A Rare Sentence
This is when odd conditions prompt someone to say something utterly crazy-sounding, and someone else (usually the local Deadpan Snarker) comments that "I doubt that's ever been said before" or "Now there's a sentence that doesn't get used much", or similar. Essentially a Stock Phrase, but hard to name as such since it can be formulated in a ton of different ways.
Contrast I Would Say If I Could Say, when an ordinary expression is factually inapplicable. Compare I Can't Believe I'm Saying This. Usually involves It Makes Sense in Context or even Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
- George Carlin had a list of "things nobody would ever say." They included "Hand me that piano," which actually was used in an episode of The Goon Show. One of his books features a paragraph-long sentence entitled, "No One Ever Wrote This Sentence Before." It starts off: "On the feast of St. Stephen, I was driving my hearse to the wholesale liverwurst outlet when suddenly a hermaphrodite in a piano truck backed out of a crackhouse driveway..."
- From Lewis Black: "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college." The bit is about how crazy he went trying to figure out what specific circumstances would make that sentence make sense.
- Ray Romano has a routine in which he mentions that when he is driving at night and needs to stay awake, he tries to think up sentences that no one has ever said (followed by a situation in which they would be). Examples include "Give me back my fudge suitcase" and "If hernias were rainbows, I'd be Raymond Burr".
- Brian Regan has a bit about how parents get to says things that people without kids would never get to say. "Buddy, don't try and balance your fruit juice between your chest and the table". Cue hypothetical exchange between two grown adults with the same sentence. "You know, it does seem rather precarious. You know, when I set that on the table, that does seem more solid underneath. Thanks for your help." "You're welcome. Continue with your proposal."
Jon: (munching) Hmm, interesting lettuce.
Garfield: Now there's a phrase you don't hear every day!
Films -- Live-Action
- In Shaun of the Dead, a reporter reminisces on the advice he gave earlier in the film on how to handle the unfolding Zombie Apocalypse:
"It's just not something you ever expect to have to say on air: 'Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain'."
- In a metaliscious twist, the reporter is not an actor, but an actual newsreader in real life. If you watch closely during his scenes, he's working very, very, very hard to maintain a straight face. (In an even more metaliscious twist, cracking up on screen is known as Corpsing.)
- Charlie Brooker, in his "Screen Burn" column: "Downright heartwarming. That's a phrase I don't use very often. I don't have a heart." Also comes up after a description of something absurdly weird on TV "... which is a sentence I never thought I'd write."
- Played with in The Dresden Files. During White Night, Dresden is explaining how he managed to get Thomas into the Deeps on Raith Manor. Paraphrased:
Harry: I knew Thomas could find his way there, because he was almost killed there by a cult of porn-star sorceresses.
Molly: Hold up. I could have sworn that you just said "cult of porn-star sorceresses" just now.
Harry: I did.
Molly: Oh. (Beat) Continue.
- The Power of Babel has the statement, which Makes Sense in Context, "Languages are chock-full of Charlie Brown heads", and lampshades it with a footnote: "Never again will that sequence of words be used in the English language."
- One of the Top 10 Lists in David Letterman's first book of them has rarely used adjectives, including "owl-flavored" and "Hitleriffic."
- In The Lies of Locke Lamora, Calo says, "Rejoice! The Sanza brothers are returned!", and Jean uses this as an insult, wondering "if that particular combination of words has ever been uttered by anyone, before now."
- The Stephen King memoir/writing guide On Writing notes that any noun and any verb, put together, make a legitimate sentence. This includes even the strangest ones, his example being "Plums deify" (which becomes a Running Gag).
- Christopher Moore's Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings contains this gem:
"Shoes off inside the whale! And don't try and make a break for the anus." Two things that, if asked about an hour earlier, Nate might have said with conviction he'd never hear in a lifetime of conversation.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000, "Santa Claus vs. The Martians":
Martian: No one on Earth will ever know that Santa Claus was kidnapped by Martians!
Joel: Do you realize what you just said.
Susan: But I want you to remember, I intend this breast satirically!
Patrick: Now there's a sentence that can't come up too often.
- "The One with the Holiday Armadillo"
Monica: Okay, Ben, why don't you come open some more presents? And Santa, the armadillo and I will have a little talk in the kitchen. There's a sentence I never thought I'd say.
- The title of the episode would also seem to count.
- "The One with the Cake"
Ross: Ask them if it would be faster if we cut the baby's face off the penis so we can put it on the bunny... That was a weird sentence.
Paul Merton: You come along here with your bowl of fruit and you think you're Isaac Newton!... And how many times has that sentence been uttered in anger?
- From the iCarly episode "iGive Away a Car":
Freddie: Well, you better throw that cupcake hard and hope it's sticky.
Carly: That's not something you hear every day.
- In the "Health and Safety" episode (The answer, in case you're wondering, is to cure hiccups.):
Stephen Fry: Speaking as a health and safety officer, why would I stick my finger up your bottom if you couldn't name seven bald men apart from Yul Brynner? That is one of the oddest questions I've ever asked in my life.
- One correction ends up being like this.
Stephen Fry: The language of the Flowerpot Men is actually called Oddle-poddle. "Flobbadob" means "flowerpot" in Oddle-poddle. I cannot believe I just said that.
- In Top Gear:
Clarkson: I've shoved my anarchy flag through my water lilo!
Hammond: Nobody's ever said that before.
Hammond: You've just pulled the wobbly head off the former president of Nissan USA!
Clarkson: Nobody's ever said that before.
Hammond: No, I don't suppose they have.
- From Would I Lie to You?:
Marcus Brigstocke: I'd quite like to see some of MC Hammer's curlies in a Regals packet.
Lee Mack: No one has ever said that before in the history of the world.
- A Bit of Fry and Laurie: "... Our language, tiger, our language, hundreds of thousands of available words, frillions of possible legitimate new ideas, so that I can say this sentence and be confident it has never been uttered before in the history of human communication: Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers."
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Rebel Flesh":
- From Wings, after the gang has learned that Cloudcuckoolander Lowell's family possesses a huge family trust which all Mathers get a huge payout from upon turning 31 1/2 years old:
Antonio: God, if only I'd been born a Mather!
Joe: Now there's something you don't hear every day.
- In an episode of Murphy Brown, the FYI crew is forced to work in a cheesy dating show. At one point, Murphy complains about having to say the word "Smooch-o-meter" which "is third in the list of things I would never say, right after 'How much for that Neil Diamond CD?' and 'I, Murphy, take you, Newt.'"
- Stargate SG-1, "Moebius":
General Hammond: Now, this mission is recon only. Under no circumstances are you to use the Ancient ship to travel back in time. [Beat Never in my life did I think I would give an order like that.
- From an episode of Spicks and Specks:
Alan: Can I just say something that I thought I'd never get to say in my life? So, you're about to have sex with Tom Jones, and then what happened?
- From the quest description of the World of Warcraft quest "A Wolf in Bear's Clothing":
"These Worgen take us for fools! One would think that only an idiot would mistake one of their druids in bear form as a real bear. Unfortunately, there are many idiots here at the Forsaken Front. We've already lost a few battalions to organized worgen bear attacks. Yes, it's even more idiotic than it sounds."
- Rhythm Heaven Fever's description of the "Tap Trial" minigame:
Think you've got what it takes to tap-dance with the monkeys? (Has anyone ever written that sentence before?)
- Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney features an example of this in the third case. When talking to Gumshoe about the murder in court he says, "The basic outline is that the Steel Samurai murdered the Evil Magisrate using the samurai spear." to which Phoenix replies, "That's something I never thought I would hear uttered in a court..."
Wight #1: Did that halfling just hit me in the face with a pineapple?
Wight #2: I think he did. Also, I think no one has ever asked that exact question in the history of civilization, so Bonus Points there.
T-Rex: I've allowed my love of gravy to distract from my prescriptivist linguistic crusade!
God: THAT'S THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAS EVER SAID THAT
T-Rex: Seriously? Does that mean I get into heaven FOR FREE??
God: IT HELPS
- Subverted in another one:
T-Rex: My final wish is for all life to have developed either in or about my earthly remains.
Utahraptor: Hah! Is that the first time that sentence has ever been said?
T-Rex: Utahraptor, please! That sentence is BASICALLY my daily affirmation.
- The writers of Darths and Droids were pleased with using the phrase "Jar Jar, you're a genius", which got zero hits on Google before the strip went online.
- Irregular Webcomic
- The comic joked about this in a rant that included the phrase, "Because I only have one radiation suit."
- Another one: "I bet nobody else in the history of the world has ever had cause to utter the word sequence, 'accidentally had their vital organs removed. Again.'"
- A comic of Funny Farm featured Ront describing the steps required to reach the town of Bucket, which involved going through the Phukket river and ends up summarizing it as "Going around the Phukket until they climax in Bucket." and, as his brother cracks up, remarks that he can't believe that sentence just came out of his mouth.
- Xkcd has done this a few times, with Google searches rather than spoken sentences (since there's no way to verify the latter).
- Before this comic went online, there were no hits for "strip Poohsticks", "strip podracing", "strip iterated prisoner's dilemma", "strip chess by mail", or "strip Conway's Game of Life".
- Similarly, as this comic's Alt Text points out, before it went up there were no hits for "I'm glad I saw Epic Movie."
- See also under Web Original, when he checked a number of other rare phrases (this was a blog entry, not a comic).
- From El Goonish Shive
Sarah: Part of me just wants to "get a room" with her. But that's just crazy! I don't want to lose my virginity as a guy, and I sure as heck don't want to risk getting Elliot pregnant! Which, by the way, is a sentence I never thought I'd say.
Due to overwhelming reader response, I have added breasts to the space dinosaur cowboy. This was not a statement I was expecting to make today (or ever), but your logic is irrefutable and I am not above admitting my own mistakes.
a line i seriously just wrote in reality: "People were less prepared for a double juggalo presidency than they ever imagined."
- Comes up from time to time on That Guy With The Glasses:
- That Dude in the Suede once described The Girl Who Leapt Through Time as "Like Groundhog Day if Bill Murray was a teenage girl." Apparently it's #145 on the list of things he never thought he would say.
- The Spoony Experiment: Spoony when he gets frustrated with Squall being The Stoic during the balcony scene with Quistis.
"I don't often say this, but I have so much better moves than this guy!"
Linkara: I just said "heroic raisin". My dignity will never be the same.
- Obscurus Lupa came across one in Mindwarp.
Villain: I never thought I could deflower my daughter, but I can.
Lupa: That's not a line you hear everyday.
- Nash came across one in the crime episode of What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?, Nash said... this. It makes sense in context. Kinda.
Nash: You can debate the right or wrong of the police seizing his penis, and I never thought I would have to say those words.
- Oancitizen reviews Art films. These come with the territory, all though this one he had to point out.
Oancitizen: Then an OB/GYN unicycles into the room and -- I just said that sentence out loud, didn't I?
- In the commentary of his A Serbian Film review, he also calls this on "They raped a fictional baby!" (and adds how his neighbors reacted to him shouting said line in the middle of the night...)
- In the Obscurus Lupa and Cinema Snob crossover, The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes, The Cinema Snob gives this gem:
Snob: I never thought I'd say this, but the climax of the movie involves Sherlock Holmes in a hot air balloon fighting Iron Man in a giant robot dragon while Watson rides on horseback to stop an android from blowing up Buckingham Palace! I can't even make a joke about that!
- Nash and his cohost on live Radio Dead Air version of What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?, Tara, have to use these from time to time. In context. Based on real life events. The following was in response to putting a... novelty item in your bosses coffee after a man was accused of using it on women.
Tara: And you will know, he is deep throating an invisible cock.
Headline: Woman dies from sex with dog.
- The Agony Booth
- From the recap of Zardoz: "Then we cut to a naked May explaining Marxist philosophy while mathematical formulae are projected on her breasts. And you know, sometimes you type a sentence that makes you stop and ask yourself, did I really just type that?"
- A stand-out line in Overdrawn at the Memory Bank: "Desirée! You could have gotten mustard all over his brain!"
Albert: Yeah, just take a second and stare at that line for a while. It's a beauty. Lines that insane only come along once every so often.
- Encyclopedia Obscura review of the terrible movie Robo Vampire:
I would just like to point out that you just read about a ghost and a gorilla vampire trying to have sex when they suddenly are interrupted by a robot out to get a drug lord. You will never read that again in any other context, so cherish this moment before it's gone.
- From a review of Trio the Punch - Never Forget Me: "Colonel Sanders also has midget power. I hope to the gaming powers that be that this is the first time in the history of life that anyone has typed 'Colonel Sanders also has midget power'."
- The Xkcd blog had an entry devoted to phrases that turned up no hits on Google ("ate a violin," "driver-side bidet") as well as phrases Randall had hoped would turn up no hits but actually did ("full-body glissando," "passenger-side bidet").
- From QDB:
my cock is as big as snow leopard's :P
(i sure hope snow leopards have big cocks now that i said that)
I bet you're the first ever person to say "i sure hope snow leopards have big cocks"
- Autocomplete Me is full of this.
- This Let's Player spends an update going over the magic in Ultima VII. When he gets to Cause Fear, he has this to say:
Inferior to diapers. I never thought I'd type that, but there you go.
- Ken Tremendous, guestblogging on Deadspin, does this in the middle of a rant about how sportswriters overvalue David Eckstein:
You should hear Clint Barmes play "April Come She Will" on the acoustic second-base-area. It'll bring a tear to your eye. (That might be the weirdest sentence I've ever written. Fuck it. I'm leaving it in. It's 12:25 a.m.)
- This playthrough of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake takes time off (in chapter 58) to recount how the writer mentioned the use of the phrase "It's just not hamster stupid" to a friend.
- This poster on the Dwarf Fortress forums is trying to save dwarves from bug-induced spontaneous dwarven combustion by dropping the afflicted dwarves into a pool of water, which, as pointed out, is pretty much the only time you'll hear a DF player use the phrase "plummeted to their salvation".
- In Cracked.com:
After all, you figure that surely the female must be a huge hulking example of the species to even be able to fit a sperm longer than the freaking male of the species inside of... oh we can't even finish this sentence it's just too weird.
- In another article, "Is it a law that all urine games must have a pee pun in their title? Are we the first people to ever type those words?"
- Game Informer, in an online article announcing an upcoming game, stated: "The sequel will require Death Spank to enter the Fires of Bacon in order to bring peace back to Spanktopia. There's a sentence I never thought I would write."
- In his review of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Yahtzee starts a sentence with, "But once I'd mentally adjusted for Batman's underpants", and captions the screen, "I bet no-one's ever said this sentence before".
- From this sporking of Deserving:
"Harry wants to deny Severus a magical epidural because he doesn't want to be soft on crime. Now there's a sentence you don't type every day."
"So Hermione hates Hooch because she ate her nipple. That's a sentence I never thought I'd type and I hope I never have to again."
- Letsplays in general often have this, especially if the game in question has something like an Audience-Alienating Premise, like The Binding of Isaac. Northernlion, well-known for having a 120+ video-long Letsplay of The Binding Of Isaac, sometimes says things like "Okay, as soon as I clear these flies, I'm going to shoot that screaming fetus." or "Suck it, Diglett!" (in reference to a type of very annoying burrowing enemy that resembles the Pokemon Diglett.) He often lampshades this.
- The Comics Curmudgeon, in this post:
Today’s Snuffy Smith sent me on an etymological voyage of discovery, which is a sentence that I’m pretty sure has never been written before and will never be written again.
- An article on BioShock Infinite from PC Gamer bears the headline "Bioshock Infinite’s Motorised Patriot is evil robot George Washington with a gatling gun", and begins "I didn’t think I’d find myself writing that headline when I woke up this morning."
- Phineas and Ferb
- Phineas and Ferb's crazy plans and those of Dr. Doofenshmirtz can easily lead to this:
- In fact, the Clip Show "Phineas' Birthday Clip-O-Rama!" has an entire montage devoted to odd sentences that have showed up at some point:
"Nothing says mother's love like a gigantic robotic platypus butt."
"Why am I wearing a turtle on my head?"
"I wanna float around! ...like men."
"Am I sweating milk?"
"Gotta go, Stacy. Good luck with that llama legislation!"
"Run for your lives! It's Gnome-a-geddon!"
"Stickiness is the most underrated of all nesses".
"I knew I should have gotten the down payment on the elephant."
"It looks a little like a rhesus monkey wearing a powdered wig."
"Oh no, you did not just tell me to hench."
"What, you think we should have more Bulgarian folk-related elements?"
"I'll be in the dairy section if you want to yell at some cheese."
"Dad, you might want to wipe the Queen off your face."
"I too feel a certain element of kebab-ism."
"Definitely the giant floating baby head."
"I am to metaphor-cheese as metaphor-cheese is to transitive-verb crackers."
"I just discovered why cows and frogs don't date."
"Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Taffeta... make a note of that."
"I'm calling Mom... and I am not using the banana this time!"
- There's also this exchange from "I Was a Middle-Aged Robot", which sort of plays with the trope:
Candace: How many times have I told you to keep Perry out of my way while I'm balancing eggs on a spoon?
Phineas: Um... never?
- Definitely played with in "One Good Scare Ought to Do it", even though it doesn't follow the mold:
Candace: That's it you little psycho, I'm calling mom! And I am not using the banana this time!
Phineas: (Beat) You guys heard that, right? It wasn't just me?
- They aren't lampshaded, but a fair few song titles count, including: "S.I.M.P. (Squirrels in My Pants)", "There's a Platypus Controlling Me", "Couldn't Kick My Way Right Into Her Heart", "Funky Rhythms in the Bathroom", "Shot in the Butt with a Dart" and "There is No Candy in Me". There are probably more.
- How about this one, from "The Temple of Juatchadoon"?
Phineas: We've got to lead that corn colossus away from those back up singers!
Isabella: OMG, coolest sentence ever! Somebody write that down.
- In the American Dad episode "Haylias", Hayley's Trigger Phrase is explicitly mentioned as being a combination of words that no-one in the world would ever say -- "I'm getting fed up with this orgasm!"
- Family Guy used a similar gag in "Spies Reminiscent of Us", with the phrase "Boy, that Italian family at the next table sure is quiet."
- Noam Chomsky's sentence "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously"—the point was that it had never been written/spoken before and makes no sense, but is still grammatical and therefore comprehensible. This one has been repeated enough that it no longer counts. Linguistics books usually use weird and goofy sentences to make this same point. (These are usually known a Word Salad.)
- Perhaps also "Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo..."
- The Daily Telegraph's cartoonist Matt said that if he's not sure about a cartoon he can end up roaming the Telegraph office asking people things like "Does this chicken look worried about monetary union?"
- This list of unlikely phrases found in real phrasebooks. Useful if you ever need to say "Because I was out buying a pair of wooden shoes" in Vietnamese.
- Leo Rosten once decided to write an essay (reprinted in his book Passions and Prejudices) about modern poetry and computers that wrote poetry. By (he said) writing down various forms of speech on slips of paper and then pulling the slips from various envelopes, he ended up creating odd short poems that would better be described as Word Salad. The crowning poem? Swish green albino dust/Through avatars unborn/And circumcise the circumscribed circumstance:/Juno stabbed the rooster.
- Most videogame nicknames from multiplayer sessions force you to utter weird sentences. Example: "UNGH! Fucking flamingp00prub came from behind and killed me with a flamethrower."
- Such an item does not exist before you ask.
- If you turn off temperature and get your dwarves doused in magma or breathed on by a fire demon, they'll burst into flames when you turn it back on.