Fozzie Bear: What?
Kermit: Bear left!
Fozzie: Right, frog!
If ever in a comedy somebody tells a character or a group of characters to move/turn left, you can bet the character/one or more of the group will go right instead, prompting the phrase, "Your other left!" (Or they correctly turn left, at which point the first character realizes that they actually meant to say "right" and tries to cover with the same phrase.)
If this doesn't happen, it's usually replaced with a confused exchange about "My left or your left?", even if the characters are facing the same way.
Another version may involve some version of the following exchange:
A similar gag: everyone on TV gets confused between port and starboard. (Incidentally, port is ship's "left", easily remembered as they both have four letters. If you still find yourself confused, remember that both right and starboard are the longer words, and it's always the same side of the ship, so no confusion can happen on a ship.)
Sometimes appears as confusion between "house left" (the audience's left) and "stage left" (which means the actors' left when facing the audience, and therefore house right).
To be entirely fair, though, it's not like this doesn't actually happen with an alarming regularity in real life. We're just talking about its predictable appearances on TV. For some reason, it's always "your other left," never "your other right", even though you'd think both occur equally often in Real Life (especially in languages in which the Who's on First? joke mentioned above doesn't work). A likely explanation is that most people, being right handed/right dominant, will default to the right when confused, prompting "The other left". Compare The Exit Is That Way.
- An advert for a Spanish telephone company introduced the GPS navigator for cars they were offering included in their latest deal. The Stinger of the ad has the voice of said GPS heard from inside a car:
GPS voice: Turn right.
[driver turns left]
GPS voice: Your other right.
[driver takes the correct turn right]
- Azumanga Daioh had poor Osaka have some difficulty with the concept of moving to her right. "It's the hand you hold your chopsticks in!" helped, although this meant she had to mime eating. Instead of doing her actual job of holding Tomo up off the ground...
- Digimon Adventure 02: Episode 29 (Arukenimon's Tangled Web), in order to stop the flute music controlling the insectoid-Digimon, which also includes Stingmon and Digmon, Yolei needs to find a computer, with one close to TK and Kari's position. However, Aquilamon and she are being tailed by a bunch of Flymon. Upon finding their signal, she gives the order to move.
Yolei: There they are. Make your first left.
Yolei: No, left!
Aquilamon: [realizing] Roger. Hang on!
- Also in Dragon Ball; Krillin and Chiaotzu are fighting, and Krillin uses Super-Speed to zip out of sight, leaving Chiaotzu shocked. Tien helpfully yells, "Your left!" from the sidelines, and Chiaotzu uses the hand you hold chopsticks in for reference and looks... just in time to get hit in the face.
- In Eureka Seven, Dominic Sorel asks the protagonist if South is in the direction of the hand you hold the fork in. This is a guy who's supposed to be a high-ranking military officer.
- A similar joke pops up in both the anime and Visual Novel versions of Kanon: In an effort to avoid his regular collisions with Ayu and this trope, Yuuichi tells her to dodge toward the hand she holds her chopsticks in. Turns out Yuuichi is right-handed, while Ayu is left-handed...
- Monster Musume: When Miia is shedding and the last bit of the shed is by her crotch, she has to cover Kimihito's eyes to make him not see. When he is down to the last piece, he asked for directions and she told him to go right. She is referring to her right, which the author points out visually, but he assumed it's his right so he ended up inserting his finger into her vulva by accident. Neck Snap ensues.
- In Soul Eater, Black☆Star has difficulty discerning left from right when trying to navigate a series of corridors. It turns out that he doesn't even know which is his left hand. He subsequently forgoes navigation in favor of going through the walls.
- In a Darkwing Duck comic featured in Disney Adventures, a lightning strike makes Megavolt perceive everything backwards and even talk backwards (young readers might need a mirror). Anyone he touched would gain the same affliction, as Darkwing discovered after he said, "To the left, Launchpad!" and crashed into Launchpad moving to the right. Ironically, they got it backwards.
- In Spider-Ham: Aporkalypse Now #4, Spider-Ham keeps telling Captain Americat to look to his left, and Cap keeps saying there's nothing on his left.
Captain Americat: ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE YOU MEAN LEFT!?
Spider-Ham: Oh, you know what ... I messed up. I meant stage left.
Captain Americat: [sotto voce] I'm going to kill him.
Spider-Ham: That's your right.
Captain Americat: I KNOW THAT'S MY RIGHT!
- Used straight in Start of Darkness, a prequel book to The Order of the Stick, unsurprisingly by the Monster in the Darkness.
Redcloak: Hey! You in the box! Lean all your weight to the left!
MitD: You got it! ... OK, when you say, "left", you mean—
Redcloak: I mean not this side, you idiot!
MitD: You got it!
- In one strip of Calvin and Hobbes, the two eponyms stalk into the house, drenched and glaring at one another. They proceed in angry silence to the bookshelf and furiously look up an entry in the dictionary, whereupon Hobbes shouts, "See?! Starboard is right! Port is left!"
- Dilbert: During a team-building exercise, Dogbert tells everyone to turn to the left and name one thing they admire about that person. The Pointy-Haired Boss turns to the right:
PHB: I admire your leathery skin, Alice.
Alice: I admire your ability to figure out which side is your right in only two tries.
- One FoxTrot strip has Roger and Peter golfing.
Roger: Think I should bear left?
Roger: [glaring] Next time, say "correct".
Peter: I'll go get your sand wedge.
- A Sally Forth (Howard) strip, in which Ted is driving an RV, and Sally is trying to guide him to reverse into a parking spot:
Sally: TED, TURN RIGHT! I MEAN MY RIGHT! WAIT, WE'RE FACING THE SAME WAY! IT'S THE SAME RIGHT! WHY DO YOU KEEP TURNING LEFT?!
- In The Maretian, this is a recurring problem upon the first test of the "Whinnybago", since the cockpit of the ex-Amicitas is mounted backward relative to the rover carrying it. Thus, the steering of the landing gear used as wheel must be reversed from whatever direction the rover is taking, leading to a lot of confusion and frustration for the designated pilot (Fireball). This is later solved by putting two half-circles of metal with graduations that are mirror-imaged over the respective steering wheels.
- Oversaturation: Used even when they're the same left:
Driving allowed Sunset a chance to relax. Sort of. [...] there was Pinkie Pie to contend with. It was very hard to focus on potential apocalypses when that girl was trying to give directions.
"Now go left."
"Ri— Got it." Sunset smirked as she hit the turn signal. She wasn't going to fall for that gag.
"No, my left."
"We have the same left!"
- When Bolt is learning to beg, Mittens tells him, "Drop your left ear. No, your other left. No, the first way was better."
- In Brother Bear, as they're trying to escape Denahi, Kenai is carrying Koda through a geyser field and Koda shouts directions to try and avoid the geysers, "Left, left! No, no, the other left!"
- A variation occurs in The Emperor's New Groove when Kuzco and Pacha are back to back, trying to climb out of a chasm after a Rope Bridge collapse; Kuzco complains when Pacha uses "his" left instead of Kuzco's left.
- In Hercules, while Hercules is fighting the Hydra, Phil shouts this helpful advice from the sidelines.
Phil: That's it. Dance around! Dance around! Watch the teeth! Watch the teeth! Keep going. Come on. Come on. Lead with your left! Lead with your left! [Hercules jumps away as the Hydra lunges to the ground] Your other left!
- A Who's on First? variation occurs (and is subverted) in Inside Out when Joy asks Sadness for directions.
Joy: Which way? Left?
Sadness: Right. [Joy turns right] No, I mean, go left. I said left was right, like, "correct".
- Quest for Camelot uses the line while Garrett (who is blind) is driving a wagon to the stables as well as avoiding the fire and Ruber's mechanical army at the same time with Kayley shouting directions to him: "Left! Go left! Your other left... No, Garrett, right!" In this case, it's Kayley confusing the directions and then correcting herself rather than Garrett mixing them up, but the effect is more or less the same.
- In Ratatouille, Django says "No, my other left!" when he and Émile attempt to free Rémy from the trunk of Skinner’s car by dropping heavy objects on it.
- Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: At one point, the Scooby gang and Batman are riding in the Mystery Machine, and Scooby has the wheel. Batman tells him to turn left, but he turns right. Batman asks how he got that wrong, and Daphne points out Scooby is a dog.
- Abbott and Costello:
- A variation in the film Pardon My Sarong: A cop boards the bus that Bud and Lou have stolen, and tells them to back up, to which Bud tells Lou that he should go ahead and do it. Lou replies, "How can I back up and go ahead?"
- In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, the boys are trying to escape a dungeon. Lou begins to head into a tunnel, and Bud tells him, "Not that way, to the left!" Still in the tunnel Lou looks down at his hands, picks the left one, and runs to his immediate left...smack into a brick wall.
- In The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Buckaroo and John Parker are chasing the Red Lectroid battleship in a stolen Thermopod. Banzai is sitting in a rear-facing seat, resulting in some confusion when he tries to give Parker directions.
- Phileas Fogg attempts to aid Passepartout during a fight scene in Around the World in 80 Days (2004) but keeps calling out directions based on the way he's facing, which is the opposite of where Passepartout needs to hit. After turning to face air a few times Passepartout tells Fogg to stop "helping".
- Happens countless times in Clockwise, and is one of the reasons Cleese's character gets lost all the time. ("So I take the train on the left?" "Right!") The other reason is sheer pigheadedness.
- Deadpool 2: How Deadpool tries to instruct Shatterstar to avoid the helicopter rotor blades while parachuting.
Deadpool: Left! LEFT! NO! STAGE LEFT, YOU IDIOT!
- A serious example occurs in Full Metal Jacket, when Pyle mistakenly moves his rifle to his right shoulder, prompting a violent outburst from Hartmann:
Hartmann: [smacks Pyle, hard] What side is that, Private Pyle?
Pyle: [obviously in pain] Sir, left, sir!
Hartmann: Are you sure, Private Pyle?
- Get Over It:
Dr. Desmond Forest Oates: What direction do you think "left" is? See, because if you go with your instinct and reverse it, I think we have something happening. How difficult is this? I'm so alone, I think.
- Glory has a classic example of the Drill instructor version. Including the Sergeant asking "How many of you don't know your right from your left?" at which about half the hands go up. Not an unusual thing for country-boy soldiers in general, the term "hayfoot" comes from one noted memory aid, and many of the soldiers there were in fact former slaves with little to no formal education, adding to this.
- Used by Mel Brooks in History of the World Part I:
Marcus Vindictus: You take the left flank, I'll take the right flank.
[Mucus promptly runs into Vindictus]
Marcus Vindictus: Don't you know your right flank from your left flank?
Captain Mucus: I'm sorry sir, I flunked flank.
Marcus Vindictus: You flunked flank? Get the flunk out of here!
- In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Willie Scott has to save Indy and Short Round from a room with spikes by pulling a lever inside one of two small holes. Indy tells her, "Go to the right hole!", and she puts her hand in the hole to Indy's right, but to her left. Indy's hand comes out and grabs hers while he says, "The other one, the other right. YOUR OTHER RIGHT!"
- Though it was actually just because the hole on the right was full of bugs, and she was hoping either would do.
- A variation takes place in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when Indy and his dad are in a plane being attacked by Nazi fighters:
Indy: Eleven o'clock! Dad, eleven o'clock!
Professor Jones Sr.: [glancing at his watch] What happens at eleven o'clock?
Indy: [gesturing in different directions] TWELVE, ELEVEN, TEN! Eleven o'clock, FIRE!
- In Jacob's Ladder, Jacob lies on a chiropractic bed. Every time the chiropractor, Louis, tells Jacob to lie on his side, he gets it wrong every time.
- Used in The Little Rascals movie: "All raise your right hand... your other right hand." Justified by how these are young children, some of which are still unable to read and likely new to the concept of directions.
- The Long Kiss Goodnight:
Charly: Thirty degrees left, Mitch. Left.
Charly: Your other left!
- In The Long, Long Trailer (a non-Lucy related movie from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) one of the newly wed couple's first fights comes from this.
Tacy: You didn't let me finish. I was going to say "turn right here left".
Nicky: Turn right here left? Have you any conception how much room it takes to turn this thing around? We may have to go on for miles.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier: When Sam is talking to Sitwell on the phone, he tells him that he is at "his ten o'clock". As Sitwell looks around, he adds "Your other ten o'clock".
- Avengers: Infinity War: When the Guardians are about to attack Thanos on Knowhere, Peter Quill asks Gamora and Mantis to go right. The other right.
- In Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Midshipman Blakeney, who lost an arm in the opening battle sequence, is preparing the men for battle by having them attach neckcloths to their arms to distinguish friend from foe.
Blakeney: On your right upper arm, to tell friend from foe. Davies, this arm. Starboard arm.
Davies: Is that the arm you got, or the arm you don't got?
- The Matrix: When Neo is fleeing the Agents and taking directions from Tank over the phone. Although there's a hidden joke in this: Tank has just told Neo to turn left, to which Neo turns right. However, in that shot, Neo is facing the audience, so he's turning to the audience's left. When Tank yells "No, your other left!" the camera crosses the 180 line, and shows Neo from behind, where he changes direction and turns to both his and the audience's left. The camera then switches back to the original shot where Neo is facing the camera. He continues to go to his left, but because he is facing the camera, he appears to us to be moving to the right, thus the line is actually directed at least partially at the audience and was included in the film as a quick joke of that variety too.
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Julia (a nurse) is sitting opposite IMF agent Luthor helping him defuse a ticking nuclear bomb. As Julia is not a trained agent she asks for repeated confirmation of color, position and action of the components before doing anything, which saves their asses when Luther gets his right and left hands mixed up.
- Spoofed in Cleolinda Jones' Movies in 15 Minutes version: "Go forward! No, your other forward!!"
- In Once Upon a Time in Mexico, there's a badass moment when the blinded Agent Sands shoots a mook on verbal directions from a local child... which is then derailed when he pauses and asks the immortal question:
Sands: Wait... my left or your left?
Chicleta: Mi derecha.note
- Pearl Harbor:
- In the beginning, Danny and Rafe decide to play chicken with their planes and say the following:
Danny: Which way ya goin?
Rafe: Uh, right, no left. Left. I'll go left.
Danny: Okay, we,re goin left right?
Rafe: Right, right?
Danny: Right, like we're goin left, or right like we're goin right?
Rafe: Well, now you got me all mixed up, I dunno make up your mind!
Danny: God, Rafe, we're goin right. Righty-Tighty!
- They then do this later in the film to take down some Japanese planes.
- In the beginning, Danny and Rafe decide to play chicken with their planes and say the following:
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the conch-headed fish/man gets his head knocked off by a thrown coconut, and the instructions it shouts as his body fumbles around blindly for it include this trope.
- In Short Circuit, when Number Five drives Stephanie's truck he drives it on the wrong side of the road. Stephanie shouts at him to drive on the right side of the road, but he keeps misinterpreting the meaning of right to mean "right, correct, functional".
- Played with in Spaceballs during Princess Vespa's first wedding attempt.
King Roland: Okay everybody. Starting on the left foot.
Vespa: Daddy that's your right foot.
Roland: It's too late! Keep going!
- Shows up in a few The Three Stooges shorts, with interesting misconceptions. One features Moe trying to tell Curly that "the door goes on the right" wall. While facing him. They both point to their own right. This continues AFTER they trade places. And when Larry comes in, facing the two, and points to HIS right.
- Then there's when Curly prepares to pound a nail pointed the wrong way on a wall. Moe calls him an imbecile for what he's about to do since the nail's pointing the wrong way...because the nail goes on THAT wall!
- In another one the boys, playing custodians in an office building, are tasked with painting signs on the doors. Moe is given two handfuls of stencils with instructions that "These go on this side. These go on that side." Which might have worked out had he not turned 180 degrees before handing the stencils off to Larry and Curly.
- During Dorothy's screen test in the film Tootsie, Michael keeps interpreting the director's instructions to his crew as being directed at him, so he continually asks for clarification of this nature before basically being told to shut up.
- In Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Missis, who is very pretty but none too bright, just can't seem to grasp the concept of right and left. This causes her some anxiety when she's in unfamiliar country and trying to ask directions. A local dog tries to teach her by telling her that her left paw has a spot on it, but in the end all she can remember is that her left paw is "one of the front ones."
- Played with in Amateur in Chancery by George O. Smith. A Teleporter Accident has gone wrong, but there's a friendly alien on the receiving end who can send back the subject for emergency medical treatment if they push the left button on the control panel. The problem is how to tell the alien what they mean by 'left'.
- Amelia Bedelia:
- "Do I turn left?"/"Right" also occurs in Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia.note Mr. Rogers ends up talking himself into circles explaining that "left is right" and "right is wrong". Eventually, he says "bear left" and Amelia turns right to avoid the bear. He tries to explain her mistake, but she still doesn't quite get it: "Oh, if I'd known the bear left, I wouldn't have turned right."
- In the Amelia Bedelia & Friends book Beat the Clock, Amelia Bedelia's friend Joy tells her to take one step to the right. She promptly takes a step and is told by Joy "I meant to your right." Amelia Bedelia responds "Right! I like being right." Joy tells her "more to the right," but she still doesn't get it, resulting in Joy taking her hand pulling her to the correct position.
- There's a hilarious example in the New Jedi Order books, where Han and Chewie take part in a asteroid run race. The race ship has two sets of controls and they struggle to cooperate, leaving them screaming and bellowing - including the trope - at each other as they narrowly dodge asteroid after asteroid. To everyone watching however, they look like they're using the Force because they're flying so well.
- "Do I turn left?"/"Right" happens in Beverly Cleary's book Ramona and Her Mother, when Beezus is giving her mother directions to get to the hairstylist's.
- 2 Broke Girls: In "And The Wedding Cakes", Max and Caroline are riding the subway whilst delivering a wedding cake and have difficulty carrying it. A blind man is passing in front of them and Max tells him "to the lift, sir". The blind man turns and nearly hits the cake with his white cane and Max yells "other left!"
- One of the guys on Back to Life tries to disassemble a NASA helmet to restore it, which involves loosening screws. The guy working the screw driver turns the screws the wrong way.
- Played for Drama in the Blake's 7 episode "Countdown" when Avon is trying to defuse a Doomsday Device that will kill everyone on the planet if it detonates.
Avon: We're going to have to take out the relays to get at the activator. Which one is it first? Left, right, or centre?
Grant: Centre first.
Avon: Cutters. [Grant passes him the cutters; Avon cuts the centre wire] Which next?
Grant: Right next. No, no, wait! I'm opposite you now. Left is the next in sequence. Your left.
Avon: You don't get another guess.
- Burn Notice: Of all people, Michael and Sam, two highly professional ex-spies, get tripped up by this when Sam's giving instructions to Michael over a radio while monitoring the room through its surveillance cameras. It Makes Sense in Context, since Sam is slightly inebriated (he usually is) and Michael calls him on the mistake before committing to it, but Sam just sounds so sure that he goes with it.
- In the CSI episode "Alter Boys", Sara tells a suspect to "Raise your right foot... No, your other right." Although, given the circumstances, he was probably in shock at the time.
- Doctor Who:
- A variation in "Remembrance of the Daleks": The Doctor and his sidekick, Ace, are in a van. Ace, who is driving, asks about the Daleks.
The Doctor: From Skaro. At least originally. They're the mutated remains of a species called the Kaleds. Left here.
Ace: When were they left here?
The Doctor: No! Turn left here.
Ace: Oh, right.
The Doctor: No, left!
- "Vincent and the Doctor": The Doctor, attempting to help Vincent fight off the invisible Monster of the Week, is told where the monster is, but misinterprets the statement and gets smacked through the air.
- In "Deep Breath", the newly-regenerated Twelfth Doctor experiences this trope all by himself as he's trying to direct the horse he's just stolen. He blames his confusion on having brand-new hands, which is making it harder to tell his left from his right.
- A variation in "Remembrance of the Daleks": The Doctor and his sidekick, Ace, are in a van. Ace, who is driving, asks about the Daleks.
- In an episode of Friends from Season 7, Rachel is trying to teach Joey how to sail his boat. She tells him to go to port, which he doesn't understand. She then says, left, very calmly, but he doesn't know right from left anyways, and so he remains on the right side of the boat. She screams "The left!" which he still doesn't respond to, then she just simply yells, "Just sit over there!"
- D.J.'s prank of choice on the school principal in the Full House episode "Up on the Roof" involves having his car hoisted onto the roof of the school building with a crane, with Duane operating said crane. At one point D.J. shouts for Duane to move the crane slightly to the left, but the crane doesn't move, so D.J. shouts to him "YOUR LEFT!", which clears up the confusion and helps to get the task accomplished.
- On The Good Guys, this becomes a problem. Dan's old secret code (where the word "Reagan" means "Get the guy on the right" and "Carter" means "Get the guy on the left") causes problems because Dan and his partner are facing each other, which makes the meaning unclear.
- Said by Mac to Charlie in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas Special. A confused Charlie responds, "I don't have another left!"
- A recurring problem for Perceval; he can't ever tell right from left. He once called himself a "southpaw"... while drawing his sword with the right hand.
Perceval: So what are they called?
Perceval: Wait, northpaw doesn't mean anything, you want me to look like an idiot?
- Also a problem for Grüdü, as shown during a visit of a labyrinth.
- A recurring problem for Perceval; he can't ever tell right from left. He once called himself a "southpaw"... while drawing his sword with the right hand.
- Knightmare had this in so many interesting ways.
- Simon, sidestep to your left.
- Some fans have noted that many teams screwed themselves by unconsciously using the British habit of preceding or following a statement with the word "right".
- Leverage: In "The Future Job" Wilson, the phony psychic's lackey, is directing him from a control room to the targets to "read and get psychic visions from" and when he tells him the first woman is to his left, the psychic looks the other way and Wilson said this trope.
- Married... with Children offered an example of the "slightly more credible version" when Kelly was supposed to place her left hand in a container full of insects to test a repellant. She asked if it really was the left arm and somebody answered "Right".
- Murdoch Mysteries:
- Murdoch calls this out to Constable Crabtree while plotting the bullet trajectory in "Big Murder on Campus".
- Murdoch says this to Crabtree when he is directing him as they attempt to reconstruct the position of the rifleman in "Dead End Street".
- In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", the right-handed version of this gag appears at a movie theatre as Murdoch has Crabtree sit in the seat of the murder victim and turn his head as if reacting to the film. Crabtree even speaks abashedly of confusing his right and the detective's.
- My Family has Ben and Susan arguing over the journey to somewhere, where apparently they got lost on the way. (The exchange below is paraphrased, not quoted exactly.)
Susan: You said to turn right!
Ben: When I said "right", I meant "right" as in "correct"!
- My Life Is Murder: In "All That Glitters", Alexa is investigating the suspicious death of a Drag Queen. She gets Madison to run through the dance routine the victim had been rehearsing when they died, and tells her:
Now you need to turn to your left. (Beat) Your other left.
- Mystery Diners: In one episode, Charles sends one of his undercover operatives to search the VIP room for a hidden duffel bag. Guiding her via the hidden cameras, he tells her "It's behind the couch to your right... Your other right".
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: In "The Corpse Vanishes", Crow is cutting Joel's hair and tells him "Turn to the left. No, your other left".
- In the first episode of Power Rangers S.P.D., Bridge reports that he senses some enemies at 3 o'clock (ie: to the right). Sydney (who is standing behind him) immediately turns to her left, and without even looking, Bridge corrects her.
Bridge: That's nine o'clock, Syd.
- The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: The Tipton Hotel staff and the main characters are shooting a commercial for the hotel, when London, the star, missteps and rams into one of the dancers.
Director: I said to go to your left.
London: I was going to my left.
Director: Then go to your other left.
- In one of those rare cases of being Truth in Television and simultaneously a trope being used, every season Survivor has at least one challenge that requires the bulk of those competing to be blindfolded and verbally directed by one person. Just as regularly, one tribe always gets screwed by this trope.
- The pilot episode of Third Watch: Kim and Bobby, in their ambulance, are stuck behind a motorist. Kim speaks over the tannoy to the motorist, asking him to move to the right — then the other right.
- Three's Company: Jack and Janet go on a date and try to kiss. They try to decide which way to tilt their heads to avoid hitting each other's face with their nose, but must first figure out whether it's Jack's left of Janet's left.
- In Tremors: The Series, Burt uses a military-jargon variant ("Your other two-o'-clock") to tell Tyler from which angle Messerschmitt is flying towards them.
- In an episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, a game of Mornington Crescent played with a "Sat Nav" included, amongst various unhelpful instruction from the computer voice, "Turn left. Left. No, left. Other left."
- And more recently, the same computer said "Make a left turn. Left. Turn left. Left. Left. Left. I mean right."
- In the Broadway musical Avenue Q, Princeton and Kate end up in bed together. Kate instructs Princeton on how to pleasure her by saying "A little to the left." Then she says "No, my left."
- One of David Copperfield's rope tricks had him holding the rope in his left hand while instructing his volunteer, who was already holding her piece of rope in her right hand, to hold her piece of rope in her right hand. She switches hands to copy him and he reminds her: "Your other right."
- In the Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Miles Gloriosus says "There's none of the enemy left, right?" and "We not only fought but we won, too!" in each case hopelessly confusing his soldiers marching to "Left, right, left, right!" and "One, two, one, two!".
- Agarest Senki Zero: Sayane has a very bad sense of direction. The first time you meet her, she is completely lost, holding her map upside down. It's little wonder that she casually switches up left and right, loudly exclaiming that the party needs to go right and then proceeding to the left.
- The Darkness: When Jackie meets Eddie and Frank at the restaurant in the second game:
Frank: Hey, Jackie, check out the rack on the brunette to your right.[If Jackie looks right]Frank: No, no...your other right.[If Jackie looks left]Eddie: That's his left, dipshit.
- Dean Domino might try to kill you by giving you bad directions (accidentally or otherwise) at the end of the Fallout: New Vegas DLC Dead Money. With a high enough intelligence stat, you can actually call him out on whose left he's talking about.
- Five Nights at Freddy's:
- While performing maintenance on Funtime Freddy in Sister Location, the first thing you must do is click a tiny button under Freddy's right cheek. The correct button is the one on Freddy's right instead of yours, and HandUnit will provide clarification if necessary.
- A genuinely dangerous example can catch unwary players in VR: Help Wanted. The first "Parts & Services" level has you repairing Bonnie the Killer Robot bunny. The first thing you are told to do is remove Bonnie's left eye, and then deposit the eye in a receptacle on your left. Fail to heed the direction and remove Bonnie's right eye (the one on your left) and you'll be jumpscared into Game Over.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when the player has to shoot incoming cops during a car chase;
Ryder: CJ, to the left!
CJ: Your left, or my left?
Ryder: Hell, I don't know, just shoot everybody, motherfucker.
- Guild Wars Nightfall:
Palawa Joko: No, no, no! Mummified flesh on the left! Dried bones on the right! No, your other right, you worthless bits of animated anatomy!
- Henry Stickmin Series has one in one of the final missions. Ellie Rose tells Charles Calvin that she will overload a rocket and escape through the exhaust by the forward left booster rocket. Charles agrees, but ends up on the other side of the rocket because he confused her left with his.
- Jazzpunk: The final confrontation with the Editor starts out like this.
- Clarence from Penumbra Black Plague can say "No, other left ! Other left !" while arguably helping Philip sneak past the other Infected in the corridors near the Chemical Storage, if Philip doesn't listen to his advice.
- Left-right confusion ruins the prosecution's case in case 2 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Two witnesses both claim to have seen the crime from a hotel room across the way, but one says the victim ran to the right, and the other to the left. Both are telling the truth, but they're lying in that one of them wasn't at the hotel. He's the murderer, so he was in the room with the victim, facing towards the window.
- Parodied in the Homestar Runner Strong Bad Email "big white face"
Strong Sad: What do you have behind your back?
Strong Bad: A single deuce... Deuce.
Strong Sad: No, your other back!
- Red vs. Blue shows Sarge and Caboose getting told how to get out of a minefield. It gets very confusing when Caboose takes this, inevitably, up a notch.
- Used straight in this 1/0 strip. Given he had two left hands at the time, it may be credible, depending on the context.
- This Bardsworth strip, featuring disastrous dancing lessons.
- In Goblins, Forgath attempts to deliberately confuse Minmax (a nearby door only opens when the people nearby are confused) by telling him to look up, and then "your other up". Minmax doesn't get confused at all and simply apologizes and looks down.
Forgath: We're about to die because he's too dumb to outsmart!
- Subverted in this Lightning Made of Owls strip. One character even comments: "This isn't vaudeville, after all."
- The Order of the Stick:
- A surprisingly original variation, as part of an Orphaned Punchline:
Roy: —so I'm like, "But you told me we didn't want to turn right!" And Durkon says "No, I told ye we dinnae want ta turn wights!"
- As in Start of Darkness (see comics above) Redcloak has this problem again with a demonic squid he's summoned.
Redcloak: No, to the left! THE LEFT, you stupid invertebrate! Grapple her from the— Goddamn it!
- A surprisingly original variation, as part of an Orphaned Punchline:
- A variant in Skin Horse: when the team are exploring a mad science city, searching for an AI that alters their perception of writing, they rely on Nick, who is outside the AI's sphere of influence to read the signage through Virginia's cellphone. At one point he tells them that a sign saying "perfectly safe corridor" actually reads "radioactive cyanide test corridor". They therefore confidently walk in what they think is the other direction. "Also, the arrow points to the left."
- Thinking Too Much to Think Positively: In "Cycle Analysis", Xan notes that when a cyclist calls "on your left" to warn that they're going to be passing her on the left, her first instinct is to hear "left" and move herself to the left.
- Parodied in Avatar: The Abridged Series in ep 9:
Katara: Down Fluffles, down! [everyone falls off Fluffles] No, the other down! [Fluffles falls]
- Chuggaaconroy has admitted to making this mistake on more than one occasion, even having to look down at his hands to figure out left from right.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Episode 36 features a variation on this. Mind you, Gero is watching the fight from far away.
Dr. Gero: 19! Attack from the left!
Android 19: Higher— [gets elbowed in the face by Goku] Ouch.
Dr. Gero: No, my left!!
- Markiplier falls victim to this in part six of his playthrough of Five Nights At Freddys VR Help Wanted. In the first "Parts & Services" stage, you are instructed to remove Bonnie the bunny's left eye. Because the game has him facing Bonnie, Mark takes the eye on his left, Bonnie's right, and is promptly killed. This happens one more time before he works out that the game means Bonnie's left, and he's able to do it correctly on the third try.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Sokka's and Katara's canoe runs into an ice field:
Katara: Watch out! Go left! Go left! [they crash] You call that left?
- Taken totally straight in Ben 10, when Gwen is trying to ride on Ben (as Wildmutt)'s back when he's been rendered "blind" by a cold.
- The Biker Mice from Mars attach the ends of a tow cable to their motorbikes in an effort to entangle the legs of the Villain with Good Publicity's mobile weapons platform. Throttle gives the signal to "Cut left" to his teammate, who promptly steers right. Throttle can only grumble under his breath, "Your other left," then steer left himself.
- The Deep: In "Bloop", Ant is being guided through the inside of a mining machine when this happens:
Professor: Look to your right. There should be a hatch.
Ant: It's a dead end!
Professor: Your other right.
Ant: Oh, yeah. There it is.
- In the Dragons: Race to the Edge story "Have Dragon, Will Travel", the team looks for a rogue dragon rider.
Ruffnut: You look left, I'll look right.
Tuffnut: My left or your left?
Ruffnut: We have the same left, we're twins!
[for the record, they are facing the same direction at the time]
- DuckTales once did a variation when Big Time tells Bouncer, who is driving their van, to "make a left," so he instantly makes a left — right through 2 buildings before finally landing in a fountain.
Big Time: I meant at the corner!
- Generator Rex: In "Exposed", Holiday is watching an EVO on the monitors and guiding Rex and Bobo as to where it has gone. At one point, she tells them it went "Right" and they take off in the wrong direction. She immediately adds "Camera right!". With embarrassed looks, Rex and Bobo turn around.
- In the Goofy cartoon How to Ride a Horse, one part of the lecture is on the right and wrong way to mount a horse. Goofy being Goofy, of course, he mounts his horse on the right side, which happens to be the wrong side, which, as the narrator says, "can sometimes lead to slight difficulties", especially since his horse is relatively obstinate.
Narrator: The right side happens to be the wrong side. This leaves us the left side, which is right. Therefore, since the left is right and the right... wrong, we begin the left foot — that's the right foot — in the left stirrup, which is right, being the left foot, since the right would be wrong.
- In Hercules: The Animated Series, after Hercules is dropped into a maze, Icarus's father Daedalus tries to give him a series of directions to the exit.
Hercules: Uh, i-is that your left or mine?
- Done on a sketch on Histeria! about (Jerry) Lewis and Clark (Kent) canoeing down a river. Lewis' inability to understand Clark's directions leads to then going down a waterfall.
- In an episode of Johnny Test when everyone is fleeing from aliens:
Susan: Go left!
Johnny: My left or your left?
Susan: It's the same left!
- In Kim Possible, "Cap'n Drakken" (the episode where they live in "Ye olde times") there is a part where, in trying to direct a ship, Barkin says "Starboard!" followed shortly by "your other starboard!" (about 1/3 of the way down the page)
- The Looney Tunes Show: When Daffy is training on a flight simulator in "Spread Those Wings and Fly", his instructor tells him to bear west by five degrees. When Daffy asks which way is west, the instructor says "your left", followed immediately by a panicked "Your other left!". Needless to say, Daffy crashes.
- Played with in Megas XLR when Jamie (in the back seat of the car/cockpit) tells Coop (in the driver's seat) to block an enemy to the left. Coop looks left, though the enemy is actually on his right, and he is attacked anyway. Jamie adds "My left!" to which Coop replies, "We have the same left!"
- Used in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" by a construction worker Rainbow Dash is in the middle of saving.
- Rocket Power, "Race Across New Zealand": Twister has confusion between the two sides because of the traffic going on the other side of the road.
- An episode of Rugrats had Stu and his dad inside a mechanical dragon and Stu ordered Lou (his dad) to hit a button on his right — and the dragon flipped, causing the response, "Your other right"
- In an episode of The Simpsons we get this exchange from the Rich Texan:
Rich Texan: *click* I'll take the gold coins now.
Marge: But we don't know where they are.
Rich Texan: They're right there on your left. No your other left. No, no Texas left, which is your down.
- Becomes an Overly-Long Gag in Sonic Boom, involving Sonic and Dr. Eggman, as seen here. (Sonic and Eggman are facing each other, by the way.)
Eggman: Yes, we should go left. My left.
Sonic: No, my left.
Eggman: My left. Your right.
Sonic: I know I'm right. We should go left!
- SpongeBob SquarePants: misinterpreted by (who else) Patrick during this exchange as SpongeBob is falling:
Sandy: Land on your bottom! It'll help break the impact of the fall!
SpongeBob: Like this? [takes off pants and points his butt down]
Patrick: No, your other bottom!
Sandy: Don't you have to be stupid somewhere else?
Patrick: Not until four.
- Star Wars Resistance: At the beginning of "The Children from Tehar", Tam and Neeku are trying to install a part on the Fireball. She reluctantly asks Kaz for his help with a part where three bolts have to be tightened simultaneously, telling him to turn left. However, Tam neglects to specify which left, leading to Kaz pulling his wrench the wrong way, breaking the part and leaving her furious with him.
- Steven Universe: Parodied in "Rose's Scabbard". During a serious conversation between Steven and Pearl, we can hear Garnet and Amethyst in the background trying to maneuver an enormous battle axe through a doorway, and apparently no one ever taught Amethyst her directions.
Amethyst: Turn it clockwise! No, your other clockwise! Yeah, lift it backwards. Not up, backwards!
Garnet: You mean pull?
- In the Stickin' Around episode "And the Wiener Is...", Lance and Russell have this exchange after the latter falls into a sewer trying to obtain the kids' lottery ticket.
Lance: To the right.
Lance: No, left!
Lance: I said left!
- This gem from a Toy Story Treats short fits the spirit of the trope as Woody is trying to direct another toy on how to grab the baby doll head on an Erector set toy near the top of a bunch of toys standing on each other to move the TV antenna to get a better signal: "Grab his leg, no his other leg, no his other other leg!"
- Wacky Races offered an example of the "slightly more credible version" when Sgt. Blast ordered Pvt. Meekly to turn left.
Pvt. Meekly: Did you say left, Sarge?
Sgt. Blast: Right.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Rivals", Lord Hater and Peepers are disguised as one of Emperor Awesome's minions, and when Lord Hater is told by Peepers to turn left, he goes right and slams into a wall.
Peepers: I said left!
Hater: Your left or my left?
Peepers: WE HAVE THE SAME LEFT!!
[Hater turns right again and hits wall]
- Young kids often can’t tell the difference between their left and right sides and when someone asks a kid to go to the left and they instead go to the right the exact name of this trope is what the adult has to tell them
- In Real Life, every drill instructor ever has had to use the line, typically when trying to teach people how to march in formation, thus requiring them to start with the left foot. Same with marching bands. This sometimes sticks when service personnel return to civilian life.
- "Your military left!"
- Subverted with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps who step off with their right foot.
- Deliberately avoided by Real Life driving instructors, who will often use the word "right" to indicate direction only, using "yes" or "correct" to indicate an affirmative, in order to avoid such confusion. (Saying "turn right" or "to the right" in lieu of just plain "right" for the direction also helps.) Savvy direction-givers or those who have learned from mistakes with this in the past will likewise avoid using "right" to mean "correct".
- When accuracy is critical, expect to hear compass points, headings, or clock numbers because of their unambiguous meanings or basis on absolute directions. The clock code in aviation was designed to correct for this, but hasn't entirely worked: in the heat of an engagement it can take too long to visualize the position. Thus, position is often described in apparently redundant left-right terms as well, as in "Tally 2, 7 o'clock left!"
- There's a well-known joke involving novice fighter pilots being told "Enemy fighter approaching you at six o'clock" and deciding they don't need to worry yet because it's only half past three.
- Centuries ago, British sailors adopted the practice of using "port"/"larboard" and "starboard" in reference to ships' sides. This averted any confusion as to whether "left" or "right" might refer to the individual crew members' perspective, rather than the layout of the vessel itself.
- To try to avert this, anatomy always uses the subject's right or left (which can cause confusion when anatomy students encounter photos of people in other contexts, where the camera's perspective is often used). It also uses subject's-perspective terms such as anterior, ventral, proximal, or superficial to avoid ambiguities that terms like "ahead" or "below" might entail; what exactly does "further up" mean when the someone is lying on their back?
- This gets another layer when comparing the anatomy of different species, because the "main axis" of the body differs from species to species. Where human anatomists say anterior (forward) and posterior (backward), the body plan of a dog (or almost any quadruped) means the equivalent directions, anatomically speaking, are inferior (downward) and superior (upward). So for the purpose of comparing different species, there is another layer of abstraction: cranial vs. caudal (head-wards and tail-wards) and dorsal vs. ventral (spine-wards and belly-wards).
- And theatre attempts to fix the problem the same way, by having an arbitrary viewpoint. "Left" and "right" area always assumed to be from the perspective of the one being directed, and often directors will have to use "stage left" or "stage right" to clarify this. French theatre uses côté cour ("courtyard side", stage left) and côté jardin ("garden side", stage right). It originated in the 18th century, when the Comédie-Française troupe performed in a theatre located between the Louvres courtyard and the Tuileries Garden. English theatre sometimes uses "prompt" (stage left) and opposite prompt (or "OP"), based on where the prompt traditionally sits. Of course, in modern theatre (with much longer rehearsal periods), even having a prompt is unlikely.
- In Heraldry, the terms are Dexter (right) and Sinister (Left) They always apply to the shield as if it were being carried, making "Dexter" the viewer's left, and Sinister being the viewer's right. In many medieval recreation groups this is mostly averted by the use of "sword-side" and "shield-side" when giving instructions on the tourney or melee fields. It doesn't work so well for anyone left-handed.
- To avoid problems with relative terms such as left and right, highways and railroads make a point of having cardinal directions which can be referenced in official communications. Unfortunately this can lead to the same left/right confusion when the listed direction doesn't match the geographic direction the route travels on the earth's surface.
- The Northeast Corridor rail line that runs diagonally between New York and Washington, DC is officially east-west between New York and Philadelphia, but north-south between Philadelphia and Washington. The popular conception is that the entire route is North-South and "Northbound/Southbound" is what appears in the public timetables, but the officially north-south part of the route actually travels 20 miles farther to the west than it does to the south!
- Similarly in the UK, a major stretch of the M42 motorway runs east-west, which leads to head-scratching when a hold-up is announced on the northbound side..
- On railways in the UK (and probably elsewhere), the main destination or terminus that the line serves is at the Top, thus the track that traffic goes along to get there on is the Up line, and the other one is the Down line. A London destination is always Up the line, even when you're heading down the map (southwards). It gets tricky close to stations that serve the local area as well as trunk routes, where the trunk Down is the local Up, etc.
- There are numerous examples of Wrong Way Concurrencies on numbered highways where a road with one listed direction runs concurrent with a highway of the opposite direction. In one case US 19 Truck runs wrong way concurrent with itself!
- Living with dyslexia, you hear this often. Many people with dyslexia try to tell others "Turn the way I point, not the way I say."
- Another common misunderstanding in English arises when a yes/no question is asked using the negative form (e.g. "You don't want cake?"). Answering yes can either be taken to mean "I want cake" or "I agree with you, I don't want cake" (answering no produces the same problem except opposite). So people who end up in this linguistic trap would end up doing a lot "yes, um, no, um, yes?" fumbling until someone rephrases the question or provides a full sentence answer.
- Technically, in English, you always say "yes" if you want cake regardless of how the question was asked. This can cause serious grief for Chinese speakers learning English, as in Chinese, the answer depends on how the question is asked.
- A good workaround, though, is saying, ‘I do.’ (Also, saying ‘I do’ generally involves getting cake.)
- This scenario can sometimes be averted by appending additional information to your reply: "A large slice, please" if you want the cake, for example, or "I'd prefer pie" if you don't.
- The French language has a solution to the problem of yes/no questions asked in negative forms in the word "si", which contradicts a negative statement. For example, the question "You're not going to come?", if answered with "si", would mean that is incorrect and you are going to come. "Oui" confirms negative statements; in this example, the question is correct and you are not going to come.
- When giving directions in French there can be problems with the word "Droit" which means right and the phrase "Tout droit" which means straight ahead.
- A common problem in the Catalan sport/tradition of castells, which involves building human towers. The usual motto of castellers is força, equilibri, valor i seny (strength, balance, courage, and good sense) but a colla (team) once released a tee-shirt with an alternate one: L'esquerra... no, l'altra esquerra! (the left... no, the other left!)
- Various Australian Aboriginal languages avert this by simply not having words for "right" and "left" in the first place, relying entirely on cardinal directions: "Turn north here."
- Frequently used by directors of live television programming, since camera operators often have a tendency to go on autopilot and just instinctively go in one direction regardless of what they've been told. In newscasts especially this comes into play when framing a shot of an anchor with a "box" in it, because when the director says "pan left", they mean they want the anchor's head to placed further right in the frame by moving the camera to the left.