Don't Be Ridiculous

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"... dogs come from the moon, not the Sun!"

Alice says something ridiculous. Bob responds with this Stock Phrase (or some close relative), then explains why Alice's statement is ridiculous. Of course, Bob's justification is either as absurd, more absurd, or otherwise not a rebuttal one would normally make to the original statement.

Not quite the same as the usage of the phrase by Funny Foreigner Balki Bartokomous in the sitcom Perfect Strangers. (He would say it when suspected of doing something wrong, but usually wouldn't follow up with a nonsensical rebuttal.)

Often, Bob is The Ditz, a Cloudcuckoolander, or The Wonka. Less often, Alice is likewise one of those characters.

A common variant is that Alice's original statement was an attempt to guess what Bob is planning or doing. ("So you're going to just storm the castle?" "Don't be absurd. I'm going to storm the castle carrying this marionette. Sheesh.")

See Insane Troll Logic. Somewhat related to Voodoo Shark (when Real Life fiction-creators are seen doing this themselves—albeit not in response to a theory they find absurd). May also involve No Except Yes ("No, I'm not eating an eraser. I'm eating two erasers.") Compare Worrying for the Wrong Reason ("Sharks? Don't be silly. The crocodiles will get you first.")

Examples of Don't Be Ridiculous include:

Anime & Manga

Tomo: Bwahahaha! This moron believes in reindeer!
Yomi: Um... reindeer DO exist.
Tomo: You can't pull that one over on me! No deer in the world could fly like that!
Yomi: ...are you for real?

Nodamiki: And you need mayonnaise too!!
Tomokane: Mayonnaise?
Nodamiki: So I can put it on the crusts... and eat them![1]
Tomokane: (holding up peanut butter) You don't use mayonnaise for the crusts!!
Kisaragi: Tomokane-san, that's not what you should be arguing about!!


  • In Muppet Treasure Island, Kermit/Smallett asks who hired the crew full of obvious pirates. Everyone points to Fozzie/Trelawney, while he points to his own finger.

Kermit/Smallett: Your finger hired the crew?
Fozzie/Trelawney: No, that's silly: The man who LIVES inside my finger hired the crew.


  • In Tea With the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy, during Martha's first conversation with Mayland Long, he tells her a version of the tale of Thomas the Rhymer, which continues past the usual ending point to talk about Thomas' son. When he finishes, she remarks that he tells it with such authority she could almost believe he'd had it from Thomas in person.

"From the Rhymer?" He leaned forward and lifted his eyebrows in mock wonderment. "How could that be? ... I have the story from the boy, of course. The Rhymer's son.
"Beautiful boy," he added, after a moment. "Resembled his mother."

Fenchurch: And the answer is no.
Arthur: Fine.
Fenchurch: I was conceived there.

  • In Rivers of London, Peter tells Toby the dog that Nightingale would probably turn him into mittens. Nightingale objects, a shorthair would make terrible mittens, but might make a nice hat.

Live Action TV

Jesse: (coming into the kitchen and seeing Danny scrubbing suds between his hands) Joey, it's finally happened -- he's cleaning liquid soap.
Danny: Don't be silly. I am just cleaning my rubber gloves.
Joey: Danny, there is no shame in therapy...

Peter: (Walter is examining a body, mentions talons) We're looking for Big Bird.
Walter: Don't be ridiculous. Perhaps a Pterodactyl...

River: Apollo 11's your secret weapon?
The Doctor: No, no, it's not Apollo 11. That would be silly. It's Neil Armstrong's foot.

Son: Dad, do you know Batman? 'Cuz I've been trying to contact him all day. (shows flashlight converted into a Batsignal)
Dad: That's ridiculous. You know as well as I do that Batman lives in Gotham City!


"Where are we going to find a shrubbery?"
"Well, maybe we can build one? Out of cats."
"Don't be ridiculous. Where are we going to find cats?"

Video Games

  • In Dragon Age: Awakening, Oghren tells the Warden that he's heard about schleets, monsters that disguise themselves as a seemingly ordinary pair of pants, then gouge out a victim's eyes. You can egg him on by claiming schleets then lay eggs in the victim's eye sockets, to which he retorts "What kind of moron do you think I am? Schleets don't lay eggs!"
  • In Jays Journey:

Atolla: My name is Atolla.
Max: "Atolla"? That's stupid. I wanna call you "Mr. Talking Kitty"!

Web Comics

Qui-Gon: I've got an idea!
Obi-Wan: It's not Summon Bigger Fish, is it?
Qui-Gon: Don't be stupid! That would only take one or two hits, at most. Tell them we're bringing up a load of the Queen's laundry.

Roy: Then go play quietly with your puppet or something!
Elan: Don't be ridiculous, Roy! You know Banjo is even more worried than I am.

Western Animation

March Hare: Mustard?
Mad Hatter: Mustard, yes... Mustard?! Don't let's be silly! Lemon, that's more like it.

Boy: It's a bird!
Girl: It's a plane!
Man: Don't be silly. It's just a man's head on a robot body.

  1. Bread is used as an eraser in charcoal drawing.