Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Poor Communication Kills

Go To


What we've got here is failure to communicate.
The Captain, Cool Hand Luke, 1967

You said "I'm gonna run you down",
I heard "I'm an orangutan"'
They Might Be Giants, "Broke In Two"

Communication breakdown
It's always the same,
Led Zeppelin, "Communication Breakdown"

a> I think we need to work on our communication.. one guy is talking crap, one just goes "lol" and the other one doesn't understand what's going on
b> lol
c> what?

*** SpannerGO0 was kicked by sam88 (don't be a douche)
BicThes: he was talking to me i think
sam88: whoops #78919

I’d always hated those parts in the TV shows and movies, where everything could be resolved with the simple truth. It was why I’d never been able to watch romantic comedies. It grated: the sitcom-esque comedic situations which would be resolved if people would only sit down, explain, and listen to one another, the tragedies which could have been prevented with a few simple words.

I didn’t want to be one of those tragedies.
Skitter, Worm

Hawke: Your mage-templar group was conspiring to overthrow Meredith.
Orsino: I have a sudden, deep regret I interfered...

(The characters are outside of a slaughterhouse with the word "Slaughterhouse" clearly visible over the door)
And that says bank?
It does?
Yes it does.
It does.

Frylock: Say, Carl, do you have any idea what’s in these candy bars?
Carl: No I do not.
Frylock: Well, would you like to look through this scope and just see what you’ve been eating?
Carl: No. It’s South Bronx Paradise, baby!
Frylock: It’s South Bronx Parasite!
Carl: Yeah, whatever.
Frylock: Did you even read the wrapper?
Carl: It’s typical, liberal media, parasite, paradise. You’re guaranteed to shed pounds within hours, I know that.
Frylock: Yeah, because there’s larva inside of you feeding on your flesh!

Javik: You found one [of our beacons]... You saw it all! Our destruction! Our warnings! Why weren't they heeded?! Why didn't you prepare for the Reapers, human?!
Shepard: It's Commander. And nobody could understand your warnings. Your beacon nearly killed me.
Javik: Hmph. Then communication is still primitive in this cycle...

"Noooo! It's a tragic misunderstanding that could have been easily avoided if he just finished his sentence in time!!"

Trunks: But seriously, what is that?
Piccolo: That's the android.
Trunks: No it's not!
Piccolo: Yes it is.
Trunks: No, it's not!
Dr. Gero: Yes, I am.
Trunks: You stay out of this!
Tien: Wait, so you're saying that that's not the android that kills us?
Trunks: No, I've never even—
Krillan: But you said two androids.
Tien: And we've been fighting two.
Trunks: Yes, but that's not one of them!
Vegeta: Well, why didn't you tell us what they looked like?!
Trunks: I only ever met the two!
Vegeta: Well, look at that, so did we!
[Bulma's flying car appears over the cliff ridge]
Bulma: Hey guys!
Vegeta: And now the woman's here!

Cathy: How could you abandon me?
Heathcliff: I was coming back for you but you betrayed me!
Cathy: Well you never said anything!
Heathcliff: We have an unspoken bond.
Cathy: Sometimes a spoken bond is handy!

Aang: Why didn't you tell me about your dad's crazy plan before?
Zuko: I didn't think I had to. I assumed you were still going to fight him before the comet. No one told me you decided to wait!

YOU IDIOT! You could have just TOLD ME this BEFORE! But NO! You men and your STUPID pride! Now we're both going to lose our Cloaks of Nobility and we'll be the laughing stocks of the entire COUNTRY! Because YOU would rather RUN from me than ADMIT YOU'RE NERVOUS ABOUT GETTING MARRIED!
Montmorency to Guiche, Zero no Tsukaima: Saito the Onmyoji

Rachel: <l guess maybe I should have mentioned I was having this little problem with morphing, huh?>
Jake: <No, it's much better to find out this way, Rachel. You know - when you could get us all killed.>
Animorphs #12: The Reaction

Grace Like, secret identities and shared secrets are pretty common in stories with powers and magic and junk.
Nanase Maybe, but the conclusion I get from those stories is to insist on being told everything.
Grace Oh, totally, half of all the problems in those stories could be solved with better communication.

Real Life

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can fuckin' kill you.
Taylor Mali

You can understand why Blake is playing underhanded tactics on Gouda Prime, to root out the Federation spies and to keep his skin wrapped comfortably all over. However, not trusting Tarrant turns out to be a fatal mistake on his part; pretending to have captured him to lure Avon out into the open was a dangerous move and one that he pays for with his life. It isn't Tarrant he has misjudged, but Avon. Blake failed to recognise how paranoid his friend has become without his influence and the mere mention of the only man Avon ever trusted turning against him is enough for him to pull the trigger... Gouda Prime is set to be the location of the launch of a new wave of resistance against the Federation, but the outcome is where one terrible, fatal misunderstanding leads to a massacre and a trap that Avon's crew cannot escape.
Joe Ford on Blake's 7, "Blake"

David: Really, that’s almost the problem with the show — if the Kents weren’t dicks, then you wouldn’t have any real friction between Clark and his parents, which would take away a ton of drama.
Chris: Yes, but then all the drama could result from, you know, Lex, whose world-conquering super-villain master plans have involved a) Running for local government, and b) getting someone fired from a job.
David: Ahem. I believe you forgot providing children — CHILDREN! — with the devil’s agent, LIQUOR.
Chris: At this point, Lex is less of a super-villain and more Your Dad’s One Weird Friend.
— Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Smallville ("Spell")

Almost any TV show, at some point you realize the whole problem is person A not talking to person B and solving the mystery/interpersonal conflict, and that's where TV shows come from. But man, if this whole show just sat down it would be so easy:"''

"I saw/fucked/became a bizarre creature, that's why I was acting so weird before."
"OMG me too! That's totally why I was acting weird!"
"It was all for nothing. How funny! Once again, communication has saved the day."

This was the most unprovoked and avoidable fight I've ever seen

"Dammit all, is this movie doing the whole 'Simple misunderstanding that real people would never have because they ask questions and have normal human conversations about it' thing?"
Jeremy Scott of CinemaSins, on Frozen

"Bravely Default is a game where every bad thing could have been avoided if the characters would have actually communicated with eachother during the numerous opportunities they're given to do so. I wish I could say this was uncommon for RPGs, but HILARIOUS COMEDIES OF ERROR cause the end of the world surprisingly often."

I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up.

"Let's eat Grandma!"
"Let's eat, Grandma!"
Punctuation Saves Lives
Popular Grammar Joke

"Seriously, how many sitcom understandings could have been easily avoided if people would just let each other finish their fucking sentences?"
— Blogger Billy Superstar summing up this trope in his review of an episode of Full House

"I think the people refusing to fucking talk to each other about the plot is just incompetence. A lot of these [YA] authors don’t seem to know how to plot well enough that simple conversations wouldn’t solve the problems, so tension is created artificially by having adult humans incapable of basic communication, which lets the plot can get more dire while they are all mute to each other, instead of characters trying to solve something together and struggling because it’s actually a complex problem."
— Review of An Inheritance Of Ashes on Dragon Quill

Canon, actually!
The very first time they meet, at school, Rei is reading a book, and Asuka annoys her by blocking her light, remember? The book? Is in German.
Another tragic little hint that Asuka and Rei could easily have been friends. Rei is at the least literate in German, and probably speaks it. Asuka just never asks.
Because This. Is. Eva. And people just communicating is somehow far more impossible than fighting giant alien monsters that laugh at physics.
Strypgia, when asked if Rei learned German off-screen in Advice and Trust

Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking.
Stephen Hawking, British Telecom advertisement, which was Sampled Up by Pink Floyd's Keep Talking and Talkin' Hawkin'


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: