Explain, Explain, Oh Crap

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Bob has the situation under control, and is explaining it to his partner, Alice. While he initially thought everything was fine and going to plan, it's only once he stops to think about it and hears himself say it aloud that he realizes how much trouble he and Alice are really in.

Essentially, a case of in-universe Fridge Logic catching up to the characters, can be played for laughs or drama. Can be triggered by the listening party's Let Me Get This Straight... putting a new perspective on Bob's explanation.

The Oh Crap can also be simply that there really is No Time to Explain.

Examples of Explain, Explain, Oh Crap include:


  • Star Wars: "But if they traced the robots here, they may have learned who they sold them to, and that would lead them back... home!"
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail has a variation with the Trojan Rabbit: "What happens next?" " Well, now, uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the rabbit, taking the French by surprise -- not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!" "Who leaps out?" "Uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I. Uh, leap out of the rabbit, uh, and uh... um, l-look, if we built this large wooden badger..."
    • "RUN AWAY"
  • Dr. Strangelove - Hell yes, the bomber has a chance to make it through!
  • The Avengers

Tony: That's the point. That's Loki's point. He'll get all of us right at where we live. Why?
Cap: To tear us apart.
Tony: Yeah, divide and conquer... but, he knows he has to take us out for him to win, right? That's what he wants! He must beat us, he must be seen doing it... it's kinda obvious.
Cap: Right. We caught his act in Stuttgart...
Tony: Yeah. That's just preview... this is opening night! And, Loki, he's a full-on diva... he wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the sky with his name plastered...
Beat with Cap looking incredulously at Tony's choice of adjectives for Loki
Tony: Son of a bitch... ( he realizes Loki will use his own Stark Tower for summoning the Chitauri)



  • In Timeline, one character is trying to convince the others that it is possible to travel to the past via a wormhole. Another character points out that it is impossible for a physical body to safely go through one. The first character retorts that the same can be said about a fax machine. The second character launches into trying to explain that the fax machine first has to convert the scanned data into a "stream of electrons", before realizing that the first character is talking about the same for the wormhole with a big "Oh shit!".
  • A comedic version in the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand. Cain is discussing Mauve Shirt "Jinxie" Penlan with the command staff when her reputation comes up, and...

Cain: "But she's not nearly as accident prone as she's supposed to be. I'll grant you she fell down an ambull tunnel once, and there was that incident with the frag grenade and the latrine trench, but things tend to work out for her. The orks on Kastafore were as surprised as she was when the floor in the factory collapsed, and we'd have walked right into that hrud ambush on Skweki if she hadn't triggered the mine by chucking an empty food tin away..."
My brain finally caught up to what I was saying and I trailed off rather lamely. "Well, you know how soldiers exaggerate these things."

  • Vimes does one of these in Jingo when he works out how 71-hour Ahmed got his name.
  • In Wizard's First Rule, first book of the Sword of Truth series, Zedd invokes this on a mob that's coming to burn him for being a witch. Zedd asks them why, exactly, they want to burn him, and they say it's because of his horrible magic powers. Zedd asks them to elaborate and be more specific. As they list all the different ways that they think Zedd can throw magical wrath around, the crowd slowly realizes that attacking someone who can shoot fire out of his fingertips might not be the brightest idea after all.

Live-Action TV

  • In the second season episode of White Collar called "By the Book" there is a Let Me Get This Straight... moment when Peter points out the flaw in the Perfect Exchange but later when Mozzie figures it out its more of one of theses as he exclaims 'There is no middle man!'
  • Firefly plays with this in the episode "Out of Gas". The crew of Serenity is in a dire situation with the life support system failing. They are in a deserted region of space with little chance of any ships wandering around there. Wash has lost all hope, when Mal suggests a way to boost the SOS signal.

Wash: What do you expect me to do, Mal?
Mal: Whatever you have to. And if you can't do it from here, then get a suit on and go outside on the side of the boat...
Wash: And what? Wave my arms around?
Mal: Wave your arms around. Jump up and down. Divert the nav sats to the transmitter. Whatever.
Wash: Divert the - Right! Because teenage pranks are fun when you're about to die!
Mal: Give the beacon a boost, wouldn't it?
Wash: Yes, Mal, it would boost the signal. But even if some passerby did happen to receive, all it would do is muck up their navigation.
Mal: Could be that's true.
Wash: Damn right, it's true. They'd be forced to stop and dig out our signal before they could even go anyplace.
[Beat, Mal waits for Wash to get it]
Wash: [Still yelling as if he's angry] Well maybe I should do that, then!
Mal: [Yelling back] Maybe you should!
Wash: Okay!
Mal: Fine!
 Jayne: [enters the room] What the hell do you two think you're doing? Fighting at a time like this? (...) You'll use up all the air!


