This is definitely not the page for Suspiciously Specific Denials on live-action TV.
- In 2009, British illusionist Derren Brown successfully predicted the UK lottery numbers (a 1-in-14,000,000 chance), and on the follow-up show he offered three possible explanations: a) he faked a lottery ticket; b) he genuinely predicted the results, or; c) he fixed the draw. He immediately dismissed a), and spent most of the episode on b). At the very end of the episode, he denied c) in a hilariously specific way, even going so far as to show the weighted balls that they didn't get made, concluding that if he had done it that way, which he didn't, he wouldn't admit to it. The actual answer, however, is probably d) split screen to hide the person putting the balls with the "predicted" result into the stand as they're drawn. They did try to hide it with some artificial camera shakes (as most split screen needs a static camera), but the fact that Derren staying well away from the stand during the draw is a big hint, and people going through it frame by frame noticed one of the balls moving upwards as the pre-recorded side of the split screen disappeared, as on the live stand one of the balls wasn't placed correctly.
- Smith Comma John is a human American presidential candidate, and not an advance scout for the Barconians, a race of superintelligent amphibians. Who would say such a thing?
- 3rd Rock from the Sun:
- From an episode in which Dick is distraught because Mary once posed nude:Dick: This is about someone I'm deeply involved with.
Pitman: Dr. Albright?
Dick: How did you know? Have you seen the pictures?
Bug: What? Pictures of Dr. Albright?
Dick: There are no naked pictures!
- Harry:Harry: Also we're not aliens from a spiral galaxy millions of light years away. (gets shoved by Dick) What? I said not!
- Harry assures the rest of the aliens that he definitely didn't lose their mission statement by leaving it on the bus.
- Nina explains the concept of social climbing:Nina: You know, you try to fit in with a group of people by pretending you're just like them. You talk like them, you act like them until they think you're one of them. You know what that's like.
Dick: [panicked] No! No, I don't! And neither does Tommy, Sally, and Harry! No! We're not social climbers; we're humans!
- When the Solomons get audited by the IRS, they worry that their lack of paperwork will expose them as aliens:IRS Agent: Here on Schedule E —
Dick: [wistfully] Schedule E. Yeah, I remember the first time I saw Schedule E. It was around 1992. I was right here on Earth, as carbon-based as the next guy.
- From an episode in which Dick is distraught because Mary once posed nude:
- In an episode of 8 Simple Rules, Bridget and Kerry are basically running away from home because they are mad at their mother. They call Kyle, who was unceremoniously dropped off at a sandwich place earlier and made his way to their house. He is told by their mother not to let them know he is with her. He answers the phone, saying something along the lines of "Hi Kerry. I am alone at home and we are not looking for you."
- In Season 6 of 24, Russian Consul Markov insists he doesn't know where Dmitri Gredenko is.
- 30 Rock
- Quoth Jack, when Liz asked who the man she just had a one night stand with was: "He certainly wasn't a Swiss prostitute that Martha Stewart recommended to me."
- It's repeated several times in one episode that Kim Jong-Il is alive, and "definitely not dead". Also that after scoring 200 points at a basketball game, he retired to spend time in a hot tub with men he's "definitely just friends with".Liz: Guess who just died?
Jenna: Jenny McCarthy? But who could have been slowly poisoning her? Was she poisoned? I have no way of knowing as I'm just hearing about it now.
- Tracy is being followed around by a camera crew for a new show. Liz takes the opportunity to force him to agree to do stuff he normally doesn't so he won't look bad on camera. After she makes him agree to do a DVD commentary after doing a two-hour wardrobe fitting, Liz says she hoped he didn't have plans and Tracy says "No. I wasn't gonna buy two blimps and crash them into each other to see what sound they made".
- Jenna finds out that the new cast member can sing very well, and starts bleeding from her nose.Jenna: It's because I'm happy for you. It's definitely not a rage stroke.
- Angel, from the episode "She":Girl: Nice sweater. Handknit?
Wesley: Certainly not by me!
- From "In the Dark":Doyle: Manny the Pig said he didn't know anything about a vampire called Spike.
Doyle: So he said that before I mentioned anything about Spike.
- From "Bachelor Party":Harry: Richard said having the former husband present was some sort of tradition. I was just wondering...
Aunt: Well, they're certainly not going to eat your ex-husband's brains (long pause) for instance.
- From "In the Dark":
- Arrested Development:
- Lucille to Michael:Lucille: I don't know where the flight records are!
Michael: You know Mom, it would be best to deny that after I asked.
- Michael finds himself reassuring a woman he's just met that he isn't going to track her down and kill her in the style of Jack the Ripper. While this is true, that he brought it up at all isn't comforting.
- Michael did not kill Kitty and dump her in the harbor, but he probably shouldn't have volunteered that scenario. (It turns out the police knew all along that she wasn't dead anyway.)
- For a while, Michael would say "and I'm okay with that" anytime someone mentioned his brother's relationship with a specific girl.
- Lucille to Michael:
- At one point on Arrow, Oliver and Felicity have to swing across an elevator shaft together.
- In The A-Team episode "Holiday in the Hills", the plane the team is in crashes somewhere on North Carolina, and they have to pretend they're still in Guatemala (where they came from) so that B.A. doesn't realize they put him on a plane.B.A.: It doesn't look like Guatemala to me!
Murdock: Well, it ain't South Carolina.
- Babylon 5:
- Invoked when Sheridan wants the other races to allow the White Star fleet to patrol their borders and head off conflicts. He tries to talk them into it, and is rebuffed. So he changes tactics, and makes Ivanova state on the Voice of the Resistance that, at a specific time, in a specific region of space, absolutely nothing happened. This is perfectly true — at that time, in that region, nothing at all happened — but the Suspiciously Specific Denial plus a White Star shooting at asteroids at another time makes the other races think he's covering something up. A series of similar ploys convinces them that Sheridan is hiding the existence of some terrible threat, and they demand protection by the White Stars.
- Played straight in the RPG background material: to make clear how the Blue Berets unit of Earthforce is secret, their description start with "The Blue Berets do not exist. True, the Russian Consortium and several other militaries and intelligence services once employed telepaths, but that was over a century ago, before the Psi Corps was founded. Of course, now the Psi Corps controls and regulates all telepaths and ensures they are protected and not used in any military operations. There is no unit of rogue telepaths, nor are there descendants of those original military telepaths who have never found their way into a Corps testing centre", immediately followed by the explanation of their job as the counter against a possible Psi Corps rebellion (that actually happened).
