Follow TV Tropes


Where Do You Think You Are?

Go To

"Smokey, this is not 'Nam; this is bowling. There are rules."
Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski

Someone makes a comment about X. Someone else replies, "This is Y," indicating that X wouldn't happen in/at/during Y (or would happen there, but they are somewhere else).

For example, Alice says "I hope the bulls don't run us over." Bob rolls his eyes and says "This is Italy. The running of the bulls is in Spain."

Compare with This Is Reality. Might also become a Captain Obvious.

Not to be confused with Who Do You Think You Are?

In-Universe Examples Only

    open/close all folders 


  • In Gotham City the police are corrupt, the streets are ruled by thugs with guns and the government is ineffective. Gotham Central was a series set amongst the people who actually live in Gotham, instead of the superheroes who just fight crime there, and they full-well realize that their city is a hole, and not a particularly tolerant one, at that.
    This isn't Metropolis, Captain, and not just because our guy works at night. This isn't the city of tomorrow, it's not San Francisco, it's not New York.
    Renee Montoya to Maggie Sawyer
    • Batman also uses this on thugs who think it's okay to use guns or hurt children.

    Fan Works 
  • The Debt:
    Voldemort: Harry, Harry, Harry. Did you really think you could defy the Greatest Wizard of all Time and escape?
    Harry: This is France, Tom. The people here aren't afraid of you.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Prince Philip tells his father, "You're living in the past. This is the 14th Century."
  • Used in this scene from Toy Story:
    Buzz: I just want you to know that even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.
    Woody: Oh. Well, that's good.
    Buzz: But we're not ON my planet... are we?
  • Used during Col. Hathi's inspection in The Jungle Book (1967):
    Hathi: Wipe off that silly grin, soldier! This is the Army!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The one for the ages from The Wizard of Oz:
    "Toto...I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."
  • 300:
    Messenger: "This is blasphemy! This is madness!"
    Leonides: "Madness? (long pause) This! Is! SPARTA!"
  • The Big Lebowski. "Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules."
    • "Could you please keep your voices down? This is a family restaurant."
    • "This is a mortuary. Not a rental house."
  • Blood Diamond. "TIA. This is Africa".
  • Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.
  • Dr. Strangelove's famous line: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!"
  • Fiddler on the Roof. "And now I have some advice for you: This is still my land. Get off my land."
  • At the end of the film Maid to Order (1987), the main character asks the fairy godmother whether she was going to fly off in a bubble. The fairy godmother replied that this was the 20th century (the film was made in The '80s), so her car flies off in a bubble.
  • In The Parole Officer:
    [Simon Garden attempts to swing through the window of a bank, only to bounce off of it and falls to the floor, while a police officer looks on]
    Gardner: [sheepishly] Toughened glass.
    Police Officer: It's a bank!
  • Used a few times in Shanghai Noon to point out contrasts between the east (i.e. China) and the west (i.e. The Wild West).
    This is the West, not the East. And the sun may rise there, but here is where it sets.
  • The big line from Straw Dogs is "This is where I live. This is me. I cannot allow violence against this house."
  • Troll 2's villainess introduced herself with a giant hammy "This is MYYYY housssssssse!"
  • The Untouchables (1987): Upon getting chastised by the Canadian Mountie on his interrogation techniques.
    Mountie: Mr. Ness! I do not approve of your methods!
    Eliot Ness: Yeah? Well you're not from Chicago.
  • The Wicker Man (1973):
    • "We're a deeply religious people. We don't commit murder here."
    • "No apples? On Summerisle?"
  • In an early scene in the Chinatown-like Mulholland Falls (which is set in Los Angeles sometime in the early 1950s, and should not be confused with Mulholland Dr.), a suspected criminal warns a gang of renegade cops that they can't just throw him off a cliff, because "This is America." The gang leader retorts with "This isn't America. This is L.A." Cue screaming guy being thrown over the cliff.
  • In The Song of Bernadette intellectuals, skeptics and atheists who hang out together at the local café get word of Bernadette's visions. They dismiss it all as superstitious nonsense by a bunch of ignorant, backward peasants, and the café owner says "To think that such a thing could happen in the middle of the nineteenth century!"
  • The following exchange from Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
    Ferris: "Hi. Do you speak English?"
    Garage Attendant: "Uh, what country do you think this is?"
  • This trope is used as a major plot point in Footloose, in a conversation held between Ren McCormick and his boss, Andy, after Ren's petition to allow a dance in town is denied.
    Andy: "What are you gonna do now?"
    Ren: "It's over."
    Andy: "What if it ain't? What if you have your dance in Basin?"
    Ren: "No. The whole point was to do something here in Beaumont. Basin's... what... thirty miles away?"
    Andy: (gestures toward the nearby railroad tracks) "Not where it runs up to these tracks it ain't. I figure if the Beaumont fire trucks can't cross these tracks, neither can the long arm of the law."

