Immediate Self Contradiction

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

This isn't a game, you know. Alright, now these games will determine which of you has the most important qualities I'm looking for...

This is for when a character says something clearly contradictory, if not completely opposite, to what they literally said right beforehand.

May sometimes happen in the context of a Hurricane of Excuses. When a contradiction seems immediate to the viewer but is not immediate in in-universe time, that would be a Gilligan Cut.

Supertrope to No Except Yes.

Examples of Immediate Self Contradiction include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the dub of Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo, Bobobo explains to the wealth-obsessed villain Halekulani that there are things more important than money. Like money!


Chas Kramer: Can you please get me into this bar, John, please? I'm begging you, John, please?
Constantine: Sure, you can get in.
Chas Kramer: I can get in?
Constantine: If you can get in.

Bedevere: Did you dress her up like this?
Crowd: No, no... no... yes. Yes, yes, a bit, a bit.

Elizabeth: Hold it! You two knew about this?"
Chessy: What? Oh! No!
Both: No, no, nonono... I had no idea... <they glance at each other> Ah, yes.
Martin: Yes, I did know something.
Chessy: Technically, yes, I had an inkling, anyway...


  • Peter Pan, in the book: "That's not why I was crying! And besides, I wasn't crying."

Live-Action TV

  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor gives explanations for various things, only to immediately say that the explanation is wrong, since a lot of the time, he doesn't seem to have an answer or he thinks his companions need it dumbed down for them.
  • In the How I Met Your Mother episode "Zoo or False" Marshall sumultaneously claims that he was and was not "mugged" by a monkey in the Central Park zoo. He was mugged by a person but he says it was a monkey in order for Lily to not want to get a gun, then feels guilty when he learns that the monkey he has accused is going to be deported.

Lily: You weren't mugged by a monkey?
Marshall: Yes, I was!
Robin: So you were mugged by a monkey.
Marshall: No, I wasn't!

    • In another episode, Barney says that it's impossible for a man wearing overalls to seduce a woman. He then vows to do exactly that.
  • In the British show All Creatures Great and Small, Siegfried is often guilty of telling his employees to do something, then at some point negating what he just said.
  • In another Python example, the infamous "Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus includes:

City Gent: Look! Are you trying to insinuate something?
Rude Fellow: No, no, nonono no... Yes.


Newspaper Comics


Video Games

  • The Flash game series Arise has, in the very first game, this wonderful claim left in a book for the player to read: "This is not a joke, and it's not a test. I put you in this shack to test you." Retsupurae called the authors out on this:

Slowbeef: Like right there! I mean, come on!
Diabetus: Oh man, my backspace key doesn't work, but I gotta keep writing my narrative!

  • EarthBound has the Onett librarian offering you a map.

Librarian: "All of the information is there, except for the information that isn't there!"

Web Comics

  • xkcd: In Future Timeline, the predictions for the year 2090 include "global warming hits 7 degrees centigrade" and "global warming hits 4 degrees centigrade".

Western Animation

The fortune isn't important, boy, what's important to me is that you're safe. Now let's go get that fortune!

    • Another Abe example from "Simpson Tide":

My Homer is not a Communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a Communist, but he is not a porn star!

    • From a PSA in "Lisa the Vegetarian":

Jimmy: Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says its wrong to eat meat. Is he crazy?
Troy McClure: (laughs) No, Jimmy, just ignorant. You see, your crazy friend hasn't heard of the food chain.

  • From Futurama, Professor Farnsworth continually does this. Eg: "You're going to be going on a highly controversial mission!"

Fry: Controversial?
Farnsworth: Oh my, no!

    • Another Futurama example, from "The Duh-Vinci Code":

Morbo: Are you ready to play?
Fry: I didn't come here to play, I came to win. Now let's play.

Real Life

  • Supposed actual court testimony that's floated around for a good while:

Lawyer: You can't lift your arm any longer due to the injury, correct?
Defendant (suing his company for a job-related injury): Yes.
Lawyer: How high can you raise your arm right now?
(Defendant, wincing, raises his arm to shoulder level.)
Lawyer: And how high could you raise your arm before the accident?
Defendant: (eagerly raising his arm above his head) This high!
Judge: Case dismissed.