- In an episode of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck leaves a helpless pilot on a frozen moon with a Cylon base and a weapon capable to destroy Galactica. To stop this, the crew devises a plan in which the computer must find an adequate team for the rough terrain. Starbuck goes in the computer room, tricks the only tech there to leave him alone with the machine, and inserts his name there, hoping that as he's not the volunteering type, nobody will ever guess. When confronted that he does not belong there, having no low-temperature survival skills, the following dialog occurs:Boomer: Why don't you just tell the commander you're not qualified for this mission?
Starbuck: You talk like I programmed that computer myself.
- The Big Bang Theory:
- The episode "The Griffin Equivalency" shows Raj answering his parents video chat with, "Hello mommy and daddy, good to see you. I'm not drunk."
- In The Pork Chop Indeterminacy:Penny:: Sheldon's sister's pretty cute.
Leonard: I wasn't staring!
- Sheldon defends his mental status with this gem: "I'm not insane. My mother had me tested."
- In the episode "The Spaghetti Catalyst", Sheldon is told that he cannot hang out with Penny since she's Leonard's ex. Trying to hide the fact that he has already made dinner plans with her, he sits down to eat with the guys. When asked if he wants the last dumpling, he thus says: "Certainly. It's not like I have to moderate my food intake because I'm planning on eating again very shortly."
- In "The Desperation Emanation", Bernadette brings up a pact she made with her coworkers after a petri dish of genetically modified super-virus went missing.Bernadette: That day we made a pinky swear never to admit we crossed Ebola with the common cold.
Howard: Why the hell would you cross Ebola with the common cold?
Bernadette: We never did. That would be a terrible, terrible thing.
- In "The Holographic Excitation", Stuart says too much when he talks to a cute woman dressed like a Hot Witch at his and Raj's Halloween party. She compliments their monster food as it looks fun.Stuart: I like to think of fun things like that. Because I'm fun. I'm not clinically depressed at all.
- Penny to Sheldon: "Congratulations for your award, Sheldon! I have brought you a cake from the restaurant. To celebrate, not because someone has sneezed at it..."
- When Amy is trying to cure Sheldon's OCD:Amy: How does that make you feel?
Sheldon: Okay, like any normal person. Not like I want to rip my own face off and tear it into tiny pieces of Sheldon's-face confetti.
- Blackadder has several examples:
- In Blackadder Goes Forth, Pvt Baldrick's tendency to take his orders completely literally leads to this and a whole lot of trouble for his superior.Cpt Blackadder: (after having discovered he will face a firing squad for shooting dead a carrier pigeon) If anyone asks, say we did not get any messages, and I definitely did not eat this delicious plump breasted pigeon.
(later, when General Melchett has arrived to question why Blackadder and his men have not joined the push)
Pvt. Baldrick: We did not get any messages, and Captain Blackadder definitely did not eat this delicious plump breasted pigeon.
Gen. Melchett: YOU SHOT MY SPECKLED JIM? AAAHHHHHHHH!!!
- In The Black Adder, Prince Edmund visits a peasant village wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise and finds two stakes with the ashes of the local wise woman and her cat at their feet.Prince Edmund: Does anyone know what happened here?
Old Peasant: (raises his hand) No! I don't!
Peasant Youth: Me neither. I was on the other side of town when we burned her.
- In the very first episode, Edmund accidentally kills Richard III. When he's asked how does he know he's dead, he says: "Errr, well, I wouldn't know, really. I was... nowhere near him at the time. I... I just... heard from someone that he'd, er... er... I mean, I don't even know where he was killed. I was completely on the opposite side of the field. I was nowhere near the cottage. Not that it was a cottage — it was a river. But, then, I wouldn't know, of course, because I wasn't there."
- In Blackadder Goes Forth, Pvt Baldrick's tendency to take his orders completely literally leads to this and a whole lot of trouble for his superior.
- Boy Meets World: When Morgan runs into the room where Cory and Shawn are making illegal bets, Cory yelps that he's "not doing anything illegal!"
- In one of the few surviving clips from the pre-Goodies show Broaden Your Mind, Dr. Findish describes a "little-known, but very nasty disease":Turgonitis is just one of the many new and exciting diseases developed by us here at the British Institute Of Applied Science And Technology And Not Germ Warfare.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Xander engages in this more than once, such as when he gets drafted into being the wheelman for a zombie gang:Willow: What are you doing here?
Xander: Nothing. Certainly not crime!
- Anya in the episode "Sleeper", when Spike catches her snooping through his room while trying to find proof that Spike has been killing people. After being caught, Anya tries to cover it up by seducing him.Anya: Why else would I be here? I mean, it's not like I'm snooping around looking for proof that you're some sort of wacked-out Serial Killer.
- Anya when she tries to convince the Watchers that she's certainly not a demon, and does a suspiciously specific assurance:Quentin: Excuse me miss? Do you work here?
Anya: Yes I do. Ever since I moved here from South-Eastern Indiana where I was raised both by a mother and a father!
Anya: (in a later interview) Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins, twenty years old. Born on the fourth of July, and don't think there weren't jokes about that my whole life, mister, 'cause there were. "Who's our little patriot?" they'd say, when I was younger, and therefore smaller and shorter than I am now.
Watcher: (taking notes) So, you spell it A-N-Y-A, yes?
Anya: (sheepishly) Yes.
Watcher: Fine, now we can get to the questions.
- When Buffy thinks Angel had read her diary, she is sure to mention that "hunk" could have any number of meaning, that "penetrating" eyes don't mean what he thinks, and "A" certainly doesn't stand for "Angel".
- Giles in awkward British mode is quite susceptible to this.Giles: [greeting Buffy after a mauling has occurred the previous night] It's good to see you! Um... no need to panic.
Oz: Just a thought... Poker: not your game.
- There's the Sunnydale news, which is very clear on the fact that "Mayhem Caused: Monsters Definitely Not Involved". That was in the Musical Episode, to be clear.
- Xander engages in this more than once, such as when he gets drafted into being the wheelman for a zombie gang:
- Seen on a police reality show Campus P.D.. From a suspiciously acting guy who was asked mundane questions by the cops. He must have been a brilliant mastermind:Cop: Sir, what are you doing in this neighbourhood?
Man: What are you talking about? Black people don't go robbing other black people!
- Castle, "The Double Down":Suspect: You're not accusing me of killing my wife again, are you?
Beckett: I can assure you we are 100% certain you did not kill Ashley. note
- In "The Final Nail", the very first thing a suspect says when he's caught trying to run from the cops: "Yo, if this is about that damn rich lady, I don't know nothin'!"
- Chuck has a variation: Chuck is trying to get a message to Casey in front of his family at Thanksgiving dinner. His sister asks him to say what he's thankful for.Chuck: I'm thankful that Bryce Larkin is dead and is not in my room making out with my girlfriend.
(Casey excuses himself from the table)
Ellie: Wow, Chuck, that was... dark.
Captain Awesome: And specific.
- The Colbert Report:
- Played for laughs on the January 12, 2012 episode. Stephen Colbert signed over Colbert Super PAC to Jon Stewart, who promptly renamed it "Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC".
- "It's going to take a few more days for my team of not 8-year-old Malaysian child laborers to sort through your meaningful suggestions."
- When Colbert launched a political campaign he was legally required to not run the PAC. And Stewart can not legally coordinate with Colbert on it. Colbert did mention that legally a candidate may talk to his super PAC through the media and the super PAC can listen, just like everybody else. Despite (or because of?) the humor, the Colbert Super PAC is a real political action committee. In a press release, the new PAC president, Jon Stewart, denied that he and Colbert would secretly coordinate their efforts:"Stephen and I have in no way have worked out a series of Morse-code blinks to convey information with each other on our respective shows."
- More recently, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:"If the third thing someone says about you, unprompted, is He is not a racist, youve got a problem. Oh, youd love Jeff. Hes nice, hes good looking. Not a necrophiliac, I can tell you that."
- When Troy and Pierce receive their letters of Valentine's Day, Troy states, "Yeah, they're definitely not fake."
- When the dean lets Señor Chang recruit security, Chang says, "You won't regret this unless I rise up against you. I don't know why I said that."
- In "Critical Film Studies", Troy gets a twofer when he lets his not-so-well-concealed jealousy over Jeff taking Abed out for dinner on his birthday get the better of him. The first time, no one's actually suggesting Troy is jealous. The second, no one's even talking, period.
- From "Analysis of Cork Based Networking", the song/dance that Chang leads at the end of the episode."There's a brand new dance based on an old phrase
It's called the Fat Dog and it will amaze
You've heard this expression your entire life
It's not made up! It's not made up!"
- In "App Development and Condiments", the middle-aged party animal Koogler states that everybody thinks he's cool and "not that old."
- In the series finale, Jeff asks if anyone remembers the Ass Crack Bandit (a Greendale criminal who was treated like a serial killer and never caught), and Annie starts rambling about how of course they haven't forgotten about him, and he could have been anyone. Jeff is the only one who seems to notice the implications.
- Corner Gas:
- In one episode, Oscar buys an outboard motor from Hank using money he "borrowed" from Emma. So Emma decides to go after Hank and we get this little gem:Emma: We need to talk.
Hank: No, no we don't. No, talk to Oscar. He's the one that stole the money from your nightstand last Thursday while you were out with the church ladies getting ready for the bake sale, I don't know nothing about it!
- In another episode:Karen: I didn't sleep with Hank!
- In one episode, Oscar buys an outboard motor from Hank using money he "borrowed" from Emma. So Emma decides to go after Hank and we get this little gem:
- In Cracker, Fitz is interviewing a suspect and asks her what her father did. The woman responds that Fitz is talking nonsense and her father certainly never abused her. Fitz replies that he only meant what did her father do as a job.
- From an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:Nathaniel: Guys, where's Paula? She's AWOL again.
Jim: I don't know.
Tim: She's not at the county jail doing pro bono work for inmates while she's on the clock. [beat] I said she's not!
- When Jon Stewart of The Daily Show caught Brian Williams on Chatroulette, Brian was definitely doing a journalistic report. He wasn't, like, cruising.
- Daredevil (2015): Matt and Karen have a hard time hiding from Foggy that they're dating following their Relationship Upgrade in season 2, and that comes to a head when Matt kisses Karen on the cheek in front of Foggy while they're at the hospital talking to Frank Castle.
- A person caught on Dateline: To Catch a Predator had a letter saying, in essence, that he certainly wasn't there to liquor up or have sex with a minor. In a subsequent interview segment, a police officer told Chris Hansen that these "alibi letters" are a frequent occurrence.
- The Day Today did this absolutely brilliantly by informing the British public that if the Prime Minister were to die, they'd be the first to break the news. At least once every 5 minutes.
- In an episode of A Different World, a distraught Whitley confides in her friend Kim that her fiancé Dwayne has cheated on her. As they sit in the cafeteria, Whitley points out various women, wondering if she's the one. Kim tries to reassure and placate her but finally gets fed up and screams, "IT'S NOT HER!". Whitley suddenly wonders how Kim can be so sure—as it turns out, Kim saw Dwayne with the other woman but was giving him the chance to confess to Whitley.
- Doctor Who:
- "The Macra Terror":This is an emergency! Control must be believed and obeyed! No-one in the colony believes in Macra! There is no such thing as Macra! Macra do not exist! There are no Macra!
- Inverted in "Remembrance of the Daleks", where the Doctor tells Ace to "give me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying."
- Inverted again in "The Doctor Dances", where the Doctor implies that he was responsible for the destruction of the weapons factories of Villengard. And replacing them with a banana grove.
- "Smith and Jones": The Doctor's claim at the end that Martha is not, in essence, a Replacement Goldfish is less than convincing.
- "Daleks in Manhattan": Tallulah definitely didn't have anything to do with the previous star of the revue tripping and breaking her ankle.
- Played straight in "The Unicorn and the Wasp". The Doctor and Agatha Christie question everyone on where they were at the time of the murder. We hear Roger stress how utterly, completely alone he was over a flashback of him holding hands with his footman. "Absolutely alone. Completely. All of the time. I wandered, lonely, as the proverbial cloud. There was no one else with me. Not at all."
