Ignored Confession

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Alex delivers a declaration of some great importance: finally making a Love Confession to someone very important, accidentally letting it slip that Sam's a spy, or something else. Often, what got Alex relaxed enough to do this was a knock on the head or a bit too much to drink. Or maybe someone kept pestering her until she revealed the secret in an emotional rant.

The character who should be saying, "I love you, too," "Uh..." or "WHAT!" however, isn't. Why?

"O-kay, I think you've had a bit too much to drink there..."


"I can do without the sarcasm!"

Basically, this covers whenever one character delivers a confession that should have a big reaction attached to it, but at least one other character believes her to be doing a Non Sequitur Thud, lying, or making a joke. It can also be invoked when the character dismisses his/her own behavior this way, e.g. "Wow, those painkillers I just took really work, huh?" or "I was rehearsing for a play."

See also "Just Joking" Justification, when authors invoke it. If dismissed for a(n irrelevant) characteristic of the character, see Not Now, Kiddo. If it's for no reason at all, see Ignored Expert and The Cassandra. Compare and contrast In Vino Veritas, Sarcastic Confession, Refuge in Audacity, Cassandra Truth.

Examples of Ignored Confession include:


  • In Shakugan no Shana, Shana confesses to Yuji that she loves him when they think they are going to die, but he considers it so unlikely that he thinks he's probably misheard it.
  • In Naruto, Hinata's Anguished Declaration of Love has, thus far, been overshadowed by the outbreak of a war between the ninja villages and the Madara-Kabuto alliance.
  • Belldandy, in the Ah! My Goddess TV series, is confronted by Sayoko, who doesn't believe her exchange student cover story and demands to know "Just who are you?!" To which Bell replies, without a hint of sarcasm, "A Goddess." Sayoko, thinking it's an insult, just gets mad and storms away.
  • Ranma ½'s title character is well-known for calling his fiancee "uncute, unsexy, built like a brick, violent tomboy, etc". So when he actually gets the courage to call her cute, Akane thinks he's trying to insult her.

Akane: Just how stupid do you think I am!!?
Ranma: I... But I just...!" *thinking* "SHE'S NOT CUTE AT ALL!


Comic Books

  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac regularly tells people that he is, indeed, a Serial Killer. For whatever reason, no one believes him. He actually gets a bit annoyed with it after a while; if he ever tries to get himself arrested or just plain kill himself (he's crazy, he doesn't need a good reason for it) some contrived coincidence protects him. Usually.
  • Punisher 2099. Kerry thinks Jake Gallows is the new Punisher, going so far as to try to snoop around his house/underground prison/torture chamber/execution chamber. Gallows finally sits her down and shouts that he's the Punisher, going through every single action up to that point. Kerry leaves thinking the Punisher case is driving Gallows nuts.
  • Preacher (Comic Book) has Hoover spend an entire page confessing his love for Featherstone right in front of her, spilling out his heart. When he stops, she looks up from a file, with Starr's picture, and tells him she had completely tuned out and has no idea what he just said.
  • Miguel O'Hara tried to admit to his mother, a big admirer of Spider-Man 2099, that he was Spider-Man 2099. She laughed, figuring he just meant it to cheer her up ... but it did make her feel a bit kindlier toward him. Some issues later, his bossTyler Stone, who was also his real father, let her know Miguel had been telling the truth. (Miguel hadn't been aware that Stone knew.)


  • In Treasure Planet, this exchange occurs when the captain is trying to keep herself together.[1]

Captain Amelia: Gentlemen...we must--stay together, and...and...
Dr. Doppler: And what? What? [[[Glasses Pull]]] We must stay together and what?
Captain Amelia: [dreamily] Doctor, you have...wonderful eyes...
Dr. Doppler: She's lost her MIND!

  • American Psycho: After a string of grisly murders and running from the cops Patrick Bateman calls his lawyer and confesses to the whole thing. When he later confronts his lawyer, he insists that he wasn't joking, but he is rebuffed, and the lawyer is actually irritated to the point that he tells Bateman the joke isn't funny anymore. This is compounded by the fact that Bateman might not be a serial killer, and may just be delusional and psychotic, but it is ambiguous. Throughout the film he confesses in absurd ways, and people either don't hear him properly, or ignore him, a commentary on the egotistical feelings of all around him.
    • Word of God confirms that the murders are real, although he may be hallucinating about the manner in which they were committed.
  • In the French film I've Loved You So Long, the protagonist has recently been released from jail for murder and has been living with her younger sister as she acclimatises to life outside prison. At a dinner party, one of her sister's friends gets drunk and begins to tease her about her mysterious past, eventually making a game of it, until the protagonist finally snaps and admits that she was in prison... and everyone laughs, and the drunk friend tells her that if she's just going to make stuff up he's not going to play any more. Whilst it's played straight for the most part, her Love Interest offers a subversion, in that he's actually worked with prisoners and realizes that she's telling the truth.
  • Hilarious example from Galaxy Quest when Brandon, a teenaged "questerian" (parody of a "trekkie") is actually helping a real space ship land. We get this exchange with him and his mother:

Brandon's Mom: Where are you going with those fireworks?
Brandon: Well, the Protector got super-accelerated coming out of the black hole and just, like, nailed the atmosphere at Mach 15, which you guys know is pretty unstable, obviously, so we're gonna help Laredo guide it on the vox ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman candles for visual confirmation.
Brandon's Mom: Uh, all right– dinner's at seven. [Brandon leaves] Well, at least he's outside.



  • Patrick Bateman of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. During a conversation, he throws in lines like "I like to dissect girls" and "I'm utterly insane".
    • Even before this, when his fiancée says "He's the boy next door, aren't you honey?" Bateman answers "No, I'm not. I'm a fucking evil psychopath."
    • Although he seems to really want to confess—the problem is that all his friends are selfish morons.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Littlefinger constantly tells Ned Stark not to trust him. Ned doesn't realise how true this is until it's too late.
  • In A Separate Peace, Finny dismisses Gene's confession that he caused Finny's fall from the tree. Gene later takes it back, as well.

Live Action TV

  • Used in Lost, episode "He's Our You". Captured by the Dharma Initiative, Sayid is given a Truth Serum drug and interrogated. He says he's from the future, and Radzinsky's reaction is to assume the dose was too high and has rendered him cuckoo.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Killed by Death," Buffy is incapacitated due to a bad flu. She goes patrolling anyway, but collapses. While in the hospital, and under the influence of the meds, she shouts that she needs to kill the vampires. Buffy's mother and the hospital staff naturally assume it's due to her delirious state.
  • In an episode of Friends - before Ross and Rachel first started dating - being whacked out on painkillers gives Ross the courage to admit to Rachel that he's in love with her. Her response is basically pat him on the head and say that she loves him too, in the way one would reply to a small child (or someone obviously too under-the-influence to take seriously). Ross quickly becomes frustrated with his inability to convince her that he's serious.
    • One episode of Friends features the following dialogue between love-struck Chandler and Joey, about Joey's girlfriend, after Joey asks Chandler to at least pretend to get on with her.

Chandler: I could tell how much I've been thinking about her; that I haven't stopped thinking about her since the moment we met; that I'm so fantastically, over-the-top, wanna-slit-my-own-throat in love with her, that for every minute of every hour of every day, I can't believe my own damn bad luck that you met her first!
Joey: Yeah, well, that's pretty good. But you might want to tone it down a little.

  • One episode of Two and A Half Men features Evelyn insisting on knowing why Charlie detests her so much. After some badgering, Charlie finally explains via rant that he feels like she drove his father to an early grave, gave him a cold loveless childhood and messed him and Alan up so badly they can barely function as human beings. Evelyn pats him on the shoulder and says he'll tell her when he's ready.
  • In The X-Files, episode "Triangle", Mulder tells Scully he loves her. She blows him off with "Oh brother". (True, he was apparently rather medicated at the time.)
  • In one episode of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Amanda fails to concoct a plausible story to cover her activities, and her mother confronts her with her lies and demands the truth. She tells her mother the truth, that she's working with the CIA, and her mother doesn't believe it and leaves in a huff.


  • In Othello Iago continuously tells Othello that he shouldn't listen to him, and that Desdemona and Cassio are probably honest. Of course, this just convinces Othello even more that Iago is trustworthy.

Web Comics


Ari: I wish you could do whatever I want.
John: Aw, she's really drunk.
Sherry: It's a bar, John. These things happen often. [1]


Western Animation

  • Futurama
    • 'Fry and the Slurm Factory': Professor Farnsworth says that he's not Fry's grandfather, Fry's his uncle! From the year 2000! This goes over about as well as one would expect, allowing everything to stay the same.
    • Bender accuses Farnsworth of insanity to get out of a jail sentence in 'A Clockwork Origin' (no relation). Farnsworth, in an attempt to disprove this, states that he got to the planet in a home-built spaceship. If you don't believe him, ask his uncle! ...Who is younger than he is. And, yes, It all Makes Sense In Context.
  • In the Hey Arnold! movie, Helga revealed to Arnold that she loved him all along and proceeded to kiss him. In the end, they nervously decided that it was because of the moment and nothing serious had happened.
  • On one episode of Daria, Quinn spends an episode convinced that she has to get plastic surgery like her friends or her entire social life will be ruined. After putting up with her antics the entire episode, her sister Daria finally just tells her (in what seems to be a rather difficult confession) that she's so naturally beautiful that she drives other girls (possibly including Daria herself) crazy with envy. Quinn just stares at Daria for a moment and then admonishes her for not taking things seriously.
  • One of the Running Gags on Pinky and The Brain is Brain being asked who he is and answering, "Actually, I'm a lab-mouse trying to take over the world." The person who asks either misinterprets it or laughs it off as a joke.
  • An episode of Batman the Animated Series has a villain demanding a password from Alfred. Alfred simply ignores her and starts reciting "The Lion and the Unicorn", from the Wonderland books. Even when drugged up on truth serum, he continues reciting the poem. Unlike most cases of this, she does eventually realize that the password is "The Lion and the Unicorn"... it just takes her a while.
    • In the episode "I've Got Batman in My Basement", when the kid's mother asks what they're doing in the basement, the kid answers, "We just saved Batman's life, and now we're hiding him from some bad criminals". The mom's response? "That's good, just don't make a mess."
  • In one episode of Batman Beyond, Terry tries to tell his family that he's Batman. They don't believe him.

Video Games

  • A subversion in Catherine: The bartender aptly named "Boss" (although he's only a Sub Boss) confesses that he's surprised the protagonist Vincent has managed to figure out that he's the evil villain behind the nightmares plaguing the city. Vincent only cares that he also saw the girl who Vincent had been cheating with but who no one else remembered... but when the villain calms down and starts feeling secure that his secret is still safe, Vincent reveals he did indeed pay attention to the confession and begins interrogating him about it.
  1. After an implied Gauze Gauze Kiss scene.