  • Discworld has: "We don't need to be patriotic. This is Ankh-Morpork. We don't need to tell everyone we're the best. We just know."
    • It also parodies the famous Dr. Strangelove line with:
      "It is forbidden to fight on the Killing Ground."
      "Let's have no fighting, please. This is, after all, a council of war."
  • In Holes, Mr. Sir often reminds the "campers" that they are not, in fact, at Girl Scout camp. There is a sweet bit of irony when, after the novel ends and the villainous Warden is forced to sell the property, it is turned into a Girl Scout camp.
  • A short story by Kim Newman, deconstructing William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, ends with Viola confronting The Chessmaster responsible for all the events, and demanding to know why such things were done. The response is an Ironic Echo of the first thing the ship's captain said when they arrived. "This is Illyria, lady".
  • Quoth Harry Dresden when pursuing "Grey Cloak" using Little Chicago: "You might have gotten away with this in other cities, asshole, but Chicago is my city."
  • In The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books, an in-game book named Five Songs of King Wulfharth has the titular character asking his soldiers three questions at the face of Red Mountain:

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bernard Black often reminds Manny that he is Bernard's shop in Black Books.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow shares the news that she'll be enrolling in UC Sunnydale;
    Buffy: There are better schools.
    Willow: Sunnydale's not bad. A-And I can design my own curriculum.
    Buffy: Okay, well, there are safer schools. There are safer prisons! I can't let you stay because of me.
  • Doctor Who:
    • 'The King's Demons':
      King John: Sir Giles Estram is the best swordsman in France.
      The Doctor: It's just as well we're in England, then.
    • The Doctor saying that "You think you can just shoot me?", causing River to reply "THEY'RE AMERICANS!". This is a Running Gag in the episode.
    • Also, 'A Town Called Mercy' has the gem "everyone who's not American put down your guns" after Amy has accidentally shot all over the place.
  • Due South: On a stolen ship drifting north across one of the Great Lakes, Fraser and Ray are trying to stop a bad guy from blowing up the ship. The bad guy boasts that they will soon be at the bottom of the lake, and he in the South Pacific. Fraser's response:
    That may be, but right now my friend... you are in the Dominion Of Canada.
  • In one episode of Father Ted a famished Dougal tries to order food, only to be told he is in fact in a police station.
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace: "WHHHAAAT!? Am I holding a crock of shit? Tell me something: is this hospital called St. Crock of Shit?"
  • Get Smart: Siegfried's Mad Libs Catchphrase "This is KAOS! We don't ____ here!" Then he turns it around, when his henchman, Shtarker, makes a noise that typically incites the Catchphrase, only for Siegfried to shrug that they're in the arctic, he can get away with anything he wants.
  • The League of Gentlemen: "This is a local shop for local people. There's nothing for you here!"
  • When the Losties find the Black Rock at the end of the first season of Lost, Hurley wonders aloud how it got to the middle of the jungle. Rousseau replies, "Are you living on the same island as I am?"
  • Adam on MythBusters: "Basically, now I'm about to pour the dog wee on the pile of baking soda, which, if the myth is correct, should cause a small explosion, or, if we're actually on Earth, will do absolutely bupkis."
  • The TV series This is Wonderland had it right there in the title.
  • Seriously Weird does this, Hugo wanted ice-cream and was in Heaven at the time.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959), typical Twist. Small-time crook dies, and everything is wonderful, he always wins when he gambles, has women around, then admits he should never have been allowed into heaven, he wants to go to "the other place." "Heaven? What makes you think this is heaven? This IS the other place!"
  • In one episode of Flashpoint, Sam Braddock is kidnapped by a soldier whose daughter was murdered by the serial killer the team is escorting, intending to trade Sam for the serial killer so he can take his revenge — a tactic he'd picked up during his military service in the Sudan. After his plan is foiled, as he's being arrested, Sam tells him, "This isn't the Sudan," meaning that the rules are different in Canada. This offhand comment ends up being critical, since the reference to the Sudan leads Parker to a realization about the case.
  • The Wire: "This is West Baltimore, bitch."
  • Chef! (1993): "We are in my kitchen!"
  • The West Wing: President Bartlet notices someone sitting in his presence inside the White House and publicly shames them with his knowledge of the Bible.
    Bartlet: One last thing. While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building when the president stands, nobody sits.
  • The Good Place: This hilarious exchange between Jason and Eleanor. Bear in mind, the show takes place in the afterlife, and the gang is currently contending with actual, literal demons.
    Jason: I never thought I'd be the one to say it, but this is getting out of hand. I think we gotta go to the cops.
    Eleanor: What cops? Where do you think we are?!
  • Scrubs: The line is delivered almost verbatim in the episode "My Screw Up" for heavy dramatic effect. Dr. Cox is walking through what appears to be a park with his brother-in-law Ben, talking about taking pictures of crying babies and people singing happy birthday for his infant son's birthday party. JD asks him "where do you think we are?" in response, leading him to realize that he's been hallucinating out of denial and that they're actually in a cemetery for Ben's funeral after his recent and unexpected passing.
  • Password: In one game of Password Plus, a contestant guessed "What are gymnastics?", leading host Allen Ludden to quip "This is not Jeopardy!.", but turned to the board and asking, "Is it 'Jeopardy!'?... Oh, no, is it, uh, 'gymnastics?'".


    Mythology and Religion 

    Video Games 
  • Funcoland's final ad campaign before they went bust: "Where do you think you are? Funcoland?!"
  • Left 4 Dead: "I hate Canada so much." "Francis! We're in Pennsylvania!"
  • In the beginning scene of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Link wakes up and mistakes Marin for Princess Zelda, thinking he is in the kingdom of Hyrule. She corrects him and explains that he is now on Koholint Island, which is soon after reaffirmed by a mysterious owl.
  • In the second case of the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game, the evidence incriminating Maya Fey in her sister's murder is a receipt with her name written in blood. Phoenix Wright asks Detective Gumshoe whether murder victims often identify their killer this way, and Gumshoe asserts that it happens all the time in detective novels. The detective's certainty wavers a little when Wright points out that this isn't a detective novel.
  • A minor example in Tales of Symphonia:
    Zelos: Hey, hey, hey! I thought the hero, Mithos was taboo in Heimdall!
    Storyteller: This is not Heimdall.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, if the player is a member of the beautiful Clan Toreador, and travels down the sewer system to the Clan Nosferatu hideout:
    Gary Golden: You're used to getting what you want, aren't you, handsome? People just love your charisma, your face. They eat your words up like the rats eat the cheese in the trap. Oh, boss, where do you think you are?
  • In World of Warcraft, if you ask an Ironforge guard if there's a mining trainer around, he asks "Where do ye think ye are?!" before giving you the directions.
    • Malygos also asks this of players when they invade his inner sanctum, claiming that he's omnipotent in it. The raid generally goes on to prove him wrong.
  • In Killzone 3, during Captain Varville's execution, Stahl proceeds to shoot one of the other POWs in the head, much to Narville's surprise.
    Narville: We are prisoners of war! You just violated the Stockholm treaty!
    Stahl: [chuckles] Stockholm? What planet do you THINK YOU'RE ON!

    Web Original 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Tea sees a museum of ancient history, and wonders whether "they will have DDR machines in there." Yami says, "Tea, this is Japan. Of course they will."
    • Also used was the following quote from Kung Pow! Enter the Fist: "I'm sure on some planet your skills are quite impressive. Your weak link is, this is Earth."
      • And let's not forget: "Can't we just call the police to get this guy locked up?" "This is Japan, card games are the only law."
      • In Bonds Beyond Time Abridged, Paradox comments that by his time, Duel Monsters has evolved far beyond Yami Yugi's understanding. Tamil responds, "That may be the case in your timeline Paradox, but then, we're not in your time, are we?" As Paradox quickly realises this, Yami continues, "And where I come from, Duel Monsters is still a broken, exploitable mess of a game, and I'm about to exploit the hell outta it!"
  • Used in Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged. "Pokemon? Grrrr...this is Yu-Gi-Oh! town mother-!"
  • Some Jerk with a Camera had a line in part two of this video.
    "No, I'm not gonna tell you what happened in part 1. It's the fucking internet! Go watch it yourself, you lazy dorks!"
  • Vandalizing Valhalla, a piece of machinima made with The Movies, has Mob Bob, a mobster, telling a rambling story about buying new spring tires.
    Mob Bob: And I say, "It's October". He says "Well, that's... that's spring in Chicago!" And I say "We're not in Chicago!" And he says "Yeah, but that's where we order our parts from!
    Lackey: Great story! Tell another one!
  • In Not Always Right a customer starts complaining about everyone around him speaking Spanish, and gets the response "We are in Spain, sir."

    Western Animation 
  • In the episode of Arthur where Muffy first arrives at Lakewood, she repeatedly comments about how much classier everything was at her old school (probably an expensive private school). Finally Buster interrupts, "We're not at your old school, fancy pants! We're at plain-old Lakewood Elementary!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Apu, seeing Homer looking through magazines at the Kwik-E-Mart, throws him out, scolding "This is not a library!" We then see him getting thrown out of a library, hot dog and soft drink in hand, with the librarian saying "This is not a Kwik-E-Mart!"
    • In the episode "Krusty Gets Busted", Apu again scolds Bart and Lisa for looking through the magazine rack for clues.
      Apu: Hey hey, this is not a lending library! If you're not going to buy that thing, put it down or I'll blow your heads off!
    • In "Lisa's Date With Density":
      Apu: A Mounds bar is not a sprinkle! A Twizzler is not a sprinkle! A Jolly Rancher is not a sprinkle, sir! Perhaps in Shangri-la they are, but not here!
    • When Ned Flanders tries to use a flare gun to signal for help when he, Homer, and their boys become lost at sea during a river-rafting trip, Homer grabs the gun from him, explaining that they aren't on a church picnic. He then uses the gun himself - and accidentally shoots down the airplane they were trying to signal.
    • When Homer performed as "Dancin' Homer" for the Springfield Isotopes baseball team, his small-town brand of humor was not well received everywhere. ("That kind of act might play in the sticks, but this is Capital City!")
  • In Uncle Grandpa "Weird Man" informs a knife-wielding criminal that it is illegal to own a knife with a length over three inches in the People's Republic of China. The criminal stares at him warily before saying "But.. this is New York." to which Weird Man replies "Exactly!"

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


"Where do you think we are?"

The ending of My Screw Up reveals that the one who died isn't the elderly man JD was seen treating earlier, it was Dr. Cox's brother-in-law and best friend Ben.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeadAllAlong

Media sources: