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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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!
- In The Jungle Book 2, after screams of "Wild animal!" at Baloo, Baloo goes "Wild animal?!? Where?!?"
- 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?"
- 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.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus:
- Played with/parodied:
Inspector Tiger: Allow me to introduce myself, I am Inspector 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?
- Played with/parodied:
- From Morecambe and Wise:
Des O'Connor: Gentlemen...
- 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.
- 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.
- Turned on its head in Legacy of Kain: Defiance:
Vampire Hunter #1: Monster!
Vampire Hunter #2: Where?!
- 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!
- 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!?Katara: Where do you think?
- 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?!
- 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".