Frasier: What on Earth could have made him think that I was interested in him? I just asked him if he was attached, and then we talked about the theater and men’s fashions - oh, my God. Niles, do you realise what this means?
Niles: Yes, you're dating your boss.

  • In the Doctor Who episode "A Good Man Goes to War", the Doctor runs into this when it turns out that Amy and Rory's daughter is part Time Lord, which the supporting cast assume was a result of it being conceived on the TARDIS. He insists that it can't be possible as, between the various cosmic retcons that went on the previous season, the first time they were on the TARDIS together in this version of reality was the night after their wed - oops.
  • That '70s Show: In one episode, Kitty drags Hyde to a jewelery store to see the ring she thinks that Red is buying for her behind her back. The jeweler shows her an engagement ring on reserve from a Mr. Forman. There's an inscription, "To Donna..."

Jeweler: You're a lucky woman, Donna. [...]
Kitty: Oh my goodness. This is from Eric to--
[She looks at Hyde in complete horror]

  • Red Dwarf does this in the episode "Out Of Time". The cast are going through unreality pockets, making them believe different things. One makes them believe Lister is actually a droid. A droid less advanced than Kryten, and therefore lower ranking. Kryten takes advantage of this to give him humiliating orders. Then comes this exchange:

Rimmer: So we just crashed through an unreality pocket?
Kryten: Which created a false reality making us believe... Mr... Lister was... oh my. (cue awkward silence for a few seconds)
Cat: You mean he's not a...
Kryten: No.

  • In The Blind Banker episode of Sherlock, the eponymous character is looking through an apartment and talking to John (well, sort of- John's left grumbling outside the door, can't hear a thing and might as well not be there).

John: You think maybe you could let me in this time? Oh for heaven's sake. Can you not keep doing this, please?
Sherlock: I'm not the first.
John: What?
Sherlock: Someone else has been here. Someone broke into this flat. He knocked that vase, just like I did. Size 11. He was tall. But not heavy. Long, thin fingers. Our acrobat.
John: What are you saying?
Sherlock: Why didn't he close it when he left-? *Beat* Stupid. Stupid. It's obvious! Because he's still in here.

  • Stargate Atlantis: The Team is on another planet and has found a crashed Wraith ship. Sheppard wants to know if one of the Wraith could still be alive.

Sheppard: I'm just thinking out loud here…
McKay: What?
Sheppard: How long do you think the Wraith could feed on all those humans back there?
McKay: Well, they're capable of hibernating for hundreds of years at a time, but, I mean, think about it. Ten thousand years ago was roughly the dawn of human civilization.
Sheppard: So there's no chance that uh—
McKay: No, no, no, no, no. Are you kidding? (beat) Well…maybe.
Sheppard:(annoyed) McKay.
McKay: No. No. No living thing could survive that long under those conditions. It's ridiculous.
Sheppard: Okay.
McKay: That would require an incredible power source capable of sustaining the stored humans in suspended animation almost the entire time.
Sheppard: So it's possible?
McKay:(horrified) Oh, my God. It is possible. We've got to get out of here.




I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick.
Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge,
and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid,
and in the car they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to.
Come to think about, his name was... it was you.



  • Deianira has shades of this in The Trachiniae as she talks to the chorus about the "strange sight" that is the bubbling, disintegrating piece of cloth she used to smear a love potion onto a shirt she just gave her husband.

Video Games

  • StarCraft: "It's a zergling, Lester. A smaller type of zerg. But one of them wouldn't be out this far unless... OH SHIT!"
  • Star Control 2: The Slylandro purchase a probe from the Melnorme, which would explore the galaxy, replicate itself periodically, and report back once it finds something interesting. However, in the midst of an in-depth discussion of said probes with the player, they realize that, due to an attempt to get the probes to replicate faster (by changing the priority of replication to 999, the highest setting on the dial), they have inadvertently caused their probes to attempt to procure raw materials for replication from ANYTHING they encounter, with a special priority on alien ships. This has effectively transformed their peaceful exploration fleet into a Horde of Alien Locusts.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can meet an Outlaw Couple who think that an antique machine gun makes them dangerous enough to go on a crime spree through the Strip. If the Courier sarcastically says it's the most brilliant plan he/she has ever heard, the Bonny of the duo starts gloating about how they've got it all worked out, gradually noticing all the holes in the plan until she realizes they have no idea what they're doing and hands the gun over to you.
  • In Psychonauts, after a training session gone awry in Sasha's mind, Raz asks him what would happen if one were to block off all of a mind's censor outlets, which needless to say he did because it was what he'd just done.

Sasha: Well, there would be a buildup of censor energy within that would, ah, eventually... Run, Razputin. Very fast.

  • Mordin Solus' introduction and Establishing Character Moment in Mass Effect 2 begins with Mordin performing a Sherlock Scan on the newly-arrived Commander Shepard and his/her team, while verbalizing his inner monologue; assuming the player doesn't interrupt him, he determines that the characters aren't from the area, too well-armed to be refugees, too informally-dressed to be any of the local mercenaries, and that they aren't there to wipe out the Vorcha or to investigate The Plague's usefulness as a bioweapon. Eventually, he decides that they must be looking for someone important, someone with secrets... and then realizes that they're almost certainly looking for him.
    • It happens again a minute later when Shepard explains that he/she was sent by a privately-funded human group to recruit Mordin. Immediately, Mordin starts sorting through a long list of possible candidates for the aforementioned group. After disregarding the Alliance, the Spectres, the Terra Firma Party, he finally realizes (with some shock) that the most likely candidate is Cerberus, a terrorist group with human-supremacist leanings.

Web Comics


Layla: And if you look at the facts, I didn't kiss your mutt boyfriend at all! He was possessed just then! The one I actually kissed was Blair!
(stops and makes a face)
(cut to Layla ferociously brushing her teeth)

  • Pitch Black had a robed gentleman who clearly didn't think his speech all the way through before starting it.
  • Girl Genius has a moment with Violetta and Wooster discussing the sort of a lunatic who could hijack one of Her Majesty's sub-hunters all on his own.
  • Prequel, when Katia starts talking about habits of the Telvanni wizards and certain side effects of their products.

Western Animation

  • In the Pinky and The Brain episode "Brinky," Pinky's genetic material accidentally gets introduced into Brain's cloning experiment, essentially resulting in their having a child together.

Pinky: I'm a mommy, I'm a mommy!
Brain: Pinky, that's absurd! You are nothing of the kind. Its chromosomal makeup just happens to include both of our genetic building blo... AAAH! ...Oh my Lord, you are its mommy.

  • Futurama, "A Clone Of My Own", with Prof. Farnsworth's clone, Cubert:

Fry: Nothing is impossible! You'd know that if you really took after the professor, like I do.
Cubert: You're his uncle, dummy. He takes after you.
Fry: Uh, wha?
Cubert: Wait a minute. That means I also take after you! AAAH!

  • Similar to the Futurama example, one scene from The Simpsons has Homer asking why he's such a loser. Bart replies, "Your father was a loser, and his father, and his father - it's genetic, man!" (Beat) "D'oh!"
    • Plus, in "I'm Going To Praiseland", Ned finds out that the citizens that were having "visions" were actually the effects of a gas leak in his Christian amusement park. Homer tells Ned to ignore it because his park spreads a positive message of equality. Then comes this...

Homer: Rich laughing with poor, bullies breaking bread with nerds, orphans lighting candles over a leaking gas line. LIGHTING CANDLES???

  • In the Kim Possible episode "Clean Slate", Dr. Drakken starts describing how he drove all the soldiers off a military train by activating an overload alarm... and then reveals/realizes that he caused an actual engine overload rather than a false alarm.
  • In one episode of Sonic Underground, Robotnik creates a potion that gives it's taker super-speed, which allows his minions Sleet and Dingo to catch Sonic. Later, Robotnik sees Sleet's feet expand to the point where he can't move.

Robotnik: Must be a side-effect. What a waste of a good invention. I wonder if the same thing's happened to- Dingo's guarding Sonic!

  • A variation in Amphibia. In the episode "Anne Theft Auto", Anne is reading the manual Hop Pop gave her for how to ride and handle giant snails like Bessie; she gets to a part where Hop Pop's narration relates how he discovered that Bessie's reaction to detecting dangerous predators is to withdraw into her shell; then Anne notices that Bessie - whose shell she is propped up against - has done just that. Fortunately, the book also tells her what to do when said predators attack.
  • In the pilot of DuckTales (2017 version), Scrooge gives the boys a tongue lashing, accidentally striking an antique gong with his cane; the boys are terrified, as Webbie already told them it's cursed"

Scrooge: Oh, what are ye gapin; at? Da curse is only activated if ya ring the gong three times, and, and... ya already hit it two times, didn't ya?