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"Where? Where?"

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Dated humor trope. Simply put, a rather innocent member of a usually monstrous species walks into the room. Everyone screams, points, and shouts "Monster!" Said character, not realizing that they are the monster, goes "Where?! Where?!" while looking around for it. These days if it's used at all in serious works, the monster is more likely to be snarking.

Related to Answers to the Name of God, Tomato in the Mirror, and Duck!.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Brook, the living skeleton in One Piece, does this if he is described as a ghost.
  • Done non-humorously by the awakened Ophelia in Claymore.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 1 of Boonie Bears, Vick mistakes Olivia the owl for a monster, and Olivia responds "Where?" before realizing he thinks she's the monster and reassuring him she's not going to hurt him.

    Comic Books 
  • In the famous "Laughing Fish" story in Batman #475, Joker (and 3 armed thugs) walk into a patent office. The first reaction of the clerk is "Good Lord!" To which the Joker responds "Where?" and looks behind him. Then he realizes it was a figure of speech and asks the clerk if he said it because he loves him. Word of God says that, in the case of Englehart and Rogers' version of the Joker, he's really that crazy.
  • In Midnight Nation, Lazarus never died again after Jesus raised him from the dead, apparently because Jesus told him to wait for Him to return just before the Last Supper. Two thousand years later, he's still waiting, and every time someone exclaims "Jesus!" he looks around and asks "Where?"

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Played with when Calvin yells "Look! A tiger!" and Hobbes is startled, crying out, "A tiger?" before realising Hobbes himself is the tiger.
    • Another strip has Calvin play a joke on Hobbes by warning him that a big, ugly, fuzzy, caterpillar (Hobbes' tail) is about to chomp on his bottom.

    Fan Works 
  • In Fun With Flying, an X-Men: Evolution fanfic, Principal Kelly moans that he's trapped in China with a gargantuan idiot. Said idiot, Fred Dukes of the Brotherhood, promptly looks around in confusion.
  • A variant in A Stranger Among the Voices: While trying to get help for Jessica (the human who just saved her from a chimera and been injured in the process), Dinky overhears Lily starting a panic among the town about the "Foal-Hunter" (a supposed monster who she and others had seen in a travelling sideshow). This just increases her fear for Jessica's safety, until Starlight has to explain to her that Jessica is the "Foal-Hunter".
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: Several weeks (or even months) after ascending, Rainbow Dash still looks around for somepony else when she's addressed as "Princess". The gryphon prince Ajax tells her he does the same thing whenever he hears "Your majesty".
  • Identity, a Star Wars fanfic, plays with this in chapter 29 when Wedge Antilles, who had been talking to Han Solo before, calls out to Luke as he's getting out of his cockpit that "The hero of the Battle of Yavin is here". Luke looks around innocently and then jokingly asks, "Chewbacca?" Han, despite not expecting the "quick wit", still manages to be amused by the remark.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In chapter 12 of the third story, Diplomacy Through Schooling, Queen Novo of the Seaponies and Queen Schuberta of the Sirens are having a brief exchange and Schuberta is annoyed at Novo over a past event. King Leo, who's also present, steps in to calm the situation with "Ladies, ladies,", prompting Novo to look around and jokingly ask, "Who came in?"

    Films — Animation 
  • In An American Tail and its sequels, Tiger, the cat who doesn't eat red meat, often is surprised by mice's reaction to him. "Cat!" "Where!?... oh, right."
  • Brave: In the scene where Elinor turns into a bear; Merida screams, Elinor turns and sees a bear's shadow on the wall, and attempts to shield Merida with her body because she hasn't realized yet that she is the bear.
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, when Pacha finds Kuzco, who has been turned into a llama (but doesn't yet realize this), he thinks he's a normal llama, until Kuzco says, "No touchy":
    Pacha: AHHHH! Demon llama!
    Kuzco: Demon llama?! Where?! [looks around and finds himself face-to-face with Pacha's llama Misty] AHHHHH!
    Misty: AHHHHH!
  • In The Jungle Book 2, after screams of "Wild animal!" at Baloo, Baloo goes "Wild animal?!? Where?!?"
  • Steven Universe: The Movie: When Amethyst's memory is restored and she and Steven hug, a still-amnesic Spinel (who had their memories wiped in the first place) also hugs them, prompting Amethyst to panic:
    Amethyst: YOU! Wha- W-What are you doing here?!
    Steven: So, l-let me explain-
    Amethyst: Get away from him, you monster! Huh...?
    Spinel: A monster? (scans the horizon) Where is it? No, I don't see it.
    Amethyst: Aah! (jumps back) You're it!
    Spinel: ...Ooh! Ready or not, here I come! Boop!

    Films — Live Action 
  • Long before Roberto Benigni acted his way to an Oscar in Life Is Beautiful, he was an unwitting rape suspect in Le Monstre, and one scene features him doing the "Where? Where?" as people are trying to run away from the rapist.
  • Played with from time to time in The Three Stooges shorts; whenever someone would refer to the three as 'gentlemen' all three of them would turn around and say "Who came in?"

A creative joke on Obama's expense, thematizing the extreme difference between American and European racism, went like this: Obama is visiting (insert extreme right-wing European politician, er-wEp, here). They talk and tries to hold it chance, finally he blurts out the dreaded N-Word. Obama, panically looking around: "Where? Where?"

  • The Sesame Street book The Monster at the End of This Book has this as its basic premise.
  • Done even less humorously by H. P. Lovecraft in "The Outsider", as part of the Tomato in the Mirror.
  • The wizards of the Discworld series are so used to the Librarian's new form (an orangutan) that if someone were to mention an orangutan in the library they'd ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.
  • The main character of Never Never, after walking into a restaurant and freaking out the patrons... starts sniffing his underarms, as if trying to figure out the problem. The tension eases considerably.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One Halloween Episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has Will crying out that there was something disgusting growing out of Carlton's neck. As his terrified cousin blurts out "Where?! Where?!", he then proclaims that it was just his head.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • Played with/parodied:
      Inspector Tiger: Allow me to introduce myself, I am Inspector Tiger.
      All: Tiger!?
      Inspector Tiger:: Where?! Where?!
    • They then repeat the gag with Inspector Lookout, Chief Constable Fire, and Assistant Chief Constable Theresamanbehindyer. Naturally, Theresamanbehindyer doesn't fall for it.
    • A similar case in "The Cycling Tour" when Mr. Pither is arrested by the Russian Military. As he's being led to a firing squad we hear his narration.
      Pither: I started to perceive a line of gentlemen with rifles. They were looking in my direction. I looked around, but could not see the target.
    • A TV presenter tries to prompt guest Anne Elk (Miss) to tell her theory about the brontosaurus.
      Chris: What is it?
      Anne: (looks around) Where?
    • The Self Defence sketch where a line of grunts are being taught how to defend themselves against anyone armed with fresh fruit has Mr Thompson suggesting screaming for help as an option:
    Sergeant: Yeah, you try that with a pineapple down your windpipe.
    Thompson: A pineapple?
    Sergeant: (startled) Where?! Where?!
    Thompson: No, I was just saying "pineapple."
    Sergeant: Oh. Whew! Thought my number was on that one.
    Thompson: On the pineapple?
    Sergeant: (startled again) Where?! Where?!
    Thompson: No, I was just repeating it!
  • From Morecambe and Wise:
    Des O'Connor: Gentlemen...
    Eric: Where?
  • There was an episode of The Munsters where the family was worried about Herman going for late-night walks in the park because of monster sightings there. Nobody in the family ever realized that the monster everyone else was reporting was Herman.
  • Inverted in Angel (which has no shortage of monsters) but in "Spin the Bottle" the entirely human Gunn introduces himself, where upon the person he's talking to looks around in alarm for the gun, shouting "Where?!"
  • Blackadder the Third has a very subtle variation in the episode "Nob and Nobility". Topper knows that Blackadder has gotten his partner killed and lied for monetary gain:
    Topper: Prepare yourself for a story of dishonour and deceit that will make your stomach turn.
    Prince George: Well, I say! This is interesting, isn't it, Blackadder?
    (Blackadder nods slowly.)
    Topper: Not only that, but I trust it will lead to the imprisonment of a man who is a liar, a bounder, and a cad.
    (Blackadder looks back as if there's somebody behind him.)
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "The Neutral Zone" a group of frozen 20th century humans are unfrozen and brought to The Enterprise. When one of them points at Data and asks "What is that?", Data turns his head and searches behind him.
  • Sesame Street: One animated sketch has a gorilla writing a list of words that begin with the letter "g". When he gets stuck and the human employment agent observing him suggests "gorilla", the gorilla yelps "Where?" and leaps into the guy's arms.
  • Wheel of Fortune: At the beginning of the April 20th, 2020 episode, after the announcer introduces the hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White, the former jokingly says "Where? Where? Where are they?"

  • In the radio/TV quiz show You Bet Your Life, when the announcer introduced Groucho Marx, Groucho would come out on stage and innocently exclaim, "Oh, that's me!"
  • The entire plot of the comedy/music show Stick A Geranium In Your Hat revolves around R.P. Weston and Bert Lee messing with an interviewer just trying to get a coherent answer out of them.
    Interviewer: [exasperated] Gentlemen, gentlemen!
    Weston & Lee: Where? Where?
  • In The Goon Show, which is populated almost entirely with Cloudcuckoolanders...
    [Henry Crun hangs up a phone call which we only heard his side of]
    Minnie: Who was that on the phone, Henry?
    Henry Crun: It was me, Minnie.
    Minnie: Oh! I thought I recognized the voice.

    Video Games 
  • Turned on its head in Legacy of Kain: Defiance:
    Vampire Hunter #1: Monster!
    Vampire Hunter #2: Where?!
    Raziel: Here!
  • Fallout 3 has a rather hilarious example: one of the standard "enemy spotted" responses by NPCs is "Over here!", followed by "Where?!" a few seconds later. If there's no one around, said NPC will respond to themself!
    Paladin: Over here!... where?
  • Hydreigon of Pokémon fame is well known for being doom and destruction incarnate, demolishing and devouring anything in it's way. The Hydreigon in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity is... nothing like that, being polite, well-spoken, and a tiny bit of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
    Partner: So this is THE Hydreigon?! The violent monster that devours all with its three heads and that no-one can stop?!
    Hydreigon: Eek! Where?! That's really scary!
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, during the segment in which you select instruments for the concert in Fisherman's Horizon, you can wander away from scene as Irvine, whom you would normally never get to control on the field. You can visit the hotel, which broadcasts a warning about a suspicious individual in a longcoat carrying a rifle. Irvine remarks to himself that this sounds like some sort of hardcore bad guy.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Suburban Jungle, Yin (a panda) calls a psychic hotline, and the seer screams at her to get out because there's a tiger in the house. Yin calmly (albeit with aching ears) informs the hysterical woman that Tiffany is her roommate.
  • This Wondermark strip, except there's an even worse monster.

    Western Animation 
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • An episode has the dead ancestors of the cast of "US Acres". Someone shouted, "Ghost!" and Not-Wade does the "Where? Where?"
    • Garfield does this when he's pretending to be a dog and someone refers to him as a cat. He does something similar in another episode where he's had an unwitting "Freaky Friday" Flip with Odie.
  • Occurred in old episodes of Casper the Friendly Ghost.
  • Scooby-Doo does this a lot in its later incarnations. "Rog? Rere?"
  • Adam West, playing himself in The Fairly OddParents! runs this joke several times.
    Hollywood visitors: TV's Adam West!
    Adam West: Where?! HAH! That never gets old!
  • Samurai Jack
    Samurai Jack: Talking Demon Dogs!
    Rothchild: Good heavens, where!?
  • The classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Cowabunga Shredhead" has Shredder, thinking he's Michelangelo, walk into the Turtles' lair, resulting in this exchange:
    Leonardo: It's Shredder!
    Shredder: Where!? Where!?
  • This gag happens with Bushroot in the Darkwing Duck Christmas Episode.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    Katara: Sokka, you have an elbow-leech!
    Sokka: Where!? Where!?
  • The Batman. In "The Laughing Bat", the Joker dresses up like Batman and dishes out Disproportionate Retribution for petty misdemeanors. Naturally this is an Obligatory Joke.
    Mayor Grange: Joker!
    Bat-Joker: (looking around in panic) Where?!
  • In "Zak and the Beanstalk" from Dragon Tales, Mungus the giant asks Max, Emmy, Zak and Wheezie why they're in his castle. Zak, panicked, claims that they're there to sell him dragonberry cookies. Wheezie, however, tells him that they're there to rescue the do re mi birds and Max agrees "Yeah! From the big mean giant." This causes him to panic, asking "Big mean giant? Uhhhh... where?" Emmy tells him that "He means you!" He replies that he's the littlest one in his family, that he's not mean.
  • In "Monkeying Around and Around" from T.O.T.S., K.C. tells the babies that "it's off to meet your brave fliers." "Where?! Where?!" asks Freddy and Pip tells him that it's them, that they're the brave fliers.
  • Puff the Magic Dragon: Variant in the first special — Puff already knows he's a dragon, but as he's walking by Jackie Draper's house and sees him sitting silently in his room, he pulls the trope in an initial effort to cheer Jackie up, asking the boy "I beg your pardon, could you tell me if you just saw a dragon pass by? I could swear I saw one." (chuckles) "Most unusual nowadays." Then he looks again and says "Aaahhh... your mirror across the room. I did see a dragon! Me." Later, after Jackie's back to normal at the end of the special, Puff walks by the house again and this time asks the audience "I beg your pardon, did you happen to see a dragon pass by? Oh, the mirror. I did see a dragon! Me. By the way... where's your fancy stuff?"

    Real Life 
  • A surviving letter from William Howard Taft to Theodore Roosevelt included this, and it wasn't meant as a joke - in 1909, as Roosevelt was on his way to an African safari after Taft's inauguration, he received a farewell letter from Taft, who noted in it that "When I am addressed as 'Mr. President', I turn to see whether you are not at my elbow".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): A Monster Where


The Big, Mean Giant

In "Zak and the Beanstalk" from "Dragon Tales," Max, Emmy and the dragons find themselves caught by the giant Mungus. He asks what they're doing there and Wheezie and Max tell him that they're there to rescue the do-re-mi birds from "the big, mean giant." He asks where this giant is and they clarify they're talking about him. He protests that he's neither mean, nor big, that he is, in fact, the littlest member of his family.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhereWhere

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