- On a number of occasions in the new series, usually in episodes written by Steven Moffat, the Doctor has claimed that he's "fine" or "alright" after a traumatic event. In "Forest of the Dead", that led to:Donna: Is "alright" special Time Lord code for "really not alright at all"?
- "Demons of the Punjab": While getting henna, the Thirteenth Doctor casually mentions her Gender Bender in front of two locals, Umbreen and her mother, who are slightly disturbed by the idea (it's 1947)
The Doctor: This is the best thing ever. Never did this when I was a man.
[Umbreen and her mother look disturbed]
Yaz: Doctor. You and your jokes!
The Doctor: Yeah, that's right. My references to body and gender regeneration are all in jest. I'm such a comedian.
- "The Macra Terror":
- In one episode of The Donna Reed Show, Jeff greets an order to "come over here" with "I didn't do it, and anyway it was an accident!"
- The Drew Carey Show:Kate: What are you doing here?
Lewis: Well, I'm not freezing my penis, that's for sure!
- The Ellen Show: Ellen has the "Most Certainly Not Rigged" Wheel that can give out a million dollars. It certainly isn't rigged.
- In the Eureka episode "Welcome Back, Carter", Carter's been fired, so he isn't allowed to know anything about classified information such as the specialties of particular Global Dynamics personnel. Since he's trying to solve a mystery anyway, Allison eventually breaks down and says she can't tell him that the scientist he's looking for is Dr. Leonardo, nor that Dr. Leonardo has a lab on South Goddard Street. "I would be breaking about 37 federal laws if I told you that."
- Family Matters:Carl: ...what are you all so on edge about?
Eddie: There's nothing wrong with the car!
- Mal successfully inverts this to deflect suspicion. When an Alliance officer boards and asks the whereabouts of a brother and sister, Mal volunteers, "We don't have any children on board." "I never said they were children," which both of them already knew, since the brother and sister in question are Simon and River.
- Inara denies being attracted to Mal a little too vigorously after kissing Mal and getting a dose of the drug that knocked him out in episode "Our Mrs Reynolds".
- A running gag in Fist of Fun. Richard Herring would say something; Stewart Lee would point out it was nonsense, ending with a rhetorical reducto ad absurdum such as "Or do you want to swim in raw sewage?" Richard would then reply "Honestly, if I wanted to swim in sewage then I'd..." and proceed to outline a highly detailed plan for breaking into his local sewage plant during the guard's teabreak.
- They also have a sketch about ethical vampires, who wait for people to accidentally cut themselves.Rich But what happens if none of your friends have cut themselves?
Vampire We have to bend the rules a bit, really... we'll hang about near local accident black spots and hope for the best. We don't try and cause accidents, though, you know, putting oil on the road and leaping out in black capes, or anything. Oh no.
- They also have a sketch about ethical vampires, who wait for people to accidentally cut themselves.
- A mainstay throughout the Frasier's run.
Frasier: I refuse to squint through Pagliacci while you're trying to watch The Magic Flute!
- Roz swears that she did not use Frasier's opera glasses to peep on a muscular neighbor, which leads to this hilarious pun from Frasier:
- Roz: "Going to a wedding with your boss is like going to the prom with your brother." Frasier: "Niles and I did NOT go to the prom together!"
- Often, while the Cranes are talking about something in the apartment, Daphne tosses out her own opinions, speculations and stories while going about her duty... a lot of which give the impression that this happened in her childhood. Sometimes she even finishes with a line like "Oh, I miss <insert family member>."
- Daphne apparently picked up that trait from her dad. When Niles travels to England to get Mr. Moon to come over to America and walk his daughter down the aisle, he repeatedly offers conditions using this trope: "I couldn't POSSIBLY have you pay for a luxury suite in a five-star hotel!" Niles begrudgingly agrees to all of them.
- In Fresh Meat, Vod did not throw a human head in the garbage. It just has the size and shape and weight of a human head, but it's not a human head. It's the head of a wax sculpture of Russell Brand.
- One episode has several of these, related to why Joey is napping at Monica's, not at his:"[The duck] did not get sick somewhere in there, and it was immediately found and properly cleaned up."
"[The couch] is not one of the places the duck got sick."
"[The duck] did not eat your face cream..."
- When Monica and Chandler hook up, and want to keep it as a secret:Joey: Have you seen Monica?
Chandler: I'm not seeing Monica!
- When Emily calls from England when Ross is not meant to be around Rachel because of a promise he made to Emily, Joey announces that Rachel is definitely not here, which Emily miraculously believes and responds 'I should think not. Ross knows better than that.'
- Rachel's friend from college (Winona Ryder): "I'm not in love with you. I don't hear coconuts knocking together. I don't picture your face when I make love to my boyfriend.
- Chandler when Joey interrupts him trying to pick the lock on Monica's "secret closet".Chandler: I wasn't trying to open your closet, I wasn't trying to open your closet, I swear!
Joey:...Wow. Monica runs a pretty tight ship around here, doesn't she?
- One episode has several of these, related to why Joey is napping at Monica's, not at his:
- Fuller House: in the episode Secrets, Lies and Firetrucks, Fernando did not just literally drop innote .
- Sugar Motta's daddy is not in the Mafia.
- Coach Sylvester most definitely did not tell Brittany to record the New Directions' rehearsal.Will: Brittany, what are you doing?
Brittany: [puts down phone] Coach Sylvester did not tell me to do this.
- The Good Place:
- Eleanor cannot think of a single truly good act from her life on Earth.Eleanor: Look, I might not have been a saint, but it's not like I killed anybody. Wasn't an arsonist. I never found a wallet outside of an IHOP and thought about returning it but saw the owner lived out of state so just took the cash and dropped the wallet back on the ground.
Chidi: Okay, that's really specific, and that makes me think that you definitely did do that.
- Eleanor does this a lot. She even does it once to Janet, an information delivery system who knows literally everything.Eleanor: Janet, can I speak to you alone for a second? [they move aside] Okay, look. When you said you were sad about Jason and I suggested "Hey, find a rebound guy", it's 'cause I thought it was some sort of schoolgirl crush, like just some guy you made out with a couple of times in the walk-in freezer of a Bruegger's Bagels. Not based on a real example.
Janet: Yes. It is. His name was Marcus Bixburger.
Eleanor: Marcus? I always called him Ben.
- It's also infectious.Michael: The best part is, none of this is suspicious! [crazed giggle]
- Eleanor cannot think of a single truly good act from her life on Earth.
- The Good Wife has Peter inadvertently admit an affair.Peter: I'm not sleeping with her now.
- In Green Wing, this is the only kind of denial Dr. Alan Statham seems to know how to make.
- For instance:Alan: You're probably thinking that in some bizarre way that my playing the recorder has caused, erm, an expansion down below.
Boyce: I wasn't thinking that, but I am now.
- Subverted when a reporter finds him checking out a dead body (it's that kind of show) and Alan just can't come up with a denial at all.Alan: Erm... you may be thinking that I am comparing my penis to that of a corpse. (awkward pause, walks off)
- Played straight again:Alan: I DIDN'T KILL HIM! [everyone in the waiting room stops and stares at him] ... said the man... in the novel... about killing people. NOT DWARVES!
- For instance:
- Have I Got News for You discussing Sir Alan Sugar.Daisy McAndrew: People say he's a bit pleased with himself and he's a bit of a git.
Adrian Childs: I have never seen him stroking his nipples 'though.
- Home Improvement:Jill: I don't like that look. What's going on?
Randy: Dad's not doing anything.
Jill: What exactly is Dad not doing?
Brad: He's not rewiring the vacuum.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- Ted lets out something embarrassing:Robin: Who gets trapped under a fake boulder at the mall?
Ted: Not me in Ohio when I was nine, that's for sure.
- Marshall does that every time when he has to lie.Ted: I'm going blond.
Marshall: That is not the outcome we were hoping for.
- When Ted asks how Barney's company plans to move current residents out of a building they're demolishing, Barney blabs that they will use snakes. This becomes a Running Gag throughout that episode, with Ted employing it himself when he switches sides on the issue of knocking the building down.Barney: (muttering) Snakes.
Ted: Did you just s-
Barney: I do not recall saying snakes.
Ted: -ay snakes?
- Marshall gives away to Ted what kind of an intervention the gang planned for him:Ted: Were you guys planning an intervention for me? What was it for? The Crocs? The hair product?
Marshall: Not Stella.
- In Barney's video resume, the singer in the recording booth has his eyes blacked out and a label reading "Not Barney";This isn't Barney Stinson singing this song! That would be really lame!
- From "Wait For It", after Robin tells Ted that he's "bigger" than her hunky rebound guy:Future!Ted: Kids, I can't remember exactly what helped me get through the whole Robin-Gael incident. I'm sure that it was something profound and meaningful and not at all macho and petty.
- Ted lets out something embarrassing:
- A sketch in John Cleese's How to Irritate People has two airline pilots mischievously causing trouble with random denials. "There is no cause for alarm. The wings are not on fire."
- "Well hello, ladies; we were not just playing with a hand laser from Galaxy Wars; won't you come in?"
- In iPsycho when Nora is confronted by Gibby she says "There's no one in my basement."
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
- In episode "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties", Frank is roped into organizing a beauty pageant for preteens. He spends the whole performance assuring his audience that he is categorically not attracted to the little girls. At all. And that's the way it is.
- The guy Frank arranged the pageant with was arrested for paedophilia, so while Frank is actually telling the truth in an attempt to distance himself from the other organizer, it very definitely comes off as this.
- In "The Gang Saves The Day," Dee has a fantasy about being a famous actress married to Josh Groban. During her fantasy, Josh Groban repeatedly stresses that Dee is beautiful, but not like a bird, like a beautiful woman, nothing like a bird.
- In Just Shoot Me!, Finch is trying to encourage his dad (a retired firefighter) to press on and uses his dad's heroism at the old lumber mill fire as an example.Dad: What the hell were you doing at the lumber mill?
Finch: I wasn't looking at porn and shooting bottle rockets, if that's what you mean.
- In Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:
- In discussing the right to remove embarrassing links from internet searches, John plays a clip of one news commentator citing (paraphrased) "running over a squirrel on a bike while naked and drunk" as something one might want removed. John concludes that the commentator must have done this in his youth, as it is too bizarrely specific not to have been something he is personally familiar with.
- In another episode, he points to the Miss America Organization's phone line stating that they are the "world's largest provider of scholarships for women" as an example of this, comparing it to "Walter White saying 'Hello and welcome to this regular carwash that's definitely not laundering money from our meth lab.'"
- The Late Late Show had a version of the Doctor Who song with lyrics that was performed for the audience but pulled from broadcast at the last minute because the rights hadn't cleared.Craig Ferguson: I sure hope it doesn't leak onto the internet!
- The League of Gentlemen. "We didn't burn him!" This being announced to a police officer investigating a missing person. While he was walking out the door.
- In The Librarians 2014 "...And the Hidden Sanctuary", Cassandra, trying to impart a "Reading Is Cool" Aesop, tells a kid that H. G. Wells invented the time machine. "And by invented, I don't mean he actually invented one and ninjas stole it and then it exploded. That didn't happen." This is a Call-Back to the And the Adventure Continues ending of the original The Librarian. She also fails to mention that the explosion threw Flynn's original Guardian Nicole 500 years into the past. After Flynn didn't return for her (he thought she was dead), she grew bitter, made herself immortal, and resolved to destroy the Library.
- Magnificent Century: Balı Bey wasn't following her.Armin: You are you following me?
Balı Bey: Not a bit. Why would I follow? I'm not following.
- On the Mama's Family episode "Child's Play", the kid they are babysitting, Eugene (who, by the way, is the son of the Reverend at their church) sits down to dinner with the Harper family. Thelma proceeds to say grace with her eyes open, because Eugene had caused more than a little damage around the house prior to dinner. He nitpicks enough to get Thelma to say the grace with her eyes closed, at which point he puts some hot sauce in the stew. When everyone gets up and starts running for water, this little exchange happens:Thelma: (suspicious tone) Eugene...?
Eugene: (hastily) I didn't put anything in that stew!
- One episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show has Phyllis worried about her brother and Rhoda spending a lot of time together. She reasons that saying anything to dissuade them will probably just bring them closer together. To prevent that from happening she resolves to be "passive, even kindly," and when Rhoda walks into the room a moment later...Phyllis: "Rhoda...I want you to know, dear...that I am not sick to my stomach over you and Ben."
- Men*Doll ~Ikemen Idol~:
- Riku to Kai:Riku: Kai!
Kuu: We finally found you.
Kai: I wasn't thinking that ray is cute, not at all!
- In another scene:Gangster: Hey, have you seen a girl wearing some crazy clothes?
Riku: We haven't, have we?
Kai: I haven't seen a girl wearing frilly clothes, no. Have you?
Kuu: I haven't seen a girl wearing pink, no.
- Riku to Kai:
- The Middle:
- Inverted in the fourth season episode "Dollar Days". Frankie, after a fruitless day of job interviews, asks her kids for one word to describe her. They offer "lazy", "angry" and "tired", prompting Mike to defend her:Mike: The reason your mother is tired, lazy and irritable is because of you kids.
Frankie: No one ... said ... irritable (walks offscreen).
- Sue suspiciously denies her secret crush on Derrick Glossner in "Sleepless in Orson".
- Inverted in the fourth season episode "Dollar Days". Frankie, after a fruitless day of job interviews, asks her kids for one word to describe her. They offer "lazy", "angry" and "tired", prompting Mike to defend her:
- The Middleman:The Middleman: I'm more like an independent contractor.
Wendy:' What's that mean? You build strip malls? You kill people? What?
The Middleman: I never build strip malls... I solve exotic problems.
- Lampshaded when Alisha greets Simon normally and from her perspective completely out of the blue he answers with:Simon: I'd never do anything to hurt you.
Alisha: Really? Because that makes it sound like you're going to do something to hurt me.
- Played for laughs when Abbey finally meets the owner of a scarf she had been smelling all episode:Abbey: Can I get you a drink? It's okay, I'm not going to drug you and take you to my basement and rape you with a massive strap-on.
- This conversation from early season 2, after Nathan skips his community service work to go to a pub:Shaun the probation worker: Somethin' you wanna tell me?
Nathan: Look, if it's about all the booze going missing from the kitchen, I don't know anything about that!
- Lampshaded when Alisha greets Simon normally and from her perspective completely out of the blue he answers with:
- Mock the Week:Mark Watson: Room to let. No-one's died in it. No-one.
- Modern Family:
- In one episode, Luke's line "I got scared because the cabinet didn't fall down".
- In "The Wow Factor", Cam admits to the camera that he gets his way on the house he and Claire are remodeling by proposing something more lavish than he really wants so she'll settle for the latter, which he calls "Trojan Horsing". Later, he correctly guesses Claire's counterstrategy of drowning her argument in meaningless numbers when she accidentally gives him the quantity "forty-twelve" of something. Claire then accuses him of what he's been doing, producing this exchange.Cam: I can't believe you would accuse me of Trojan-horsing you.
Claire: You actually had a name for it?
- Monty Python's Flying Circus:
- In a sketch about Nazis hiding in England:Landlady: This is Ron Vibbentrop.
Mr Johnson: Oh, not Von Ribbentrop, eh?
"Ron Vibbentrop": (shouting) Nein! Nein! (calms down) Oh. Ha ha. Different other chap. I in Somerset am being born. Von Ribbentrop is born Gotterdammerstrasse 46, Dusseldorf Vest 8... so they say!
- The whole sketch (Nazis hiding in England) is one long suspiciously specific denial from Mr. Hilter, Vibbentrop, and Bimmler.Heinrich Bimmler: I am retired vindow cleaner and pacifist, without doing war crimes.
- In the "Expedition to Lake Pahoe" sketch, the expedition itself was primarily to investigate reports of cannibalism and necrophilia in... The expedition itself was primarily to investigate reports of unusual marine life in the as yet uncharted Lake Pahoe.Sir John Cunningham: May I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up. And, finally, necrophilia is right out.
- From "Cycling Tour":Grip: Come with us, please.
Pither: Oh, who are you?
Bag: Well we're not secret police anyway.
Wallet: That's for sure.
Grip: If anything we are ordinary Soviet citizens with no particular interest in politics.
Bag: None at all. Come with us.
- From the episode "Live from the Grill-O-Mat"John Cleese: Welcome to a new half-hour chat show in which me, vis the man what's talking to you now, and Brooky, to wit my flat-mate — and nothing else, I've got to emphasize that...
- In "Mr. Neutron", Captain Carpenter wears a shirt saying "Nothing to do with FEEBLE" on his back. Also, he continually refers to Teddy Salad as a US Ballet organizer, despite everyone seeming to know he is ex-CIA.
- On "Ethel The Frog", documenting the career of a crime syndicate, Luigi Vercotti is interviewed at his place of business which he insists is a high-class nightclub, and not a cheap clip joint for picking up tarts. The phone rings:Yes, we'll have the watch ready for you at midnight. ...The watch. [under his breath] The Chinese watch! Right, good night! ...Mother.
- Half of the named rules in the Bruces sketch are "No poofters!"
- From "Nudge Nudge":Him: Are you insinuating something?
Norman: No... no... no... yes.
- "The Ant, an Introduction", at the end of a complaint letter:P.S. I have never kissed the editor of the Radio Times.
- In a sketch about Nazis hiding in England:
- In the Murder, She Wrote episode "Simon Says, "Color Me Dead", when Jessica confronts Cash Logan about his being jailed right before Tommy's birth and coming to Cabot Cove directly after his release, he says if he had fought a man for insulting the woman carrying his child and found out that she had died during his term, he wouldn't want the boy to suffer.
- My Family: "Owed To Susan" has this little beauty:Vanessa: I was just passing by. It's a coincidence really. It's not like I looked you up and waited outside for HOURS, watching your every move through the window; [beat] because that would just be plain psychotic.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000:
- Lampshaded in the episode "Manhunt in Space" (from the Rocky Jones, Space Ranger series from the 50s), when one supporting character was identified as a traitor to the Space Rangers, siding with the evil alien queen. At one point, when Rocky says hello to the character, Crow cries out, "I'm not a traitor!" Later, when Rocky leaves, Crow answers, "See ya, Rocky. I'll just sit here and, uh, not be a traitor."
- In The Movie of the series, which riffed on This Island Earth, one of the characters makes an embarrassing reference to "your composer" when speaking of Mozart. Tom Servo promptly breaks in: "Uh, I'm NOT an alien!" Followed minutes later by "And then I ram my ovipositor down your throat and lay my eggs in your chest — but I'm not an alien."
- In the Tormented episode, the protagonist is startled by a door opening moments after allowing his former mistress to fall to her death. Crow imitates his reaction by yelling, "I didn't kill her!"
- My Wife and Kids: After Michael discovers he taped over the video of Kady's first steps by accident and Junior walks into the room.Junior: What are you doing?
Michael: I ain't erasing anything!
- One example from Never Mind the Buzzcocks; Noel Fielding is relating a story about a piece of ginger that looked like a hand.Noel: And I went home... and I did not touch myself with it.
- In Only Fools and Horses, the Trotters are heading to the countryside to poach salmon. When a policeman asks them what they're doing with fishing rods on the roof, Del casually mentions they might do a bit of fishing. "No salmon though", adds Grandad.
- Parodied:Lassiter: Relax, I'm not shooting anybody.
Gus: Why didn't he say anything about knifing people?
- "Earth, Wind, and...Wait for it...", season 3: By Shawn. Shawn gets away with that one—most likely because he's just so weird that the others have learned to tune it out.Conrad: Can you please just tell me why you think it's Dan?
Shawn: Well it's not like I stole his cell phone or anything. 'Cause I mean I don't do that sort of thing. Although I'm sensing someone did; I'll solve that later. No, this, this is just deeply-rooted psychic vibe-age.
- In Rake, Fuzz Greene intentionally invokes this as a sort of indifferent confession.Cleaver Greene: Where's your mother? I know you must have some sort of tracker.
Fuzz Greene: I am deeply offended and I categorically deny that I know both your whereabouts at all times.
- In the Red Dwarf episode "Future Echoes", Lister catches the Cat holding a strainer, standing suspiciously near Lister's tank of robotic fish. The Cat stammers "Uh, uh, um, I... I was just making sure your fish were OK! I wasn't going to eat them!"
- Reno 911! after Weigel and Rizzo get trapped in a trailer:"There's nothing going on between me and Rizzo. Nothing happened in a trailer between the two of us. He has never put his penis inside of me, that I can recall. We have never made out, and he has never, never, fucked me from behind. It seems specific, you're thinking, and it is, but I have a photographic memory."
"So you had sex?"
"Yeah, we did."
- In the April 8 2001 episode of Royal Canadian Air Farce, a Canadian Customs Official asks a man the purpose of his visit to Canada. He replies, "I am not going to blow up the embassy." The same episode has:Sandie Rinaldo: Mr. Martin, are you sure there's nothing bothering you?
Finance Minister Paul Martin: Oh no, no, no. The government doesn't even keep a second set of books.
Paul Martin: (after being told the interview's over) Thank goodness. Our secret is safe.
Sandie Rinaldo: What secret?
Paul Martin: Nothing! No secret! What recession?
- Saturday Night Live:
- The main gag parody of Christine O'Donnell's infamous "I'm not a Witch" ad spot:O Donnell: I promise to fly straight down to Washington — on a plane! — and do exactly what you would do: Not Spells.
- This cold open with the Clintons:
- An example occurs during the "Final Days" sketch with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, respectively:Nixon: You know I'm not a crook, Henry. You know that I'm innocent!
Kissinger: (Looks away) Vell, uh....
Nixon: I am, Henry! I had nothing to do with Watergate, the bugging of Watergate! I had nothing to do with the cover-up! Nothing to do with the break-in of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist's office! Nothing to do with the guy who was killed in Florida!
Kissinger: Vhat guy who vas killed in Florida, Mr. President?
Nixon: You mean you don't know about the....the young Cuban who was run over by the....Never mind, Henry. (Drops to his knees, pulling Kissinger with him) Get down on your knees and pray! Pray with me!
- The main gag parody of Christine O'Donnell's infamous "I'm not a Witch" ad spot:
- J.D. has realized Dr. Cox was using Reverse Psychology, "and I figured it out all by myself, without anyone helping me or explaining it directly to my face or anything."
- From "My American Girl" when Janitor finds Elliot in the Men's Bathroom: "It's not like I came in here and thought these were some kind of new female urinals and then tried them and found them... oddly comfortable."
- Six words: "I don't have gay jungle fever!"
- J.D. about pole dancing:J.D.: Its not like I took pole dancing classes or anything.
- Elliot: "I haven't bought a wedding dress. I mean, I'm not even seeing anyone, so that would be crazy. Even if it was half off".
- Janitor: "I'll tell you what I was not doing. I was not taking a nap on company time in Dr. Kelso's mobile home."
- In the Seinfeld episode "The Reverse Peephole", when Elaine wants to talk to Newman, who has a crush on her:Elaine: Newman, um, I wanted to talk to you about something.
Newman: This isn't about my opening your mail?
Newman: Because I don't, never have, anything I read was already open.
- Sonny with a Chance:Zora: Where is Sonny?
Connie: Well she's definitely not with Chad!
Zora: She's with Chad!
- At the opening of one show of Soul Train, host Don Cornelius comes on to announce that there is a vicious, untrue rumor that he had died of a heart attack after a drug overdose and that he was going to have his lawyers find out where it came from. What is interesting is Cornelius never stated that he didn't do drugs, all he said was the rumor that he had died of a drug overdose was untrue.
- In Soupy Norman, Soupy Norman arrives obviously drunk out of his mind on every occasion. Once, he says I haven't been drinking even though nobody accused him of being drunk (although it is obvious to the viewer, the nature of the show means the characters don't necessarily think he is).
- Sports Night: When Jeremy expresses concern for Casey (because of Casey's bizarre insistence that there is a fly in the studio that nobody else can see, among other things), Casey assures him that everything is fine. Casey then says, "I'm not obsessed with Dana," when Jeremy never even mentioned Dana.
- In Star Trek: Enterprise, T'Pol drops one of these on Commander Tucker in the process of talking him into submitting to a Vulcan relaxation technique. When he asks if it has even been tried on a human, she responds "The risk of paralysis is minimal."
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Oh, it's just Garak. Plain, simple Garak" (in response to Bashir's probing questions). If there are two words that should never, ever be used to describe Garak, it's "plain" and "simple".
- In Supergirl (2015) episode Crisis on Earth-X:
- When the titular heroine's sister shows up nearly late to the wedding, Alex claims she was out "jogging... fully clothed." Then Sara arrives and foregoes any pretense about the fact that she and Alex had sex.
- The awkward waitress at the wedding reception (later revealed to be Barry and Iriss future daughter Nora West-Allen) says shes just really happy to be there. At a wedding, any wedding. Not specifically Barry and Iriss, of course.
- In the episode "The Monster At The End Of This Book", Castiel suggests Dean a way of thwarting Lilith this way.
- In "The Devil You Know", when a nurse overhears Dean and Sam mentioning statues crying, Dean reassures the nurse that she heard wrong, because only crazy people would say something like that. And they're not crazy. Obviously. *cough*
- "Swap Meat" begins with Sam showing his driver's license to the bartender and saying, "I am 26 as you can see from my license." He's actually a 17 year old who's stolen Sam's body.
- "Yellow Fever":Dean: [referring to their fake IDs] Those are real. Obviously. I mean, who would pretend to be an FBI agent, huh? That's just nutty.
- In Vanuatu, one episode had the women's tribe faced with a general accusation that not enough work was being done. Mia, the one contestant who did absolutely nothing, immediately protested that she specifically was doing plenty.
- In one episode of Guatemala, Judd earns a clue to the location of the hidden immunity idol, essentially telling him that it's not on the ground. So what does he tell the others?Judd: That thing is definitely, by far, on the ground.
- In the That '70s Show episode "Moon Over Point Place", when Jackie buys a paper bag of (what is strongly implied to be) marijuana in order to prove to Hyde that she's not just some preppy cheerleader. Unfortunately for her, a cop shows up while they're arguing.Cop: Everything all right here?
Hyde: We're fine, officer. Right, Jackie?
Jackie: There's nothing in the bag!
- Fez is weirdly fond of this trope. In a classic example, he walks in on Hyde and Jackie making out in the begining of season 5, who manage to hide it in the last minute. Hilarity Ensues.Fez: What is going on here? You guys look sweaty and guilty. (Hyde and Jackie stare at him looking sweaty and guilty)
Fez: Have you been eating my candy?!
Jackie: No. What candy?
Fez: Nothing. There is no candy. And I have no candy hidden in the garage. (pause) I'll be at the garage...
- Fez is weirdly fond of this trope. In a classic example, he walks in on Hyde and Jackie making out in the begining of season 5, who manage to hide it in the last minute. Hilarity Ensues.
- That Mitchell and Webb Look: The "Dosh for Gold" advert takes a moment to remind viewers that the Dosh for Gold service is a reputable multinational company (complete with a graph of profit projections) and not a transparent front for a greedy dragon. They're just offering cash (which is easily burnt) in exchange for gold (which doesn't). Likewise, the similar "Cash for Plutonium" advert reminds viewers that they're also a reputable company, and not a transparent front for a crazed Bond villain.
- Used on This Is Wonderland. A white woman beats up a black man, thinking he was trying to rape her. He takes her to court, and she is so expecting the race card to get played that the following conversation ensues:Crown Prosecutor Kaye: Or was it just because he looked like a rapist?
Defendant: This has nothing to do with him being black!
Crown Prosecutor Kaye: Black? I just said he looked like a rapist. You're the one who attached "black" to "rapist".
- Top Gear: In one episode, the presenters have to get their cheap Alfa Romeos into a Concours d'Elegance competition; Hammond's Alfa died on the way there and cars were only allowed to enter if they did so under their own power. They sneak in under the eyes of the marshalls by driving their cars bumper to bumper. May, in front, towed Hammond's Alfa at the rear of the group, with the tow rope hidden under Clarkson's car in the middle. Hammond at least tried to come up with an excuse but Clarkson just couldn't be bothered...Hammond: We always travel together, so if you don't mind us sticking together, that would be kind...
Clarkson: No tow ropes here. Nothing to see here.
- In Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place this happens after Johnny accidentally suggests that The Boys of Fire Island was a perfect film for fire fighters like Pete and him:Sharon: What are you guys going to see?
Johnny: Not gay porn!
- The Two Ronnies, "Death can be Fatal":Taxi driver: (struggling with a heavy trunk) Blimey! Whatever have you got in there?
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- "I wasn't rapping."
- Lillian on why high heels poke through the floor: "Not because it's just painted dirt. This is a real apartment."
- Rev. Wayne tells the women he's trapped in his doomsday bunker that the sounds they heard were not him arguing with a pizza man.
- "We were NOT just watching you kiss that girl!"
- When it turns out the the in-universe equivalent of google maps has a satellite image of what looks like Jade picking her nose, Jade tells everyone to keep it to themselves. When news break, she asks her friends one by one if they did it, at which point Cat says "I told people NOT to look!" This results in Beck having to hold Jade and yell at Cat to run.
- In the Warehouse 13 episode "Around the Bend", Artie tells Claudia that she is a valued member of his team and no one is going to erase her memory or dispose of her body in a vat of acid. She hadn't found that last one on the list yet.
- White Collar:
- At the mention of a palladium mine in South Africa, Peter turns to Neal to ask him something. He immediately responds "I've never been near that mine." Peter just wanted him to give an Info Dump about palladium.
- Invoked in Need to Know, with Neal's political strategy. He tells the senator to deny that he has been involved in any talks about building a stadium in a specific location instead of a children's park. There never were any plans to build a stadium.
- "Front Man":Neal: Whatever I did, I have proof I didn't do it.
- In "What happens in Burma", Neal details how difficult it is to steal rubies from there. Seeing Peter's look he ends with the assurance that he never did it (which is technically true, but only because he never got around to do it).
- In "Book of Hours", Neal wants to borrow Peter's FBI jacket, assuring him that he would never disguise himself as an FBI agent. Mozzie is the one doing it for him.
- The Whitest Kids U' Know has a sketch about a restaurant named "It's Not Kittens, It's Chicken", with the logo being a chef winking (the sketch starts off by having an investigator for the FDA show up).
- In a sketch on You Can't Do That on Television, the mother confronts her son about something he's done. When he finds out what it is, he says, "Oh, thank god!" His mother, unfortunately, is quick enough to pick up on this.