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Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer

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"I said 'fine'. What is it about the word 'sure' you don't understand?"
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, "Homer Simpson In: Kidney Trouble"

Alice has something to ask of Bob. Maybe it's to borrow a cup of sugar, maybe it's to ask him to baby-sit, maybe it's if he's interested in going out for drinks, maybe she needs his help to carry out a terrorist plot. Whatever the favor, Alice wholly anticipates that Bob will turn her down — she anticipates it so thoroughly that the moment Bob gives his answer, she launches into a spiel designed to hector or persuade him away from saying "no", completely missing the fact that Bob in fact said yes! It may take several moments, or several interruptions from Bob, before it catches up with her that he's actually agreed.

A Comedy Trope that is sort of verbal Double Take. Characters with No Listening Skills are prone to exercise this trope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!, Nyarko is asking her friend Tamao for romantic advice on how to move things along with her love interest Mahiro. Eventually Tamao says "Why don't you just kiss him?" Nyarko says that she already did, and Tamao first reacts as if she said something like "No way, I'm too embarrassed!" and starts thinking of an alternate idea before the realization sinks in and she gives a Big "WHAT?!".
  • In Gundam Build Fighters Try, Sekai and Fumina confront Miyagi, president of the Model Building Club, to convince him to let Yuuma join their Gunpla Battle Club. Miyagi's agreement flies right over their heads, and Sekai is just about to challenge him to a fight when the realization sinks in. In this case, they expected resistance because Miyagi had been a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis in the previous two episodes, but didn't realize that his getting a girlfriend (fellow Model Club member Eri Shinoda) would completely mellow him out.
  • My Hero Academia has a thoroughly non-comedic version: Hero Killer Stain has such Black-and-White Insanity that Iida admitting Stain's criticisms of society were correct completely throws him off his game because he can't accept that someone he hated might actually improve themselves.

    Comic Books 
  • This exchange between Laurie and Jon in Watchmen:
    Laurie: My whole life's a joke. One big, stupid, shit...
    Jon: I don't think your life's meaningless.
    Laurie: Oh no, well, obviously that's what you're going to say because anything I'm stupid enough to believe is true, you just disagree with it don't?
  • In Paul Jenkins' Sidekick, Night Judge threatens goons with a punch in the face if they don't answer him truthfully. Even if they 'fess up, he punches them anyway mid-sentence. Night Judge repeatedly winds up with a room or alleyway full of thugs on the floor without gaining any information, then promptly looks for another place where bad guys hang out to beat up.
  • In NSFW comic Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, around issue 100, when Jon is proposing to Tarot, he's too busy arguing that being her boyfriend has already put him in enough danger that becoming her husband wouldn't change things much, that he's fully willing to go through with the consequences, and so on, to realize that she said "yes" almost immediately.
  • In the Road to Task Force Z back-up strip in Detective Comics #1042, reporter Deb Donovan ditches Red Hood after agreeing to a partnership. When he catches up to her and reveals he knows everything she's discovered since they last spoke:
    Deb: Are you ... did you tap my phone?
    Red Hood: Yes.
    Deb: Don't lie to me. I can find out...
    Red Hood: I said yes. I put a bug on your phone that morning on the subway.

    Comic Strips 
  • In FoxTrot, Peter's first attempt to ask Denise out is like this. He launches into a prepared speech about she probably doesn't remember him, completely oblivious to fact that she keeps telling him she knows who he is. She eventually tells him to put down the script.
  • One Sunday Dilbert strip had a co-worker ask Dilbert to review her work, and he immediately says yes, only for her to not only ignore each time he agrees to do so, but when he eventually yells at her to accept yes for an answer, she responds "That's now how innocent people talk".

    Fan Works 
  • In The Hobbit fanfic A Fool's Hope, Gandalf tries to convince Thorin to go to Rivendell.
    Gandalf: The elves could help us! Lord Elrond is one of the few in Middle Earth capable of reading that map!
    Thorin: Fine.
    Gandalf: To not seek him out when his house lies so close is the height of folly!
    Thorin: I said fine!
  • In Dungeon Keeper Ami, Ambassador Camilla, as a representative of the Shining Concord Empire, brings a list of requirements before Mercury. These requirements (for the Shining Concord to consider establishing any kind of diplomatic relations with the newly-minted Empress) include a lavish embassy that turns out to be a scaled-down model of their own imperial palace, built at Mercury's expense. Mercury is floored when she realizes that the total cost is greater than eight dungeon hearts (who are implied to cost approximately one ton of gold- each). Camilla is so certain that she will refuse to build such a costly embassy that she is initially confused by Ami's simple agreement.
  • In In Flight, Uzume asks Shirou to heal her Ashikabi, not expecting Shirou to simply agree. To be fair, Shirou has been building a reputation for being ruthless and doing whatever it takes to win, to the point where even his own Sekirei are surprised by his immediate acceptance.
  • The Legacy Preservation Act:
    Tracy: Ok, that's it, Harry. You're teaching us to fight! I don't ever want to be attacked like that and not be able to protect my family!
    Harry: Alright.
    Tracy: Seriously Harry, I don't want to...wait, what?
  • In Ripples of Coincidences Daniel wants approval to take four-year-old Harry off-planet due to his Parselmouth ability.
    Daniel: ...and in short, General, I believe that to take Harry on P6X-2442 would be an unparalleled opportunity to study it as well as to find out more about his originsnote  and how to best care for him and all in all, well worth the few risks involved...
    General Hammond: Agreed.
    Daniel: I know, I know, it's irregular, but the potential benefits...What did you say?
    Lily: Darling, look, it's...important to us that you come. All the families from Wizard Lock will be there and even the Minister himself!
    Harry: Okay.
    James: Harry, it won't be that bad- wait, what?
  • The Thorny Rose:
    Harry: Eva. We, that is, Ginny and I, have come to a decision.
    Ginny: Yes, we're taking the rest of the time until school starts off. No more training or studying, at all.
    Harry: We've worked bloody hard for the last few months, and we're really in need of some downtime.
    Ginny: It's only fair. We're not machines, you know.
    Eva: Okay.
    Harry: You can't expect us to work night and day to...err, what?
  • Power plays:
    Padma: Can we be friends?
    Harry: Of course.
    Padma: It's just that I only hang around my sister who I'm not that close to and Su but that might be because we're both immi- What, really?
  • The Lily Potter Foundation:
    Harry: Hermione, I was wondering if you would want to maybe go on a date this Friday night.
    Hermione: I would love to Harry.
    Harry: Ok, well I just thought I would, wait what?
  • Trophy:
    Narcissa: What was VonCrown doing in our home?
    Lucius: He's spying on Draco for me.
    Narcissa: Just spying?
    Lucius: He's been instructed to stop any physical activity before it gets too intimate.
    Narcissa: Lucius, that's a brilliant idea.
    Lucius: I know it was reckless of me, but hear me out. I think Draco and Potter could be good together, but not if our son wins his prize before falling in –wait... did you just say it was a brilliant idea?
  • whose woods these are (I think I know.): When Nino reveals himself to Adrien as the Guardian and asks for the Butterfly Miraculous, he doesn't expect Adrien to agree.
    The Guardian: The last thing I want is to be callous, Adrien. But if you have your father's miraculous, then I need it back.
    Adrien: You can have it.
    The Guardian: I know it must be difficult to part with, but I assure you, the butterfly is safest with—oh. (blinks, suddenly wide-eyed) "You're not even—really? You're not going to argue?
    Adrien: I want it gone.
  • Some heroes become thieves:
    Daphne: Look, she's a really good girl but like I said I'm still studying. There are some days that I need someone to look after her while I'm out. I could ask my parents and they'd do anything for me but they won't love her, I don't want her to be in a hostile environment. Tracey has moved to Italy with Blaise, Neville's great but I don't want Augusta mothering my child... she usually goes to school and daycare after that but some days I have to stay late and the daycare closes at 8. Would you do me the enormous favour of looking after her on the days that I'm late? I promise it won't happen often and I'll always inform you beforehand so you can tell me if it's going to be a problem...
    Harry: Breath Daphne! You are going to pass out, I'd love to look after Ellie any time.
    Daphne: I'll do anything you need in return... oh, wait did you just agree?
  • Team 8: Jiraiya is so intent on presenting his arguments in favour of Naruto becoming his apprentice, that he overlooks the fact that Tsunade has already agreed, three times, until she finally yells at him to shut up.
  • The Weight Of The Ring On His Finger:
    Hermione: What did you think of question eleven-b? I think I got the right—
    Ron: Nope. We're not doing this. We did what we did, and we'll get what we get. Hermione, it's our last few days at Hogwarts. Don't ruin it for yourself stressing out over stupid questions on the exams.
    Hermione: You're right.
    Ron: And I mean—wait. I'm right? Really? You're actually agreeing with me?
  • Parseltongue is Really Very Ordinary:
    Draco: Harry, my father has agreed to submit the petition to the Board of Governors of Hogwarts (of which he is a member I might add), and also to forward and promote your agenda, provided it additionally recommends that Dumbledore be dismissed as Headmaster due to a lack of faith in his ability to provide safety and security for students at Hogwarts.
    Harry: Sure.
    Draco: You see it's necessary because... what did you say?

    Films — Animation 
  • The Chief Blue Meanie from Yellow Submarine will not take "yes" for an answer. All his yes/no questions must be answered with "no."
    Chief: Are the troops in readiness?
    Max: No, your Blueness.
    Chief: The Bonkers?
    Max: No.
    Chief: Clowns?
    Max: No.
    Chief: Snapping Turks?
    Max: No.
    Chief: Anti-music missiles?
    Max: No.
    Chief: The dreadful Flying Glove?
    Max: No.
    Chief: Splendid! Today, Pepperland goes blue-ey!
  • In Hotel Transylvania, Mavis Dracula is practicing a speech for her father on her 118th Birthday (in front of a mirror, despite the lack of reflection, and literally pacing around the room, including walls and ceiling) that he has promised to let her out of the castle when she turned 118. Dracula walks in, and Mavis starts her tirade for real, not noticing when her father calmly says "OK". However, it's all a trick. He wants Mavis to see the human world for real and decide to stay at the castle of her own will by creating a fake human village with his zombie lackeys dressed as humans with torches and pitchforks.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Tommy Boy, Tommy does an unbelievable sell...then the guy he's selling to says he'll buy from Tommy, and Tommy starts to act like he says no, then both he and business partner Richard do a Double Take and yell "What?"
  • A variant in Iron Man 2: Tony tells Pepper he wants her to run the company for him, and Pepper angrily replies that she's trying to run the company, but she can't because he's never there.
    Tony: Pepper, I'm trying to make you CEO. Why won't you let me?
  • Tom in Royal Wedding quotes this trope about the captain of the ship after agreeing to his pleas for a performance.
  • The Butabi brothers (mostly Steve) have a moment like this in A Night at the Roxbury. After finally making it into the eponymous club, the two are approached by a pair of gold diggers and immediately ask them to dance. They are so accustomed to rejection that when the girls say 'yes', Steve launches into a 'see you later' before being made to realize what just happened.
    Girls: Hi there.
    Steve: Wassup. Wanna dance?
    Girls: Yes.
    Steve: Okay, take it easy.
    Doug: Steve, they said YES.
    Steve: ...What?
  • Z-O-M-B-I-E-S: Eliza is so certain Addison will try to talk her out of sabotaging the cheerleading competition it takes some time for her to realize Addison encouraged her.

  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hagrid does this when trying to defend Harry in Dumbledore's office (while waving a dead rooster he happened to have on him).
    Hagrid: It wasn' Harry, Professor Dumbledore! I was talkin' ter him seconds before that kid was found, he never had time, sir!
    [Dumbledore tries to interrupt]
    Hagrid: It can't've bin him, I'll swear it in front o' the Ministry o' Magic if I have to—
    Dumbledore: Hagrid, I—
    Hagrid: Yeh've got the wrong boy, sir, I know Harry never—
    Dumbledore: Hagrid! I do not think Harry attacked those people.
    Hagrid: Oh. Right. I'll wait outside then, Headmaster.
  • A non-comedic version of this is what basically sets the plot of The Demolished Man into motion. The protagonist is so convinced that a hated business rival will refuse his offer to merge their firms that he literally cannot see that the coded answer he gets is actually an agreement and thus starts to plot the man's murder. Different from most other cases here in that the misunderstanding is only cleared up weeks after he has already succeeded. It's more complicated than that: his mental disorder makes him think the answer is no in order to justify doing what he wanted to do, kill his father.
  • In the Relativity story "Bajo el Muérdago," one of the subplots involves Ravenswood and Melody being given a chance to purchase some delicious South American coffee for their shop; the downside is that it will involve going into a partnership with the dictator who runs the country. Melody is so sure that establishing ties with a dictator would be a bad move, that when Ravenswood tells her they should she at first thinks he actually said no.
  • Invoked (almost) by name in Nemesis Games: during an attack, a ship's captain tries to persuade Alex and Bobbie to get in their smaller, faster ship and take the Prime Minister of Mars to safety, while Alex is busy trying to persuade the captain that their smaller ship is much faster and he's the best pilot to run it. The Prime Minister ends up having to resolve their argument.
    "They said yes, Captain Choudhary. Take yes for an answer."
  • In The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?, the Pigeon goes on a rant after learning that the Duckling got a cookie, finally shouting "WHY DID YOU GET THAT COOKIE!?!" When the Duckling replies "So I could give it to you," he thrusts one of his wings at him and shouts "AND ANOTHER THING—" before finally what the Duckling just said hits him. "Hubba-Whaa?!?"
  • In Albert Adds Up!, a book from the Mouse Math series, Albert really wants to read the latest book a in a series called ''Captain Slime''. His big sister Wanda has checked it out from the library and he really wants to read it first and asks her if he can. Most of the remainder of the book is him offering her various things in exchange for the privilege before she's finally able to get out that she had checked the book out for him in the first place. After that, he says that he no longer wants to read it first...because he thinks they should read it together.
  • A variant (Won't Take Silence For An Answer) from Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju: When Radu the Handsome is revealed as The Man Behind the Man and announces "I am ...Dracula!", he immediately goes into a rant about how he's as much the "Son of the Dragon" as his brother and perfectly entitled to call himself that. Jeperson reflects that he's so used to making that speech, it hasn't occurred to him that the guy with the guns can call himself whatever he likes.
  • In Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure, the boy who eventually gets said dog, Egmont Dolittle, has asked his parents if he can get a pet many, many times before, only to be told "No." Finally, his parents decide to ask him what kind of pet he wants, thinking maybe it'll be something simple like a goldfish. When they ask him this, he asks them again if he can have a pet, then does a double-take and drops his fork to the floor before it finally sinks in what they said and he shouts "What?!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Seinfeld exchange between Kramer and Elaine on the episode titled "The Millenneum":
    Kramer: [pleading] Elaine, you can't go to Newman's Newmanniun [party].
    Elaine: [neutral] Okay.
    Kramer: [frantic] No! No! No! You gotta spend New Year's 1999 with me and Jerry!
    Elaine: [neutral] Fine.
    Kramer: [frustrated shout] Oh COME ON!!
  • Full House when D.J. is petitioning for her own room.
    Danny: All right, I've made a decision...
    D.J.: Dad, that's so unfair!
    Danny: You haven't even heard what it is yet.
    D.J.: Sorry, just a habit.
  • Variation: An episode of Dharma & Greg has Greg running for office. Dharma readily agrees, but he seems reluctant, after a while, Dharma says " had a big 'convince Dharma' speech planned, didn't you?"
  • On Cheers, Diane turns down Sam's proposal thinking at first that he's only asking her to marry him on the rebound; she eventually changes her mind, but now Sam wants no part of it. Sam then spends the entire next episode avoiding Diane any way he can.
  • Played a good deal more seriously in a later episode of Frasier. Niles has a minor tooth ache which he mentions in jest has a very small chance of being caused by a severe heart condition. When a series of increasingly improbable occurrences keep happening around him, he becomes paranoid that he may in fact have a problem, though this fear is initially Played for Laughs. When he goes to get a checkup, he seems afraid right up until the doctor gives him his results, when he immediately seems to relax and mention how relieved he is... until he realizes that the doctor has just told him that he does have a heart condition, and will require serious surgery.
  • In The West Wing, Blonde Republican Sex Kitten Ainsley Hayes has been invited to the White House to meet with Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. Expecting she's going to be chewed out for having beaten Sam on a talking-heads TV show, she begins defending herself, not stopping to notice that Leo has just offered Ainsley a job. When she does figure that out (lampshaded with Leo's "here it comes..."), she starts objecting to the offer. Despite wanting it pretty much more than anything else in life:
    Leo: Don't you want to work in the White House?
    Ainsley: Oh, only since I was two. It has to be this White House?
  • Used in the first episode of Yes, Prime Minister, newly elected Jim Hacker speaking with his Chief of Defense:
    Hacker: It's going to be very unpopular with the armed forces, but...there it is. I intend to cancel Trident.
    Chief: Good idea.
    Hacker: Now, hold on! It's no good trying to talk me out of it, because once I've made up my mind, I...what did you say?
  • In a NewsRadio episode, Matthew asks Dave if he's being fired, and after Dave says no, Matthew doesn't hear it that way. As he begins to leave, he realizes his mistake and asks, "Were you just going to let me leave?" Dave nods mischievously, having fully expected him to not listen (he is the Spaz, after all).
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In the episode "The Broca Divide", Daniel is trying to argue to General Hammond that they should spend more time on their latest contacted planet, even though there's nothing to be gained militarily. Having clearly lost several rounds of this argument already, he's so determined to make his case that it takes him a minute to realize that this time the General is saying yes.
    • This happens to Daniel a few times when he underestimates the General's intelligence. In another episode, he's ready to go in with rhetorical guns ablazin' to convince Hammond to act on a tip he got from a Prophetic Dream, when the General agrees instantly on the basis that that's hardly the weirdest thing he's heard while in command of the SGC.
  • In "Unnatural Selection" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dr. Pulaski wants permission to study a child in a shuttlecraft, breaking a quarantine and presenting a risk to herself, but not to the rest of the ship, which was Captain Picard's main concern.
    Picard: Starfleet guidelines about contact with quarantined...
    Pulaski: You don't have to quote the rule book. You were saying?
    Picard: Request approved.
    Pulaski: Captain, you said if I...approved?
  • One episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine features Odo telling Quark that he has no choice but to do something. Quark protests "That's not fair." Odo points out that he hasn't said what it is yet, and then makes Quark a temporary deputy. Quark again starts to say "That's not fair!" but only gets halfway through before reacting.
  • In the Star Trek: Picard episode "Broken Pieces", Picard contacts Fleet Admiral Clancy and informs her of what he has learned. He asks her to send a squadron to meet him at a space station and then keeps talking over her to try to convince her to listen to him, unlike the last time they met. Finally, Clancy has had enough and shuts him up before telling him that the squadron will meet him at the station.
    Admiral Kirsten Clancy: Admiral Picard, with all due respect — and at long last — shut the fuck up.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • One episode has Radar reacting this way when he asks a new nurse to go out with him, and she agrees to.
    • An earlier episode has half the camp coming down with the flu, including Colonel Blake and Major Burns. At one point Major Houlihan tells Hawkeye that, as ranking officer among the well, she should be in charge rather than him. Hawkeye, who couldn't care less about being in charge, immediately agrees, but she keeps stating her case (seeming to believe that Hawkeye is mocking her/being sarcastic), leading him to invoke the trope name.
  • In the final moments of Popular, we see Brooke storming out of a restaurant with Sam, saying "This isn't what I wanted", concerning an unseen-by-viewers decision by Harrison over who he's going to take to the prom. This prompted viewers to assume that he had picked Sam. Even the Television Without Pity recap said as much, although it also said that others argue that it could have been the other way. Ryan Murphy later revealed that this was (would have been?) the case.
  • In the second season finale of Parks and Recreation, Leslie goes to Chris to argue in favor of holding a childrens' concert in spite of budget cuts. Leslie has barely begun her points before he agrees with her. She then explains she wasn't expecting him to say yes so quickly, so he lets her go through her carefully-prepared argument anyway.
  • Variation: In an episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Jack is displeased with Jordan for not making her approval known during a pitch meeting. She interrupts by saying she's not going to bid on the show, and Jack carries on for a few more sentences before realizing she's already said she's not bidding at all.
  • Fringe: Broyles calls Olivia on this at one point:
    Broyles: Dunham. I came in here to begin making the calls I'm going to need to make in order to get the interview that we both agree is necessary. And I would also request that you stop cutting me off every time I'm about to tell you to stop drilling, you've struck oil, as I was going to do when we first came through that door.
  • White Collar has a paired example in "Burke's Seven":
    Peter: You make that deal, a killer walks free. Neal, you can find your revenge in the justice. It's there.
    Neal: I know.
    Peter: You're not listening to me. [pause] You are listening to me.
    [and then, later]
    Peter: A con.
    Neal: Nothing illegal. But if we—
    Peter: All right.
    Neal: Just hear me out— [Peter smirks] I saw what you did there.
  • Patito Feo has a 15 years old girl, "Patito", and two distanced parents, Carmen and Leandro. Patito's boyfriend will go to Spain and wants to take her. Carmen is completely opposed to letting her daughter leave the country, being still a child. She's sure that, without her authorization, Patito would seek Leandro's. So Carmen go to see him first, who does not know anything and does not understand what is she so angry about. And once she has explained, so angry because he would authorize Patito, he says "it's crazy!". Climatic music gets interrupted, and Carmen suddenly does not know what to say. Leandro agrees with her: it would be crazy to let a girl his age to leave the country just with a friend.
  • On an episode of Top Gear, James May gives an ultimately negative review of the Aston Martin Virage, a car that was billed as a healthy middle-ground between "entry-level, dilettante sports car" and "dedicated track monster" but, due to being tested at the Nürburgring, skews too heavily towards the latter for his tastes, to the detriment of ride quality. May then turns to the normally power-obsessed Jeremy Clarkson, clearly expecting him to defend the car's track-oriented performance... and completely fails to acknowledge that Clarkson (who'd started to get on a bit and might appreciate a good city tourer) was agreeing with him at every turn:
    May: Right, is this gonna be a five minute argument, or do you want the full half hour?
    Clarkson: No, because I actually agree with you.
    May: No, for God's sake, look the point is, Aston already make the DBS, and the Vantage S for people who are enthusiasts of the Nürburgring. But why haven't they thought that there might be somebody who wants a faster Aston, but maybe has, I don't know, back ache, for example.
    Clarkson: Yes, I agree with that.
    May: Oh, shut up, man! Do you not realize this could have been that car, and it isn't, and that's a tragedy!
    Clarkson: I know.
    May: You are such an idiot, honestly.
  • Variation in Merlin. Gwen has been kidnapped and Uther refuses to send a search party for her. Morgana starts hassling Arthur, calling him a coward and expressing disbelief that he would leave a friend to die...while Arthur is clearly packing to go after Gwen. It takes several tries before Arthur can get Morgana to stop yelling at him long enough to realize that he's already on her side.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In "Skyfire Cycle", Terry doesn't want to believe that his favorite author might be committing a crime.
    Terry: Look, we are going to go to his hotel, we're going to talk to him and he'll have an explanation.
    Jake: Whatever you need.
    Terry: SCREW YOU, PERALTA! I'm sorry, I thought you were gonna disagree. Thank you for your support.
  • In "At First Blush" from The Mentalist, Cho's confidential informant Summer confronts him in an elevator after he fired her, demanding her job back. She tells him that she's figured him out - that he likes her, but fired her so he doesn't have to admit it. She shoves him, demanding that he admit it. He admits that he does like her and she slaps him, telling him again to admit it. Then she realizes what he said.
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Resident Advisor and the Word 'Sketchy'", Sheldon asks Mary to stay the night and is about to read a list of reasons why it's a good idea. Mary agrees immediately, but Sheldon insists on reading the whole list anyway. The gag is then repeated when Sheldon asks President Hagemeyer to be made resident advisor.

  • Unwell Podcast: When Chester brings Rudy's body to Fenhouse House so the Fenwood folk can pay their respects, he begins his prepared speech to convince them even after Lily says yes.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Emily Crachit (Miss Piggy) does this to Scrooge (Michael Caine) when he's talking to Bob (Kermit the Frog) in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
    Scrooge: And therefore, I intend to raise your salary!
    Emily: And therefore, I'm gonna raise you RIGHT off the pavement and...pardon?
  • An early clip on Sesame Street had Ernie going over to his neighbor Herbert Birdsfoot to borrow his vacuum, and starting to muse on how Herbert usually takes a bath about this time. He worries about Herbert getting mad over having to get out of the bath and answer the door, and probably bad-mouthing him to his friends, etc. By the time Herbert does answer the door, completely dressed, dry, and in a good mood, Ernie's too worked up to notice.
    Herbert: Oh, hi, Ernie.
    Ernie: Oh, yeah? Well, if that's the way you feel about it, you can just keep your rotten old vacuum cleaner! [Marches off, leaving Herbert very surprised.]

  • In Hamilton, Washington expects Hamilton to want a quiet life after the war, but needs his help building a new government:
    Washington: I'm asking you to be my right-hand man.
    Hamilton: Treasury or state?
    Washington: I know it's a lot to ask—
    Hamilton: Treasury or state?
    Washington: To leave behind the world you know—
    Hamilton: Sir, do you want me to run the treasury or the state department?
    Washington: ...Treasury.
    Hamilton: (gleefully) Let's go.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Harry has been having Professor McGonagall spy on his son Albus using the Marauder's Map to keep him from his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy, and finally comes to see it as a bad idea, so he goes to McGonagall to have her help find Albus to apologize.
    Harry: I need to find my son. We need to.
    McGonagall: Harry, I've considered this and decided I want no part in it. Whatever you threaten—
    Harry: Minerva, I come here in peace, not war. I should never have spoken to you that way.
    McGonagall: I just don't think I can interfere in friendships and I believe—

    Video Games 
  • A bug caused this in Borderlands 2 for a while. Early in the game, Claptrap attempts to open a door to somewhere at least somewhat warm and sheltered, and fails, leading to a brief monologue about how much it'll hurt when bullymongs take everyone apart. Occasionally, it was known to open just fine, at which point Claptrap would launch into his we're-all-going-to-die monologue anyway.
  • Ōkami: Issun does this when Amaterasu agrees to help people, but only for things that Issun really doesn't want to do. He makes out that if "his boss" (i.e. you) says no, his hand are tied, and instinctively assumes you said no until he realizes what you said. This happens three times.
  • Given that Shion blew off Allen's requests for a date in the first two chapters of Xenosaga, he's rather surprised when she agrees in the third.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • When the Bounty Hunter's first companion asks to come along, if the player chooses to say "yes" immediately, she launches into her prepared speech before realizing what you said.
      Bounty Hunter: Then saddle up, kid, let's go.
      Mako: I...I'm good with a blaster, and Braden was like a father to me, so it's not fair for you to...did you just say yes?
    • On the Republic side, the Smuggler has a similar dialogue with Guss Tuno.
      Smuggler: Grab a bunk and come along. Should be good for some laughs.
      Guss Tuno: No no no, just listen. I know Rogun. I could help you with...did you say "yes"?
  • Super Paper Mario: In the Underwhere, Mario and Luigi reach a door blocked by three D-men who claim to be keeping a monster from escaping (said monster is in fact Bowser). One of them asks if you could subdue the monster. If you say yes, he laughs it off as if you said no, saying he was kidding before realizing you accepted the challenge.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Thirteen years before the beginning of the game, King Eryk and Queen Aurelea promised the hand of their oldest daughter to a Radovian bandit named Beyran. In the present day, Beyran has somehow gotten his hands on a large army and wants Eryk and Aurelea to keep their promise, which they really don't want to. Eryk fortunately finds another King who will let him have an army as large as Beyran's if his son marries the daughter who was promised to Beyran. When Eryk tells Aurelea that their oldest daughter is getting married to a proper Prince, it takes Aurelea a few moments to compute that she's being told that her daughter is not marrying Beyran.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0: Mad Bomber Mutsuki Chiharano is under the constant impression that everyone in Akademeia is out to pick on her, which extends to a request she makes in the second-last chapter of the game (which is literally issued to prove that Class Zero isn't picking on her). If you bring her what she requests, she launches into a claim that you're picking on her before realizing that you've brought what she asked, and is left stupefied for a moment before giving you the reward.
  • In Persona 5, if you date Haru on Christmas, then she and Joker will visit a stand looking for Christmas cakes and Haru will comment that it could be a longshot. She then asks the employee if they have any she replies cheerfully that they do, at which point Haru starts to respond sadly that she expected as much, before realizing just what the woman said.
  • Psychonauts 2: Raz can accept a sidequest from Gisu where she makes him do her homework - which in her case involves venting some overloaded and unstable psychic machinery. She expects him to resist the task and is surprised when he doesn't.
    Raz: Okay.
    Gisu: C'mon, Ra-... wait, you said yes? All right, good man!

    Visual Novels 
  • It's a bit different from most examples, but happens once in Ace Attorney Investigations case 4 when Gumshoe asked Edgeworth if he had proof that there were other people in the hallway. Edgeworth said yes. Gumshoe's response:
    Gumshoe: As if you could! I mean, what are the chances of that...wait, you do...?
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Misha and Shizune often try to get Hisao to do work for them on the Student Council in the routes besides Shizune's, in which Hisao joins as a member. In Lilly's route, the following exchange happens.
    Misha: Since we're just two poor little girls that need help with all the work we've been given just before the holidays begin~...
    Hisao: Sure, I can help.
    Misha: But Hicchan, we're really nee— What?
    Hisao: I think I broke Misha.
  • In Taketo Kanzaki's "Happy Ending" in Class Trip Crush, Taketo confesses his feelings to the protagonist and tells her he wants to go out with her. However, he's convinced that she's in love with his twin brother Yasuto, and he gets a good ways into a speech about how he understands that she doesn't return his feelings and he just needed to get them off his chest before it gets through his head that she just said 'yes'.
  • Steins;Gate Linear Bounded Phenogram: In Luka's chapter, Mayuri asks Luka if they want to cosplay. This is something she has been trying to get them to do for a while, and every time Luka refused. So when Luka agrees this time, it takes a little bit for her and Okabe to process:
    Luka: I was thinking of it a try.
    Mayuri: Of course you don't want to...Mayushii's sorry for bringing it up over and over again.
    Okabe: At the end of the day, this isn't really the sort of thing you can just force on someone.
    Mayuri: But Mayushii hasn't given up yet! One of these days, Luka-chan's gonna have a change of heart and-
    Okabe: Huh?
    Mayuri: Wait, huh?
    Okabe: U-uh, Lukako? What did you just say...?
    Luka: I said that I wanted to try cosplaying...
    Mayuri: Whaaaaa!? For really real!?
    Luka: Y-yes...

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Our heroes are arrested after accidentally destroying a Gate holding back the Sealed Evil in a Can. Fortunately, they manage to get a "not guilty" verdict, though it's clear they weren't expecting it. Amusingly, while the rest of the cast does manage to take "yes" for an answer once they get over the Double Take, Haley Starshine, temporarily cursed to be The Unintelligible, launches into a detailed rant about why they should have been found guilty under any sane legal code. She's right. The trial was rigged in their favor by a local lord with his own agenda.
    • Also happens in the prequel book On the Origin of PCs, when Roy is trying to hire party members in a tavern. After receiving a "No" from at least thirty adventurers, in comes Haley Starshine. Roy begins thanking her for listening and saying he understands, before realizing she actually said "Yeah, OK".
  • From A Miracle of Science, the scene where Mad Scientist Dr. Haas is explaining his plan to conquer the solar system with robots and institute a technocratic rule. This conversation is particularly apt because Dr. Juruna is trying to have a romantic dinner with Dr. Haas.
    Dr. Haas: Robots will be teachers, police, industrial chemist would be free to pursue works of the intellect without worrying where the rent or food money are coming from.
    Dr. Juruna: That sounds wonderful, Virgil.
    Dr. Haas: YOU JUST THINK ITS STUPID BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T...did you just say it's a good idea?
  • From Roxxor University, here.
  • In Tweep, Milton is a spoilsport.
  • Happens in Something*Positive here. It's also fairly common whenever Mike is confronted with actual validation - case in point, the time where he makes very good points about how PeeJee is in a bad situation and how they need to convince her to leave before she cracks. He seems to be on the verge of a rant, before realizing that his friends actually consider it a good idea. He seems genuinely shocked.
    Mike: "Oh, be fair! I- Wait. I'm right?"
  • In Absurd Notions, Biff's telemarketing job makes him prone to this.
  • Homestuck: Caliborn.
    uu: LET'S PLAY A GAME.
    TT: Alright.
    TT: I said I'd play.
    TT: You got it.
    [He continues in this vein for quite some time.]
  • A variant in Gunnerkrigg Court: Parley and Andrew spend a whole strip congratulating Annie for being chosen as the new medium. Reynardine is the only person who seems to notice the headmaster said Andrew.
  • In DM of the Rings, Éowyn asks to join the Fellowship; in the original novels and the movies, Aragorn says no (or rather, that it's not his place to say), but Aragorn's player instead says yes. However, one of the major Running Gags of this comic is that the Game Master is heavily Railroading the plot; instead of rolling with Aragorn's response, he has Éowyn play out the scene from the original novel by reciting both her dialog and what he wants Aragorn to say, completely ignoring what Aragorn's player is actually saying. This results in her arguing with herself about her desires versus her duties, all while the Fellowship writes her off as a madwoman and leaves her behind anyway. She later shows up in the Final Battle, to the confusion of many.
  • In Freefall, during a discussion about robot personhood:
    Spear Carrier A: Okay, I get that this neural design was made for a colonizing force. But how can something that's not alive be conscious?
    Spear Carrier B: Vampires, dude! Ghosts! They're not alive and they're conscious.
    Spear Carrier A: Oh, yeah. That makes sense. I withdraw the question.
    Max: No! That was a smart question! Don't accept a dumb answer!
  • In Girl Genius's Cinderella storyline (in which Da Boyz play the ugly stepsisters), the backstage opening has both Dimo and Oggie complaining "I hates my outfit" to Phil, who replies "Shaddup, it's traditional" and "Shaddup, it's historically accurate". Finally, Maxim says "I luff my outfit" and Phil replies "Shaddup, it's — what?"
  • In Tower of God episode 54, Rak assumes Bam is going to give up climbing the Tower for Rachel (who now can't walk), and starts arguing before Bam has finished saying what he's planning to do. Actually, he's planning to climb the Tower to help Rachel get to the top, leading to the following exchange:
    Rak: You can't leave! You're my prey!
    Bam: I'll be Rachel's legs!
    Rak: You can't give up your legs...! What?
  • You Say It First: When Brisbane proposed to Kimberly, he's so determined to get through his rehearsed speech and past her anticipated misgiving, It takes him three comics to notice A) She immediately said yes, B) She took the ring from his hand and put it on right in front of him.
    Kimberly: Will you shut up and listen so I can accept?

    Web Original 
  • Unwell Podcast: When Chester brings Rudy's body to Fenwood house so Lily & co to pay their respects, he launches into his prepared speech to convince them even after Lily says yes.

    Web Videos 
  • In one of the scambaiting videos done by Atomic Shrimp, rather than stringing along his current mark, he immediately replied to their first email with “sure, where can I send the payment?”, continuing to ask this as the scammer ran through their script. The result was a scammer that was completely thrown off their game - even when they finally provided a payment link (several emails in), they seemed to be extremely reluctant in doing so.

    Western Animation 
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Cat Man Do". The girls are awaiting the Professor's decision on whether they can keep the cat. The Professor enters the scene and says, "We can keep Kitty!" Bubbles starts bawling instantly and the other two are complaining before they realize he said yes.
  • The Simpsons:
    • A variation happens in one episode: Mr. Burns and another nuclear plant owner pit their plants' baseball teams against each other. Burns suggests a wager. His counterpart offers to bet a million dollars. Burns mocks the wager, and then realizes what it is. He apologizes and accepts the bet, explaining he thought his opponent would start small and they'd haggle their way up.
    • There was also an episode where the family was lost walking through the jungle. Both Bart and Lisa repeat "Are we insane yet?" over and over, until Homer stops, flinches and screams "I already said YES!".
    • In "Fear Of Flying", Homer, banned from Moe's, poses as a pilot to drink at a pilot's lounge. He's selected to fly an airline, and when asked, admits to just posing as a pilot to drink. Cut to Homer being forcibly shoved into the cockpit.
      Homer: I'm telling you, I'm not a pilot!
      Airport man: And I'm telling you, "You fly boys crack me up!"
    • In "The Sweetest Apu", Manjula is so used to turning her husband Apu down for sex, she does it even when he doesn't ask (which tips her off he's been cheating on her).
      Manjula: (Apu is silent) Not tonight. (Beat as Apu remains silent) I said, not tonight.
  • American Dad! plays with this trope in one episode. Steve propositions his date, she says yes; he sadly says he understands and leaves. Halfway home, he realizes what she said.
  • Danny Phantom, when Tucker asks a girl out:
    Girl: Okay.
    Tucker: All right, but I'll have you know, I'm persistent...wait, did you say "okay"?
  • An episode of Clerks: The Animated Series has villain Leonardo Leonardo attempting to bribe Dante into keeping quiet about a drunken liaison that occurred between them. He first offers Dante the chance to coach a little league team. Dante is enthusiastic about the idea, but thinking he has rejected the offer, Leonardo begins to offer him a million dollars. He stops short once he realizes that Dante has accepted his first bribe.
  • In the Duck Dodgers episode "The Green Loontern", Green Lantern villain Sinestro tries to sway Dodgers to his side:
    Sinestro: Join forces with me, or be obliterated.
    Dodgers: Okay.
    Sinestro: Don't be such a sanctimonious fool! You don't realize the— did you say "okay"?
  • In The Fairly OddParents! Wishology trilogy, Timmy is forced to go to Crocker for help with the Darkness. Crocker gives the condition that he must admit he has fairies. Timmy admits he does immediately, sending Crocker on a rant of "no use denying it" before he realizes what's been said. He's disappointed it was so anti-climatic, but keeps his word.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Used in the episode "Applebuck Season". Applejack tries to harvest all the apples in her orchard by herself, only to run herself ragged and cause chaos in town due to her sleep-deprived state. At several different junctures, Twilight Sparkle entreats Applejack to get some help, only to be rebuffed each time. Finally, after Applejack faints from realizing that she was barely half-done when she thought she was completely finished, Twilight begins another plea for Applejack to get some help, and Applejack agrees. Twilight, fully expecting Applejack to keep being stubborn, continues with "I won't take no for an answer," before she realizes what Applejack said.
    • Used again in "Trade Ya!" Rainbow Dash attempts to trade her "lucky horseshoe" for a rare book that she wants. The book trader doesn't want it, but rather wants something from the mythical beasts stall. Thus begins a Chain of Deals, with Rainbow offering her horseshoe for the item the previous pony wanted, only to be turned down. When the pony trading for one item in the chain, a crystal chalice, says she just wants "an old, slightly rusted horseshoe", Rainbow walks off in despair, wondering where she'll get something like that, before realizing what just happened.
    • In "Make New Friends but Keep Discord", Twilight has a delayed reaction after Celestia tells her she thinks this was the most fun Gala in years; she pursues her apologies before registering what the Princess said.
      Twilight: I know, it was a—WHAT?
  • In the episode "Dogs on a Wire" of the 2010 version of Pound Puppies, Strudel snaps after her pleas to go out on a mission are ignored. Team leader Lucky then gives her the opportunity to accompany a show dog back to the circus, after which she complains about being chosen for a few seconds before she realizes that's exactly what she wanted.
  • Zim of Invader Zim has the tendency to demand information from people, then continue to repeatedly demand the information from them by interrupting their attempt to actually give it to him.
    Zim: Is that Irken equipment you're using? That's Tak's ship you're sitting in, isn't it?
    Dib: Yes it is, Zim! It fell from the—
    Zim: ISN'T IT!?
    Dib: I said it was! Man, you have a problem with listening, Zim!
    Zim: ISN'T IT!?!
    Dib: [sighs and gives up]
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In "The Last Patrol!", Batman lectures Negative Man on why he should return to the Doom Patrol, oblivious to the fact that Negative Man is attempting to tell him that he is willing to do so.
  • Final Space: In Episode 5, the heroes find out the Infinity Guard is corrupt, and helping the Lord Commander. Commander Stone offers Quinn a chance to pledge alliance to the Lord Commander as well. Gary panicks, and even after Quinn assures him that she won't join Stone, he keeps dramatically begging her not to take Stone's offer.
  • Butterbean's Cafe:
    • In "Cricket's First Menu," Cricket continues to beg for a bit after Butterbean has already agreed to let her make the day's lunch menu.
    • In "Jasper Learns to Bake," the other staff of Butterbean's Cafe have to tell Jasper several times that, yes, they will let him learn to bake before it finally sinks in.
  • In "Allergies at School" from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Katerina is running a pretend "orange restaurant" in which every item on offer is orange. Prince Wednesday keeps playing around by asking for things that are green. Finally, he asks for a carrot only for Katerina to rage "We are an orange restaurant..." before realizing what he asked.
  • The Owl House: In "Something Ventured, Someone Framed", Eda, who up to this point, had been adamant against allowing her human apprentice and witch-in-training, Luz, to enroll at the local magic school, Hexside, changes her mind and approaches the school's Principal Hieronymus Bump about the matter, initially expecting him to say no.
    Eda: And before you get all judgy —
    Bump: That's not a bad idea.
    Eda: YOU NO GOOD—! (realizes what Bump just said) Wait, really?
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots: In the episode "The Great Stink", an awful smell is plaguing San Lorenzo and Puss quickly becomes convinced that he's the source of the smell. When he, subsequently, talks to Dulcinea about it and tries to convince her that the smell is not coming from him, she responds by stating that she knows it's not him. Puss responds by strongly insisting that the smell isn't coming from him, before breaking down and claiming it is him. Dulcinea, then, carefully tries to get him to stop sulking and listen to her, before shaking some sense into him.
    Dulcinea: Puss, don't you smell that?!
    Puss: Smell what?
    Dulcinea: That, ugh... I mean this... I mean that awful smell that is everywhere!
    Puss: Hahaha, oh yes, the smell... I am sure it is nothing and will pass soon and is, ofcourse, not me!
    Dulcinea [deadpan]: Puss, I know it's not you.
    Dulcinea: We need to find it and get rid of it!
    Puss: No, Dulcinea, you are mistaken... This smell is not me!
    Dulcinea: That is literally what I just said! It's not you!
    Puss: You cannot prove it is me!
    Dulcinea: What...
    Puss [begrudgingly]: Okay, fine, I admit it! It is me!
    Puss: I am shamed! Look away! Look away!
    Dulcinea: Okay, Puss, I need- (Puss sulks) ...I need you to stop thinking words in your head and focus on the words I'm saying when I talk them at you.
    Puss [wiping his nose tearfully]: I accept your challenge.
    Dulcinea [as she violently shakes Puss]: This smell isn't you and it's really bad and we have get rid of it!!!

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television, as anyone who has ever worked with the general public can attest. You tell a customer that yes, they can have whatever freebie they've asked for, and they'll still spend 20 minutes ranting about how they deserve it before they click that you've said yes. Browsing Not Always Right will reveal more than a few of these.
    • Or when two people are arguing, and neither of them realizes that the other is actually taking the same side as them. Sometimes pointed out as "I think you two are in violent agreement".
    • Another variant happens when a person gets "yes" when asking for a permission but is so afraid of being scolded for it by someone else that they will keep asking multiple times until the person gets annoyed — possibly to the point of threatening to say "no" if they ask even one more time.
    • Another customer variant is to refuse to listen to information that will actually save them money, and insist on paying a higher price because everything an employee says is clearly an attempt to "rip them off". For example, taking something that was under one sign but on sale for a lower price and demanding the price on the sign.
    • The overexplainer: the customer continues to tell you what they want after you already told them you have it and may have been on your way to lead them to it.
    • A common example on Not Always Working is the cashier who keeps telling the underage customer (or of-age customer who's forgotten to bring ID) that they can't buy alcohol, even though the customer has already agreed to forgo the alcohol, or is actually buying something non-alcoholic that happens to resemble alcohol (like soda in beer-type bottles).
    • Another Not Always Working example is when an employee is so used to having a customer ask for something for free that they keep trying to "explain" to the customer that they can't, for instance, get a free replacement phone because water damage is not covered by warranty, not registering that the customer has said they don't want a free phone, they want to buy a new one. To the employee's credit, they do realize what the customer is saying rather quickly and apologies, saying he was used to so many people demanding free replacements.
    • Then there are ones where the employees are so used to complaints, and so unaccustomed to being thanked or complimented, that they can't even process the concept of being praised by a customer. It takes them several seconds to comprehend that the customer isn't complaining and doesn't want anything — they're just taking the time to commend them. It's actually quite sad.
  • On the flip side, one of the oldest rules of salesmanship is "don't sell past the close" because you risk irritating the customers into changing their minds.
  • Richard Feynman writes about learning to pick up girls from the owner of a nightclub and his wife. Feynman (and all the other men) had been trying all sorts of things and buying lots of drinks for girls, without success. He was astonished when he learned the secret to getting to go home with them: you just ask them.


Video Example(s):


Teddy's Boat Invitation

Teddy invites the Belchers to ride his boat and Bob accepts his invite. Teddy puts them down for a "maybe", but Bob assures him, twice, they're coming.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / WontTakeYesForAnAnswer

Media sources: