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Quotes / Understatement

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"I am supposed to call for help, if I run into trouble I can't handle on my own. Being captured by the Volturi and likely to be Chelseaed at any moment seemed like it might be that sort of trouble."
Elspeth, Luminosity

Film — Live-Action

"Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed, but I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops."
General Buck Turgidson, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

"He chose... poorly."

"Our situation has not improved."
Professor Henry Jones, on being trapped between a room on fire and a room full of Nazi soldiers while tied to a chair, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Egon: Don't cross the streams.
Peter: Why?
Egon: It would be bad.
Peter: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, 'bad?'
Egon: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Ray: Total protonic reversal.
Peter: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Rowan: The dead will return to pester the living.
Erin: Pester, that doesn't sound so bad.
Rowan: They will pester the living with torture, death, and carnage.
Erin: Okay, I was using a different definition of "pester."

"Is that a monkey?"
Soldier, Kong: Skull Island

Mills: We just got taken down by a monkey the size of a building!
Cole: Yeah. That was an unconventional encounter.
Mills: Is that all your brain is telling you right now?
Cole: [shrugs] There was no tactical precedents. We did the best we could in the situation.

"If we don't get out now, they'll come up here and tear us all to pieces. And that is really going to exacerbate things for everyone."


"To call it an understatement would be an understatement."
Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation

"Not even Spock had stayed aboard for that — he found breathing vacuum for any length of time to be aesthetically unpleasant."

"The Joker is a tricky foe. His jokes are never funny. Sometimes they hurt people."
Catherine Hapka, I Am Batman

"Collecting customs duties in America had not been one of Britain's glorious successes in the eighteenth century."
Robert Middlekauf, The Glorious Cause: the American Revolution 1763-1789

Live-Action TV

"You know, there are certain flaws in this movie."

Enemy Agent: You killed two of my men.
Hetty: It was an overreaction.

"My parents died... in a fire."

Kryten: You're good friends with the Hitlers?!
Future Kryten: It's just a social thing; we don't talk about his work. We just have a few laughs, play canasta and enjoy some mixed doubles with the Goerings.
Kryten: I don't believe what I'm hearing!
Future Rimmer: Look, you have to understand. We travel back and forth throughout the whole of history, and naturally we want to sample the best of everything. It's just a bit unfortunate that the finest things tend to be in the possession of people you would judge to be a bit dodgy.
Kryten: Hermann Goering is "a bit dodgy"?!
Red Dwarf, "Out of Time"


Ford: I rescued you from the Earth.
Arthur: And what's happened to the Earth?
Ford: It's been demolished.
Arthur: Has it.
Ford: Yes. It just boiled away into space.
Arthur: Look, I'm a bit upset about that.

Tabletop Games

"Stalin's policies, including the murder of millions of his fellow countrymen, were not universally beloved."
Gurps, "Cliffhangers"

Video Games

"You killed my mom! You're not very nice!"
Goten to Super Buu, Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Atton: I'm guessing that Republic ship that just docked isn't carrying friends of yours.
Kreia: I hope your talent for understatement is offset by your skill with a blaster. If not, then I fear our time together will be short indeed.

"Hi! I'm Whitney! Everyone was into Pokémon, so I got into it too! Pokémon are super-cute! You want to battle? I'm warning you—I'm good!"

Dave: Some of the government... Some of it is pretty corrupt.
[Michael, Trevor, and Franklin all do the Monkey Morality Pose, complete with silent "are you fucking kidding me?"]

Web Comics

Xykon: What happened?
Redcloak: Yeah, uh we had a small problem with the Gate.
Xykon: The forest is on fire.
Redcloak: I just said we had a small problem! Geez!

"[A] District Attorney in Texas is on trial for building himself a sweet rig on the county dime. The machine in question sports 'two hard drives, seven fans, high-end video and audio cards, a wireless Internet connection and cables that glow under ultraviolet light.'... 'I would not configure a backup computer in that way,' says Mr. Gregg, FBI senior forensic examiner and reigning Understatement King."
Tycho Brahe, commentary on The Case of Texas vs. KryoLord

Raven: Grace killed Damien!? We're talking about the girl who ran out of my classroom crying after reading about World War II!
Noah: World War II was kind of a bummer...

Web Original

"In topology there's a longer kind of line, very appropriately yet confusing called the 'Long Line'. The Long Line is so long that you can't stretch a finite line segment to be a long line, even if you stretch it infinitely long. And likewise, the Long Line is not contractible, like here's one part of the Long Line and here's another but even if you grab them and stretch them twords each other forever you can never get them from here to there. Infinite stretching isn't enough, so these points are part of the same line but they kinda don't connect to eachother. That's how long the Long Line is, I mean it's like really long."
Vihart, Creator/Vihart

"She was so into hunting that she began hunting anything that moved (travelers, sheperds, villagers, you know). Now, the inhabitants of her kingdom weren't exactly peachy-keen about this..."
— Entry on Harpalyce, here

Emperor: So anyway, these Tyranids come from the eastern fringe of the galaxy in large bugflesh ships and chomp the fuck out of everything they see, yes?
Custodekitty: Correct my lord.
Emperor: And every encounter recorded with them describes them as insect-like creatures with biological weaponry and that they are countless in number, right?
Custodekitty: Yes that is right my lord. They come in endless streams too numerous to count with beasts both minuscule and massive, all killing in their unique, painful ways!
Emperor: Has anyone ever considered fucking bugspray?
Custodekitty: Well my lord, if it’s a Biochemical weapon you’re referring to I can say that it’s not of much use. Regenerative power is something the species seem to have picked up on and many of them have extremely advanced immune systems so not much will work. In addition, the race is very adaptable and if we were to concoct a poison against them and used it, they would most likely gain a resistance to it soon after!
Emperor: That is quite the fucking pickle.

Western Animation

"Adolf Hitler was a very naughty man."
Educational Video, South Park

Homer: Look, I know I screwed up. This is big.


"The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage."
Emperor Hirohito's 'Jewel Voice Broadcast', August 1945

Major-General Robert H Soule, US Army: How are the Glosters doing?
Brigadier Thomas Brodie, British Army: A bit sticky, things are pretty sticky down there.
— Said whilst 650 British soldiers from the 1st Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment were deployed on a crossing on the Imjin River during the Korean war and fighting over 10,000 Chinese troops.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress."
Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9, shortly after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash.

"The above proposition is occasionally useful."
A.N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russell, Principia Mathematica, on their proof that 1 + 1 = 2.

[loud explosion is faintly heard over background static]
Lovell: [as if reporting an odd sensor reading] Okay, uh, Houston? [...] I believe we've had a problem here.
[several seconds of silence]
Mission Control: This is Houston, say again please.
Lovell: Houston, we've had a problem.
James A. Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13note 


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