    Quasimodo: Eternal damnation.
    Frollo: Good. F? (sips his drink)
    Quasimodo: Festival.
    (Frollo does a Spit Take and then glares at Quasimodo)
    Frollo: Excuse me?
    Quasimodo: F-F-Forgiveness!
    • Later when Quasimodo turns down Esmeralda's offer to escape with her to the Court of Miracles:
    Esmeralda: Alright, then I'll come to see you.
    Quasimodo: Here? But the soldiers, and Frollo...
    Esmeralda: I'll come after sunset.
    Quasimodo: But a-a-at sunset, I ring the evening mass. A-A-And after that, I clean the cloisters, a-and then I ring the vespers, and...
    (Esmeralda kisses him on the cheek)
    Quasimodo: ...Whatever's good for you.
  • Steven Universe: The Movie: After learning exactly what Pink Diamond did to Spinelnote , Steven says "I can't believe Mom did that to you..." Then, as if recalling all the lies she told and mistakes she made, he sheepishly glances aside and adds "Actually, I can totally believe it."
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: When Peter B. Parker tries to shill Miles' abilities to the other spiders, he ends up having to constantly backpedal until even he realizes that Miles isn't completely ready to join the group.
    Peter B. Parker: This kid can turn himself invisible! Watch this, he can do it... now!
    Miles Morales: I can't do it on command...
    Peter B. Parker: He can't do it on command! But it is cool. Show them the zappy thing, Miles.
    Miles Morales: I can't do it on command.
    Peter B. Parker: He can't do it on command! But he can do so much more, like what else do you do?
    Miles Morales: Just those two things.
    Peter B. Parker: Just those two things.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mean Girls. On the DVD Commentary the creators note that the principal has a pattern of trying to sound authoritative and then immediately backing off from whatever he said.
    Principal: I will keep you all night if I have to.
    Teacher: We can't keep them past 4:00.
    Principal: I will keep you 'til 4:00.
  • History of the World Part I:
    Moses: The Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen...
    [one of the three tablets falls and breaks]
    Moses: ... Ten. Ten Commandments.
  • Back to the Future Part III:
    Buford: Let's finish it, right now!
    Underling: Uh, not now, Buford. Marshal's got our guns.
    Buford: Like I said, we'll finish this tomorrow!
    Underling: Tomorrow we're robbing the Pine City stage.
    Buford: What about Monday? We doing anything Monday?
    Underling: No, you can kill him on Monday.
    Buford: I'll be back this way on Monday!
  • The Three Musketeers (1973):
    Cardinal Richelieu: Do you know your accuser? Who brought you here?
    M. Bonacieux: [pointing at Rochefort] That! That is the man!
    Cardinal Richelieu: Take him away!
    M. Bonacieux: That is not the man! It was another man altogether!
  • The Naked Gun: During the baseball game, all of the other umpires are heatedly disputing Drebin's flagrantly incorrect call.. until he pulls his service revolver, provoking an instant chorus of "Yup, you're the boss, good call!" comments.
    • And in Naked Gun 33 1/3:
      Rocko Dillon: [firing gun over audience's heads] Freeze, and nobody gets hurt!
      [grip falls from the rafters]
      Rocko Dillon: Well, from now on!
  • From Fierce Creatures, Rollo loses it and gives his zoo's employees a scathing critique of their new corporate owner:
    Rollo: I think the whole Octopus philosophy is poison. The only aim of any and every McCain business is to downsize and halve the quality, to make enough money to acquire another business to downsize and halve the quality, to make enough money to acquire another business to downsize, etc., etc., without ever running a single one of them really well. And if anyone ever raises the question of quality, they're immediately attacked as an elitist, because at Octopus it's considered morally offensive to talk about anything but money. All so that Mr. Rod McCain can feel a little more powerful every day. That's why, instead of running this wonderful zoo properly, we've got to spoil it in order to finance his next mindless acquisition.
    [notices Willa, McCain's employee, standing behind him]
    Rollo: (without flinching) On the other hand, he is a remarkable man—
  • The Princess Bride:
    Inigo: Give us the gate key.
    Yellin: I have no gate key.
    Inigo: Fezzik, tear his arms off.
    Yellin: Oh, you mean this gate key.
  • Happens to Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, twice. "We have so much time and so little to do — Wait. Strike that. Reverse it." (Becomes Ret-Canon in the source novel's sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and is also incorporated into the 2013 stage musical version of Factory.)
  • From Underworld: Evolution
    Marcus: Viktor fashioned two keys. What do you know of them?
    Tanis: Keys? I don't know of any keys.
    [Marcus spears Tanis in the shoulders and pulls him across the table]
    Tanis: Oh... yes. Yes, those keys.
  • In Hot Fuzz, Danny and Nick are discussing Nicolas' role model.
    Nicholas: It all started with my Uncle Derek. He was a Sergeant in the Met. He bought me a police pedal car when I was five. I rode around in it every second I was awake - arresting kids twice my size for littering and spitting. I got beaten up a lot when I was young, but it didn't stop me. I wanted to be like Uncle Derek.
    Danny: He sounds like a good bloke.
    Nicholas: Actually, he was arrested for selling drugs to students.
    Danny: [in the exact same tone] What a cunt.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail likes this trope. It occurs when Lancelot begins swearing vengeance for Concorde's death, and when the Lord of Swamp Castle begins to eulogize the father of Princess Lucky.
  • The Great Escape:
    Von Luger: Perhaps while you are with us you will have a chance to learn some [manners]. Ten days isolation, Hilts.
    Hilts: Captain Hilts.
    Von Luger: ... Twenty days.
  • Rat Race - said to a female biker.
    Randy: I like your dyke ... BIKE!
  • Hot Rod as Rod gets over himself to compliment Denise but then loses his nerve and tries to back out of it, and it backfires.
    Rod: You look pretty.
    Denise: What?
    Rod: Uh, I said you look shitty.
  • Half Baked:
    Mary Jane: My father was a drug dealer.
    Thorogood: That must've been the shit!
    Mary Jane: It ruined his life!
    Thorogood: That must've been shitty.
  • In the Loop zig-zags this: Malcolm remembers that the person he's talking to hates hearing swear words:
    Malcolm: You are a real boring fuck. Sorry, I know that you disapprove of swearing, so I'll sort that out: you are a boring F-star-star-cunt!
  • Carry On Matron: Dr Prodd, an obstetrician, is seeing a female patient, Smethurst.
    Dr Prodd: (brightly) Oh, yes! I have some good news for you, Mrs Smethurst!
    Smethurst: Miss Smethurst!
    Dr Prodd: (smile fades) Oh. In that case, I have some bad news for you, Miss... Smethurst. (Miss Smethurst runs out of the room in tears)note 
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery:
    • Dr Evil tries his hand at parenting:
      Dr. Evil: Son, wouldn't you like to see what daddy does for a living?
      Scott Evil: Blow me.
      Dr. Evil: What?
      Scott Evil: Show me.
    • Austin adjusts to being a Fish out of Temporal Water:
      Basil: The Cold War's over.
      Austin: Well, finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrades?
      Basil: Austin, we won.
      Austin: Oh, groovy. Smashing. Yay capitalism.
  • Muppets from Space:
    Kermit: He's one of us. And no matter what happens, no matter what obstacles we face, we never forget one of our own.
    Fozzie Bear: Hey! We left Bunsen and Beaker back at the gas station.
    Kermit: Okay.... Well, uh, from this point on, no matter what happens, we never forget one of our own.
  • Stroker Ace:
    Mr. Seegle: Hi, Stroker! We all mighty proud o' you back home!
    Stroker: Oh, thanks.
    PANG! (cue Stroker being turned upside-down in a fair attraction)
    Mr. Seegle: At least we was....
  • RoboCop 3:
    RoboCop: (walks up to a pimp yelling at one of his hookers) I must commandeer your vehicle for police use.
    Pimp: (turns around and pulls out a knife) What is your problem, sucker?! (sees who's asking and drops the knife) I mean, officer? (hands Robo the keys)
  • The Death of Stalin:
    Georgy Malenkov: I think I misspoke when I said "No problem." What I mean was, "No, problem."

  • The last line of the children's book I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean is "I'm the biggest thing in this whale!"
  • In Peter Pan, after Peter learns that Tinker Bell was responsible for tricking the Lost Boys into shooting down Wendy, he orders Tink to leave forever. Wendy encourages him to be lenient, so he changes it to a week.
  • In Super Minion, any time human.exe gets shut down, Tofu's inner monologue will resume from a few lines back and say something different.
  • In Tales from Netheredge, Piff has a habit of beginning to correct someone of a higher social sta— Deciding it's not worth it in mid-sentence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The 99's Arch-Enemy The Vulture is in charge of the SWAT-team in a hostage situation, and he tries to push his weight around.
    Vulture: You see this sniper? He'll shoot anyone I tell him to. Even you!
    Sniper: No I won't.
    Vulture: ... okay, but he'll go sit on any roof I tell him to. Go sit on that roof!
    Sniper: [sigh] Of course.
  • In the "The Great Game" episode of Sherlock, after Molly shows off her new boyfriend Jim to her long-standing crush, Sherlock.
    Sherlock: [after a very brief Sherlock Scan, turning back to his work] Gay.
    Molly: What?
    Sherlock: Nothing. [flashes Jim an artificial smile] Hey.
  • In Arrested Development, while Gob is talking about why Ann would make a bad girlfriend:
    Gob: Plus, she's religious. That one gets pregnant, it stays pregnant. Believe me, I dated a chick like that once in high school. {pause} No, I didn't.
  • In "The Stinson Missile Crisis" episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney invokes this several times during his various Bimbo Delivery Systems, two commercials and an autodialer.
  • A favored technique on 30 Rock:
    Kenneth: I will buy Mr Donaghy a new pair of pants!
    Assistant: Those pants cost $2,500.
    Kenneth: I will find Mr Donaghy's pants!
  • Scrubs:
    • In the episode "My Cold Shower":
      Melody: Can you control yourself?
      JD: Of course I can.
      Janitor: [opens the door] God is watching.
      JD: I can't.
      Janitor: Who is this "God" everyone fears?
    • In the episode "My Cabbage", when Turk and Elliot have lost a patient's dying note to his sons, and are trying to fake it:
      Elliot: My dearest Eric, it is my wish for you that you finally find a good woman...
      Eric: I'm gay.
      Elliot: that she might find you a man...
      Eric: Dad didn't know I was gay.
      Elliot: that he might find you a woman.
  • Pushing Daisies:
    Louis: Am I in heaven?
    Chuck: Not yet. We all died, and heaven closes in like five minutes.
    Ned: One minute.
    Chuck: Heaven closes in like one minute.
  • Heroes:
    Sylar: I'm not a serial killer.
    Luke: But you've got a pattern. You go after specific victims. You collect mementos.
    Sylar: Okay, technically, I'm a serial killer.
  • That '70s Show:
    Kitty: Red, you can run the raffle.
    Red: I'm your man.
    Kitty: Don't yell at the customers.
    Red: I'm kinda your man.
    Kitty: And smile.
    Red: You need another man.
  • Friends:
    • In "The One With all the Resolutions", Ross' first attempt at a resolution is "No divorces in ‘99! *party horn*" When it's pointed out that his divorce with Emily isn't quite finalized yet, he says in the same intonation "Just the one divorce in ‘99! *same party horn*"
    • In "The One With the Kips", Monica and Chandler have a fight when he decides to watch TV in the middle of a romantic night together.
      Chandler: I just wanted to watch a little TV. Okay, relax, mom.
      Monica: What did you just say?
      Chandler: I said relax, Monnnn.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    Ximenez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our Amongst our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.
  • Gossip Girl:
    Serena: Look B, I understand why you're reluctant to burst your happy bubble, but I'm not giving up.
    Blair: I'm sorry if unlike some people, I haven't been on the pill since I was fifteen.
    Serena: Okay, I'm giving up.
  • In one episode of NUMB3RS, the initial suspect in the bombing of a philanthropy organization is a nutty conspiracy theorist who claims the group isn't on the up-and-up. When a deeper look suggests the organization might actually have something to hide, Robin attempts to suggest that the conspiracy theorist might have a point for once, but it doesn't quite come out right initially.
    Robin: McGill may not be so crazy. (Beat) He's crazy. But that doesn't mean that he's wrong.
  • The West Wing:
    Bartlet: I could fund this initiative out of my pocket!
    Toby: It's ten million dollars.
    Bartlet: Leo could fund this initiative out of his pocket!
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    Picard: I look forward to your report, Mr. Broccoli.
    [everyone on deck looks ruefully at him]
    Picard, with mortified face: "Barclay."
  • The IT Crowd had Douglas do one of these when he talked about deleting incriminating files and then quickly added that he only meant to say "files".
    • It also happens when Roy is complaining about a girl he dated who was a jerk, and then admits he still slept with her before breaking up.
    Roy: Every man has a story like this.
    Jen: This isn't the first time you've mentioned this happening.
    Roy: Every man has a few stories like this.
  • A Running Gag in Get Smart, with Maxwell Smart's claims simultaneously growing less dramatic and more ridiculous, along the lines of:
    Max: Would you believe the entire Navy has this island surrounded?
    KAOS agent: I find that hard to believe.
    Max: Would you believe CONTROL has sent a small boat filled with special ops to rescue me?
    KAOS agent: No.
    Max: How about two Boy Scouts in a raft with a BB gun?
  • Royal Canadian Air Farce:
    Stockwell Day: Let's look at the facts surrounding my leadership of our party. Since I took over, our founder, Preston Manning, has announced he's getting out of politics. We've had quite a few members leave the party. The latest poll puts our popularity just below E. coli bacteria. Okay, let's not look at the facts.
  • Blackadder the Third: Blackadder accidentally lets slip how he really sees the relationship between himself and the prince:
    Blackadder: It's good to be back in the saddle. Did I say saddle? I meant harness.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun:
    Don: But who's gonna do it?
    Tommy: I'll do it.
    Don: Could be dangerous.
    Tommy: Harry'll do it.
  • From Firefly episode "Heart of Gold", when the others were trying to convince Jayne to help with a job that was "strictly speculative":
    Jayne: Don't know these folks, don't much care to.
    Mal: They're whores.
    Jayne: I'm in.
  • Red Dwarf:
  • Merlin and Arthur are trying to decide what to do with the sleeping Uther to protect him, and Merlin thinks they should disguise him, leading to:
    Arthur: That might just work.
    Merlin: We could dress him as a woman!
    Arthur: That, on the other hand...
    Merlin: We could dress him as a servant!
    Arthur: That's better.
  • In an episode of Castle, an actress preparing to play "Nikki Heat" in a film based on Castle's books visits the 12th Precinct to observe Beckett. After trying to proposition Castle, she slowly immerses herself in character, and eventually Beckett and Castle are watching her doing an uncanny impression of Beckett at the whiteboard.
    Castle: Everything okay?
    Beckett: Do I really do that?
    Castle: Yes. And it's adorable.
    Beckett: If it's so adorable, why didn't you sleep with me? [Beat] Her me, not me me.
  • Top Gear:
    Jeremy Clarkson: [regarding a car that had lost a door] Still, I'd only lost one thing.
    [side mirror falls off]
    Jeremy: Two things.
  • Played for drama in Person of Interest:
    Nathan: Eight people in the world know [the Machine] exists. We need to keep it that way.
    Alicia: Seven, Nathan. Seven people, unless you told someone.
    Nathan: (cue Oh, Crap!)...Come on, Alicia, you know I'm terrible at math.
  • Happens in the Whose Line Is It Anyway? game Quick Change:
    Brad Sherwood: I said I wanted a double whiskey.
    Colin Mochrie: I think you've had enough. Look, I'm a very strong woman.
    Wayne Brady: Change.
    Colin Mochrie: Look, I'm an orangutan in a dress.
    Wayne Brady: Change.
    Colin Mochrie: I could beat you senseless with one fingernail.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • In the episode "Friday the 13th, 1901", George is trying to put together a police curling team:
      George: Oh, Detective, thank goodness you're here! Jackson, I'm letting you go.
      Murdoch: I won't be participating, George.
      George: Jackson, have another try, you're improving.
    • In the episode "The Local Option", George has just met Dr Ogden's new assistant, Rebecca James, after policing the Junction.
      George: The place is teeming with drunks at all hours; a filthy awful place.
      Dr Ogden: And one that Miss James calls home.
      George: Of course, no place is all bad. I'm sure there is plenty to recommend the Junction. Trains, for instance, it's easy to leave. Not that you would want to leave.
  • From Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Ward has to get somewhere.
    Coulson: Can you get to the North Campus parking lot? We think [the boys] might be there.
    Ward: That's not far from where I am. I can get there.
    [Opens door, sees massive super-storm]
    Ward: [Without change in tone] Yeah, I can't get there.
  • In Hogan's Heroes, Hogan needs to see Klink, who has been arrested. To his fortune, Schultz is guarding him.
    Colonel Hogan: I need to see Colonel Klink.
    Sergeant Schultz: (sternly) You cannot!
    (Hogan raises a pistol to Schultz's face)
    Schultz: (cheerfully) You can.
  • The Nanny: We get this exchange after Mr. Sheffield wonders if Fran is dating some other man:
    Mr. Sheffield: The idea of Miss Fine being seriously involved with Fred is absurd.
    Niles: Why do you say that, Sir?
    Mr. Sheffield: Come on, man. He's nice, but she couldn't be interested in him
    Niles: What's so great about you? *beat* I mean, what's so great about you is your—
    Mr. Sheffield: Oh, shut up!
  • Orphan Black: Cosima is impersonating Alison (who is straight, and married) and forced to improvise a speech:
    Cosima: And as a lesbian...
    [The crowd reacts, including a Double Take from Alison's mother and a massive Oh, Crap! from Felix, who knows it's Cosima]
    Cosima: ...supporter... [continues as Alison arrives]
  • In the Murder, She Wrote episode "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue", Jessica is working with a very diffident police chief for an expensive suburb, who is terrified of offending someone important, even when he's accusing them.
    Chief Slocum: The way I figure it...
    Valerie: Now you be careful what you say, unless you want to be hit by a very expensive lawsuit.
    Chief Slocum: The way Mrs Fletcher figures it...
  • In Stargate SG-1, O'Neill does this to himself when assuring Hammond that Apophis is really, actually dead this time:
    O'Neill: I am one hundred percent s-sure... [everyone looks vaguely hesitant]... ninety-nine percent sure Apophis is really dead.
  • Supergirl (2015): When Kara picks up her boss's son from school.
    Kara: I liked school. Learning all about this new planet... (realizes what she just said) that I'm also from.
  • An episode of Happy Days ended with Fonzie depressed and saddened after losing a young boy who was like a surrogate son to him. Richie tries to cheer him up by inviting him to a new bowling alley that just opened up, only to receive the reply: "The Fonz doesn't bowl". When Richie retorts that the alley has girl "pin boys", Fonzie then states: "The Fonz bowls!" On their way out, Richie invites his other friends Ralph and Potsie to join them, only to get a joint refusal. But when The Fonz mentions the female pin boys, they also quickly change their stance.
  • From Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, when Paula makes a few Freudian Slips regarding her relationship with Rebecca:
    After everything I've done for you that you didn't ask for
    God, will your lies never end?!
    After everything I've done for you that you didn't ask for
    The least you could do is be honest with your mother - I mean, friend!
    • And then:
      You're nothing without me and my creativity
      I created you, you lived in my womb - figuratively!
  • On Doctor Who, Strax is a Sontaran who's still adjusting to civilian life:
    Strax: The Doctor is still missing, but he will always come looking for his box. By bringing it here, he will be lured from the dangers of London to this place of safety, and we will melt him with acid.
    Clara: Okay, that last part?
    Strax: And we will not melt him with acid... Old habits.

  • Mystery Show has two from the same person, during the same conversation:
    • Some helpful career advice:
    Jake: One thing I have learned: when you try to destroy your career, it only brings wonderful things. Don't ever use that advice. That's the worse piece of advice anyone has ever given.
    • And a few minutes later:
      Jake: Maybe we can all go out to dinner, and then you can measure me, and you can make sure.
      Starlee: [beat] Okay. I mean...
      Jake: Or not. Forget about it.
      Starlee: No, my pause was not that that was a bad idea.
      Jake: No, never mind. I didn't want to anyway.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show:
    Kermit: But first, meet the Vikings, those cruel, heartless Scandinavian marauders whose savage brutality earned them the reputation "worst human beings in history".
    (The Swedish Chef berates Kermit and hits him over the head with a frying pan)
    Kermit: Uh, I'm sorry about that. Uh-uh, ladies and gentlemen, uh...uh, the Vikings, those gentle, quaint, fun-loving old charmers.
  • Muppets Tonight!: John Goodman is fighting in a war with a bunch of rats:
    John Goodman: Don't worry, I promise to get all of you home back in one piece.
    (a rat explodes and then comes back into view with his top torso separated from his bottom torso)
    John Goodman: Okay, maybe several pieces.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Hyeon asserts that his squirrel can't help Benedict on account of it being the 'dumbest motherfucker' in Oldport. He then retracts his statement when he notices Carlie next to him.

  • In The Ring of the Nibelung Hagen asks his father Alberich who will inherit the "eternal power" (ewige Macht) of the Ring if Hagen manages to get it back from Siegfried.
    Alberich: I (beat) and you.
  • 'Sincerely Me' from Dear Evan Hansen is basically 'Verbal Backspace: The Song'.
    Evan: ♫ I gotta tell you life without you has been hard. ♫
    Jared: (Snarky) Hard?
    Evan: ♫ ...has been bad. ♫
    Jared: Bad?
    Evan: (Annoyed) ♫ ...has been rough. ♫''
    Jared: Kinky!
    • Later:
      Evan: ♫ If I stop smoking drugs then everything might be alright ♫
      Jared: Smoking drugs...
      Evan: Just fix it
      Jared: ♫ If I stop smoking crack ♫
      Evan: Crack!?
      Jared: ♫ If I stop smoking pot ♫
  • The Phantom of the Opera: The song "Notes" has a quick gag as the managers are increasingly baffled by a series of letters:
    Raoul: Isn't this the letter you wrote?
    Firmin: And what is it that we're meant to have wrote? (beat) written?

    Video Games 
  • Rendain from Battleborn gets one in the Prologue mission when he gets so mad he drops the sophisticated act: "Deande, I'm disappointed, no, no, I'm pissed, we're upgrading to pissed. Do you have any idea what you've done?!"
  • Early in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun's Brotherhood of Nod campaign, you get a hint that CABAL might have some ulterior motives when he advises you to rescue another Nod commander who may possess "information vital to my... your movement."
  • The Darkside Detective: When a witness mentions having visited a strip club called Belle's, Dooley remarks that he has happy memories of the place, then clocks McQueen's disapproving reaction and backtracks, claiming he has no idea what the witness is talking about. Something about bells?
  • Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition does this sometimes; his purpose in life is to ease people's pain, and since he's not really human, sometimes he says the wrong thing to a person and has to try again until he finds the right way to put someone at ease. The difference between him and most examples is that due to his ability to make people forget him, he can 'erase' his failed attempts and start over from scratch each time.
  • Two examples in The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown. The first happens in the pre-boss cutscene in "Get a Clue", after discussing how Oberon and Titania had to sell all their treasure once they ceased to be royalty.
    Cosmo: Aww, how sad, not being filthy rich anymore. Please.
    "Ghost": (really just Oberon and Titania in a poorly-mode monster suit) Intruuuudeeeerrrrrs.... Bewaaaaaaaarrrrreeeee...
    Cosmo: Eek! I'm sorry! Rich people are great, and this treasure room is really impressive! Please don't haunt me!
    • The second is in the opening cutscene in "The Great Esc-ape" Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda learn that Timmy's mom has been kidnapped by an evil ape king.
      Cosmo: Ohh, how will we get our banana bread now?
      Wanda: *Death Glare*
      Cosmo: I mean, we better rescue mom and get that flour back.
  • A few nights into Five Nights at Freddy's, "Phone Guy" will give you a call to congratulate you on your progress.
    Phone Guy: Hey, you're doing great! Most people don't last this long! I mean... y'know. They usually move on to other things by now. I'm not implying that they died. That's not what I meant.
  • Done repeatedly in Golf Story, such as when the protagonist initially calls disc golf "frisbee golf" or when Coach doesn't want the protagonist to call him Coach. The way this is conveyed is by having the text appear as usual only for it to be erased as if it was literally being backspaced in a word processor.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars: During a random encounter, Huang meets a real estate agent who previously asked Huang to drive him around.
    Huang: You still don't have a car?
    Real Estate Agent: Why do I need a car when I've got a buddy like you to drive me around?
    Huang: I'm not your buddy.
    Real Estate Agent: Come on, I'll pay you good!
    Huang: So where are we going, buddy?
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy and Talanah encounter Ahsis taking on a Thunderjaw.
    Aloy: Looks like Ahsis is holding his own.
    (Ahsis gets launched by a brutal Tail Slap)
    Aloy: Was. Was holding his own.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Anju's grandmother pretends to be a Scatterbrained Senior in order to get out of eating Anju's cooking. She nearly lets the facade slip at one point:
    Granny: Oh, Tortus. I've already had lunch.
    Anju: Grandmother... I am Anju! Tortus was my dad... And you haven't had lunch yet!
    Granny: I've already had lunch. Now be quick and take that away.
    Anju: Not eating is bad for you. Please eat...
    Granny: Didn't I say that I already ate lunch, Tortus?!? Impossible child!
    Anju: Then don't eat my food. I give up...
    Granny: Whew!
    Anju: "Whew?"
    Granny: Er... W-W-Whewwwould you like me to read you a story?
  • Bowser Jr. does this in the email he sends to Beep-O and the party in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle:
    Good job! You found one of the relics. Hopefully, it was extremely unpleasant. Er, unpleasant for your enemies I mean!
    Also, when I wrote "muhahahaha" the second time I meant, er... "You guys are really cool and I like you a lot and definitely don't wish you any harm."
  • In Mass Effect 2, you can bring Legion to the Citadel. When a none-too-bright C-SEC operative brings up geth infiltrators, Legion protests the geth do not infiltrate. When said operative calls him a personal synthetic assistant, he quickly amends his statement: geth do not intentionally infiltrate.
  • Entrants in Papers, Please will occasionally state a duration of stay that doesn't match their papers. If you point out the discrepancy, they'll always respond with this trope. Amusingly, this satisfies the Sinister Surveillance and you won't receive a citation for it, no matter how absurd their initial statement was.
  • In Persona 4, Kanji Tatsumi resolves to start being a better person in the second level of his Social Link, only to then threaten to tear apart the restaurant that he and the protagonist are in, Aiya's, when Aiya claims not to have heard his order. He then realizes what he just said in light of his new resolution...
    Kanji: Oh, uh, well... I'm gonna tear it apart and rebuild it twice as good! I-I'm gonna RENOVATE your ass!
    Aiya: ...Sounds good to me.
  • In Persona 5, Sadayo Kawakami, the protagonist's homeroom teacher, moonlights as a maid because she needs the money to pay off the parents of one of her students, who died in an accident. If you call her over to do your laundrynote , she'll say the following.
    Kawakami: Thanks for calling m- Wait, laundry!? Did you really have to call me for that? I mean... That'll be 5000 yen!
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police uses this in "The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball" to Double Subvert The Three Trials:
    Ted E. Bear: Before I can make you members of the ursa nostra, I have these two tasks I need you to perform.
    Lovey Bear enters.
    Lovey Bear: The original Meatball Sandwich has been stolen!
    Ted E. Bear: I have these three tasks I need you to perform.
  • Happens in Sleeping Dogs when Wei and Old Salty Crab vandalize Two-Chin Tsao's mansion.
    Old Salty: You're pretty and talented.
    Wei Shen: What?
    Old Salty: (quickly) I said you're pretty talented.
  • Features in the interrogation of a hapless guard in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow:
    Guard: I... I don't speak English!
    Sam Fisher: I'd be willing to bet your neck that you do.
    Guard: I speak a little English!
  • The player can make it happen in the Macbeth level of Star Fox 64. Shortly after the boss fight begins, the train conductor says "Step on the gas!" If the player shoots the switcher to change the rails, the train gets sent at full speed towards the fuel bunker, prompting the conductor to scream "No! Hit the brakes!"
  • In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter Four: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, this exchange takes place between Guybrush and a human and apparently reformed LeChuck.
    LeChuck: My name is LeChuck, and I can tell you exactly what Guybrush did.
    Guybrush: Don't listen to him!
    LeChuck: You see, Your Honour, the Pox is all my fault!
    Guybrush: Listen to him!
  • In Undertale, Flowey introduces himself by trying to share LOVE with you through "little white friendliness pellets". Dodge them twice, and he'l get upset, urging you to "RUN. INTO. THE. BULLETS!!!". As soon as he realizes what he said (By looking at the speech bubble next to him, mind you), he replaces "BULLETS!!!" with "friendliness pellets".
    • In one of the optional phone conversations with Undyne and Papyrus, this bit of dialogue shows up:
      Undyne: I'll make everyone's wishes come true!!
      Undyne: I'll make most people's wishes come true!!!

    Visual Novels 
  • Muv-Luv: When Takeru calls Sumika a slug, combined with Insult to Rocks:
    Sumika: Gaaaaah!!! Apologize to slugs!
    Takeru: Gyahahahahaha!! Do you even know what you're saying!?
    Sumika: Shut uuup! Apologize to me too!!

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • After abandoning the party when they go to rescue his bard, Roy has a change of heart.
      Roy: Well, that's gonna change now. Thanks for setting me straight, Dad. I'm gonna pack up my gear and go rescue Elan!
      (Durkon runs by screaming in terror)
      Roy: I'm gonna pack up my gear and go rescue the entire rest of the party!
    • Also, in a different strip:
      Vaarsuvius: But now we must defend ourselves against two highly skilled legal professionals—
      Lawyer: Kitty kitty! Hello, kitty kitty! Hello!
      Vaarsuvius: ONE highly skilled legal professional and one man in a very expensive suit.
    • After the gang catches on to Xykon's Kansas City Shuffle in the attack on Azure City:
      Sangwaan: (pointing at apparently-empty space) He's coming straight at us!
      Belkar: Crap, he has Invisibility??
      (Sangwaan is chomped by Xykon's invisible dragon and flung into the distance)
      Belkar: Crap, he has Greater Invisibility??note 
    • In a flashback to Durkon's childhood:
      Young Durkon: I, uh... I need ta know tha answer ta a question Ma willnae answer.
      Thirden: Is this about sex? Please let it be about anything other than sex.
      Young Durkon: How did Ma get hurt? An' how did me pa die?
      Thirden: ...So how about that sex, huh?
  • In Tweep, regarding embarrassing yearbook pictures:
    Jack: Now, before you do anything, just remember... we've got witnesses. I mean, "company."
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • An unusually cheerful example appears toward the end of Book Ten:
      TAG: Success.
      Captain Tagon: Hah! We're back in the fight!
      Ennesby: The fight is over, sir.
      Captain Tagon: Hah! The fight's over, and we're still standing!
    • Another one here:
      Ebbirnoth: And Lieutenant Pibald here is a genius.
      Pibald: I didn't say anything smart. I was just whining.
      Ebbirnoth: And Lieutenant Pibald here is an idiot-savant.
    • When Tagon has to fire Nick:
      Tagon: Turn in your uniform and issued weapons and armor to Chief Warrant Officer Thurl. Go have a nice, long life where nobody shoots at you.
      Nick: I'm going back to Mall-One to see Liz.
      [pause as Tagon remembers all the problems they had at Mall-One]
      Tagon: Keep the weapons and one set of armor. If somebody does shoot at you, shoot back.
    • Schlock amends one of his own statements:
      Murtagh: Maybe that's what we're looking at...artificial organisms that have been running amok for millions of years.
      Ebbirnoth: Oh. Yeah, and we've got an example of that right here. It's what Sergeant Schlock is.
      Schlock: I have not been running amok. [beat] Okay, but not for that long.
  • Skin Horse:
    Sweetheart: Sorry friend. That could have gone better. Tip doesn't really have the training for field work. Or the shoes. Sometimes I wonder if being our token human has cracked him even more. When you come to, I'll see that you only deal with the other members of our t—
    Unity: Sweetheart! Praise me! I punched out these monkeys real good!
    Sweetheart: With me. You will only deal with me.
    • And again when Tip's reaction to her saying "This is a job for Tip" means it becomes "This is a job for Tip, supervised by me."
  • El Goonish Shive: Susan tries to clarify things.
  • In Cucumber Quest, Cucumber tries to nickname Princess Nautilis, and backtracks.
  • Adding to the humorous UST of Viana and Thomas in Deer Me:
    Thomas: I'm moving out.
    Viana: No, you can't go! I need you! (beat) Toooo... offset the cost of rent here.
    Velvet: (smirking) Mh-hmmm...
  • Scott and one of his coworkers in Basic Instructions.
    Coworker: I don't envy your cat. She's dependent on someone else's whims, and she has no freedom.
    Mullet Boss: You two'll have to work this Saturday.
    Scott: Why?
    Mullet Boss: Because you want to keep your jobs.
    Coworker: I envy your cat.
  • Girl Genius: When the traveling show is being asked to put on a royal command performance, but they don't want to stick around, Abner suggests putting on a more... risque... show (The Socket Wench of Prague) in the hopes of being run out of town.
    Master Payne: Say... now that's a good plan.
    Circus worker: Sir — there's a note from the palace. The prince wants a specific show. The Socket Wench of Prague.
    Master Payne: Okay - not so good plan.
    Circus worker: "P.S. Tart it up."
    Master Payne: Downright terrible plan.
    Abner: ALL RIGHT!
  • Paranatural:
  • During Undine's first encounter with Heartful Punch in Sleepless Domain, Undine briefly mentions what she believes to be a rogue Magical Girl but, not ready to speak of it, tries to change what she's talking about to unfortunate effect.
    Undine: ...Then maybe sh—it's gone after all. For now.
    [Heartful Punch snorts]
    Heartful Punch: Sorry, you said "shits".
  • Exterminatus Now: In this strip, Virus insists that they absolutely have to report Eastwood's theft of a forbidden relic to Command. Eastwood points out that he used Virus's ID to get in, meaning that Virus is implicated.
    Virus: So it's agreed we're not reporting to Command.
  • In Misfile, on Ash's 18th birthday:
    Rumisiel: It's your last day to do anything REALLY wild and have it wiped from your record. You should go all kinds of crazy today. I was thinking...
    Ash's Dad: *glares*
    Rumisiel: You know, it's probably tomorrow in Japan already. Today is as good a day as any to start acting like a responsible adult.
  • 8-Bit Theater:
  • Homestuck^2: When Jane, who has become a racist authoritarian since the original Homestuck, goes off on a rant about how trolls are inherently cruel and barbarous, Jake asks for some clarification:
    Jake: Could I have that once more sans the raci - I mean, in Layman's Terms?
  • In Questionable Content, while Hannerlore is helping Marigold deal with the large amount of money she's made through streaming, she suggests that Marigold could hire a business manager. At that point Robot Girl Momo comes in to remind Mar of her schedule and tell her how various things she's organised are going. Hanners corrects her suggestion to say that what Marigold should do is pay the business manager she already has.

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:
    • For starter:
      Billy: I wanna do great things, you know? I wanna be an achiever. Like Bad Horse...
      Penny: "The Thoroughbred of Sin?!"
      Billy: ...I meant "Gandhi".
    • Also, from the first musical number...
      Billy: Love your hair!
      Penny: What?!
      Billy: No, uh, I love the... "air". Heh.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd:
    Nerd: Don't kill me!
    Jason: (shows Friday the 13th cartridge)
    Nerd: KILL ME!
  • LoadingReadyRun, Bandwidth Exceeded.
  • Check Point, Zyng and Zag
    Kathleen: (offering Major Nelson a job at Checkpoint) We can't technically pay you money, but we do have free soda!
    Paul: No we don't!
    Kathleen: Free water!
  • The Nostalgia Chick:
    • Their Labyrinth review:
      "I think everyone remembers their first boner... Bowie."
    • Later used in her You've Got Mail review when trying to explain the plot of the movie:
      You've Got Mail is a two-hour AOL commercial — I mean, You've Got Mail is the only title more dated than She's All That - I mean...
  • The Zero Punctuation review of Bayonetta makes a Running Gag of Freudian slips due to the game's Up to Eleven sexualisation:
    "Get past the cock-tease presentation and the game is adequate at breast. Best."
  • Todd in the Shadows:
    • He mishears the lyrics to "I've Got Nerve" by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus as "I've Got Nerf".
      "Heh, Nerf should use this in their commercials. Nerf should not use this in their commercials, I immediately take that back."
    • Happens again in his Top 10 Best Pop Songs of 2011.
      "Ah, Usher. The women want him and the men want him. Want to be him. I meant want to be him."
  • That Annoying Guy does this unintentionally while carving a pumpkin with his girlfriend.
    Oh my God, this smells like your momma-mamma-mama mia it's a pizza-a.
  • Jane in Outside Xbox isn't impressed by the masks in We Happy Few, because she's worn creepier - seen creepier.
    • In one of their Let's Plays of Hitman (2016), Andy delivers some in-character dialogue:
      Andy: You can stop protesting, I killed him, I mean someone killed him, I mean it was an accident.
  • bill wurtz:
    • history of japan: Describing how Russia built the South Manchuria Railway:
      And Russia builds their railroad, supervised by a shit-ton of soldiers. And then, when the railroad was done, they downgraded to a fuck-ton. Did I say "downgrade"? I meant "upgrade".
    • history of the entire world, i guess: Chandragupta after giving 500 elephants to Seleucus:
      Chandragupta: Time to conquer all of India...most of India.note 
  • A favoured comedy technique of British Youtuber Hbomberguy.
    Hbomb: (on pick-up artist Roosh V) He's basically writing horoscopes, only for desperate and lonely people. [beat] He's basically writing horosco- [hard cut]
    • There's a particularly intricate example in his "In Defence of Dark Souls II" video, combined with jokes about his Youtube subscriptions going up and down with comedy sound effects depending on how effectively the backspaces land.
    Hbomb: [count: 65,907] It's not as good as Bloodborne, but it's a little bit...a little bit better than Dark Souls. [count: 4] Oh, I mean, in my opinion it's a little bit better than Dark Souls I. [count: 2,500] OK, it's about as good as Dark Souls I but it has some differences I prefer. [count: 12,500] Okay, it's not as good as Dark Souls I, but the changes were an interesting and useful risk that's more valuable existing than not existing, and is genuinely better than getting more of Dark Souls I, which we already have, and you can still just go back to and play if you want to. [count: 24,000] And I personally think I had more fun with it. [count: 4] I think the Emerald Herald is a better waifu than Gwynevere. [count: "seven hundred million"]
  • Honest Trailers: Occurs in the trailer for Black Panther.
    Narrator: After taking eighteen movies to get six quality villains, cry as Marvel takes just three movies to cut it back to two.
    (cut to The Vulture disintegrating after the snap)
    Narrator: Maybe one.
  • Bennett the Sage's review of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz sees a skit where, after a little girl in the story asks why there's fighting, Bennett as her grandpa says Bandai needs money for milk and cookies immediately after saying it was for Hookers and Blow.
    Bennett (as the grandpa): Because Bandai needs that coke and whore money, dear. (gasps) Oh, I'm sorry—milk and cookies money.
  • In one of the Rooster Teeth Podcast episodes, Jon is explaining about how, during his divorce case, he had to bring Blaine in as a character witness to prove that Jon isn't having gay sex with him (long story). As Blaine takes over, we get this wonderful snippet:
    Blaine: So, the night before the case, I'm in my closet—wait... (sputtering noise) Phrasing! (Jon and Gus bust out laughing)
  • This tumblr post:
    horreurscopes: there is literally no logical, emotional, aesthetic, philosophical, moral, or sexy reason for the sun to be gone at 4.30 pm
    another-exclus: Vampires can come out earlier
    horreurscopes: One sexy reason
  • TFS at the Table: When the cast discover that Wake's long-lost brother Sheldon is somehow alive and meet him in the monastery at Rite, Zito narrates that he looks extremely old and a lot worse than the last time Wake saw him. Zito then reflects that Wake last saw the guy being impaled alive, and that technically he looks a lot better than the last time Wake saw him.
  • Mother's Basement, In "I Miss English Anime Openings":
    "I bet you didn't even remember Mon Colle Knights existed until just now, and I blame that 30 seconds of farting tubas, because the show was awes-... goo-... okay, look, I liked it."

    Western Animation 
  • Code Lyoko:
    Yumi: I'm Ulrich's girlfriend! (blushes) I mean, I'm his good friend.
  • Futurama:
    Leela: I vow to become the best blernsball player ever.
    Hermes: That's statistically impossible. At this rate you'll go down as the worst blernsball player ever.
    Leela: Then I have a new vow. I vow to become not the worst blernsball player ever.
    • "A Flight To Remember":
      Leela: Well, our accommodations aren't great, but it sure is beautiful out here.
      Fry: Yeah. It's pretty romantic. Ah, I mean platonic! Th—that sure is one platonic view.
  • South Park:
    • Gloria Allred.
      Gloria Allred: We owe it all to me! And these six brave little boys.
      [Kenny dies]
      Gloria Allred: Five brave little boys.
    • Done again in "Tonsil Trouble":
      M.C.: With nothing but each other, and overcoming all odds, these two brave friends...
      Kyle: Oh stop! We're not friends! He's the one who infected me with AIDS!
      M.C.: These two brave lovers...
    • At Chef's plagiarism lawsuit, the judge tells him that if he fails to raise the royalty money then he'll go to prison for eight million years. After the bailiff whispers something to him, he revises this to four years.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    Dr. Weird: Gentlemen! There's a chance this will work! (hoses attached to body, occasional swelling)
    Steve: Actually, you said there's no chance this will work.
    Dr. Weird': [looks back to see a keg of BBQ sauce] FOOL! That will never work!
  • Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales:
    Girl Who Keeps Changing Her Name: Today my name is Jezebel.
    Linus: Jezebel was the evil wife of king Ahab in the Old Testament. In II Kings, it says that her servants threw her out the window and she landed on her head.
    Girl Who Keeps Changing Her Name: Today my name is Susan.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Perhaps the greatest example of all comes from "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part II" with Moe hooked up to a Lie Detector:
      Eddie: Okay, sir, you're free to go.
      Moe: Good, 'cause I've got a hot date tonight.
      Moe: A date.
      Moe: Dinner with friends.
      Moe: Dinner alone.
      Moe: Watching TV alone.
      Moe: Alright! I'm going to sit at home and ogle the ladies in the Victoria's Secret Catalog.
      Moe: ...Sears Catalog.
      Moe: Now would you unhook this already, please? I don't deserve this kind of shabby treatment!
    • They did it again in the episode parodying The Departed. After getting a mole into Bart's group, Chalmers gloats that they're going to put Bart away for a long time. Skinner points out that, legally, the most they can give him is a ten-day suspension. "Well, that's long to a kid!"
    • In "The Telltale Head", Homer listens to a football game on a Walkman while in church, with the broadcast somehow syncing up with Reverend Lovejoy's sermon.
      "IT'S GOOD! IT'S GOOD! IT'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!! It's... good to see you all today."
    • In "The Last Temptation of Homer", an attractive redhead named Mindy begins working at the nuclear power plant alongside Homer. Sexual tension ensues, especially during one scene where they share an elevator:
      Mindy: Well, I guess this means we're going down together... I mean, getting off together... I mean--
      Homer:: It's okay, I'll just press the button on the stimulator— I mean elevator.
    • In the "Treehouse of Horror XI" story "G-G-G-Ghost D-D-D-Dad", Homer dies eating a piece of broccoli, and medical attendants put a bodybag over him.
      Attendant: Sure is easy when they're stiff like this... (sees Bart and Lisa are upset) and very sad.
    • In "Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life", Lisa discovers that Marge used to be a straight-A student like her until she fell in love with Homer, leading her to throw out anything that could be a distraction in hope that she won't go down the same path as her mother.
      Marge: That's odd. Lisa just threw her saxophone out the window.
      Homer: Oh, that's probably because, to her, the saxophone is a me, and she doesn't want to end up like you. Goodnight.
      Marge: She doesn't want to end up like me?
      Homer: Uh, no, she does. Totally. But, uh, with a happier ending. Goodnight.
    • In "She Used to Be My Girl" Chief Wiggum is warning people to stay away from the erupting volcano.
      Chief Wiggum: I'm sorry, folks. You're not allowed to go up there. In fact, I don't even know why I'm here. This lava is not a criminal. It hasn't hurt anybody...
      (Man screams as the lava burns him.)
      Chief Wiggum: Anybody I know...
  • Metalocalypse:
    Skwisgaar: Well, there are two things to do in a blackout. Get drunk. One thing to do.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    Phineas: ...we're going to laser our faces into the comet! Then, when it comes back in seventy-three and a half years, we can all show our grandchildren! Oh, yeah - my parents are cooking steaks for everyone.
    Isabella: You had me at "our grandchildren".
    Phineas: (Record Scratch) What?
    Isabella: "Steaks"! You had me at "steaks"!
  • An instance in Teen Titans serves as a Call-Back and Continuity Nod.
    Dr. Light: No one defeats Doctor Light! No one!
    (Light turns to see Raven)
    Raven: Remember me?
    Dr. Light: (turns back around, looking absolutely horrified) I'd like to go to jail now, please.
  • Family Guy:
    • Lois asks Quagmire for help.
      Quagmire: Sure, Lois. I would do everything to you.
      Lois: What?
      Quagmire: I would do anything for you.
    • And when Peter is recounting the story of how he lost the Cheesie Charlie's booking:
      Manager: Our ice cream comes in four flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, or People.
      Peter: What was that last one?
      Manager: Chocolate.
  • From The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    Billy: Mandy's gonna take your pants off!
    Grim: "Beat your pants off".
    • In "Toys Will Be Toys", when the Jurassic Creeps zap Milkshakes with a laser and attempt to use him to sneak by Grim:
      Grim: Milkshakes, where are you going?
      Triceratron: To destroy all that is good. I mean, meow.
  • Archer:
    • Dr. Krieger is of German ancestry, grew up in Brazil, and is a spectacularly bad liar.
      Krieger: Leave me alone! I am not a Nazi!
      Cyril: What about your father?
      Krieger: No! He was a... scientist!
      Cyril: Pretty sure the Nazis had scientists.
      Krieger: No! No they didn't! That's why we... ergh... they lost the war! Lack of science!
    • Then there was the time Archer tried to justify his pay to the office drones:
      Archer: Hey, I put my life on the line every — (beat) — many of the days!
    • Krieger again, when he's showing Archer the features of his new spy car:
      Archer: What else does it do?
      Krieger: Press that red button.
      Archer: I — wait, is it gonna kill everyone?
      Krieger: Press that blue button.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness in season 1, episode 15 during Peace Jubilee, Po and Temutai are both trying to get Peng as their new recruit and after Peng chooses Jade Palace:
    Po: Ha, in your face!
    Shifu: Po!
    Po: look of wonder and beauty.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In the episode "Political Power" (season 1 episode 47), after the Gems accidentally caused a city-wide power outage, and the mayor says he needs them to fix it:
      Steven: He's right, Mayor Dewey, this is our responsibility, we'll help you clean up this mess.
      Garnet: (from inside the house) No we won't!
      Steven: I'll help you clear up this mess!
    • In "Historical Friction", Jamie the mailman is fretting at the premiere of his first play:
      Jamie: This is it - This could make or break my career!
      Steven: It could cost you your job at the post-office?
      Jamie: This could make or break my hobby!
    • In "Gemcation, Steven confesses that he didn't tell Greg or the Gems about the fight he had with Connie during "Dewey Wins" about the Heroic Sacrifice he pulled in "I Am My Mom" because he thinks everyone else is also furious with him and feared that they would have instantly sided with Connie. Greg responds with this:
      Greg: Oh Steven, of course we're not mad! I'm sure Connie's not mad, either. Well, at least I'm sure she doesn't hate you.
  • In an episode of The Angry Beavers, Daggett becomes the park ranger, but he goes mad with power and all the other animals decide to revolt as Daggett stays out of reach in a watchtower.
    Daggett: Ha! You'll never defeat Ranger Dag!
    (a large item hits him)
    Daggett: Well, maybe at some future date, you'll defeat Ranger Dag!
    (an even larger item hits him)
    Daggett: OK, I'm defeated!
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots, when the Sphinx warns Puss that the Fountain of Youth is guarded by her meaner sister.
    Puss: I am certain we can defeat her!
    Sphinx: Oh, and she breathes fire.
    Puss: I am ... fairly certain we can defeat her.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Flutter Brutter", Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are discussing the latter's slacker brother, Zephyr, and Rainbow tells her she was "100% Right" to have her parents kick him out. Zephyr then bursts in announcing that he plans to stay with Fluttershy instead.
    Rainbow Dash: "...Okay, maybe like 70%."
  • Samurai Jack: After seeing Aku destroy the last time portal in front of him, Jack gets very VERY angry. Aku decides to take the opportunity to egg him on with this:
    Aku: (sarcastically) Careful, Samurai. All that anger could give you a heart attack! (thinks) Oh wait, what am I saying? Please continue!
  • American Dad!:
    Hayley: My mother stole my boyfriend!
    Stan: Your boyfriend stole my wife! Let's get back at them by dating each other!... Wait a minute....Daddy didn't think that one through.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987): In "Attack of the 50-Foot Irma", when Irma, who had recently been hit with a growth ray, accidentally steps on Vernon's foot.
    Vernon: You and your big feet!
    Irma: I'll have you know my feet are not big! (her feet grow larger) Oh... On second thought, they do look a little bigger.
  • Transformers Animated: Starscream gets so caught up in an argument that he nearly forgets that his Assassination Attempt on Megatron is supposed to be a secret and has to hurriedly backpedal:
    ”Megatron is offline! Terminated! I did it my- (realizes what he almost said and cringes) I saw it myself...”
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Glimmer confidently asserts that "money is no object" when it comes to hiring the right captain. She then gets a look at Seahawk's fee.
    Glimmer: ...Money might be an object.
  • In The Critic, Duke is running for President and announces that Jay's father, Franklin, is his running mate.
    Franklin: Son, I'm going to be Vice President, and we're going to be honest with the American people. I will not wear this toupee anymore. [rips the hair off his scalp]
    Jay: Dad, you don't wear a toupee.
    Franklin: I will from now on.
  • Central Park:
    • In Season 1 "Dog Spray Afternoon", after Molly discovers where the tagger will make his next tag and Owen informs his crew their next move:
      Owen: Looks like we're doing a stakeout.
      Elwood: You mean we all get overtime?
      Owen: Looks like I'm doing a stakeout with Molly.
    • In Season 1 "A Fish Called Snakehead", when the Tillermans are spitting their toothpaste out into the sink:
      Molly: If my spit is a different color and we're using the same toothpaste, is that bad?
      Owen: Yes. (Spits out toothpaste) Oh, God! Look at my spit. Eh, maybe it's fine.
  • Get Ace: Cash Bankroll Jr. has such a habit of doing this that it borders on a Verbal Tic. His attempts at correcting himself are so transparent, either the other characters don't listen to what he says, or they just don't care.
    "I can make a lot of money out of you — ah ha ha — I mean for you, son."
  • Gravity Falls: This happens multiple times in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" when Dipper needs to reasses the number of back-up cameras he has when they get smashed.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • At one point in "SpongeBob Meets the Stangler", Strangler (posing as SpongeBob's bodyguard) is sick of SpongeBob's detours and long-winded talk and tells the chatterbox sponge to hurry up.
      Strangler: Open the door so I can strangle you... I mean, uhh, choke you... I mean, uhh, crush your windpipe... gah, I mean...
      SpongeBob: Protect me?
      Strangler: Thanks.
    • Twice in "Boating Buddies":
      • When Mrs. Puff speaks to the students:
        Mrs. Puff: Okay class, how about we get to know our new students, by telling each other why we were sentenced to— I mean, why we are enrolled in boating school.
      • Then Mrs. Puff says "Yours, too?" when Squidward says that SpongeBob is the bane of his existence. She corrects herself by asking him to come to the board and draw a diagram of how he got to boating school.

    Real Life 
  • Online, there are two additional methods to invoke this: writing the text in a strikethrough font, and writing one thing and then "backspacing" over it with control-H, written ^H. (Each control-H deletes one letter^H^H^H^H^H^H^H character.) This is a reference to 1980s-era Unix systems, where misconfigured terminals would display control codes instead of invoking them. (A more obscure option is control-W, which deletes entire words ^W^W^W deleted one word in the Berkeley UNIX and in the vi text editor, and was therefore used for more succinct examples.)
  • Lojban has actual words for this: The words "si", "sa" and "su", to be specific.
  • In the US Armed Forces' basic training programs, a drill instructor will never admit to having misspoken. Instead, they'll use the phrase "As you were" to indicate that the recruit(s) should mentally rewind and forget the DI's mistake. Alternatively, the British Army would have the officer saying "Carry on, Sergeant" whenever this situation occurred, which is probably where the popular army-based comedy film name came from. From the Navy, we get the expressions "Belay that" or "Belay my last", a reference to belaying, or tying off a rope to stop further movement.

Here's the finger—oops, mean stinger.


Video Example(s):


I Had a Change of Heart

After Beef shames Game Warden Burt for helping Craig sabotage him, Burt calls Craig to let him know that he's letting the Tobins go after having a change of heart. Although, Moon points out that's only because he got caught by them, making Burt tell Craig they caught him and then he had a change of heart.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / VerbalBackspace

Media sources: