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Quotes / Arbitrary Skepticism

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Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.
H. L. Mencken, 1917

If anyone listened to Jack Bauer, the show would be called 3.

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    Anime and Manga 
Kirie: So you believe what that clown said?
Shuichi: Tell me, how you can believe a toy clown said anything at all?

Oh come on, there's no such thing as crop circles! What it really was was a ghost. And that dinosaur the principal saw? Ghost dinosaur.
Random fifth grader, Digimon Tamers

Adolph: Evil spirits? You mean, what you said before was true?
Guts: You're sayin' you believe in God, but not in evil spirits?

It amuses me that you refuse to believe in curses when you have a devil for a servant and have come eye-to-eye with grim reapers.
Sebastian Michaelis, Black Butler

Flat: Yeah. He turned from a mage to a Dead Apostle.
Jack the Ripper: Dead Apostle?
Flat: A bloodsucker... Oh, would you understand if I said ‘vampire’?
Jack the Ripper: It’s true that there are theories I was actually a vampire... but even for a mage, isn’t that a too B-grade occult?
Flat: Jack the Ripper resurrected in the modern day is way more B-grade occult, though.

    Audio Plays 
Lt. Sandoz: (at haunted piano) There must be a mechanism in the piano.
Doctor: You really never stop, do you, Lieutenant? But there's a limit to skepticism, you know. You end up cutting your own throat with Occam's Razor.
Big Finish Doctor Who, Winter for the Adept

    Comic Books 
Hellboy: We're being set up for the real deal — William Grenier.
Kate Corrigan: That's crazy! If he was ever real, he'd be, what, 800 years old?!
Hellboy: Now listen to me. How is that any weirder than the stuff you've already seen today? Right?
Kate Corrigan: Right...
Hellboy: The Wolves of Saint August

I've seen a huanted chair and a talking mongoose, but I'd have bet good money there were no dragons.
Hellboy, Hellboy: The Nature of the Beast

Dum-Dum Dugan: Shoulda known you was one o' those weirdos who believe in the 'bom'nable Snowman.
Gabe Jones: Y'know, Dum-Dum, you take the cake. Here we are chasing Godzilla and a zillion-foot tall man-ape and you scoff at something only a few feet bigger than a gorilla.

Black Panther: Well, what then? Some "monster of the hidden temple"?
The Vision: Your skepticism ill befits a man who stands next to an android and a god, T'Challa.

"There's mutants, Spider-Men, Captain America frozen in a block of ice for decades, Tony Stark is a human tank, but vampires is too much for you?"
Ben Urich, Ultimate Spider-Man #95

Funny how I accepted invisible fellas and mad inventors bringing back the dead, but I never really believed in you.
Elijah Snow, Planetary #13

"I don't believe in that kind of miracle, o divine master. Flying carpets are one thing, but rain-making is sheer science fiction!"
Ozwat, Asterix and the Magic Carpet

    Fan Works 
Dark Yagami: Do ghosts exits?
Dark: But ur a Shinigami aren't you imposable too?

"Boy, kids these days. You tell people you’re an emperor from beyond space and time, they just nod. You flap in on a pair of wings, and all of a sudden they forget how to talk."

He didn't see any point in wondering whether or not this was real; considering he'd been at least partly responsible for shattering the very fabric of reality and/or turning the entire human race — less himself, a two hundred-foot naked copy of his sister(?) and Asuka — into LCL to experience some rather nebulous transhumanist paradise, skepticism about mere mental time travel seemed rather silly.

Harry was no longer sure, at this point, whether this was the sort of thing he ought to be skeptical about, or the sort of thing he should just take in stride.

Light: You're not going to see a single ghost, not even the tiniest little spirit of a brutally murdered fly, because there are no such things.
L: Light-kun is right. Believing in ghosts is like claiming that you own a magical notebook or that you have a pet monster that only eats apples. Don't be ridiculous.
I Won't Say, a Death Note fanfic.

"Potions? Like – magic?" Lizzie said slowly, twisting up her mouth. "But magic's not re–" She stopped, staring down at her blue hands. "What am I saying – I'm dead and sitting in the burnt remains of my family home waiting to see which afterlife will have me. Why not magic?"
Lizzie Liddell, Land of the Dead

They're not conspiracies when you live in a world where everyone has a secret agenda.

RS: and fortune telling? seems kinda farfetched
AT: .....................
AT: ryuji, last year you fought monsters with a pirate skeleton that lived in your brain
RS: yeah i know but fortune telling is
RS: it's like
RS: actually n/m there's no coming back from that

People had gotten used to aura and Semblances. They were an everyday part of life and no one raised an eyebrow when someone suddenly gained the ability to bench press a car or run faster than the eye could see. Even summoning circles like Weiss' glyphs were accepted. And yet when Ozpin revealed he had the power of magic, everyone freaked out.
Why? What was the difference between Qrow turning into a bird and Blake summoning clones of herself? They were both powers that changed the world around them. Both made no sense from a physics or biology point of view. Ruby's body should have crumpled under the force of her own movement and yet it never did. Semblances were as good as magic but never got called that. Because magic was stupid. Magic didn't exist.

Now here I was, in a world of imaginary creatures given life, and I felt like I was experiencing some twisted cosmic joke.
Where do I draw the line?
Did the existence of Dragons mean the same should be said for krakens and minotaurs? Did Leprechauns live under this Earth's rainbows and Tooth Fairies exchange currency for baby teeth? Does magic mean curses and good luck charms were common place? What about if little nonsense rhymes like stepping on a crack really could break a mom's back?

You might not want to pull on that thread, John. None of this makes sense. She was also fucking embalmed. In case any of you have forgotten. But here she is. She's breathing. She bled. She crawled out of her grave. That's what happened. This is the supernatural. It's not about logic. Not the logic you've been taught anyway. It's about magic.

Mon-El: "Dog? White? Named Krypto?"
Sherri: "Yes. Supposedly he came from the same planet Superboy came from, though I find that hard to believe. It's hard enough to imagine that evolution followed similar paths with humanoids on other planets."
Mon-El: "Depends. If you give credence to the theory that many worlds were seeded with similar life forms, then it stands to reason that those life forms might evolve along similar paths."

Valerie Payne: The Japanese demon slayer thought Japanese demons were a myth?
Nataline Homato: Yes, blondie. Irony isn't lost on me.

    Films — Animation 
Milo: You know, the weather hasn't let up since Hellstrom stole that spear. I wonder if…
Audrey: Coincidence, Milo. […] I mean, come on. The old gods affecting the weather?
Vinny: Well, there was that Indian wind god, spirit, whatever, Kraken. Yeah, the Kraken might have been a god. Maybe not. […] And that big Atlantis crystal… that was kind of like a god. All I'm saying, we see a lot of strange stuff. I'm, uh, just being open-minded.


Peter Hutchings: An alien? Oh, come on.
The Doctor: You're on the moon inside a sentient church, waiting to see if you have any part to play in the rescue of a woman's soul from the clutches of a near-omnipotent being. Broaden your mind.

I never would have thought that a living skeleton would be such a skeptic.
Stephanie, Skulduggery Pleasant

Some folks say the ghosts of the Skeptics Society still haunt these back roads; eternally debunking the supernatural.
— Twabble by Nowicki1283

    Live-Action TV 
I don't believe in ghosts. I know that may sound strange coming from a guy who shoots sparks out of his fingers, but that's what I believe.

'Cause the thing is, Doctor, I believe it all now. You opened my eyes. All those amazing things out there, I believe them all. Well, apart from that replica of the Titanic flying over Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day, I mean that's gotta be a hoax.
Donna Noble, Doctor Who

Myka Bering: Cavorite doesn't exist... there's no such thing.
Peter Lattimer: Myka, on this job, there's no such thing as "no such thing."

Arya: How did you find us?
Jaqen H'ghar: After all the things you have seen, this is your question?

We're wizards. Why does everyone think it's so crazy that there could be Martians?

Scully, in six years, how often have I been wrong? No, seriously. Every time I bring you a new case we go through this perfunctory dance; you tell me I'm not scientifically rigorous and I'm off my nut. And then in the end, who turns out to be right 98.9% of the time?
Agent Mulder, The X-Files, "Field Trip"

Sam: Dean, there's ten times as much lore about angels as there is about anything else we've ever hunted.
Dean: You know what, there's a ton of lore on unicorns too. In fact, I hear that they ride on silver moonbeams, and that they shoot rainbows out of their ass!
Sam: Wait, there's no such thing as unicorns?

Dean: I thought Lucifer was just a story they told at demon sunday school. There’s no such thing.
Castiel: Three days ago, you thought there was no such thing as me.

They're not like the Loch Ness Monster, Dean - dragons aren't real.
Bobby Singer, shortly before being proven wrong, Supernatural

Jeffrey: Is he Inhuman?
Coulson: Claims he made a Deal with the Devil.
Fitz: Which is nonsense.
Coulson: You know, the rationalist in me wants to agree, but the skull on fire presents a pretty compelling argument for "Hail Satan."

Colleen Wing: All of [The Hand's] power stems from their ability to bring back the dead.
Luke Cage: Okay, I don't know how much of this I can take. This sounds insane!
Danny Rand: And so does being bulletproof.

Weyoun: Pah-wraiths and Prophets. All this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense.
Damar: You believe that the Founders are gods, don't you?
Weyoun: That's different.
Damar: [laughs] In what way?
Weyoun: The Founders are gods.

Y'know, after several years of working for you, a known vampire, I have seen werewolves, necromancers, a zombie, and several Babadooks, but... a ghost? That's where we draw the line?

    Tabletop Games 
"I'm lost," Lars spat into the flames. "What in hell are you talking about? Spaceships? Sons of Ether? Mechanical worlds?" He advanced on the wanderer. "You, lady, are full of shit! I'm a vampire, a goddamned immortal, and I have never heard of this crap and will never fall for it because its all in your fucking head!"
"How do you explain where you are now?" Grey Wolf remarked, watching the confrontation with interest.
"You callin' me crazy?"
"Not at all," the shaman replied. "Only remember that there are a good many things even immortals can never grasp."
Mage: The Ascension - Convention Book: Void Engineers

Also worthy of consideration is the difficulty that the supernatural world is vastly complicated and tangled in and of itself, to say the least. [...] Accordingly, many potential alliances never happen because hunters either don’t believe each other, or miss references because they don’t fit in their personal views of the supernatural: "I saw a vampire drinking someone’s blood. What? Werewolves? No, that’s stupid. I’ll bet some vampires can turn into wolves, though." (If you don’t believe people are this tunnel-visioned or arrogant, spend an hour on an unmoderated forum anywhere on the Internet).
New World of Darkness: Antagonists

    Video Games 
What? You fought an army of vamps with magic; you've walked the shadow world in anima form; you've talked to statues and run with fairies. So what's so weird about a grown man talking to a teddy bear?
Dragan Dzoavich, The Secret World

Skyrim is now host to giant, flying lizards and two-legged cat-men... And you're surprised by me? Yes. I just talked. And am continuing to do so.

Lynne: I don't believe in a "sixth sense". It's not scientific!
Sissel: (Says the ghost...)

"A city... at the bottom of the ocean? Pfft, ridiculous."
Booker DeWitt during his brief visit to Rapture, after having spent the entire game jumping between Alternate Universes in a city that flies in the air, BioShock Infinite

I only recently became aware of the existence of zombies. Like many fungi, I'd just assumed they were fairy tales or movie monsters. This whole experience has been a huge eye-opener for me.
Puff-shroom, a sentient, English-speaking mushroom plant, Plants vs. Zombies

Well that was weird.
Alright, let's turn into chickens and find a way out of this prison hotel through the sewage system to meet the different timeline goat-men in the swamp town.
Tostada (who, by the way, is the guardian spirit of a magical luchador mask) after first meeting the Chicken Illuminati, Guacamelee! 2

GM The ship has a cooling system.
Obi-Wan: So where does the heat it generates go? It's a closed system; you can't just magically pump it out into space. We're trying to be realistic, right?
GM: Yeah...
Obi-Wan: In fact, didn't you say the hull is polished silver? The thermal emissivity of polished metal is—
GM: This ship hovers with no visible means of propulsion and travels through hyperspace, and you're worried about the air conditioning?

I cannot fathom why a telepath is so skeptical, but if you are not satisfied...
The Sorrow (a ghost) to Psycho Mantis, The Last Days of FOXHOUND

Antimony: You see, I also think Jones is a robot.
Kat: Whaaaaa... Come on! First off, a human looking robot is called an "android" and second, there is no way you could make an android that looks that good.
Antimony: We have seen stranger. Remember that cursed teapot?
Kat: Yeahhhhh... But that was... I don't even know what that was about...

Optimism through stalwart skepticism is a defect not everyone is lucky enough to be cursed with.
Rose Lalonde, Homestuck

"But this is set in the 1930s! Hitler's still alive!"

A guy has just been brought back to life after dying because he picked the wrong cup as the Holy Grail, and you're worried about historical accuracy?

Like all good comic book scientists, Doctor Shark is willing to ignore massive swaths of his own inexplicable universe.

Fox: How is this ridiculous to you!? You are dating a literal witch!
Fido: Hey, just because I have direct evidence of ghosts, spirits, prophecies of the future, magic(k)al control over time and space- Okay, maybe you have a point.

    Web Original 
Killer monsters that were made through actual science, most likely. Dreams are just thoughts you have while you're sleeping that can be influenced by what was going on around you before you fell asleep. Sorry, but unless I see some proof, I'm just gonna keep rolling with the idea that his dream was influenced by what he saw before he fell asleep.

Now, if you or I saw a naked man drop through a hole in reality and walk through 50 bullets to put his fist through our stomach, we'd die knowing that we've made a robot from the future very happy. A guy in a movie, though, he has no idea what happened. He'll use his dying words to argue how robots don't exist, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to smile!

I just love that no one in the police department has heard of the Triad except for White and consider him some conspiracy nut. It’s as if White was trying to put out the theory that Bigfoot is a heroin peddler or there is some reptilian conspiracy.
Miles Antilwer on Year of the Dragon (1985)

Matt: Despite the fact they were JUST TALKING ABOUT A VAMPIRE ARMY, (Michelle) Rodriguez suggests they’ve “wasted enough time on fairy tales.”
Chris: She’s pretty skeptical for someone who is the actual daughter of a vampire and literally kills monsters for a living.
—Chris Sims and Matt Wilson on Bloodrayne

Oh, sorry, did we forget to mention that the most rational response in the whole movie to millions of people suddenly vanishing is definitely that guy trying to jump out of the airplane at 30,000 feet to go look for them? Nobody else seems to care much, and they certainly don't remember word one from the Bible about any of this; even the goddamn preacher who likes to get into shouting matches with the Almighty needs a fucking mail-order "So You've Been Left Behind" infomercial VHS tape to figure it out.

"Several aspects of this case remain unexplained suggesting the possibility of paranormal phenomena, but I am convinced that to accept such conclusions is to abandon all hope of understanding the scientific events behind them…" says Scully. Are you fucking kidding me? This is the story where she witnessed an alien bounty hunter metamorphosing and alien fetuses wiggling about in cocoons and all this evidence forces her to conclude that science is definitely the thing to believe in. Give me strength.
Joe Ford on The X-Files, "End Game"

"'Superstitious' is a word never to be used while seriously saying 'I want to go looking for Atlantis!' It's rather like saying 'Aliens? What a preposterous notion! Now, help me draw the summoning circle for the demon.'"

    Web Video 
Kakyoin: By the way, Polnareff.
Polnareff: What is it?
Kakyoin: You said he's in the world inside the mirror...but there's no world inside the mirror. This isn't fantasy or the Anime version.
Illuso: Shake my hand at the Pompeii Ruins!
Polnareff: Understood, but let's go for now!

Hinagiku: Stop ignoring me! I am totally serious about this day repeating itself!
Momoko: Don't be stupid, that can't happen.
Hinagiku: We're magical transforming girls who fight devils with love waves and take orders from a mirror! I think this is within the realm of possibility here!

Plinkett: So Count Dooku is rallying star systems to align against the Republic. They say he's just "a political idealist."
Padme: I think that Count Dooku is behind it.
Plinkett: (as Mace Windu) Whoa-hooooooh, hold on, lil' lady! You don't know what yer talkin' about! So shut your mouth, little girl..Jus' SHUT YER FACE. But seriously, though, Yoda's glad you're o.k. Now get back in the kitchen.

"This is the only show I know of where apathy is a constant threat."

"Among your team members is a super-speedster, a living bug-woman, someone with invisible armor, a clone of Superman, and a guy who can create purple energy constructs! What is so unbelievable about being from the future?!"
Linkara, Atop the Fourth Wall: The Culling, Part 1: Teen Titans Annual #1

"Anyway, Mephisto, as the woman in red, explains how different cultures believe that people have 'dream selves...each living alternate lives' and et cetera, and we only encounter them when we're sleeping. (Reading as Spider-Man) 'Sorry, never believed in that sort of thing.' You believe in the Marvel Universe! Alternate realities are an established scientific fact for you people! In fact, I'm pretty sure you've been to alternate universes before!"
Linkara, Atop the Fourth Wall review of One More Day

Burai: Are you kidding me? Who will believe such a silly story?
Linkara: You are a 170 million year old guy who lived alongside dinosaurs before moving in with gnomes and fairies, AND you were just exiled from the moon by an evil pop singer witch, AND you transform into a spandex clad superhero, who sometimes grows giant sized to fight robots! This is not the weirdest thing that's happened to you lately!

Lorca is presented as delusional, because he believes in destiny... In a world that insists that all life and the forces of life are connected to fungus. This is like saying that organised religion is backwards and hopeless, because you know that God is a guy named "Kim", who works at the Chinese laundry. "I will wash their robes and make them white." "I know you will, man! I know it!"
Chuck Sonnenburg, SF Debris on Star Trek: Discovery

"Danny being ridiculed for claiming to be the Iron Fist makes no sense! This is the same universe where a hole opened up in the sky, aliens spoured out, and we were saved by a billonaire in gravity-defying armor, a big green monster, a guy with a magic hammer and a dude in blue pajamas armed with a metal frisbee that always comes back! So, that is perfectly normal, but a guy comes to you and tells you that he's the Iron Fist, and that merits throwing him in an insane asylum?!"
ERod's Honest Review of Iron Fist (2017)

"So, Dr Good&Sexy's boss takes a look at the evidence of the Inhumans' existence, treats her like she's insane, and then suspends her for a few weeks- Okay stop! Just stop! Believe it or not, this is actually the second time in a Scott Buck Marvel show where someone points out something weird, and they're treated like they're insane! [...] Hey, News Flash, Buck: that doesn't work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! This is the same place where a hole opened in the sky and aliens poured out! This is the same place where a robot made a whole city fly up in the air! Skepticism no longer makes sense in this universe!
ERod again, regarding Inhumans

"Secondly- and this is the thing that bothers me the most about [Jessica Jones] being so stubbornly skeptical, is that SHE LIVES IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! Why would she be so incredulous about bizarre occurrences? She has superheroes on her speed dial! She lived with a supervillain for month! She herself has powers! But people come to her office asking her for help with eccentric problems, and they're full of shit?!"
ERod again, this time regarding season 2 of Jessica Jones (2015)

"Weird bit of trivia here for you, but that scene of two men falling through a forcefield was actually added to appease the test audiences, who were concerned about why the entire city wasn't sucked out into space. I love the fact that in a movie about memory-swapping alien parasites in dead bodies and shifting cityscapes, that's what they had issue with."
Deusdaecon Reviews on Dark City

The dragon-man who believes in the sky cow doesn't believe in ghosts, everybody.
Prudence/Jane Douglas, Outside Xbox, "Mind Your Manors"

    Western Animation 
Pffffffft! Facts are meaningless! You can use "facts" to prove anything even remotely true!
Homer, The Simpsons ("Lisa the Skeptic")

You're pretty close-minded for someone who can break the sound barrier in his sneakers.
Artemis, Young Justice

Gimmick: No! There is no such thing as a woodsprite!
Leota: Oh? And I suppose there's no such thing as a big bag of air stuck in my tree! But there it is, big as life!
The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin — The Airship (book)

Bruce: These people believe anything they can't explain is magic.
Terry: Naturally, you don't believe in those kinda things.
Bruce: Of course I do. I've seen it all. Demons, witch-boys, immortals, zombies... but this thing? I don't know, it just feels so... So high-school.
Batman Beyond — Revenant

Laura Carrot: You're a talking weed!
Rumor Weed: I'm a talking weed, you're a talking carrot. Your point is?
VeggieTales, "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed"

Flash: Let's see, after I caught the gorilla, he told me that...
Green Lantern: He talked to you.
Flash: Yeah, right after I stopped his car.
Green Lantern: I'm supposed to believe this?
Flash: Hey, we've both got a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt here.
Justice League — The Brave and the Bold, Part 1

Senator Stampingston: Dethklok has summoned a troll.
General Crozier: That's impossible. There's no such thing as trolls.
Senator Stampingston: Then how do you explain the dead unicorns? (Monitors behind him shows fields of dead Unicorns)
Metalocalypse — Dethtroll

"I don't believe in curses! Sure, ancient Chinese spirits, Dream Beavers, interdimensional aliens... but curses? Puh-lease!"

"Look, Arcadia's a strange place, but it's strange with creeps and Trolls, not blue E.T.s and magic houses."
Steve Palchuck, 3Below

Dewey: Oh, maybe he was frozen in an iceberg-
Webby: And the iceberg melted, and he was washed ashore with the storm!
Scrooge: "Frozen in an iceberg." Preposterous.
Webby: It happened to you twice.

Buford: I don't believe in spaceships.
Isabella: But, Buford, you've been in a spaceship. Several actually!
Buford: I'm a skeptic.
Phineas and Ferb, "Sci-Fi Pie Fly"


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