Ironic Echo

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Yzma: Just think of it as, you're being let go. That your life's going in a different direction. That your body's part of a permanent outplacement!
Kronk: Hey, that's kinda like what he said to you when you got fired.

Yzma: I know. It's called a cruel irony, like my dependence on you.

Bob makes a comment in the presence of Alice and Bob. Much later on, Alice makes the same comment in a different situation, often giving it an unexpected meaning in the new context.

There are four common situations where this is used:

  • If Bob's original line was meant maliciously, Alice's Ironic Echo will be twice as cruel, as she throws the attack back in his face.
  • If Bob was trying to convince Alice of a way of thinking, Alice will quote it to signify that she now agrees with the idea. This sometimes happens after Bob himself has abandoned the idea (or has shown he never believed in it in the first place).
  • Bob's line was meant to be something positive or inspirational, but when Alice parrots it back the Subtext makes it seem much darker and/or cynical than Bob meant it to be. The inverse is also common.
  • A once-cheery line gets repeated after all the good and hope that it once represented has disappeared. For example, Bob might say that he and Alice will always be friends. After Bob's Start of Darkness has turned him against her, Alice may reminisce on the past, using Bob's initial words. This one is particularly common in musicals, where an entire song can be ironically repeated. (See Dark Reprise.)

However, this will also crop up with lines that were first made idly, innocently, and perhaps not even directed at Alice; in those cases the echo will simply be unexpected, and can be used for humor, shock value, or anything in between.

Compare Flashback to Catchphrase, Exact Words, Book Ends, and Dialogue Reversal. Subtrope of Meaningful Echo. Ironic Echo Cut is when the echo comes immediately and the second speaker has not heard the first. Can be a form of Hypocritical Humor or a Brick Joke. Doing this as a SONG is often a Dark Reprise. May often result from a Perspective Reversal. If the original use was innocent and amusing but the echo is bitter or shocking, this may result in a Funny Aneurysm Moment.

Examples of Ironic Echo include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In One Piece, minor villain Bellamy condescendingly asks Luffy (who he believes to have a 30 million belli bounty, as compared to Bellamy's 50 million) "Do you even know how to throw a punch?" Luffy, who doesn't care much what an idiot like that says, doesn't reply until Bellamy really pisses him off by further insulting the friends he'd already beaten up. In a Crowning Moment of Awesome (of the entire series), as Bellamy rockets around on his springs while dramatically taunting him, Luffy calmly lifts up one fist and echoes "Do I know how to throw a punch?" He then takes the guy out with one punch.
    • When Marshal D. "Blackbeard" Teach reveals the Power Nullifier aspect of his Devil Fruit powers, he states that all of the overconfident fruit users of the world will be powerless against him. He later tries this against Whitebeard, and promptly gets a chunk gouged out his shoulder for his trouble. Whitebeard then notes that Blackbeard is too reliant on his Devil Fruit Power.
  • In Code Geass, one of the last things Lelouch says to Suzaku before the final battle is "After all, we're friends, aren't we?" Suzaku pulls the Ironic Echo just after shooting Lelouch in the shoulder.
    • In the very first episode, right before killing a squadron of soldiers who have been slaughtering innocent people, Lelouch states his philosophy that "The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed"; the echo comes in the very last episode, where he repeats the same line to justify his own death by Heroic Sacrifice after spending the entire series using increasingly underhanded tactics to fight the Britannian Empire and establish peace.
      • And one more: After recovering his memories at the start of the second season, Lelouch declares "I am Zero, the man who destroys worlds and creates worlds!" It's also his last words, and emphasizes what precisely he expects will result from his death.
      • And yet another: Blood Knight Luciano Bradley has a little spiel he goes through where he asks his opponents what's "really important" and concludes it with "That's right. Your life!" before killing them. Kallen throws it back in his face just before she kills him as part of the Crowning Moment of Awesome that is the Guren SEITEN's debut battle.
      • And still another: In episode 21, right after Lelouch kills his parents, Suzaku remembers his desire to avenge Eupemia's death, to which Lelouch replies "What of it?" Ironically, Charles tells Lelouch the same thing after Marianne is assassinated.
  • The finale of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has two, both used for heartwarming moments.
    • Shortly before splitting up to sabotage the Saint Cradle's engine, Vita tells Nanoha not to worry about her since she and Graf Eisen specializes in smashing stuff and "There's nothing in this world we can't destroy". During the penultimate episode of the season, while Hayate cradles a heavily wounded Vita who thought she failed to break the engine, Hayate tells her that against such valiance that she and Graf Eisen had shown, "There is nothing in the world that they can't destroy", just as a portion of Graf Eisen that had lodged itself into the engine causes an explosive chain reaction.
    • During an early episode, the six-year old Vivio trips while running to Nanoha-mama, and instead of helping her up, Nanoha encourages her to try her best "to stand on your own", until a worried Fate-mama protests and helps Vivio up. Come the penultimate episode, a worried Nanoha runs to the crater where Vivio was after Nanoha blasted her with five Starlight Breakers to free her from the control of the relic, and as she reaches the edge of the crater, a very bruised Vivio tells her not to come, "I can stand on my own", after all, she promised Nanoha-mama that she'd be strong.
  • In Darker than Black, November 11's "I'm joking" Catch Phrase gets this treatment twice. Interestingly, it gets both variants, and both times it comes from Kirihara: the first variant at the end of the Havoc arc, and the second when Kirihara speaks to her superior officer following November's death.
    • Also happens with November 11's smoking rant.
  • In Chrono Crusade, when Aion is badly wounded in a fight, he's told by his opponent "If you had to pretend to be a big shot, you should never have come to the front lines." When Aion reveals that he purposefully lost and acted as a decoy, he gleefully repeats the line to his fallen opponent right before giving him the final blow.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, "A king is there for his people. Without people there's no king!" then, "Yes, without people, there's no king. But if the king is lost, then people will lose guidance."
    • Also, in the second episode, Edward tells a very distraught Rose, "Move forward. You've got a good strong pair of legs, Rose. Just get up and use them." He seems mad, seeing as how he only has one real leg. Much, much later (in the first anime only, not the manga or second anime), Rose says to him, "You'll be able to come back on your own later, right? After all, you have perfect legs to walk with now." If, after forty-nine episodes, you remembered what Ed had said in the first place, then kudos to you.
      • Not so hard to remember, since Rose references it EVERY time she comes onto the screen. (Except for when she's mute.)
    • Very odd series to series example. In the first anime, Mustang and King Bradley fight at the climax and Mustang declares 'There is no God,' right before defeating Bradley. In the manga and brotherhood Bradley and Scar have a climatic duel, and this time it's Bradley who says 'There is no God.' Ironically, Scar then kills Bradley, with what could even be seen as divine help.
    • In Chapter 102 of the Manga, Father declares that the Truth gives "despair to the conceited" after Roy has his eyesight taken. In Chapter 108, Truth bounces the same line back at Father before dragging him into the Gate.
    • "You'll always be my role model." From Pride in the manga.
  • The song "Do You Remember Love?" from Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Used by the humans against the Zentradi in the defense of Earth during the first series, only to later be used against them by Ranka and the Vajra in Macross Frontier. Grace O'Connor even comments on the appropriateness of the song.
  • In the second volume of Hellsing, the Hellsing organisation's headquarters comes under attack by an army of ghouls and one of the vampires leading them calls the Convention of Twelve, telling them "I highly recommend pissing yourselves, followed by a round of praying to your impotent God." Later, Walter confronts the vampire (flanked by dozens of ghouls) and echoes the same words right back at him after demonstrating that he can, and will cut every one of them down. The vampire's reaction is priceless.
  • Early in the Grand Finale episode of Death Note, "New World":

Light: Well, Near, looks like I win.

Ryuk: Well, Light, it looks like you've lost.

    • Can't forget... "Matsuda, you IDIOT!"
  • A heartwarming example from Bunny Drop. An early chapter involved six-year-old Rin wetting the bed. She futilely tries to tell her caretaker Daikichi "It's only sweat." Later, when Daikichi brings up the subject to Rin of legally adopting her, she refuses, wanting to keep the same name as her biological dad, and telling him "Daikichi, I like you just being my Daikichi." Daikichi is moved to tears by Rin's statement, and when she asks if he's crying he tells her "This is sweat!"
  • Naruto tends to do this a lot.
    • Tsunade said that becoming Hokage was "A fool's game." Later, Orochimaru says the same thing when Tsunade protects Naruto.
    • After their first battle, Sasuke coolly asked the frightened Naruto "You all right, scaredy cat?" And later, in the Forest of Death, when Sasuke was the one freaking out and about to be attacked by a giant snake (during a battle with Orochimaru, at the time by far the most powerful character yet introduced), Naruto stops the snake just in time and calmly asked Sasuke the same question.
    • When Sasuke departs the village and receives his first power-up, he's told that in order to gain the power he must die. Four years later when learning how to be a sage, Naruto is told he must die.
    • In a very long-term echo, Naruto repeats and has flashbacks to Iruka defending and praising him in the first chapter when Kurama, the Kyuubi finally pulls a Heel Face Turn.
  • The climax of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Matsuribayashi-hen was this. Miyo Takano has one bullet left, aims at Hanyuu, shoots, and misses. It's an Ironic Echo of when she was younger, when she ran away from the orphanage during a thunderstorm, she stands under a tree and taunts God into striking her with a lightning bolt or to instead improve her life. A bolt does strike... the tree behind her.
    • It's even more ironic when you recall that Miyo's motive for this whole tragic chain of events was to become a god.
  • In the first episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Simon tries to take Kamina down to see the "huge face" he found while digging (the Lagann unit). At the climax of the first arc, their conversation is echoed between Simon and Rossiu when the capital city of Teppelin suddenly begins transforming in front of them:

Rossiu: What is it?!
Simon: A huge face!?

  • In Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu, we have Daiya telling his big bad opponent of the moment (Nouza) that "You don't win because you're strong. The ones that don't give up win in the end!". Near the series conclusion Nouza proceeds to echo this in his one-on-one fight with Proist brilliantly.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho the resident Badass, demonic, red-haired pretty boy Kurama gets into a fight with a demonic bomber named Karasu. Early on in the fight Karasu seems to have the upper hand and as a result mimics putting a pistol to his head and saying bang, indicating to Kurama that he should just simply shoot himself rather then continue fighting Karasu. About ten seconds later Kurama transforms into his much more powerful White-Haired Pretty Boy true form and suddenly it's Karasu whose on the ropes. Guess what gesture Kurama decides to make at this time.
    • In the English dub, Elder Toguro turns his hand into a giant knife and mockingly claims his mother always wanted him to be a surgeon, when Kuwabara turns his Spirit Sword into a giant disc blade to strike every part of his body at once, Kuwabara claims his mother always wanted him to be an exterminator, as he swats him like a fly.
  • Ruri in Martian Successor Nadesico has the catchphrase of commenting that she's Surrounded by Idiots. When things start getting darker in the series and the Government Conspiracy is revealed, she uses the variation "We're all idiots", and similarly, in a sad revelation about her past, comments, "I'm an idiot." There's also a humorous ironic echo in an episode where the crew watches a marathon of Gekeigan 3. Another character, who doesn't like the show refers to the group as idiots, and Ruri, who is next to her, gives kind of a surprised look.
  • Captain Tsubasa: World Youth: On the Sao Paulo vs Flamengo match, Tsubasa deliberately falls on one of Santana's tackle to get a good kick-off and show him that referees are humans, and that he should stop considering himself a "soccer cyborg", finishing his tirade with "this is one of the funs things in soccer". A few minutes later, in a counter-attack near Sao Paulo's goals, Santana shoots the ball on Tsubasa's foot so that it counts as a Sao Paulo pass, thus not putting his Flamengo partner offside and putting him in an advantageous position to score the goal : as the goal is scored, Santana says to Tsubasa "this is one of the funs things in soccer" with an evil look and a Slasher Smile.
  • At the end of the Yellow Arc of Pokémon Special, Red notes that his Pika has grown close to Yellow and goodnaturedly jokes that they should all live together, not realizing that Yellow is a girl. At the end of the GSC arc, when he does find out and Misty calls him, the three of them uncomfortably realize they're in a Love Triangle. Blue then teasingly suggests the same thing, making them all sputter in embarrassment.
  • In one chapter of Medaka Box, during a fight between Myouga and Nabeshima, Myouga attacks from behind and says, "I love attacking people from behind like this. This is an attack that those who do martial arts, especially judo, never taste." As the fight goes on, Nabeshima pulls the same attack and uses the same phrase, "I love attacking people from behind like this," but changes the second half to "But this is proper judo, so anyone can taste it." (Also a case of Strange Minds Think Alike, since Myouga was speaking in a language that Nabeshima didn't understand.)
  • In Bleach's first episode, when Rukia restrained Ichigo with Kido after being called a "Stupid brat."

Rukia: Despite how I may look, I've lived nearly ten times as long as you. And you call me a 'stupid brat? Normally, I would eliminate you, but it just so happens that I'm forbidden to harm people I'm not ordered to. Be grateful, stupid brat.

    • Earlier in the series, Komamura protects his friend Tousen by taking a hit from an opponent Kenpachi. In chapter 367, he protects a stranger Shinji by taking a hit from his ex-friend Tousen. Komamura even lampshades this, remarking it's the opposite of what happened before.
    • Previous to his power-up, Ichigo was keeping a distance from Aizen, who mocked him. After his power-up, Ichigo asked Aizen why he was keeping his distance.
    • Aizen will be forever known for subverting Theme Music Power-Up by stopping Ichigo's sword, as well as cutting off Ichigo's theme song "Number One". Now Ichigo returns the favouring by stopping Aizen's theme song as well as being the one to do the asskicking.
  • The opening battle of Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 had one. Right after Unit 05 is blown to bits, Kaji comments that he's "not sure about involving a kid in the affairs of adults". Twenty seconds later, Mari monologues that she's "not so sure about involving an adult to achieve [her] own goals". This is the first sign that Mari's not your average Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Can't forget a gem from RahXephon, regarding the Lost Technology that lets Ayato Kamina teleport into the cockpit of the RahXephon:

Megumi: So how does that thing work, anyway?
Kim: No idea. Maybe Dr. Kisaragi knows?
Megumi: Yeah. That guy seems to know everything.
Cut to Kamina emerging from the artifact in a different room while Dr. Kisaragi watches.
Dr. Kisaragi: Really, I wonder how that thing works.

  • In Dragon Ball, during the Frieza Saga, Frieza remarks that it's a good day to die, in reference to his opponents when deciding which one he will kill. Later on, when the Namekians have evacuated to Earth via the Namekian Dragon Balls due to Namek's destruction, Saichoro says the exact same thing when accepting that he is dying of old age.
    • Much later in the manga when Gotenks uses his "Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack" against Buu, Piccolo comments on how the technique is really powerful but also really stupid. Later when Vegito curbstomps Buu, Buu wants to save himself by copying Gotenks' technique, leading Vegito to compliment him on how cool the technique was despite being utterly useless against Vegito's god-like powers.
  • In the Mega Man Maverick Hunter X OVA The Day of Sigma, Sigma tells X that there are times that X should never hesitate to pull the trigger as words of encouragement and also a lecture after an incident where Sigma had to get involved in decommissioning the Maverick due to X hesitating after it used a captured soldier as a reploid-shield. Sigma later says that exact thing when he is strangling X after becoming Maverick, and unveiling that he's going to nuke Abel City to the ground as the start of his reploid rebellion.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • At the beginning of the series, Kenshin says: "A sword is a weapon. Kenjutsu the art of murder...But, I like Miss Kaoru’s idealism better than its true nature." It's revealed that the first sentence is his mentor's philosophy, and he quotes it back to Kenshin to remind him that real life is a Crapsack World.
    • A one-person Ironic Echo happens when, after Saitou reappears in Kenshin's life, he mutters to himself that he will never change, and that Kenshin will revert to his old ways sooner or later. When Kenshin adamantly refuses to do so, Saitou amends his statement as a sign that he's accepted this.
    • There's also an action ironic echo: the first time Kenshin and Aoshi face off, Kenshin defeats him by executing a Barehanded Blade Block. In the lead-up to the final showdown, Aoshi is disarmed by an opponent mirroring his sword style, but he pulls off a one-handed Barehanded Blade Block with a spiffy One-Liner obliquely referring to the previous event.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Alan Moore uses this one a lot, but never more than in Watchmen.
    • A good example: advertisements for Ozymandias' training system promise "bodies beyond your wildest imagining". When Ozymandias commits his attack on New York, the advertisements are liberally scattered around amidst the piles of corpses.
  • The phrase "I believe in Harvey Dent" is repeated several times over the course of The Long Halloween, a Batman graphic novel. First, to display genuine trust in the man and his ability to clean up the city. Then, to assure his innocence in the case of the Holiday murders. Then, to emphasize the point that there's still good in the villainous Two-Face. And finally, by his wife Gilda as part of a dramatic plot twist on the very last page.
    • From the same mini-series, after the murder of Johnny Viti by the Holiday Killer, Harvey Dent crassly says, "Two shots to the head. You ask me, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy." After his transformation into Two-Face, he kills Viti's uncle, Carmine Falcone and repeats the statement.
  • When Molly Hayes of Runaways says to "put the thing in the thing" to find out what it does, it's just her childness. Not much later, the Runaways really need overdrive, and Victor tells Chase to "Put the thing in the thing." And yes, this was after the master of Buffy Speak started writing.
  • In the "That Yellow Bastard" story in Sin City, there are two instances of this:
    • When Hartigan punches out his partner Bob, he thinks "Hell of a way to end a partnership... Hell of a way to start my retirement." When Bob double-crosses him, he thinks "Hell of a way to start my retirement... Hell of a way to end a partnership."
    • After being shot in his efforts to protect Nancy, Hartigan thinks "An old man dies, a young girl lives. Fair trade." Before blowing his brains out, he thinks "An old man dies, a young woman lives. Fair trade."
  • Used by Doctor Strange in World War Hulk. Doc confronts Hulk and makes a little speech, then goes Super Mode and says "Strange Smash", a callback to Hulk's famous line "Hulk Smash".
  • Kind of an extended one for Human Flame. When he asked Libra to kill the Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis, he didn't do anything except take a picture of the deed on his mobile phone. Later, when the heroes caught up with him and trapped him in a Cardboard Prison forged from his own stupidity, Green Lantern's final act before shutting the door is to create a mobile phone using his Green Lantern Ring specifically to take a picture.
    • Similarly, while the first issue of Final Crisis has said character (a horrible degenerate) saying "This is what happens to anyone who ****s with the Human Flame" while Martian Manhunter (a straight-up hero) burns, it ends with Nix Uotan (the 'Judge of All Evil' and a straight-up hero) saying "No-one ****s with the Judge of All Evil" while Mandrakk (a horrible degenerate) burns.
  • Used in so many FoxTrot comics by Bill Amend, it isn't funny... and yet it is.
    • The same thing is used a lot in Buckles by David Gilbert.
  • In The Sandman Dream has a flashback of his last meeting with Destruction, during which he gave somebody Disproportionate Retribution. Destruction asked if that was absolutely necessary to which Dream responded by asking if he tells Destruction how to do his job. Later, Dream asks Delirium if the Disproportionate Retribution she gave a policeman was necessary and gets the same answer.
  • In one strip of Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin remarks that whatever his mom is making, he won't eat it. In order to convince Calvin to eat it, she claims that it's "boiled monkey brains", when it was actually stuffed peppers. However, she forgot to let the dad in on the trick, which led to it backfiring by causing the dad to react with disgust when he heard Calvin remarking that they were "boiled monkey brains" and state that whatever the dish was, he wasn't going to eat it, to the mom's exasperation.
  • In New Mutants, an opponent forces Action Girl Dani Moonstar to look at her before breaking her arm. Later on, said Action Girl ambushes her tormentor and echoes her words. "Look at me. Good girl." Cue Oh Crap.
  • One Cthulhu Tales comic had this with two shots of the same people in the same positions. Image 1: they're arranged around a living room holding an intervention for the protagonist's drinking. Image 2: they're wearing cult robes and waiting for the demon that was being kept sealed in the protagonist by said drinking.
  • A truly dark version appears in the narrative of a story from Tales of the Slayers. In a small village during The Dark Ages, a young, devoutly Christian girl discovers she is this generation's Slayer. Reluctant at first, she fulfills her duties as the Slayer, saying, "God is good, and God is kind." After the town's priest, jealous of her heroism, declares her a witch and rallies the town against her, leading to her being burned alive, her Watcher took his revenge by opening the city gates, allowing a horde of vampires to enter and massacre the entire town. His last words were, "For God is good and God is kind, but God's not welcome here!"


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In Ponies Make War, General Esteem says "titles are important" so much that it's practically his Catch Phrase—considering the character, it's probably so he can constantly remind people that he's both a knight and a General. When they confront each other during the Final Battle, Twilight throws this line back in his face, pointing out that while he may be a General, she's a Master General.
    • Another example with the same characters: when Esteem thinks that the villains have won, he gives Twilight a "The Reason You Suck" Speech deriding her efforts and telling her that all she'll be remembered for is her failure. Shortly after, while Twilight is giving him a Karmic Death, she gives him a similar speech, telling him that all he'll be remembered for is his treachery.
    • After Celestia is Brought Down to Normal, she refuses to answer to Terra's mocking nickname "Sunshine". After she regains her power, her reaction to Terra's stunned stuttering of her name is to smugly state, "Call me Sunshine".
    • When Terra is depowered and imprisoned by the Mane Six, she tells Fluttershy that she does cruel things because "It's what I do. It's who I am." Shortly after, Fluttershy performs an act of kindness for Terra and when asked why, she replies with the same line.
  • In The Ghost Map, Sherlock Holmes and Colonel Moran face off in Camden House, where Holmes trapped Moran some time ago. Now it's the other way around - Holmes acknowledges the irony.

Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

Helen: Everybody's special, Dash.
Dash: Which is another way of saying no-one is.

    • This same sentiment is voiced by Syndrome in the third act.

Syndrome: And when everyone's Super... no-one will be.

    • Pixar seems to enjoy this one. Both Toy Story 2 and Cars used this with key lines of dialogue.
  • Toy Story. "It's not flying, it's falling with style!"
    • After Buzz disbelieves "You. Are. A. TOY!" in the first movie proclaimed by Woody, he tries to persuade Woody to come with him by using the same line.
    • "You have saved our lives. We are eternally grateful."
  • The Simpsons Movie: Homer tells Marge that "in every marriage, you get one chance to say 'I need you to do this with me'" in order to convince her to join him in Alaska. Later, Marge says the same thing to Homer to get him to join her in saving Springfield. Homer's response: "That was the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
  • Aladdin: "Phenomenal, cosmic powers, itty-bitty living space."
  • The Emperors New Groove has a scene near the beginning where Kuzco fires Yzma for trying to run the country behind his back, and rattles off a Hurricane of Euphemisms for being fired ("'You're being let go.' 'Your department's being downsized.' 'You're part of an outplacement.' 'We're going in a different direction.' 'We're not picking up your option.' Take your pick. I got more.") Near the end of the film, Yzma has Kuzco cornered, and rattles off a similar Hurricane of Euphemisms for death, quoted at the top of this page.
    • As well as "nobody's that heartless."

Pacha: Deep down, I think you'll realize that you're forcing an entire village out of their homes just for you.
Kuzco: And that's...bad?
Pacha: Well, yeah. Nobody's that heartless.
(Later...)
Pacha: (after Kuzco saves him from a collapsing cliff) You coulda just let me fall.
Kuzco: What's the big deal? Nobody's that heartless!

  • From Pocahontas: Upon seeing Wiggins, his manservant, not realizing what a "proper English greeting" was ("Ooh! gift baskets!"), Radcliffe sighs, "And he came so highly recommended." Cut to the end, where Radcliffe is arrested for attempted murder and being carted back to England in chains. Wiggins dabs at his eyes with a handkerchief and sighs, "And he came so highly recommended." Bonus points for Wiggins and Radcliffe having the same voice actor.
  • A variation occurs in A Bugs Life. Hopper tells Princess Atta "how things are supposed to work: The sun grows the food, the ants pick the food, the grasshoppers eat the food..." At the end, just before the entire ant colony charges the grasshoppers, Atta says this: "You see, Hopper, Nature has a certain order: The ants pick the food; the ants KEEP the food... And the grasshoppers LEAVE."
  • In The Iron Giant, Kent Mansley appends "and all that that implies" to several of his sentences for added emphasis. Towards the end of the film, when Hogarth thinks he's gotten rid of the nosy government agent for good, he smugly says to himself, "Bye, Kent, and all that that implies."
    • Something similar happened after Kent Mansley, in a panic, had the submarine launch a nuke at the Iron Giant while he was in the town, thus endangering the populace. The Iron Giant tells Hogarth "You stay... I go... No following." when he is going to go up through the atmosphere to intercept the missile, and probably sacrifice himself in the process. Hogarth said those exact words to the Iron Giant earlier in the film when he was going to call it a day (primarily because he didn't think his mom, never mind the rest of the populace in his town, would handle it well.)
  • The Lion King has young Simba going into an elephant graveyard, proclaiming, "Danger? Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger. Ha ha ha ha!" After the Time Skip and adult Simba's return to his kingdom, Nala taunts him by repeating "I laugh in the face of danger", complete with laugh.
    • Scar tells young Simba at his father's death to "Run away, and never return." Later, when adult Simba gets the upper paw over Scar, he repeats those words back to him.
      • Given that Scar's earlier use of those words also had him dispatching the Hyenas to kill Simba shortly thereafter, and Scar probably concluding that Simba would probably do something similar to Scar if he left, that might explain why Scar chose to attack Simba instead of heeding his advice to flee.
    • "Slimy, yet satisfying". Pumbaa's incentive to eating insects, and Simba's same response a few moments later after reluctantly trying one himself.
    • When young Simba says "When I'm King, I can do whatever I want," it's clearly a sign of his immaturity. When Scar says a variation much later, we know exactly why the Pride Lands went to hell under his rule.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, the key change of Dr. Facilier's epic villain song, Friends on the Other Side, contains a very powerful rhythm accompanying the phrase "Are you ready? Are you ready?" right before Prince Naveen becomes a frog. Later in the film, during Dr. Facilier's absolutely terrifying death, the shadows again start up the rhythm and sing "Are you ready?", to which he cries no, he's not, he needs more time... and keeps screaming this as he's dragged to his death.
    • Also, toward the end of the film, Dr. Facilier attempts to tempt Tiana with the restaurant of her dreams, repeating a line from Tiana's "I Want" Song.

"Come on, Tiana. You're almost there."

    • And how could you have forgotten this?

"It's not SLIME, it's MUCUS!"

  • Early in the film adaptation of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the mayor of Swallow Falls comments that he wants the townspeople to look at him and say "That is one big mayor," as in someone important. Later in the film, during the reopening of Chewandswallow, an audience member says the exact same words, but referring to the mayor's very evident obesity.
  • In Bolt, we're introduced to Mittens the cat when we see her extorting food from some pigeons in exchange for not eating them. When one of the pigeons, Louie, is unable to bring anything but an orange seed, Mittens demands that Louie bring her all his food next time, or else. Louie protests "We had a deal!", to which Mittens replies "The deal's just expired." A few scenes later Bolt, believing Mittens to be an agent of "the man with the green eye" (the villain of the Show Within a Show on which he works), threatens her into telling him where Penny is. She convinces Bolt to head to Hollywood, California, but ends up getting dragged along by Bolt. When she protests "We had a deal!", Bolt replies "The deal's just expired." This is Lampshaded when Louie, watching in amusement with his fellow pigeons, remarks "That's what she said to me earlier."
  • Liloand Stitch

Lilo: "Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind. Or forgotten.

  • In Robin Hood, a character had once joked that if Robin marries Lady Marian, King Richard would have an outlaw as an inlaw. At the end of the movie, King Richard says the exact phrase during Robin and Marian's wedding.
  • Antz has the unprecedented use of Ironic Echo between a few seconds in regards to Z and General Mandible. As such, both are to be posted:

General Mandible: [Z has broken through to the surface where Mandible and his soldiers wait for them to be drowned] Let go! Don't you understand? It's for the good of the colony!
Z: What are you saying? We are the colony!
[Mandible is about to strike Z when Cutter knocks him aside]
General Mandible: Cutter, what are you doing?
Colonel Cutter: Something I should have done a long time ago.
[extends his hand to the worker ants]
Colonel Cutter: *This* is for the good of the colony, General.
General Mandible: You useless, ungrateful maggot! *I* am the colony!

  • Rango: "Thirsty, brother?"
  • In Cats Don't Dance, the line "How does the kitty cat go?" is first spoken menacingly by Max to Danny, then reversed on him when Danny sends Max flying on a punctured Darla balloon float.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, there are a multitude of great examples.
    • The line "I did this" was said first by Hiccup upon realizing he couldn't bring himself to kill Toothless and again by Stoick when he thinks Hiccup is dead. Bonus points for having Toothless in both scenes and in the same position.
    • "You just gestured to all of me..."
    • "Thank you, for summing that up."
    • "That's for ______. And that's for everything else" Spoken by Astrid, when she hit Hiccup twice for keeping secrets, again when Hiccup drops her off after taking her to fly, only this time she kisses him the second time, instead of hitting him, and one last time at the end when she kisses him again.
    • "We're Vikings. It's an occupational hazard."
    • "Night Fury! Get down!" Spoken first when the Night Fury is attacking, and later when Toothless jumps on the villagers, playfully.
    • "We have dragons." Counts as a Book Ends.
  • The phrase "New arrival", first used when Mayhew arrives in the Land of the Dead, is given a sinister tone after Lord Barkis accidentally kills himself by drinking the poison meant for Victor in an ironic toast to Emily. This makes him fair game to the dead, who descend in an angry mob to carry out a Fate Worse Than Death.


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

Count Olaf: Hello, hello, hello. I missed you guys.

  • Pulp Fiction: In the 3rd scene of the movie, Marcellus Wallace is convincing Butch to throw his boxing match and says this:

Marcellus Wallace: The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fuckin' with you

    • And then later, when Butch has Marcellus on the ground, punching him in the face repeatedly after not throwing the fight, says this to him:

Butch: You feel that sting, big boy, huh? That's pride FUCKIN' with you!!

  • Lampshaded in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams' line Sorry, I have to go see about a girl. is later used by Matt Damon and Robin Williams reply is "Son of a bitch, stole my line."
  • Three Hundred goes the malicious route. "This will not be over quickly..." is used by Theron against Gorgo, then reversed by her when she gives him his comeuppance.
  • Miss Congeniality uses the second situation. "It is not a beauty pageant. It is a scholarship program!"
    • Also, before her transformation, Sandra Bullock's character Gracie answers a question with "Yeah." Candice Bergen's character Kathy Morningside (the director of the pageant) corrects her, saying "Yes." At the end of the movie, when Gracie is pushing Morningside in the car, the ex-pageant winner says "Yeah, yeah." Gracie corrects her, echoing "Yes" before shutting the door in the shocked woman's face.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as in the book, Professor Umbridge forces Harry to copy lines using a magic pen that etches the words "I must not tell lies" into the back of his hand. He proves how well he learned his lesson when, under attack by enraged centaurs, Umbridge begs him to tell them she means them no harm. "Sorry, Professor. I must not tell lies."
    • And in Deathly Hallows he does it to her again when she's trying to force a Muggles-born witch to confess to stealing her wand from someone else. As it happens, neither of these instances occurred in the books; they were added to the movies as a bit of cruel irony.
  • A similar phrase was used in the stage musical Annie. When the FBI takes Miss Hannigan away, she pleads to have Annie witness to how good she treated her and the other orphans. Annie responds with the one thing Miss Hannigan always taught her: "Never tell a lie."
  • Played with in the film adaptation of The Secret Garden; when Mary's name is called at the station in London, the children start singing the nursery rhyme "Mary Mary Quite Contrary". Later on in the film, Dickon starts singing it and Mary remarks that the children used to sing it at her on the boat from India. She then happily sings the rest of the song with Dickon.
  • A rather subtle version of this is employed in Back to The Future. Throughout the movie, various characters are constantly advising or admonishing Marty to "use your head." In the climax of the film when the DeLorean stalls, it only starts again when Marty thumps his head onto the steering wheel.
  • In Little Giants, the two coaches (brothers; the all-American versus the geek) put up their businesses (the geek's gas station versus the jock's car dealership) on the outcome of the game between them. At halftime, with the jock's team up, he taunts, "You'll always have a job at the full-service pumps." At the end of the game, the geek's team wins, and the jock wants out. After teasing him for a second, the geek retorts, "You'll always have a job at (my new car dealership)!"
  • In She's All That, when Taylor dumps Zack for Brock, she says "You didn't think I'd leave for college still dating you, did you? Oh, you did? That's sweet." Later, when Brock dumps her, he uses almost the exact same line.
  • At the beginning of Legally Blonde, Warner dumps college girlfriend Elle, saying "If I'm gonna be a senator by the time I'm thirty, I've gotta stop dicking around." At the end of the movie, when Elle is a promising law student and Warner tries to win her back, she replies, "If I'm going to be a partner in a law firm by the time I'm thirty, I need a boyfriend who isn't a total bonehead."
  • A Christmas Story has a recurring line: "You'll shoot your eye out." At the end of the movie, Ralphie shoots off his new BB gun, the BB ricochets and grazes his cheek just below his eye. His first thought: "OH MY GOD, I SHOT MY EYE OUT!". In the moments that follow, he steps on and breaks his glasses, which is effectively the same thing.
  • Shaun of the Dead plays this into the ground, including (but not limited to):
    • "You've got red on you."
    • "I'm sorry." "You haven't got anything to be sorry about..." "No. I'm sorry."
      • "I'll stop doing 'em when you stop laughing." "I'm not laughing."
    • "He's not my Dad."
    • "It's on random!"
    • "Big Al says so."
    • "Dogs can look up!"
    • "Oh, leave 'im alone!"
    • A non-verbal example; the two scenes in which Shaun walks from his house to the shop, which are filmed exactly the same. The first time, pre-Zombie Apocalypse, everything's normal. The second time, post-Zombie Apocalypse, the street is trashed and the living dead are wandering around. Shaun's equally oblivious to what's going on both times.
    • When Shaun is lamenting in the pub after breaking up with Liz, all of Ed's statements about what to do are the entire rest of the movie.
  • The last half-hour of Hot Fuzz runs on 50% Crowning Moment of Awesome, 50% Ironic Echoes.
  • In Batman Begins, both Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox get Ironic Echoes in as they reveal to Earle they've taken over Wayne Enterprises.
    • "Mind your surroundings."
    • "Don't be afraid."
  • A Knight's Tale has the villain repeatedly taunting the hero with the words "You have been weighed. You have been measured. You have been found wanting." Much later, after the villain gets his comeuppance, the hero's sidekicks repeat the phrase back to the villain.
    • There's also a line uttered by one of the sidekicks early on; "God love you, William." "I know, I know. No-one else will." Later, it makes for a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming as said sidekick repeats the first sentence, and finishes it with "And so do I."
  • In Snakes on a Plane, the phrase, "Do what I say, and you'll live," is used twice. The first time, it is spoken by Samuel L. Jackson's character, advising a witness who is in mortal danger. The second time comes at the end, by the witness himself, advising Jackson on how to really enjoy life.
  • Being There: "I understand." (Movie version only.)
  • Shaft: Vic tells Shaft to "Close it yourself, shitty!" referring to the door of his apartment, echoing (non-ironically) the woman Shaft has just slept with. In the final scene, Shaft echoes the line, this time referring to "closing the case."
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: "By your leave, Mr. Norrington!"

Barbossa: (after Elizabeth tells him to leave) I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.

      • Later in the movie, when he sends Ragetti to request that she join Barbossa for dinner.

Elizabeth: You may tell your Captain that I am disinclined to acquiesce to his request.
Ragetti: He said you'd say that.

    • There's also this gem...

Elizabeth: (after failing to convince to the other pirates to go back with her for Jack) Bloody Pirates.

      • A little later on...

Ragetti: (seeing the Black Pearl sailing off) Is it supposed to be doing that?
Pintel: They're stealing our ship!
Ragetti: Bloody Pirates.

    • "They're more like guidelines anyway!"
    • How about this one?

Norrington: You are without doubt the worst pirate I've ever heard of.

    • Later still...

Groves: He must be the best pirate I've ever seen!
Norrington: So it would seem.

    • From the third film, Elizabeth uses the line 'It was my burden to bear' to justify not telling Will about feeding Jack to the kraken. Will uses the same line when it's revealed he led Sao Feng to the Pearl.
    • Several times, the phrase 'it's just good business' is used to justify characters betraying one another. The final use is by Cutler Beckett, when he realises he's going to die after the crew of the Dutchman turn on him and accepts his fate.
  • A hilarious example of this is in the 2nd The Karate Kid, the Jerk Jock of a martial arts teacher's saying is, "Mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful here. A man who faces you is the enemy. Enemies deserve no mercy." which he drills into his students with full force. In the sequel he gets pissed off at the fact that his number one pupil lost to Mr. Miyagi's student who he thinks is a joke. So he takes it out on his pupils after he lost and starts to almost kill one of them until Mr. Miyagi tells him to stop. He doesn't listen and tries to take out Mr. Miyagi. He also ends up with shattered hands full of glass and on his knees -- Mr. Miyagi didn't even touch him, it was all his own doing. While he's crying out in pain and begging for mercy, Mr. Miyagi in a dangerous voice repeats the line while holding the jerk's head in his hands: "Mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful here. A man who face you he is enemy. Enemy deserve no mercy."
    • Everyone, even his loyal pupil believes he's going to finish the guy off. But at the last second instead of striking he honks the guy's nose and the guy passes out anyway.
      • The nose honk itself is also an echo, as Daniel does the same thing to Chozen at the end of the movie.
  • In Changing Lanes, Ben Affleck's character pulls a Type 2 of sorts near the end—following the advice, but in a way which the advice-giver didn't intend.
  • In The Machinist, Trever first says "I know who you are!" repeatedly and angrily when he thinks he has worked out the identity of Ivan, and then later in a terrified tone when he actually has worked out Ivan's identity ( a sort-of personification of his guilt).
  • In X 2 X Men United, Magneto sarcastically comments: "Wolverine, whoever goes into the dam needs to be able to operate the spillway mechanism. What do you intend to do? Scratch it with your claws?" Later on, that's exactly what he does (well, a bit more than scratch) to save all the protagonists from being drowned by the flood approaching down the spillway—smash a fist full of claw into the mechanism. Whether that would actually work as a control method in real life is up for debate.
    • And in the third: "best defense is a good offense", as well as Wolverine throwing Magneto's us vs. them rhetoric right back in his face when he gets shot with the mutant cure.
    • And in X Men First Class, Sebastian tells young Magneto to "move the coin by the time I count to three", and shoots his mom in front of him when he fails. Later, when Magneto has Sebastian helpless...

Magneto: I'm going to count to three, and then I'm going to move the coin.

    • Also from First Class: "Mutant and proud."
    • First Class also gives us the more meta example of Xavier echoing the Nazis' famous historical defence that they were "Just Following Orders", despite it not having been actually used in the film.
  • In The American President, current US president Andrew Shepard makes fun of his rival running for office's catchphrase a few times throughout the film, which is "My name is Bob Rumpsen and I'm running for President!" At the film's climax, in a Crowning Moment of Awesome, President Shepard makes a moving speech condemning Rumpsen and all his tactics, ending with the following twist: "My name is Andrew Shepard and I am the President."
  • Fairly early in The Deaths of Ian Stone, the title character's girlfriend recites to him, "Cross my heart and hope to die/Stick a needle in your eye." (It's a children's rhyme, in case you don't know, often accompanying children's promises.) He has in fact crossed her heart, inasmuch as they were apparently lovers of some sort before he developed a sense of ethics. She can't kill him, but is more than capable of putting him through enough torment for him to "hope to die." And when the first half of that rhyme is repeated? She really does stick a needle in his eye.
  • In the 1952 version of Moulin Rouge, Jane Avril excitedly bids farewell to Toulouse-Lautrec in the first scene with the line, "There's the most divine creature waiting for me..." She says this again to say goodbye to him at the end, when he lies dying and hallucinates that the Moulin's dancers have returned.
  • Happens in the laughably bad live action adaptation of Fist of the North Star. At the start of the film Kenshiro, not wanting to fight his former friend and love rival Shin, says that "The North Star and the Southern Cross should never fight", only for Shin to respond "That is true... but there is no North Star" just before almost killing Ken. At the end the film the roles are reversed, with Ken simply saying Southern Cross in place of North Star. Oddly enough, by that part it seems like Shin may be serious and honestly repenting what he's done, yet Ken goes on beating him to death.
  • In the Sex and the City movie, Steve admits that he cheated on Miranda and they fight, with him trying desperately to apologize and saying it was a one-time lapse of judgment, etc., while she says that now she can't trust him ever again. Near the end of the movie, Miranda admits that her slip of the tongue might have cost Carrie her marriage and Carrie winds up using almost the exact same lines as Miranda did to chew her out for it.
  • What Dreams May Come: Christopher tends to say the phrase, "Sometimes when you win, you lose," to somebody close to him when circumstances don't work out how they should (such as when he and his wife Annie decide to part ways after their children's deaths). However, after he has successfully travelled to Hell, located Annie, and redeemed her by not abandoning her in her time of need as he did in life, she walks up to him with a smile on her face and echoes, "Sometimes, when you lose... You win."
  • Grand Hotel (1932): "Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."
  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance has Lee Geum-ja being told, "Stop crying, bitch, it brings bad luck." by another inmate upon her incarceration. Geum-ja repeats this back to the same inmate, who was dying of kidney failure, when she gives her one of her kidneys.
  • Yentl has two: "Nothing's impossible!", first uttered to the titular character by her study partner Avigdor after he asks her/him to marry his ex-fiancée, later uttered by her when Avigdor almost leaves town after she refuses the favor. The other is "God will understand. I'm not so sure about the neighbors," first said by Yentl's father when asked why he is closing the windows if God will understand that his teaching her Talmudic law, which was forbidden to women at the time, is not with ill intent. It is said again by her to Avigdor's ex-fiancée (now her legal wife) in the same context.
  • In The Truman Show, every morning Truman greets his neighbor with the phrase "Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!" He says the same thing before walking out the door in the sky dome at the end of the movie and entering the real world for the first time.
  • Strictly Ballroom has "a life lived in fear" bounced around several times between Fran and Scott, with a final game-changing echo from Doug.
  • In The Crow: City of Angels, Ashe Corven does this with several of the targets of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "You're wasting your breath, Angelito! Nobody's up there listening!" "Nothing personal, sport." and for the Big Bad himself, "Pain is my power."
    • In the original film The Crow Albrect confronts Eric, saying "you move and you're dead". Based on his current situation, Eric's reply is "I'm dead and I move".
  • During the climax of Return to Oz the Nome King gives Dorothy a chance to rescue the Scarecrow by taking part in a potentially lethal game, and offers the sofa-bodied Gump the chance to take the first turn:

The Nome King: Why doesn't the sofa go first?
(after the Gump loses...)
The Nome King: Next... Pumpkinhead!

    • Later, when Dorothy starts winning...

The Nome King: STOP!!!
Dorothy: But we haven't finished guessing yet! You promised that if we guessed correctly--
The Nome King: I'M TIRED OF GAMES. I'M TIRED OF ALL OF YOU! WHY DOESN'T THE SOFA GO... FIRST?
(he reaches down and tears the Gump's body off, consuming it whole)
The Nome King: NEXT... PUMPKINHEAD!

  • In The Ghost and the Darkness, Remmington says to Patterson. "You've just been hit. The getting up is up to you." Patterson later repeats it back to Remmington.
  • Run Fatboy Run: Hank Azaria's character is piloting an R/C boat. When his girlfriend's son asks if he can try, he says, "No, but you can watch me do it." At the end, when Azaria is in the hospital, the kid adjusts the bed until he is nearly crushed. "Can I control the bed?" "No, but you can watch me do it."
  • Trick R Treat: Steven Wilkins wishes Mr. Kreeg a Happy Halloween, and the only answer he gets is "Screw you!" Later, Steven sees Kreeg through the window, banging on the glass and calling for help (it's not until the end of the movie that we find out why he needed it). Steven is uninterested in helping him. "Screw you."
  • "A chance for Captain Faramir of Gondor to show his character." in The Film of the Book of The Two Towers would have been a direct quote from the book. It becomes an Ironic Echo because the movie completely reverses Faramir's motivations in this scene. In the book, he overcomes the lure of the Ring and sends Frodo and Sam on their way; in the movie he succumbs temporarily and tries to take them to Minas Tirith.
    • Also in The Two Towers, Theoden makes a comment that they (the ones at Helm's Deep) are alone. At the end, when all seems lost, Eomer shows up with reinforcements, saying that Theoden isn't alone.
  • In the 2009 Star Trek, McCoy says to Kirk at their introduction, "I may throw up on you", referring to his air sickness. Later, when he injects Kirk with a vaccine that makes him nauseous, Kirk repeats this line back.

Decker: Moving into that cloud, at this time, is an unwarranted gamble.
Kirk: How do you define unwarranted?

    • And then later, after Ilia has been zapped by the probe:

Decker: This is how I define unwarranted!

  • In Blue Thunder, Big Bad Colonel Cochrane's Catch Phrase is "Catch ya later", which he uses to annoy The Hero, Frank Murphy. At the end of their climactic helicopter duel, Murphy says the line back to the (now violently deceased) Cochrane as a Bond One-Liner.
  • In Key Largo, Rocco spends most of the movie armed and dangerous, threatening to shoot the hostages on the slightest whim, taunting Frank as a coward for surviving the war. When the hurricane starts turning Rocco into a quivering mass, Frank taunts back: "You don't like it, do you Rocco, the storm? Show it your gun, why don't you? If it doesn't stop, shoot it!"
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, the title characters have an encounter with racist white hoodlums who harass an Indian shopkeeper with "Thank you, come again!" Toward the end of the movie, they encounter the same characters. Harold, who has been taking crap for the entire movie, finally snaps and boldly steals their truck. As they're driving away, Kumar victoriously taunts the outraged hoodlums with this same line.
  • In Empire Records, Warren is being dragged out of Empire Records kicking and screaming after being arrested for shoplifting, when Lucas delivers a parting shot. "Take care of yourself, Warren. Don't let the Man get you down." At the end of the movie, Warren returns to the store and scares everyone by pretending to shoot up the place. Though the gun is real, the bullets aren't. As the situation gets resolved, Warren finds himself in the employees' good graces after dropping the whole macho routine, to the point of even being given a job there. When the cops arrive to deal with Warren, Lucas again says, "Take care of yourself. Don't let the Man get you down." The irony is that Lucas is clearly mocking Warren when he says that the first time, but he sincerely means it when he says it the second time.
  • In the first Spider-Man movie, Peter is ripped off by his wrestling promoter, and when he protests that he needs the money the promoter sneers back, "I missed the part where that's my problem." Then, as Peter's leaving, the promoter is robbed, and Peter lets the robber slip past him. The promoter is outraged and demands to know why Peter didn't stop him from getting away with the promoter's money. Peter's response? "I missed the part where that's my problem." This chance to have an ironic echo backfires big-time for Peter when the robber he let get away ends up shooting his uncle.
    • ...Only for it to be reworked to played completely straight by the third film where, thanks to a Retcon, they actually made the robber completely innocent of his uncle's death, and that it was actually the person who became Sandman who shot him.
  • Demolition Man: "Is it cold in here, or is it just me?"
  • The Running Man. Killian is involved in multiple examples.
    • When Killian first meets the captive Richards he says "Hello, cutie-pie. One of us is in deep trouble." When Richards escapes and confronts Killian, he repeats the line back to him.
    • Killian talks about last year's winners: "there they are, and at this very moment they're basking in the beautiful Maui sun, their debt to society paid in full", while doctored video of them doing just that played. When the transmission is hijacked, the line is repeated, showing their real fate: dead and decayed in the game arena.
    • Killian tells his bodyguard Sven to eject Captain Freedom. When Sven doesn't immediately act, Killian says "What's the matter, steroids make you deaf?". Later on, when Killian expects Sven to save him from Richards, Sven says "I got to score some steroids" and walks away, leaving him to Richards' mercy.
  • The Princess Bride. When Buttercup asks Humperdinck to promise he'll return Westley to his ship:

Humperdinck: I swear it will be done. (quiet aside to Count Rugen) Once we're out of sight, take him back to Florin and throw him in the Pit of Despair.
Count Rugen: I swear it will be done.

  • From the first Bring It On, after a terrible routine at Regionals, Torrence's boyfriend tries to cheer her up by telling her "You're a great cheerleader, Tor, and you're cute as hell. But maybe you're not "captain" material." Later, after Torrence found out he cheated on her, she calmly told him "You're a great cheerleader, Aaron, and you're cute as hell. But maybe you're not "boyfriend" material."
  • In the beginning of Enchanted, Robert asks Giselle if "[this is] a habit of [hers], falling off things?" She replies "Well, there's usually someone there to catch me." Later, when positions are reversed, she asks him the same question, to which he replies "Only when you're there to catch me."
  • In Duplicity, when the head of Equikrom's espionage unit is telling his boss about the history of Ronny Patiz, he mentions that Ronny made some kind of lotion. The boss asks if it was a cream or a lotion. Toward the end of the film, when Ray and Claire are selling Ronny's formula for a hair-growth shampoo to the Swiss, they are told, "This formula is nothing but a common skin cream. Sorry, a lotion."
  • In The Philadelphia Story, Dexter tells Tracy:

Dexter: The fact is you'll never be a first-class human being or a first-class woman, until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty.

    • Later, Tracy unwittingly echoes the line to Mike.

Tracy: The truth is you'll never, you can't be, a first-rate writer or a first-rate human being, until you've learned to have some small regard for human frai--

    • Also, Tracy says the following when talking about class politics:

Tracy: Upper and lower my eye; I'll take the lower, thanks.

      • Ironically, Dexter uses the same expression when defending the upper classes to George.

George: You and your whole rotten class!
Dexter: Oh class my eye!

  • In GoldenEye, Alec Trevelyan, during his last mission with James Bond, declared "For England!" before being seemingly killed. Later, when he revealed himself as the villain Janus, he muttered "For England" after knocking Bond unconscious. At the end of their final fight, when Bond has Trevelyan at his mercy, Trevelyan says, "For England, James?" Bond answers, "No. For me," before letting Trevelyan plunge to his death.
    • Also, Xenia Onatopp tries to do this to Bond with another line that's repeated twice. When they first meet during a card game in Monte Carlo, she tells him "The pleasure is all mine." Later, after she's established herself as The Dragon and tries to kill Bond, he has a fight scene with her and makes her take him to Janus. Bond asks if she had a nice evening, and she replies, "Well, once again the pleasure was all yours". The line comes a third time later in the movie when she attacks him again, and says "This time, Mr. Bond, the pleasure will be all mine." However, this being a James Bond movie, he gives her a Karmic Death.
  • In Iron Man 2, Justin Hammer tells Ivan Vanko to not get too attached to things in reference to his bird. Vanko soon offers Hammer the same advice in reference to Hammer's drones.
    • At the beginning of the first film, Tony proudly proclaims that "the day weapons are no longer needed to keep the peace, I'll start making bricks and beans for baby hospitals". Later, when Tony has his epiphany, Obadiah Stane makes a similar remark, illustrating what Tony could have been if hadn't seen what his weapons were being used for.
  • Real Genius: Chris convinces Mitch to get revenge on Kent by telling him "It's a moral imperative." Later, Mitch tells him the same thing when convincing him to pass Hathaway's test.
  • In Trainspotting, Renton's "choose life" speech sarcastically lists all of the 'benefits' of sobriety, only to end with him questioning why he needs it when he's got heroin. At the end having cheated his mates and stolen thousands of pounds from them, he once again lists the same benefits of sobriety, but this time is fully sincere about living that life.
  • In Bad Influence Rob Lowe's character says, "You make a very funny face when you come" to James Spader's character while watching the videotape he made of Spader having sex, much to the latter's horror. Later in the film, Spader turns this around by saying, "Has anyone ever told you you make a very funny face when you come?" while holding a knife to Lowe's throat. It's something of a CMoA and a Take That for the character as well.
  • Hammed up in Fallen, as first and last line of the film: I'm going to tell you about the time I NEARLY died.
  • In Ever After, when Jacqueline (the nicer of the two stepsisters) tries to give her mother a reality check by reminding her that "it's only a ball," Rodmilla replies coldly, "and you're only going for the food." Later in the film, when Rodmilla and Marguerite are receiving their comeuppance, Jacqueline finally gets some of her own back for all of her mother's belittling:

Rodmilla: Jacqueline, dear. I'd hate to think that you had anything to do with this?
Jacqueline: Of course not, mother. I'm only here for the food!

  • The Russian film Adventures of Masha and Vitja has a scene where the kids find a house with a woman claiming to be a good witch who "likes boys and girls very much". She invites them to have a nap in her house and when she believes they are asleep, it is revealed she is a Wicked Witch when she starts explaining how she will cook the kids because "I like boys and girls very much" For a kid-oriented film that's Nightmare Fuel.
  • In G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra, Destro's minion Doctor Mindbender tells research subjects "This will only hurt a little. What comes next, more so" before injecting them with Destro's nanomites. At the climax of the film Cobra Commander says the same to Destro when injecting him with a new strain of nanomites.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe:

Evelyn: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!
Girl #1: Face it, lady, we're younger and faster!
Evelyn: *rear-ends the other car six times*
Girl #1: What are you doing?
Girl #2: Are you crazy?
Evelyn: Face it, girls, I'm older and I have more insurance.

  • In The Monster Squad, bullies routinely pick on Horace by calling him 'Fat Kid', to which he ineffectually protests that "My name is Horace!" Then, after he's blown away the Creature From The Black Lagoon with a shotgun in front of those same bullies, who are cowering in fear behind a window:

Bully: Hey, Fat Kid! Good job!
Horace: My name... is Horace. [[[Dramatic Gun Cock]]]

  • We Were Soldiers, and Sgt. Savage's greeting to Sergeant Major Plumley: "It's a beautiful morning, Sergeant Major!" (It's met with a less than friendly response.) Towards the end of the film, after Sergeant Savage has Spent the last day and night pinned down behind enemy lines struggling to keep the men in his platoon alive, Sergeant Major Plumley looks at him and says "It's a beautiful morning, Sergeant Savage."
  • Early in Equilibrium, Partridge (who feels emotion, which is illegal and chemically suppressed in the future) quotes William Yeats to Preston (who's about to kill him), including the line "Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams". At the end after Preston himself starts feeling emotion, and kills all the guards protecting DuPont, the Big Bad DuPont who is also feeling but is exploiting the law for his own benefit tells him "Be careful, Preston, you're treading on my dreams". It doesn't seem to make sense, considering DuPont didn't hear Partridge use the quote, but he likely would have read any paperwork that Preston filled out, including the quote. The Ironic Echo was likely a last-ditch attempt to throw Preston off and gain an upper hand in their duel. It fails.
  • In the movie Ushpizim, there is "Like that?" "Only like that." Said first when the main character is telling his wife that he only wants to be with her. Later, when she tells him that she's leaving so that he can find a wife who will give him children.
  • Max Keeble's Big Move does three variations: First is when Principal Jindrake tells Keeble that he "excourages" horseplay and slacking off. Keeble later uses that exact word when realizing that the manner he decided to take care of the bullies was not the right way to do so. The second is where Keeble tells Jindrake that his suspicions of Jindrake being a criminal were actually "ground-full" and then telling him to look it up when he protested the word. Jindrake did the same thing earlier in the film with the Excourage part. The third and last part is between Jenna and Megan: During their first meeting, Jenna explains to Megan that Megan is actually sitting in her seat, complete with "Can't You Read the Sign?" on the chair, and then telling her to "shoo-shoo!" Megan then tells Jenna those exact same words when Max explains that he's seeing someone (Megan) when refusing Jenna's invitation.
  • The Specialist: In the beginning of the film taking place in 1984, Ned says this to Ray during their CIA mission:

Ned: Here's a tip: No fail-safe.

    • Fast forward to 1994, Ray says the same exact thing to Ned near the end of the movie when Ned steps on a bomb causing the booby-trapped warehouse to blow up.

Ray: Here's a tip: No fail-safe.
Ned: Pressure pads?

  • In Striking Distance, Jimmy Detillo says this to Nick Detillo after killing him when it's revealed that Jimmy is wearing a bulletproof vest:

Jimmy Detillo: Who's the best cop now, huh? Who's the best cop now?

    • And said again by Tom Hardy before shocking him in the mouth with his tazer gun in the river:

Tom Hardy: Who's the best cop now?

  • Enemy of the State: when Brill first meets Dean, he says "You're either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid" as he doesn't know why he's being followed by NSA agents. He repeats that phrase when Dean tells the agents that he has hidden the tape they're searching for somewhere else... when they don't have such a tape. (Dean is aiming for an Enemy Mine situation there)
  • Men in Black: In the opening scene, Kay's partner Dee decides that he's no longer up to the job due to his age:

Dee: I'll tell ya, Kay. I will miss the chase.
Kay: No. You won't.

    • Kay then uses the Neuralizer on Dee. Later, at the end of the film, Kay decides it's time for him to retire as well, and has this exchange with his new partner Jay.

Kay: See you around, sport.
Jay: No. You won't.

  • I Could Never Be Your Woman Rosie (Michelle Pfeiffer) comes across her daughter, Izzie (Saoirse Ronan), playing a video game. Izzie reveals it's her crush's favorite game, and she's trying to get good at it, so she'll have something in common with him. Rosie says, "Sounds like a firm basis for a relationship." Later on, Rosie's much younger date arrives at their house, and while looking around, discovers a bottle of medication, and that he takes the same kind. Izzie repeats "Sounds like a firm basis for a relationship."
  • While not a straight example, in the 80's classic Road House, in one scene, Corrupt Hick Brad Wesley has his goons destroy a car dealers lot as punishment for the dealer thinking about standing up to him and reminds him "This is my town. Don't you forget it." Near the end of the movie, after Dalton assaults Wesley's compound, Wesley is shot by several denizens who's property he destroyed; Frank Tilghman, the owner of the Double Deuce bar then says "This is our town. Don't you forget it," before firing the shot that kills him.
  • Inception has Saito asking Cobb, who's dubious about the inception attempt, "Do you want to take a leap of faith, or become an old man filled with regret, waiting to die alone?" When Cobb has to describe limbo to Saito he says that he'll be lost so long that he'll become an old man. Saito: "Filled with regret." Cobb: "Waiting to die alone."
  • In Doctor Dolittle 2 Dolittle tries to get an endangered bear to mate in order to save a forest. The Corrupt Corporate Executive tells him that won't happen so he makes an offer noting this way he can save face, won't have to admit he was wrong, and won't look like a fool. When Dolittle gets the animals to unite against him, he proposes they set up a meeting as it's the only way to save face, he won't have to admit he was wrong, and he'll get out of the situation without looking like an idiot.
  • Training Day: "You wanna go to jail, or do you wanna go home?"
  • "Someone stole that man's face" from Mystery Team. Originally said to convey disgust at an image by one character; later said to describe what the characters did to the Big Bad. Played very much for laughs.
  • In the Schwarzenegger movie Raw Deal, Kaminsky was forced to resign from the FBI after beating the shit out of a guy who had murdered a little girl. The district attorney's words to Kaminsky were "Resign or be prosecuted." Near the end of the movie, after Kaminsky has taken out the mob boss villain and his men, he finds the district attorney, who it turns out was on the boss's payroll. Kaminsky leaves behind a pistol, telling him to "resign or be prosecuted." As Kaminsky leaves, a single gunshot is heard as the attorney chooses to "resign."
  • |"Good morning, Mr. Phelps."
  • In The Ten Commandments, Pharaoh says "So let it be written, so let it be done" when enacting his divine will. After the tenth plague, where his son was killed along with all the first born of Egypt, Pharaoh finally tells Moses to take his people and leave. As Moses walks away, he says "So let it be written...".
  • In I Spit on Your Grave, Jennifer has taken revenge on all but one of her rapists, who begs for mercy as she closes in for the kill. Jennifer responds with the line that he gave her during their assault on her -- "Suck it, bitch!"
  • In The Smurfs, Gargamel constantly asks his cat Azrael, "Are you dead?", when something befalls him. Near the end of the movie, Azrael meows out this question mockingly at his master when Gargamel is hit by a bus.
  • In The Matrix trilogy, Agent Smith always uses "It is inevitable" or variations of the phrase. Later, when Neo surrenders to Smith in order to effectively defeat him (long story short, Neo has to merge with Smith to eliminate him while connected to the source), Neo says "You were right, Smith. You were right all along. It was inevitable."
  • Rent: "I'll cover you" shows up twice. The first time, it's part of a Love Duet and an extended metaphor about a pair of lovers looking out for each other. The second time, it's part of a eulogy.
  • In the Kamen Rider Double movie Begins Night, Shotaro calls Phillipe "Akuma" (Devil) for his involvement in the creation of Gaia Memories. A little while later, when the two are trapped in the building together and need to team up to escape, Phillipe asks Shotaro, "Akuma to ainori suru yuuki, aru ka na?" (Do you have the courage to ride with the Devil?)
  • In The Shawshank Redemption, the warden talks to Andy about his bible, telling him that "salvation lies within." At the end of the movie, Andy leaves the warden the bible (which is shown to have concealed the rock hammer Andy used to dig his escape tunnel) with a note saying that the warden was right, salvation lay within.
  • Early in Wall Street, Gordon advises against getting emotional about stock. Later in the movie, Bud repeats this back to Gordon.
  • In The Social Network, the first scene has a woman accuse Mark of being an asshole. The movie ends with another woman reassuring Mark he isn't an asshole but he's trying hard to be.
  • In Collateral, Vincent tells Max an anecdote about how a man once got on the ATM in LA and died, with nobody noticing the corpse traveling around the city until much later. At the end of the film, as the same situation is happening to him, Vincent notes the irony similarity of his own fate just before he dies, and wonders whether anyone will notice.[1]
  • Early on in The Breakfast Club, Andrew shouts at Bender, "You don't even count. You could disappear forever, and it wouldn't make any difference. You might as well not even exist at this school." Later on when they start opening up to each other, Bender says "What do you care what I think, anyway? I don't even count ... right? I could disappear forever and it wouldn't make any difference. I might as well not even exist at this school, remember?"
  • A few examples in The Avengers
    • When Loki first appears, Fury tries to defuse the situation by saying "We have no quarrel with your people": Loki responds "An ant has no quarrel with a boot." When Loki is captive on the Helicarrier, Fury says that one button is all it will take to jettison the cell, Loki included, and remarks (pointing at Loki) "Ant..." (points at button) "...Boot."
    • Tony sarcastically remarking that Coulson's first name is "Agent", then later, "His name was Phil." Bonus points for it being said both times in the same room, on different days.
    • A more serious one: while ferrying Captain Rogers to the Helicarrier, Agent Coulson says that "Maybe people need 'old-fashioned'" in response to Captain America's traditional suit, but clearly referring to the ideals Captain America represents. Later, at the team's darkest moment, Fury suggests that believing in heroes might be "an old-fashioned notion."
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. While hunting Mr. Hyde, Quatermain saves Sawyer from being injured by falling masonry and tells him "Eyes open, boy. I can't protect you all the time". Near the end Sawyer protects Quatermain from Moriarty's attack and repeats the line back to him.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • A Christmas Carol. Early on, Scrooge, when asked to make a charitable donation, snarls back, "Are there no prisons? No workhouses?" Meaning that he feels he already makes a big enough contribution to the poor through his taxes. Later on, when Scrooge starts to have a change of heart he expresses concern over the condition of "Ignorance" and "Want", two skinny, poorly-clad allegorical children who hang around the Ghost of Christmas Present. Upon hearing this, the Ghost of Christmas Present cynically echoes Scrooge's earlier line, "Are there no prisons? No workhouses?"
    • Also, the men asking for donations say that many poor would rather die than go to prison or the poorhouses. Scrooge replies, "If they'd rather die then they'd better do it, and decrease the surplus population!" When the Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge that Tiny Tim could die, he echoes Scrooge's line with, "But if he's going to die, then he'd better do it and decrease the surplus population!" Ouch.
    • During the added Ironic Hell scene in the 1970 musical film, Marley mocks Scrooge with "Bah, humbug" as he is chained to a post in an icy office.
  • Variation: In A Song of Ice and Fire, Arya Stark manages to sneak up on the Tickler, a familiar torturer, and maniacally spouts of his modus operandi interrogation speech while furiously stabbing him; "Is there gold hidden in the village? Is there silver? Gems? Is there food? Where is lord Beric?..."
    • Cersei's "I shall wear [the bruise] like a badge of honor" after Robert hits her, echoed to her later by Ned, when she slaps him.
    • Theon spends most of A Dance with Dragons in a state of Stockholm Syndrome denying his identity due to the horrific abuse he suffered at the hands of his captor, Ramsay Bolton; in his internal monologue he frequently repeats the line "You have to know your name" in order to remind himself that he's supposed to be "Reek", not Theon. At the end of his last chapter in the book he repeats the line to emphasize that he once again recognises himself as Theon.
  • Harry Potter book examples
    • In Philosopher's Stone, there's Ron's "Are you a witch or not?!" to Hermione; wayyy later, in Deathly Hallows, she says the exact same thing to him.
    • 'Weasley Is Our King'. The Slytherins were just asking for the Insult Backfire on that one.
    • In Order of the Phoenix, more than once Hermione discourages Ron from doing things she considers unbecoming of an authority figure by reminding him that he's a prefect. Then Cue Harry Potter, in which Harry makes fun of her for secretly interfering with Cormac's Quidditch performance when Ron's trying out for the same position as Cormac by reminding her of her prefect position. Not surprisingly, she's not amused.
  • In Discworld, Death has a catchphrase "There is no justice, there's just me," which he originally means in a very cynical sense. At some point though, as he gains more humanity, he delivers the same line when punishing an evildoer.
    • Later uses are reference to and/or subversion of its use in Mort. "There is no justice, just us!" is used as an excuse for letting "good" people live and "bad" people die. It's later echoed as "There is no justice, just me," reasoning for why the world isn't fair, when what seemed like a good idea turns out to have horrible consequences.
    • And the ultimate Crowning Moment of Heartwarming version from Reaper Man.

Death: Lord, we know there is no good order except that which we create... There is no hope but us. There is no mercy but us. There is no justice.
There is just us.
All things that are, are ours. But we must care. For if we do not care, we do not exist. If we do not exist, then there is nothing but blind oblivion.
And even oblivion must end one day. Lord, will you grant me just a little time? For the proper balance of things. To return what was given.
For the sake of prisoners and the flight of birds.
Lord, what can the harvest hope for, if not the care of the Reaper Man?

    • In Feet of Clay, the Dragon King Of Arms tells Vimes why his ancestor killing a tyrannical king means his family can't get a coat of arms: "Whatever else he was, he was the king. The crown isn't like a watchman's helmet. Even when you take it off, you're still wearing it." At the end of the book, when the Dragon King questions how "a man married to the richest woman in the city" can see himself as the champion of the common people, Vimes retorts "A watchman's helmet isn't like a crown. Even when you take it off, you're still wearing it."
    • In Night Watch, Vimes is chasing down Ax Crazy serial murderer Carcer Dun on the roofs of the Unseen University. When he finally gets Carcer in his grip, the man complains, "You're hurting!" Vimes says no, he's not hurting, he's protecting Carcer, wouldn't want him to fall off. At the end, after Carcer has spent the entire book harrying Vimes and wearing that insipid "what-have-I-done?" grin all over the place, Vimes finally gets him again, and again comes, "You're hurting!" This time, Vimes acknowledges that yes, he is hurting, and he's still doing it by the book; what's more, he's going to make sure everything is done by the book so that Carcer gets a fair trial if it means he has to do every last step of it himself, because a fair trial means a quick execution, and tomorrow's sunrise will shine down all the brighter on Vimes' little son Sam if it's not being shared with Carcer.
    • A variant occurs in Thud, when the Obstructive Bureaucrat who's come to inspect the watch asks Vimes Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? or "Who watches the watchmen?", to which Vimes replies 'Me.' When asked who watches him, his answer 'I do that too. All the time. Believe me.' A boast merely meant to say he doesn't want a paperpusher looking over his shoulder? The Summoning Dark that tried to make Vimes kill several dwarfs finds out the hard way it's not, when it runs into the Guarding Dark, a watchman inside Vimes mind, who echoes the lines before kicking the Summoning Dark out.
    • Witches Abroad gets its own variant—the echo comes in quick succession and it illustrates a difference in philosophy rather than any malice one way or the other. Lily and Esme Weatherwax both get dragged into a mirror, and each is told that they're not quite dead-they'll be freed from the mirror when they can identify the real "them" out of a legion of mirror images. Lily, who has used paired mirrors to amplify her magic almost all her life, rushes off to find it. Esme, who believes in headology and always being certain of who you are and where you stand, asks if it's a trick question, then gestures to herself and says, "This one."
    • In Carpe Jugulum, the phrase "Everywhere I look, I see something holy" takes on two very different meanings: an Oh Crap moment by a vampire whose desensitization training is backfiring horribly, and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming coming from a nerdy, ineffective Good Shepherd on his way to Badass Preacher-hood.
    • Death again, in Hogfather. Throughout the book, he has been filling in for a missing Captain Ersatz of Santa, but can't get the 'ho ho ho' to sound jolly rather than ominous. At the end, he confronts the Auditors of Reality, who had tried to kill said Santa-figure, and gives a very ominous Ho. Ho. HO. before obliterating them.
    • Unseen Academicals has "It's all Shove!" being used in two different contexts by two different characters to describe life among the Ankh-Morpork working class; first it's used in a fatalistic scene by Andy Shank, then it's used by Trev Likely when he resolves to "get out of the Shove" and make something of himself.
  • In the book and movie Holes, the Warden says "Excuse Me?" in every scene she's in, mostly to say something like "shut up, I have all the power." However, when Stanley finds the treasure she's after, she asks to see what's in the box, and gets an "Excuse Me?" in response.
  • In Brave New World, the line, "Oh brave new world, that has such people in it," is said more than once, and at first is positive but then becomes more and more ironic.
  • In The King of Attolia, there's a scene where Eugenides goes to see Relius and says, "Are you ready to discuss the resources of your queen?" It's quickly revealed this was an echo of the previous book.
    • Later on, "You forgot it's only a wooden sword."
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Guan Yu says to Cao Cao "I trust you have been well since we last parted?" Later Cao Cao says the same thing to Guan Yu's severed head.
  • Rewind opens with Aaron Lee Fairfax, one of the seventeen 'Rewound Children', reciting his personal information to disbelieving interrogators. It becomes a sort of mantra for him, and is repeated several times throughout the novel, updated to reflect recent events. In another very Squicky instance, during the interrogation, he is stripped naked for photos, and weakly jokes around by asking if he's posing for pornography. Later, upon seeing the photos published in a trashy tabloid, he repeats this, now 'knowing' the answer.
  • This occurs repeatedly, and often somewhat wittily, in Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman. For instance, the main character tells a traitorous friend that "I wouldn't climb over the backs of my friends to save myself." -- and in flashback, as a school bus teetered on the edge of a cliff, he literally climbed over their backs to reach the door.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Death Masks, Ortega explains he drinks beer, though he doesn't need to, because life is more than survival. Then he offers to call off the duel if Harry becomes a vampire. Harry fishes, establishing that he preys on Children Are Innocent, and refuses; he explains that life is more than survival.
    • As another example, in the later novel Dead Beat, Harry's grave marker has written on it "he died doing the right thing". At the beginning of the novel, Harry treats this with a maudlin attitude, before later realizing that he'd prefer to die doing the right thing than any of the alternatives
      • It's also done when he's given the tombstone, by an enemy who plans to kill an innocent girl right in front of him. Said enemy is protected by the Unseelie Accords, meaning he could either let her be killed and walk away free, or try to save her and incite the entire gathering of vampires to attack him while proclaiming self-defense. Upon realizing this, Harry remarks to his companions, "Sorry guys. I guess I'm going to do the right thing."
      • Later still, Harry is forced to visit the grave marker, and finds he has company, and a conversation ensues. With greater irony: "And did you die doing the right thing?" "No."
  • In Tad Williams' Otherland, Ax Crazy Serial Killer Dread, who is The Dragon for the Big Bad, has a mantra that serves as his Catch Phrase: "Confident, cocky, lazy, dead." Needless to say, this comes back full circle, when after taking over Otherland and going on an apocalyptic orgy of destruction, he has the Other at his mercy. Breaking through its final defenses, he prepares for his ultimate triumph, only to have it calmly recite his mantra back to him as it shows him the impending destruction of the system, with him inside. Oh Crap.
  • Kate Chopin's "Story of an Hour" involves the protagonist learning of her husband's death. At first, heartbroken, she ponders the prospect of living lonely, empty years without him, and fears "that life might be long." Later, she realizes that without him she's free to live her life out from under his thumb, and now hopefully prays "that life might be long." It's doubly ironic because she dies just a few minutes later.
  • Coin of the Realm is filled with these. For just two examples out of the lot: Princess Rosalind is being forced to marry by her father, who says "Daughters are like coin to be traded". Her husband-to-be, upon meeting her, said simply "Looks like you'll have to do." Later, Adalia repeats this before murdering Lief and claiming her right to become her father's new head assassin and right hand; when he starts protesting with "Daughter..." she interrupts with "Daughters are coin and you gave me away," asserting that this means she can now do as she pleases with her life.
  • Combined with a Right Behind Me moment in R.A. Salvatore's The Two Swords;

Kaer'lic: Too much have I seen of these wretched and foul-smelling orcs. Too many tendays have we spent in their filthy company, listening to their foolish gibbering, and pretending that anything they might have to say would be of the least bit of interest to us. Gruumsh take Obould, and Lady Lolth take Drizzt, and may they both be tortured until eternity's end!
*Obould comes from behind her and takes her by the hair*
Obould: Do you recognize the foul smell? Does my gibbering offend you now?

  • In Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham, when Giles first bumps into the dragon Chrysophylax and pretends not to have been seeking him out, the dragon says "Excuse me, were you looking for me?". Chrysophylax is at that moment in control of the situation. When he meets Giles for the second time, Giles utters the phrase while holding him at sword point, mirroring the exact reversal of the situations.
  • In Watership Down, Hazel taunts a farmyard cat, saying "Can you run? I think not." Many chapters later, the cat has Hazel pinned to the ground and hisses "Can you run? I think not.".
  • Used a couple of times in the early Myth Adventures books, minus the time-delay: Gleep does something clumsy and Skeeve scolds him for it, only to turn around and do the same clumsy thing himself and get scolded (with exactly the same words) by Aahz.
  • The last line of the Star Trek novel A Stitch in Time: "You're always welcome..." Addressed to Bashir by Garak, this is the same line given earlier to Garak by Astraea, the leader of the Oralian faith. On one hand, its use at the end signifies the genuine spiritual confidence behind Garak's invite, and suggests he has truly found a sense of peace within himself, at least on some level. He is "opening up" to Bashir, implicitly with genuine eagerness to make a connection. This represents considerable Character Development. It's ironic, though, in that Garak, a "night person" is now echoing Astraea, vessel of the light.
  • There was a short story called In 50 Years Who Will Know or some such, where a girl is constantly told this by her mother whenever something goes wrong, trying to teach the girl not to take misfortune so seriously. Eventually, the girl starts telling herself this (and hating herself for it, as she finds no comfort in it at all). When the mother tries to bleach her hair and ends up dying it "maybe even glow-in-the-dark green", the girl uses this line on her mother. Her mother finds it no more comforting than her daughter did.
  • In Warrior Cats, there are a couple:
    • When Sandpaw and Dustpaw get to go the Gathering (a special event that happens once every month) but Graypaw doesn't, Sandpaw tells him to have a "nice quiet evening". Later, when Graypaw gets to go but Sandpaw doesn't, he mentions that he told her to have a "nice quiet evening".
    • When Sol was a kit, his mother, after being left by her mate, cries, "Why do these things always happen to me?". Sol himself later says this when he has joined SkyClan and is told at the Gathering that he cannot become a warrior (yet, although he doesn't see it that way).
  • In The Outsiders, after coming home very late, Ponyboy's oldest brother angrily yells at him for always using the excuse "I didn't mean to." Later, on the exact page, after he hits Ponyboy, he is stunned and says "I didn't mean to", even as Ponyboy ran out of the house.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the Criminal Minds episode "True Night", Johnny McHale is suffering from a psychotic break due to the trauma of being attacked by gang members. During that incident, the gang leader told him "You're not gonna wanna miss this" before killing his pregnant girlfriend. Eventually, Johnny McHale hunts down the gang leader and just before killing him says "You're not gonna wanna miss this."
  • Played with between series on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Upon meeting their android commander, Data for the first time, and hearing of his desire to be human, Will Riker ascribes him the nickname "Pinocchio". In the next series, when Riker is forced into playing against Data in a courtcase which could, if Data loses, very well see him dismantled beyond repair (i.e. killed), he plays out a devastating scene culminating in switching Data off:

Riker: Pinocchio is broken. Its strings have been cut.

    • Consider that this is, effectively, the same as knocking a person unconscious when they're sitting at a table minding their own business. Worse, in fact, given that turning him off effectively renders Data dead...
    • Done again in "Descent, Part II". A young ensign points out that their tactical officer's calculations, if wrong, would bring them crashing into a planet's atmosphere, and the officer says, "Well then I'll just have to make sure my calculations are correct, Ensign." Later on in the episode, when that ensign figures out how to use a solar eruption to destroy a Borg ship, the tactical officer points out that the flare could destroy them as well. The ensign snaps back, "Well then I'll just have to make sure my calculations are correct, Lieutenant." Rimshot!
    • In the episode "The Most Toys" Data is held captive by an eccentric collector named Kivas Fajo. In order to force Data to accede to Fajo's desires Fajo threatens and eventually kills a crewmember of his trade vessel. After doing so Fajo taunts Data for the android's inability to retaliate over the death.

Fajo: If only you could feel rage over Varria's death... feel the need for revenge... then maybe you could fire. But you're only an android.
After Fajo is placed in custody for his crimes and has his extensive illegally obtained collection returned to their respective owners, Data visits Fajo in the brig. Fajo bitterly remarks over how he has lost everything and is now in Data's collection to which he assumes gives Data "great pleasure." To which is replied:
Data: "No sir, it does not. I do not feel pleasure. I am only an android.

    • Riker delivers a particularly ripping one to Captain Jellico in "Chain of Command Pt 2"

Jellico: Let's drop the ranks for a minute. I don't like you. I think you're insubordinate, arrogant, willful, and I don't think you're a particularly good First Officer...but you are also the best pilot on this ship.
Riker: ...Well, now that the ranks are dropped, Captain, I don't like you, either. You ARE arrogant, and closed-minded. You need to control everything and everyone. You don't provide an atmosphere of trust, and you don't inspire these people to go out of their way for you. You've got everybody wound up so tight, there's no joy in anything. And I don't think you're a particularly good Captain.

  • Subverted in a Just Shoot Me episode. In an early scene in which Nina refers to something non-ironic as ironic, Maya says, "It's not ironic; it's just what happened." In a later scene, something truly ironic happens and when Maya calls it ironic, Nina replies, "It's not ironic; it's just what happened."
  • In Veronica Mars the title character's father, Keith, uses the line 'who's your daddy?' near the start of the first episode, which is answered by Veronica saying she hates him saying that. The line is almost forgotten until the end of the story arc, when at the end of the final episode Keith (on his way to hospital, having just saved her life) asks her 'who's your daddy' and gets the tearful response 'you are' - it's their version of an 'I love you'.
  • In Heroes, after Hiro's countless "Comes Great Responsibility" quotes, Ando repeats many of them back at him to enlist him to help Hope.
  • At the start of the Dark Angel episode "Pollo Loco", Max unconcernedly snaps the neck of a live chicken in order to eat it. At the end of the episode she is forced to kill a violently insane transgenic sibling and uses the same method. Naturally she finds these circumstances considerably more traumatic.
  • House
    • The season three premire features an irate Cuddy denying one of House's odd treatments by ranting, "Twenty-four times a year you come in here telling me you can help someone, only you never put it that way. Instead you say, 'This guy's pancreas is going to explode because his brain is on fire!'" Later, when House thinks he's worked out what's wrong with the guy, he says, "See? His brain really is on fire," that being a colloquial but reasonably accurate summary of what the problem appears to be.
    • In another third season episode ("Informed Consent"), House tries to scare his patient from refusing tests by describing how he'll die. Later, the patient parrots House's words back to him arguing that he should be free to kill himself, because he'll die as House describes while being tested.

House: Fine; you don't help us, we don't help you. Your lungs slowly fill with fluid. You gasp to catch every breath but never can. Every breath is petrifying. It'll be slow, painful, torturous.

      • 24 hours and many tests later...

Patient: My lungs will slowly fill with fluid. I'll gasp to catch every breath but never can. Every breath will be petrifying. It'll be slow, painful, torturous. You really gonna let me die like that?

    • At one point during "Damned If You Do", Cuddy takes House off Sister Augustine's case because she thinks he gave her a higher dosage of epinephrine by mistake. ("I am going to do you the biggest favor one doctor can do for another. I am going to stop you from killing your patient.") When House later discovers that Augustine has been drinking figwort tea, which interacted with the epinephrine and caused the heart attack, it's the first thing he says to her.
    • In "Nobody's Fault" House comments that his patient suddenly coughing up blood was when the case became "interesting". The person evaluating his behavior points out the odd use of the word when his patient is in pain. House asks if that's bad, and receives the answer "It's interesting."
  • In Angel, Holland tells Angel he "just can't seem to care" that people die because of Wolfram & Hart's Special Projects Division's schemes. Later, when Darla and Drusilla are about to kill everyone in the Special Projects Division, Holland pleads for help, but Angel replies, "And yet, somehow, I just can't seem to care" before leaving, locking the door on his way out.
    • Earlier in Angel, Doyle's line: "Is that it? Am I done?"
    • Less notable, but in one episode Gunn threatens his snitch, saying among other things, "Survival of the fittest, bro. And right now you're not lookin' too fit." The said snitch later turns out the Monster of the Week. Ouch.
    • At the start of one episode, Spike and Angel are having a vicious, violent argument... over who'd win in a fight between cavemen and astronauts. The episode's climax has the team's scientist and Adorkable girl, Fred, dying so her body can be used as a shell for a primordial entity. "The cavemen win. Of course the cavemen win."
    • In one episode Lindsey and Angel both shoot biting remarks at one another on how the situation is all a matter of "how you look at the glass".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has an episode in the fourth season where Faith and Buffy switch bodies; practicing for the impersonation of her rival, Faith acts how she believe Buffy does—prissily announcing you can't do that "Because it's wrong". Much later, after living a day in Buffy's life, Faith is about to skip town and escape entirely when she hears of a vampire attack upon a church and, not quite knowing why, heads out to confront them. Battling the vampires, she stops their plan to slaughter the congregation "because it's wrong"—now entirely sincere. (Sarah Michelle Gellar acts the hell out of the latter scene, too, playing beautifully against how much she camped it up in the beginning of the episode where she is prancing about in front of the mirror as Faith doing her Buffy impression.)
    • Another example is Doppelganger!Willow's "Bored now" line, which is echoed by Willow when she undergoes a Face Heel Turn after Tara's death-- the line is spoken to Warren, Tara's killer, right before she flays him alive.
      • And then, in comics, Willow is captured and a resurrected Warren asks her: "Are you bored now?"
      • Another one in same episode: earlier Faith killed Deputy Major despite Buffy's warning "Faith, no!" Here Willow has to cry "Buffy, no!", so Vamp Willow is spared she dies anyway.
    • In "What's My Line, Part 2", Willy manages to pull off the quickest version of this ever: telling Buffy "Here you go. Don't ever say your friend Willy don't come through in a pinch" as he leads her to the church where Spike's crew is about to sacrifice Angel, and then repeating the line about five seconds later to Spike's bounty hunters, indicating that he's selling her out.
    • And then there's Xander and the zombie bomber: who has the most fear?
    • In "Becoming, Part 1," Darla tells Angel to "close your eyes" right before turning him into a vampire. In "Becoming, Part 2," Buffy tells Angel to "close your eyes" right before sending him to Hell. But she has to, in order to save the world...
  • Supernatural: In Dean's Dream Sequence in "Dream a Little Dream of Me" when he meets his Doppelganger, he tries to snap his fingers to get himself out. Doesn't work. At the end of the episode, just after he says he doesn't want to die, the same shot appears. Except it's Evil!Dean this time, with black eyes and a huge smile, doing the clicking and ending the dream.
    • Earlier, Dean mentioned to Sam that their mom often told Dean that angels are watching over him. It would be the last words she ever said to him. Then, came season 5 and turns out Michael and the rest of the angels saved Mary's life so she could give birth to Dean, who is Michael's vessel. Mary commenting how angels are watching over them changed a once harmless, almost heartwarming line into something much more eerie and ironic.
  • In early season 2 of Lost, Desmond leaves Jack in a flashback, saying, "See you in another life, Brother." In the season 4 finale, as they part, Jack says the same line to Desmond.
    • It's all over the place in the final season.
    • Lost loves repeating lines in general, though not always ironically. Some of the scenes in the last few episodes were almost as if the writers just didn't want to come up new lines (but they made up for it with self-referential meaningfulness).
    • "He was standing over his dead body with a bloody dagger. So yeah, I'm pretty damn sure."
  • Done to applause on Family Matters, Season 3, Episode 19, "Woman of the People". Laura runs against Cassie Lynn Nubbles as class president, and the latter tries hard to find some dirt on her. When Laura falls into Steve's arms, she has her photographer friend Becky Sue snap pictures of them.

Cassie Lynn: Look, Becky Sue. Poor Laura has worked so hard, and now she's gonna have to drop out of the race.
Laura: What are you talking about?
Cassie Lynn: Well, we just got some very hot photos of you being romanced by the prince of passion, here.
Steve: What? But she just slipped and I caught her, that's all.
Cassie Lynn: Becky Sue, we should put those pictures in the school paper!
Becky Sue: (sarcastically) Oh, we couldn't do that. Everyone would think that Laura's in love with Steve Urkel, and no one would vote for her.
(Cassie Lynn and Becky Sue gasp and giggle)
Steve: But I told you, I just caught her, that's all!
Cassie Lynn: That may be what happened, but that won't be what people believe. They just love juicy gossip.

    • Steve takes matters into his own hands following this, getting Cassie Lynn alone and then having Eddie snap pictures of them as he kisses her dramatically. This exchange follows:

Steve: Why, I can see the headlines now! "Nubbles Sucks Face with Nerd!"
Cassie Lynn: You wouldn't.
Steve: Would.
Cassie Lynn: You couldn't.
Steve: Could.
Cassie Lynn: But, it's a lie! You kissed me. I didn't kiss you.
Steve: Well, that may be what happened, but it won't be what the people believe. People just love juicy gossip!

    • Three guesses as to who won the election after that.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Stolen Earth", Harriet Jones keeps introducing herself as "Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister." The listener always responds with "I know who you are." When the Daleks break in, the sequence is repeated, much less humorously.

Harriet Jones: Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.
Dalek: Yes, we know who you are.
Jones: You know nothing of any human, and that will be your downfall.

    • In several episodes across three series, the Doctor's companions attempt a regional accent, with the Doctor telling them "Don't. Don't do that. Don't." After a traumatic event involving a voice-mimic in "Midnight", the Doctor uses the phrase in a far more serious manner when Donna repeats one of his catchphrases.
    • And in "The End of Time Part Two "Get out of the way"
    • Also in The End of Time Part Two, consider Rassilon's introductory scene after he vaporises a dissenting Time Lady. And then think back to the Dalek Emperor's final words to Rose and the Ninth Doctor...

'I will NOT DIE!'

    • Also, "You never would... you coward!" echoes a previous episode, "The Doctor's Daughter" when the Doctor tells the man who shot and apparently killed Jenny "I. Never. Would."
        • Another example from The End of Time: The line the Doctor delivers when trying to convince the Master to join him on his travels ("You don't need to own the universe, just see it!") echoes the reply the Doctor gave the Master when the latter asked the Doctor to join him and his megalomanic plans.
    • The episode "Dalek" uses it to Tear Jerking effect, when the titular Dalek quotes the most famous catchphrase of the Doctor Who canon—only to be exterminating itself.
      • From that same episode, Goddard does this to Van Staten. His standard procedure to dismissing someone is having their memory wiped and dumping them on the side of the road in a city starting with the first letter of their last name. Her exact words...

Goddard: Take him, wipe his memory.
Van Staten: You can't do this to me! I'm Henry Van Staten!
Goddard: And by tonight, Henry Van Staten will be a homeless, brainless junkie on the side of the road in St. Louis, Seattle, Sacramento...someplace beginning with S.

    • In "The Waters of Mars", the Doctor decides that he is the Time Lord Victorious and can do whatever he wants, he rescues the remaining Martian colonists from certain death by evacuating on the TARDIS. When they land back on Earth, the rescued astronauts stumble out of the TARDIS, one exclaiming in horror, "It's ... it's bigger on the inside!" This is a brilliant inversion of the usual exclaims of wonder and excitement given by companions on first seeing the TARDIS, and shows how much darker the Doctor has become.
    • In "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday", Yvonne whispers "I did my duty for queen and country" when she is dragged off to be upgraded by Cybermen. The upgrade goes a bit wrong, and she appears later in Cyberman form killing other Cybermen in a You Shall Not Pass moment.

Cyber-Yvonne: I did my duty. For queen. And country. I did my duty. For queen and country...

    • In Warriors' Gate, the Tharls had enslaved people in the past -- "The weak enslave themselves"—and now are slaves themselves. The Doctor gives them an Ironic Echo, and one concedes the justice, but they have suffered enough.
  • The Farscape episode "Vitas Mortis" has an Ironic Echo Type 1 exchange between Aeryn and Chiana: part one has Chiana doing the laundry in a knee-deep basin of Moya's amnexus fluids, refusing to wash Aeryn's clothes with the statement "Since when did I become your servant?" Part two has Chiana trapped in solidified amnexus fluid, and Aeryn gleefully refusing to help her, throwing "Since when did I become your servant?" back in her face.

Einstein: Time.
Crichton: Flies.
Einstein: Time.
Crichton: Bandits.
Einstein: Time.
Crichton: Wounds all heels.
Einstein: Time.
Crichton: (singing) Rosemary and--
Einstein: Time?
Crichton: (solemnly) Time ends.

    • In the episode "Liars Guns And Money Part 1", Crichton leaves Scorpius to die in the Shadow Depository, while singing The Star-Spangled Banner as a form of Psychic Static. Two episodes later, Scorpius briefly hums a verse of the song before entering the Diagnosan's surgery, taking the neurochip and leaving Crichton paralyzed and incoherent.
  • My So-Called Life, "Life of Brian": Jordan tells Angela he doesn't believe in fate; "whatever happens, happens." She says she respects that. Later at the dance, Brian tells Angela he doesn't believe in fate; "Whatever happens, happens." She calls it the stupidest thing she ever heard.
  • In an episode of Corner Gas, Hank's car is impounded and accidentally sold to Wanda. Wanda rubs it in by saying "There are no words to describe how pleased I am with myself." When, to get back at Wanda, Hank gets her car impounded and buys it, Hank attempts to perform an Ironic Echo but fails miserably, mangling the quote to a level of incomprehensibility: "I can't express happy words how I feel right." Which makes it all the more funny because he can't express how pleased with himself he is.
  • Firefly
    • In the episode "War Stories", an early scene has Kaylee proclaiming "No power in the 'verse can stop me!" after playfully wrestling an apple from River. Much later in the episode, River says the same line to a shocked Kaylee after coldly killing three men that Kaylee was unable to shoot at. The same episode also has a much looser ironic echo, in that two separate characters (Book and Niska) ruminate over the works of Shan Yu.
    • The episode "Jaynestown" comes with a subplot where the local magistrate hires Inara to sleep with his son, because he's 26 years old and "not yet a man!" So they do the deed and the son finds himself disappointed that nothing, apparently, has changed. Inara tells him that whatever his father thinks, having sex has nothing to do with being a man—what's important is what you do with yourself, sex or no. At the end of the episode, the heroes are very nearly caught because the magistrate has a landlock on Serenity, until suddenly the landlock vanishes. Cut to the magistrate's home, as the magistrate berates his son for daring to defy him by lifting the landlock. His son just gives him a smug look and says, "Well, father, you wanted to make a man of me. I guess it worked."
  • Scrubs
    • Doctor Cox is trying to find a pediatrician for Jack, and teases one potential doctor for talking to his patients through puppets (calling them dolls). "It's not a doll, it's a collectible!" is echoed when Cox is holding his favorite puppet hostage, and the pediatrician begs him to let the puppet go. "It's just a doll!" "No, David, it's a collectible."
    • In a similar scenario, Dr. Cox needs to find a pediatrician to give his daughter Jennifer Dylan a shot. Earlier he had told his interns to buckle down when a patient didn't want to be treated by interns, and tell them "I am your doctor, deal with it!" Later, when he needs someone for his daughter, the interns reply that they were asked to give the shot, and when Dr. Cox protests, they reply with "We are your doctors, deal with it!" Subverted in that they then act very incompetent, leading Dr. Cox to change his mind before they can give the shot.
      • Possibly double-subverted in that we don't quite see who it was that ends up giving the shot, but it looks from the back like one of the interns.
    • Also, when J.D. feels responsible for a patient's death, and Dr. Cox explains it as a slippery slope and when you start going down that line, "you never come back." Later, when Cox's hasty actions kill three patients (one of which could've waited another month), J.D. states "Once you go down that road, you never come back." Cox then flatly states "Yeah... you're right," and walks out the door, not planning to come back.
  • In the Star Wars episode of That '70s Show, Donna gets mad when Eric says David, the Vader character, has only been spending so much time with her talking to her, and listening and sharing ideas ("What's that about!?") because he wants to see her naked. In a later argument, Donna's trying to prove him wrong, and David gives the exact same examples Eric did, ending with "What's that about!?" in the same tone as Eric.
  • In the Battlestar Galactica Reimagined miniseries, the newly sworn-in President Roslin tries to convince Adama to leave the fight and run away, taking the fleet with him, saying that if the human race is to survive at all, they have to escape and "we have to start having babies!" Adama doesn't reply and simply leaves the room, but later on he apparently realises the sense in the plan while watching Billy and Dee flirting, causing him to comment under his breath "They'd better start having babies." to the confusion of the people around him.
    • "Is that an order?"
  • In The Office (American version), when Michael is fired for starting a competing company and tries to say his goodbyes, Charles tells him "No more, Michael. You're done." However, when Michael gets his job back and Charles is sent back to corporate in the ensuing deal, Michael cuts off his goodbye with "No. You're done."
  • Army Wives, season 3 "M.I.A."
  • One Foot in the Grave. The message on Margaret's mother's answering machine is along the lines of "Victor? Margaret? I'm sorry that I'm not here now, but it's because I'm somewhere else. I say, I'm somewhere else. But I expect you'll both be up here soon, won't you? So I'll see you then. Hello?" At first, this is just somewhat charming and funny, the result of her being an old woman who doesn't really understand how the machine works. Then she dies. Now read it again.
  • In the first season finale of Being Human (UK) Herrick's line, repeated later by George: "You shouldn't have come for Mitchell. It caught my attention."
  • The lesbian episode of Not Going Out has Lee inviting around a lesbian couple who have just moved in, justifying it as "offering a welcome hand of friendship". Later, when one of the women and Lucy spend the rest of the evening together, she explains that it's not romantic, but her "offering a welcome hand of friendship". It's Lampshaded by Lee:

Lee: Alright, you've made your point.
Lucy: What?
Lee: I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to God.

  • Desperate Housewives: The line Orson tells Bree about what people do who love each other is repeated by Bree to Karl as justification for cheating on Orson.
  • Dollhouse. Throughout the series, there is a system of nested passphrases set up between Dolls (people with implanted memories custom-built for any given situation anyone with a ton of money could want) and their handlers. One set of passphrases confirms that the Dolls are working properly after having their memories wiped and restored to a blank, passive, helpless state.

"Did I fall asleep?"
"For a little while."
"Shall I go now?"
"If you like."

    • For most of the past season, the protagonists have been realizing just how unethical their job is and learned that it may soon lead to The End of the World as We Know It. In the second-to-last episode of the series, the Doll's passphrase system is inverted between the protagonist and The Chessmaster responsible for it all, formerly her own handler, just before he is given an order to blow himself up.
    • The "Do you trust me?/With my life..." passphrase between Doll and handler gets inverted in the second episode, when the handler is wounded and it's up to the Active to save them both.
    • The first episode, "Ghost," has Echo imprinted with a rape victim named Eleanor Penn. She recites a mantra: "You can't fight a ghost," which is supposed to remind her that it's only her memories that are making her Defiled Forever. When she actually confronts her rapist again he smacks her in the face, only for Penn!Echo to defiantly tell him "You can't fight a ghost"—the irony being that the real Penn killed herself years ago, while Echo is her "ghost" getting posthumous revenge.
  • In Only Fools and Horses, when stolid constable Terry Hoskins questions his Dirty Cop boss DI Slater, Slater snaps "It's not your job to think". Later, when he's on the point of being arrested, and offers Hoskins a cut, he ask Hoskins to think about it. Hoskins replies "It's not my job to think".
  • In one episode of Drop the Dead Donkey, Pointy-Haired Boss Gus lambasts the security guard for not asking to see his identity card. The guard protests "But you're the guvner! I know your face!", to which Gus snarls "It doesn't say 'Identity cards must be shown, unless it's the guvner and I know his face'!" Inevitably, by the end of the episode, Gus has lost his card, and the guard won't let him in.

Gus: But I'm the guvner! You know my face!
Security Guard: It doesn't say "Identity cards must be shown, unless it's the guvner and I know his face".

  • The androids of Mudd's Planet in Star Trek: The Original Series reply to any question they are unwilling to answer with "I am not programmed to respond in that area." As central-control android Norman succumbs to the liar paradox, Kirk echoes that phrase back at him when he desperately asks for an explanation.
  • Leverage: "My name is Nate Ford, and I am a thief."
    • Leverage seems to be good for these. The season one finale starts out with a scene that echoes the beginning of the previous episode, with Nate parroting the villain's line from that episode -- "Are you here to kill me?"
      • And then again at the end of the episode. At the start, the villain, an insurance agent, has a smug rant about how you can't let personal feelings get in the way of business and how he has a responsibility to his shareholders. After the heist, Nate Ford shouts the exact same rant back at the insurance agent while simultaneously disarming him and bankrupting him.
  • Castle: In following a lead in the case, Richard Castle has gotten himself involved in an illegal high-stakes 'no limits' poker game with a group of Russian mobsters. During the climactic hand, the lead mobster goes all in and taunts Castle by saying 'what's money to a millionaire, huh?'. Unfortunately for him, Castle wins the hand; as he collects his winnings he cheerfully comments 'what's money to a mobster, huh?' Not surprisingly, the mobster is less amused when his words are thrown back in his face.
    • Towards the end of the series, Castle happens to catch Beckett's new boyfriend asking her out on a date and is obviously unhappy about it; Beckett taunts him about it slightly, confirming that she's going out with him "unless you have a problem with that." Later, Beckett is reconnecting with an old friend, who remarks that she could use some moral support at a dinner she's attending that night—Castle leaps in and asks her out, but not before stopping to say to Beckett "unless you have a problem with that." Beckett, obviously unhappy with the situation, is less amused this time.
  • In Yes, Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey makes a big show of chewing Bernard out for allowing the Prime Minister's constituency agent into Number Ten without a proper pass, despite Bernard's assurance that the constituency agent is known and recognised by the police and staff; he orders Bernard to ensure that all who enter Number Ten via the front door must either have a proper pass, an appointment or must be otherwise cleared. Humphrey's pomposity comes back to bite him later in the episode when he's paranoid about his job because he's gradually being denied entry to Number Ten; he attempts to enter via the front door, but the policeman guarding the door stops him from entering because he has no appointment, no Number Ten pass and Bernard cannot be found to clear him.
  • In the HBO Miniseries John Adams, for most of the series Adams is told by members of the Continental Congress and the first Congress of the United States to "Sit Down" and stop talking. After he's elected the second President of the United States, his wife Abigail is sweeping up the debris in the executive residence and Adams is sitting in a chair. Abigail tells him, "Stand Up".
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles has two, both courtesy of Cameron. The first appears in the third episode, "The Turk," where John explains to Cameron that she needs to blend in, telling her "Don't be a freak." Later on, when he tries to rescue a girl who commits suicide by jumping off the roof of the gym, she throws the same words back in his face while physically restraining him, since trying to rescue her would draw attention to him.
    • The second instance is in the second season episode "Ourselves Alone," in which Cameron has the line "What am I going to do with you?" The first time she says it, she's talking to a pigeon that's taken up a nest in the chimney. She accidentally kills it when her hand malfunctions. The next time she says the line, it's to Riley, which puts it in a much darker context and creates a legitimate fear in the viewer that Cameron is actually going to kill her. She doesn't, but Riley's dead by the end of the episode anyway.
  • In the Torchwood "Everything Changes", Gwen tells Rhys to "say you forgive me" after she's told him she's working an extra shift at her police job. In "Combat" she says the same words after confessing to him that she's been having an affair.
  • Queer as Folk: Melanie and Lindsay are getting married, and Michael and Ted have decided to buy a joint wedding gift, only Michael doesn't have any money, so Ted says he'll pay for it. Then Ted has to leave, so he gives Michael the money and tells him to buy something nice. Michael ends up buying an African statue from someone selling things off a blanket at a street corner. When Ted sees it, he tells Michael to take it back because it's hideous (it is), and Michael says he can't because he got it off a blanket. This starts a fight which ends with Ted saying something insulting, prompting Michael to tell him to take it back, to which Ted responds by shouting: "I can't! I got it off a blanket!"
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit once featured a semi-recurring rapist who was taunted his victims with the question "Is that how you like it?" John Munch deadpanned the same question when they finally arrested him.
  • In Dinosaurs, a scene at the very end of the first episode has Earl telling the Baby while standing at the window that he and his brother and sister were born dinosaurs, "and dinosaurs rule the world...and we're gonna rule the world forever." In the final episode, he admits to Baby that he's screwed up the world to the point where there isn't much of a world left for his children. He also says desperately, "And hey, I'm sure it will all turn out OK. After all, dinosaurs have been on this earth for 150 million years. It's not like we're going to just...disappear." One of the final scenes is Earl at the same window, watching the encroaching Ice Age that will doom the dinosaurs.
  • Possibly one of the quickest Ironic Echoes ever in Frasier:

Frasier: They spoke once and Dad said that she wasn't his type. So, it's over - done! He's completely cut her out of his life. I just don't understand what would make him do that.
Niles: Oh, who knows why anybody does anything?
Frasier: Remind me again what you do for a living? (Beat) You see the thing is, it was just one phone call. How can anyone make a sound judgment about another person on the basis of one phone call?
Niles: Remind me again what it is you do for a living?

  • Another rather quick ironic echo comes from an episode of Eureka, after Beverly is caught after accidentally murdering Kim while attempting to sabotage an experiment, in which Allison asks, "Why, Beverly? Why would you betray your own government? What could possibly be so important?" She then hints that if Beverly tells her everything she knows about the artifact, she'll consider using her influence to get her out of the rather deep trouble she's in. Beverly throws the exact same line back in Allison's face - only the name is changed. (The audience doesn't yet know why Beverly did it, but knows exactly why Allison is.)
  • From the Cold Case episode Stand Up And Holler: "Don't move a muscle... bitch." First the killer says it to the victim as victim tries to leave, and then Lilly says this to the killer while the latter tries to walk away.
  • Jeff at the beginning of the Community pilot episode says to Abed (rather condescendingly) "I see your value now." Later, after demonstrating a moment of vulnerability to the group, Abed repeats this phrase to Jeff, without the condescension.
  • In Earth: Final Conflict:

William Boone: It was you. You killed my wife.
Agent Ronald Sandoval: You don't have to thank me.
A few episodes later Sandoval's CVI is breaking down and the resistance needs to re-implant him with a new one to keep up Boone's cover.
Agent Ronald Sandoval: Where's my wife?! Where's Dee Dee?!?
William Boone: I can assure you that she felt no pain. Beat You don't have to thank me. He's lying; she's still alive, but Boone wanted Sandoval to feel the pain that he felt before the CVI took hold.

  • In the Burn Notice episode "No Good Deed", quoth Eve, the villain of the episode, "Remember that part about me letting you live if you helped me rip off my buyer? I Lied." Quoth Westen back at her a minute later, after Fiona's rescue is a success and Eve is on the ground and disarmed, "You remember the part about me helping you getting away with the money and the drive? I lied."
  • Quoth The Mark, owner of a largescale nasty loan shark business , in the Hustle episode "Old Sparks Come New", "Only a moron lets hard-earned cash slip between their fingers. They deserve everything they got." And later on, "A contract's a contract; it's either legal or it isn't." After conning her out of 500 grand, the team comes back to gloat, and quotes both of those statements back at her.
  • In The Outer Limits episode "Better Luck Next Time", two evil Body Surfing aliens named Gerard and Kimble use "Better luck next time" as a catchphrase, usually when killing or screwing someone over. At the end of the episode, they realize they are in big trouble because both of their human hosts are mortally wounded and the only nearby human is a policewoman named Terry:

Gerard: Her body is mine!
Kimble: Wait! Where am I supposed to go!?
Terry: Nowhere! Game over, better luck next time. (points her gun at her head and fires)

  • In the finale of Human Target, a rogue CIA agent who'd tried to have Chance and his team killed found out about Guerrero's son while searching for leverage. Later, after Guerrero's beaten him up and handcuffed him to the steering wheel of a car he's rigged to explode, the agent justifies his actions with "Look, it was nothing personal, it was just business." As Guerrero walks away from the car, he mutters "Nothing personal, dude. Just business." a moment before the agent starts the ignition and blows up.
  • In the season 4 premiere of Sons of Anarchy, at a meeting between SAMCRO and The Mafiya, Mafiya leader Putlova inquires about Jax's recovery from the prison shivving he had ordered in retaliation for SAMCRO's double-cross last season. Jax's response is "Fine. Just business, right?" Jax repeats the "Just business" part at the end of the episode after stabbing Putlova to death.
  • In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Bus Pants Utilization", Sheldon is explaining to Leonard why telling Penny about his idea for a smart phone app puts it at risk of being stolen:

Sheldon: Consider this unlikely, but very plausible scenario: A young woman alone in the big city, her ridiculous dream of becoming an actress lies shattered about her.
Penny: Hey, wait a minute!
Howard: Hang on, let's see where he's going.
Sheldon: Then it hits her-- how is she going to survive? She has no prospects, no marketable skills. And then one day, she meets a group of geniuses, and their friend Howard.
Howard: Hey, I--
Penny: Hang on, let's see where he's going.


Music[edit | hide]

  • The Who song "The Kids Are Alright"—the two sentences in the bridge completely change the meaning of the (otherwise identical) first and second verses.
  • There's a Barenaked Ladies song called "The Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel". The line "you're the last thing on my mind" goes from meaning "I'm not thinking about you" at the beginning of the song to meaning "I die thinking about you" when it's repeated at the end.
  • In the Tim McGraw song "Don't Take The Girl", the line "Please, don't take the girl" that ends each verse changes meaning over the course of the song.
  • "Major Tom (Coming Home.)" The part you know from that car commercial: "4, 3, 2, 1, Earth below us, drifting, falling, floating weightless, calling, coming home..." Well, it means one thing on the way up when everything's fine. It means something a little different on the way down when the thrusters aren't working.
  • "According to You" by Orianthi. The first few stanzas begin with "according to you", before changing to "according to him" in the chorus. And nearing the end of the story, it changes to "according to me".
  • In a very twisted way in Eminem's "Stan". On the Slim Shady LP's song "My Name Is" one of the most famous lines is "I just drank a fifth of Vodka you dare me to drive" so in Stan, Stan quotes this when he drives on a rainy night with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk on a tape to Eminem "Hey Slim I just drank a fifth of Vodka you dare me to drive"
  • Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle". The chorus includes "When ya comin' home, Dad / I don't know when, but we'll get together then," but the son nevertheless desires to be like his father. At the end, "he'd grown up just like me" - the last two repetitions replace "dad" with "son".
  • Still healing by Uprise uses this. The first half of the song is lamenting the fact that the singer is "still healing" from some childhood trauma. The second half uses the same line - with the context changed to highlight that he is, in fact, healing, while the offender will always be miserable.
  • The chorus of the Mark Wills song "Wish You Were Here" describes a postcard which has the word "Heaven" on the front. The postcard's message has a completely different tone when sung after the first verse (where the postcard's writer is boarding a plane) and after the second (where he dies when the plane crashes):

Wish you were here, wish you could see this place
Wish you were near, I wish I could touch your face
The weather's nice, it's paradise
It's summertime all year and there's some folks we know
They say, "Hello." I miss you so, wish you were here.

  • Act 1 of Green Day's Twenty First Century Breakdown opens with "Know Your Enemy," in which the protagonist rails against the establishment and encourages others to do likewise; Act 2 ends with Gloria realizing that her life's been ruined:

You're a victim of your symptom
You are your own worst enemy
Know your enemy.

  • Ghosts and Spirits, a CD of songs based on CS Lewis' The Great Divorce, has a song ("Bleeding Charity") that's an ironic echo. First, a ghost protests, "Can't you see that I'm only human?" and can't be expected to be perfect (as he thinks is necessary to enter Heaven), and refuses to accept any "bleeding charity"; in the second verse, a spirit explains he is not perfect either - "Can't you see that I'm only human?" and begs him to accept the Bleeding Charity.
  • At the beginning of "A Complete History of the Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody From Tetris" by Pig With The Face Of A Boy, the "man who arranges the blocks" muses that "The Tsar puts gold on his bread" when noting the unfairness of the old regime. At the end, having gone through revolution, Stalin, World War II, the Space Race and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the same worker bitterly notes that while he has more than enough gold, he's reduced to standing in line for the chance to get a loaf of bread.
  • Tool's song "Prison Sex" changes "I'm breathing so I guess I'm still alive" to "You're breathing so I guess you're still alive" when the song's subject, a rape victim himself, commits rape.
  • Sublime's Date Rape is a story about a woman being bought a couple of drinks, before being offered a ride and raped in a car. She then proceeds to take him to court, he gets a 25 year sentence and raped by an inmate.


Myth and Legend[edit | hide]

  • From Norse Mythology: When Hagen suggests to king Gunther/Gunnar to accept Walther's gift of 100 golden rings (instead of taking all his treasure), Gunther mocks him: "You are truly a son of your father Aldrian. He would talk a lot so he wouldn't have to fight." After Walther has killed the other eleven knights of the king, Gunther tries to make Hagen fight again. But Hagen says: "I am truly a son of my father Aldrian. He would talk a lot so he wouldn't have to fight."


Radio[edit | hide]

  • In the Old Harry's Game episode "The Beautiful Game", the Professor appoints Complete Monster Thomas as England captain for the Underworld Cup, in the belief that he'll rise to the challenge and prove himself, much to Satan's disbelief. The Professor says "I'd hate to be as cynical as you, you know. Always seeing the worst aspects of people." Then Satan appoints his Bumbling Sidekick Scumspawn as referee, and the Professor accuses him of deliberately trying to turn the tournament into a disaster. "I'd hate to be as cynical as you, Prof. Always seeing the worst in devils."


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Julius Caesar: In the climatic "Friends, Romans and Countrymen" speech by Mark Antony, Shakespeare has a clever balancing act of dramatic tension; Antony has pretended to not seek retribution against Caesar's murderers, and his speech follows one by Brutus in which the people of Rome were convinced that killing Caesar was necessary. Antony's speech utilises the phrase "But Brutus says that Caesar was ambitious, and Brutus is an honourable man". At first he appears to be in agreement with the conspirators; but his speech gradually begins to demonstrate the holes in their logic, and his repetition of the phrase "honourable man" becomes sarcastic, and then insulting.
    • Shakespeare later parodied this in Measure For Measure, where a character prone to getting his words mixed up tells a criminal "Prove it before these [criminals], thou honourable man!".
  • Wicked: "As someone told me lately, everyone deserves the chance to fly!"
    • And the song "I'm Not That Girl". First act, Elphaba sings it, but in the second, Glinda does.
    • "It is my personal opinion that you do not have what it takes. I hope you'll prove me wrong. I doubt you will." Madame Morrible allows Galinda to join the sorcery seminar at Shiz. Years later, Glinda allows the guards to take Madame Morrible to prison.
    • Elphaba, in The Wizard and I desires a "celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me." Later, the Wizard says that she'll have a "celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with you." This proves true when the Munchkins celebrate her death.
    • The first scene and the last scene. They're exactly the same scene, but the first is told from the Munchkins' point of view and the second is told from Glinda's point of view, with the appropriate changes in emphasis and tone. In the latter, the Munchkins continue to chant "No One Mourns the Wicked" while Glinda laments.
    • Elphaba refuses to believe Fiyero when he tells her that she's beautiful—he insists "it's not lying, it's seeing things in a different way". Elphaba uses the line on Fiyero after he turns into the scarecrow.
  • Common in older theatrical writing, particularly in the Victorian period. Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard has a lot of this, the most obvious being the repeat of "I have a Song to Sing-O", first as Jack and Elsie working together to entertain a crowd as street performers, and then at Elsie's wedding to Fairfax, as him trying to win her back, and her rejecting him, as gently as she can, with the only change in lyrics making it worse, by indicating the rest of the story the song tells, where the jester gets the woman back, will not follow. However, that's only the most obvious; lines bounce around characters and situations throughout the work, reflecting ironically on the changing circumstances.
  • Used in Les Misérables, which uses identical melodies rather than lyrics for many of its songs. For example, "Valjean's Soliloquy" is a triumphant tune that culminates in him resolving to turn his life around . . .while "Javert's Soliloquy" is a mournful, distressed one that culminates in his suicide.
  • The Phantom of the Opera uses both identical melodies and lyrics. "All I Ask Of You" is a joyous love song between Christine and Raoul, but when the Phantom sings it to Christine, it's a desperate plea for her love. And most notably, the final lines of "Music of the Night", "You alone can make my song take flight, help me make the music of the night", are a passionate declaration of love, but when the Phantom sings them at the end of the show, he is now despairing of having lost Christine. "It's * over* now, the music of the night."
  • In Miss Saigon, Chris asks Kim, "How in the light of one night did we come so far?", as they fall madly in love and spend the night together. But at the end of the show, as she lies dying in his arms, she asks him the question ("How in one night have we come... so far?"), but this time, it's mourning their lost chance at happiness.
  • In South Pacific, "Younger Than Springtime" initially describes Joe Cable's newfound love for Liat. But after he refuses to marry her (unwilling to confront the prejudice they would face as an interracial couple), the song's reprise now represents the end of their relationship.
  • In Under Milkwood, we hear that Bessie Bighead puts flowers on the grave of Gomer Owen who "kissed her once by the pigsty when she wasn't lookin, but never kissed her again although she was looking all the time." That line gets a laugh. Later on, after we learn that Bessie has Down Syndrome or something of the sort, and that Gomer kissed her because he was dared, when the same line comes back it isn't so funny.
  • In classical playwright Aristophanes' comedy Clouds, when the antihero Strepsiades asks why Socrates is suspended in the air, the philosopher responds: 'I am walking in the air, and speculating about the heavens.' After Strepsiades gets fed up with the sophistic prattling of the philosopher, he climbs to the roof of his academy and starts to burn it down. When Socrates, in a panic, demands to know what he's doing on his roof, Strepsiades parrots back: 'I am walking in the air, and speculating about the heavens!'
  • The reprise of Somewhere That's Green in Little Shop of Horrors, cut from the film. The song originally was about the happy, quiet life of the suburbs that Audrey thought of as heavenly, with only the barest references to Seymour's love of plants. In the reprise, she's dying, and all that's left of her dream is to be with Seymour, somewhere that's green: in the man-eating plant that killed her.
  • Vanities: The Musical: During "The Argument", the Dark Reprise of "I Can't Imagine", Mary briefly echoes her previous "I Want" Song "Fly Into The Future". In the last reprise of "Nothing Like a Friend" from the Theatreworks version, Mary sings "I want(ed) to see if i even like my friends".
  • When the trial in The Merchant of Venice seems to be going Shylock's way, he praises the judge (Portia in disguise): "A Daniel come to judgement, yea, a Daniel!/Oh wise young judge, how I do honor thee!" When she turns the tables and initiates the Humiliation Conga on Shylock, Gratiano, giddy with excitement, starts quoting Shylock until it becomes an Overly Long Gag: "A Daniel still, I say, a second Daniel!/I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word."
  • Footloose: "Let the Lord hear your voices!"
  • In an unusual variation, Merrily We Roll Along is told in reverse order, so the ironic echoes are heard first. For instance, Mary's rather desperate reprise of "Old Friends" is after the friendship has fallen apart; we don't hear it sung genuinely until several more timeskips back.
  • The Last Five Years is a show of ironic echoes. Especially the line in "See I'm Smiling" and "I Can Do Better" about "you, and you, and nothing but you. Miles and piles of you." However, there are many others.
  • Pippin sings several times throughout the course of the show that "Rivers belong where they can ramble/Eagles belong where they can fly/I've got to be where my spirit can run free." At the end of the show, he decides "I'm not a river/Or a giant bird that soars to the sea/And if I'm never tied to anything/I'll never be free."


Video Games[edit | hide]

Luke Atmey: Hee hee hee ha ha ha aha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ho ho ho hee hee hee! Take a good look, everyone! Unable to find a rival worthy of my genius, I was forced to create one by myself! Here I am! The tragic clown...

    • This happens after he is convicted as Mask*DeMasque. Later, when it is revealed he is actually a murderer, he was trying to use his first conviction as an alibi, and he was actually blackmailing Ron DeLite, the real Mask*DeMasque he repeats this, only truthfully this time.
  • In Guild Wars: Eye of the North, the player character dismisses his ability to activate the scrying pool in the Hall of Monuments as "Just lucky, I guess." Later in the same cutscene, when the PC complains, "Why do I have to make the tough decisions?" Gwen tauntingly replies, "You're just lucky, I guess."
  • In Dungeon Siege II, your player character sounds skeptical about the Dark Wizards, saying that it "sounds like something told to restrain wandering children" (ignoring the fact that your character worked for Valdis at one point). In Broken World, the Overmage of the Cinbri says something quite similar.
  • In a subquest of Jade Empire, you meet a woman who, in the past, watched as her boyfriend knocked another child into a river and stopped her from saving him from drowning by saying, "If we help him, he'll only tell the others what we've done. We have to let him go." You can take her to the ex-boyfriend, whom she means to kill. He offers you silver to help him; if you refuse, you echo his words.
  • In The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Midna's Catch Phrase is a gleeful "Eee hee hee! See you later!" At the very end of the game, a now-loving Midna's final words to Link before returning to her people and destroying the Mirror of Twilight are a tearful "Link, I- See you later." * sob*
    • To a lesser extent, something similar happens in The Wind Waker: Tetra has a habit of winking with one eye when she's up to something. "Up to something" usually meaning that she's helping Link in a way that ends up being not to comfortable for him, since she does not care to much about his well-being. In the end of the game, however, Tetra winks once again, before returning his sword to him, which he lost in the duel with Ganondorf. Once again, she is up to something and once again, it's not going to be a pleasant experience for Link , the difference being that she now does genuinely care about him. It's just that Tetra and Link have no other choice than to go with what they're about to do if they want to survive.
    • An optional one occurs in Skyward Sword: After the second temple, Link finds myself being derided by Impa for being late, as Zelda would have fallen prey to Ghirahim had she not come herself. After the third temple, when Ghirahim attacks Zelda and Impa, Link has the option to say "Am I late?" when he steps in to buy them time to escape.
  • Def Jam: Fight For New York is a game all about a Mob War between two gangs, one led by D-Mob (your boss) and the other by Crow, (the Big Bad) for control of New York's illegal underground no holds barred fight circuit. Less than halfway through the game the Crow says to D-Mob "Seems like you have a morale issue there, brother" when your rival walks out on D-Mob when D-Mob picks you as his best fighter instead of him. Later, when Crow's gang is so disgusted by his tactics and tired of his Manipulative Bastard shit, some of them, (including both of his dragons) walk out on him in a single Cutscene. In the case of the second dragon, he walks out on Crow while in the middle of holding a gun to your head, and gives you the gun before he leaves. Guess what your character says while pointing the gun at Crow.
  • In World of Warcraft, "That day is not today..." is said twice at the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, first by Flash Back Alexandros Morgraine after he states that Darion will wield The Ashbringer, and then by Darion before he throws that same sword to Tirion Fordring. It's quite a spectacle.
    • In the Ulduar raid, after showing the players a vision of the Lich King, Yogg-Saron says "He will learn no King rules forever. Only death is eternal!" Then, in Icecrown Citadel, as Arthas lays dying, his father's spirit tells him "No King rules forever, my son."
  • In MadWorld, Jack meets with a doctor named Leo twice. The first time, Leo asks Jack to help him escape the city. Jack responds with. "I don't help people. I kill them." and continues competing in the games. The second time, Jack figures out that Leo was behind the games all along and fatally wounds him. Leo explains the whole story and points out that Jack won't be able to arrest him without helping him before he dies. Jack's response? "I don't help people... (Chainsaws Leo and watches him fall into the abyss) I kill them."
  • In Pokémon, trainers you meet will often start by saying something like, "I'm surprised to meet you here", and then when they lose the battle say, "I'm surprised at how strong you are!"
  • In StarCraft, Tassadar tells Kerrigan:

Tassadar: So long as you continue to be so predictable, O Queen, I need not face you at all. You are your own worst enemy.

    • Later, when Kerrigan doublecrosses her allies...

Kerrigan: You Protoss are all so headstrong and predictable. You are your own worst enemies.
Fenix: That's ironic, I can remember Tassadar teaching you a very similar lesson on Char.
Kerrigan: I took that lesson to heart, Praetor.

    • In Heart of the Swarm, "So predictable" seems to be among her unit sounds.
    • At the end of the UED campaign in Broodwar, Kerrigan tells Dugalle that he'd be surprised how many "special interest groups" in the sector want to see the UED stopped. In the briefing of the last mission of Kerrigan's campaign, after she has betrayed everyone else, Arcturus Mengsk contacts her to let her know he's gunning for her. When she asks him how he scrounged up three fleets to attack her, he says he made a few deals and tells her she'd be surprised how many "special interest groups" in the sector want to see her dead. Bonus points since one of the groups is the remainder of the UED fleet led by Dugalle.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, at the beginning of chapter one, when Guybrush stabs LeChuck with the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu, he yells "Unholy THIS!". LeChuck says the exact same at the end of chapter four when stabbing Guybrush to death.
  • In Modern Warfare 2, an Army Ranger notes that the air strike General Shepherd's just called in is danger-close in relation to where they're positioned, and another Ranger says, "Since when does Shepherd care about danger-close?" Later on, Price repeats the line when Shepherd calls in an airstrike to kill him and Soap, not danger-close but right on top of his own men.
    • There's also another. In the beginning, Shepherd makes a monologue, including the famous phrase "History is written by the victors". As Price and Soap are preparing to kill him, Price says the following line.

Price: History is written by the victors. History is filled with liars.

  • Half-Life 2: Episode One features a long speech from Dr. Kleiner in which, at one point, he lets those who have safely evacuated City 17 know that "For those so inclined, now would be an excellent time for procreation." This line is repeated as a voiceover in the opening recap in Episode Two, out of context, against a backdrop of citizens still fighting for their lives.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: The Jedi Exile sides with Revan using the catchphrase "Apathy is death", referring to the indecision of the Jedi Council to go to war. Near the end of the second game, she has a vision in which she has to decide which way to decide in a fight between her allies. If she tries to remain neutral, they will turn on her with mocking cries of "Apathy is death!"
  • Mass Effect 2 and 3: "I am the very model of a scientist Salarian!" The first time Mordin sings it, he does it as his usual energetic self, a man who has no doubt that creating a fertility-damaging bioweapon for use against a hostile and warlike race was the "humane" thing to do compared with forcing the Turian military to Kill'Em All. He hums the song again while distributing the cure for the same bioweapon with a weather control tower that is exploding around him.
  • In The Lost Crown, Nigel says "Nothing ventured..." to himself before stepping into unlit rooms or other potentially dangerous locales. Lucy later says the exact same thing to Nigel when he hesitates to accompany her on a risky endeavor.
  • The Butcher's lines in Psychonauts. "Don't run, or else Daddy's gonna kill ya!" The Butcher shares most of his mid-battle dialogue with Little Oly, from the Escort Mission earlier in the Meat Circus. These are mostly innocuous lines like "Bun, bun, bun!" and "Here little bunny!" but, as was noted above, there is "Don't run or Daddy's gonna kill you!"
    • Also, "When are you going to just shut up and kiss me?"
  • In Iji, Asha's logbook challenging Iji is entitled "To the Death." A later logbook ends with the same words, this time predicting the ultimate result of his weakness.
  • In Supreme Commander 2's UEF campaign, Commander Dominic Maddox mutinies after learning that his commanding officer, Colonel Rodgers, has ordered an attack on New Cathedral where Maddox's wife and son are. When Maddox tries to reason with Commander Lynch to stop her attack on the city, Rodgers tells him "Speeches will get you nowhere." At the end of the following mission, Maddox is about to blow up a huge reactor that sits right on top of Rodgers's command post:

Maddox: Colonel Rodgers, I'm feeling generous right now, so I'm going to give you one last chance to walk out of here alive.
Rodgers: The UEF can survive the idiots who want to create coalitions and make treaties with our enemies, but people like you rot the soul of our great faction. I'm ready to die like a soldier, with honor.
Maddox: Speeches will get you nowhere, Colonel.

Charnel: As you wish. But remember, if you kill Acheron, I'll have to find a crueler demon to replace him.
Player: Charnel, death is not the answer to everything.
Charnel: Yes. Torture also has it's merits.
Player: Exactly!

  • There's a brief Leitmotif that plays when you kill a colossus in Shadow of the Colossus. At the end, Wander becomes a colossus, but is then struck down and absorbed by a powerful spell. As it draws him in, the "colossus killed" music plays.
  • As a soldier, Samus used to give her C.O. a thumbs-down (instead of the Federation's usual thumbs-up) when acknowledging a mission, just to be cheeky. Anthony gives the same gesture at the end of Other M as a sign of camaraderie.
  • In the 'Shade Impulse' campaign of Dissidia Final Fantasy, the Emperor dismisses the heroes' resolution to continue fighting, by claiming that 'Insects will swarm, but they are insects nonetheless.' Later, when they actually defeat him for good, he asks disbelievingly who they are. Several of the characters have their own echoes for him, if you defeated him with them:

Firion: Just a swarm of insects.
Cecil: Insects with a sting.
Bartz: I heard you call us insects!
Cloud: Just another bug.

Zhao: "Men always underestimate women."
Later when she tries to activate the hacked implant she is sure you got like everybody else:
Adam: "Women always underestimate men.

  • As the player character's journey is just beginning in Pokémon Black and White, Ghetsis gives a rousing speech about liberating Pokemon. He seems to make some good points. In the town with the final gym leader, he repeats this speech word for word. However, by this point in the game, the player has learned that Ghetsis is a far worse person than initially believed, and the whole point of the liberation of Pokemon is so he alone can control their power.
  • From The Darkness.
    • "I remember the night of my twenty-first birthday... That was the first time I died."
    • Unskippable was so amused by this that they turned it into a Running Gag where the "death" counter goes up every time the point of view character dies or falls unconscious.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising begins with Pit telling Palutena (and the player) "Sorry to keep you waiting!" referencing the 25 years between that game and his first adventure. Later on, when Hades appears for the first time, he repeats this line word-for-word to them after Medusa is defeated and before Act II begins.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Carl, after coming back home after years of being away, meets Officer Tenpenny looking to "chat". Tenpenny proceeds to start screwing around with Carl and coerces Carl into his service via blackmail and a frame job. Tenpenny ends their "chat" by saying : See you around, Carl" before walking(then driving away). Guess what Carl says later in the game when Tenpenny ends up dying on the street due to driving a firetruck off a bridge while being chased by Carl and Sweet.
  • In the opening of Tomb Raider, Larson asks Lara Croft "What's a man gotta do to get that sort of attention from ya?" Since Lara Croft is obviously sexy looking, that kind of comment was inevitable. Later on, when Larson attacks Lara outside of Qualapec's Tomb and Lara defeats him, Lara retorts "Well, you have my total attention now. I'm not sure if I got yours, though. Hello?"


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Early on in Broken Saints, Kamimura encounters a silly young egg farmer named Masayuki, who tells him a story about his father, in which Masayuki's father pointed at a chicken's butt and told his son that two things come out of there: eggs and poop. The lesson Masayuki took from it, and passed on to Kamimura, was that both good and bad things come from the inside. This lesson turns out to be a central message in the series, and Kamimura's final words before his Heroic Sacrifice repeat this sentiment, now with a much more poignant resonance.
  • In RWBY S1E15, Penny's rapid-fire recitation of all the fun things she and Ruby can do together since they are now friends echoes word-for-word Weiss's sarcastic inventory of "girl things" to (not) do with Ruby when they met for the second time at the Beacon opening ceremonies.
    • Ruby picks up on some of this, asking Weiss moments afterwards, "Is this what I was like when we met?"

Weiss: No. She seems much more coordinated.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Narbonic: "Not enough."
  • In It's Walky, Walky tells Joyce "You are beautiful, Joyce. It's the world that's ugly." Joyce later uses this line on his sister, Sal, in an attempt to talk her down from her Homicidal Rage.
  • In No Rest for The Wicked, Perrault tells November "You could always turn around and go home." Then, they meet Red. Somewhat later, following her through the woods, November repeats the line to Perrault.
  • A Miracle of Science has two, "That, gentlemen, is the sound of conquest" and "Behold, the Martian invasion fleet." The first one is used by Ben first in the flashback as a Mad Scientist trying to take over the moon, and later by Ben when he is confronting Haas. The second one is used first jokingly by Caprice, but then seriously by Ben in the end.
  • Girl Genius: When Agatha awakes on Castle Wulfenbach, Moloch covers her mouth and tells her "Quiet! Quiet! I'm not gonna hurt you unless I gotta, but I will if you act stupid. Now I'm going to take my hand away. I'm giving you one chance." When they meet again in Castle Heterodyne, she does and says nearly the exact same thing.
  • Goblins has the confrontation in the sewer between Delyn and Thaco when Thaco parrots Delyn's "Bleed for me" line after pinning him on a broken sewer pipe.
  • Faulty Logic uses the "malicious" variant in a single (long) strip
  • In The Order of the Stick prequel book Start of Darkness, wizards repeatedly act condescendingly to Xykon, a sorcerer; wizardry, which comes through study, is like a "finely-tuned watch," while sorcery, which comes naturally, is unwieldy like "a rubber hammer." Later, when Dorukan uses the same line, Xykon repeatedly hits him with Energy Drain spells, making Dorukan's own magic impossible while slowly killing him. Xykon points out that even if his magic is less sophisticated, the fact is that at a certain level of power no strategy can work against you, and right before killing him mocks that Dorukan can "keep [his] finely tuned watch -- Give me a sledgehammer to the face any day."
  • In Sluggy Freelance, the Demon King reacts to being stabbed with Chaz with the line, "What is that blade?" Later, when Torg is being tested by his own subconscious during the Wayang Kulit saga, Oasis reacts in the exact same way when he stabs her. Odd, because Chaz wasn't even glowing red on the later occasion...
    • Also, there's "Weird girl, Sasha," which gets repeated over and over again by almost all the (sane) characters... and then Sasha gets a chance to throw it back at them : "Weird guy, Torg"
  • In this Dominic Deegan strip, Rachel, an athletic female friend of Gregory's, goes to break up a fight between him and the bigot slaughterball player she used to idolize, Brett Taggerty:

Rachel: I don't know what's going on in here, but I suggest you let go of my friend and explain yourself.
Brett: (lets go of Gregory and raises his fist) Yeah? How about I break your face instead?!
Rachel: I invite you to try, Taggerty.
(Brett promptly punches Rachel in the jaw, eliciting a "KRAK"; but in the next panel, he's got a bloody hand)
Brett: AAAAAGGH!
Rachel: I break things with my face.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • From Minecraft: The Ex-Communicated Series, Nova booted Seamus off the edge of a cliff to go get a werewolf, saying "What's that down there?" Later, Seamus shows he's Not So Above It All when he uses a superpunch to boot Nova off the edge, saying in a very cynical tone "What's that down there?" Link here.
  • RPG Example: During a story line on the Prodigy City of Supers forum, my PC reptilian mutant and another player's genetically engineered human were taking on two NPC thugs. One attempts to make a run for it, telling his partner, "Sorry, buddy, but I ain't gonna defend you against supers and freaks." After being tackled and on the verge of being eaten by my PC, the thug cried out for help. Only to have his partner throw his words back at him, complete with mocking tone of voice. The fight didn't end well for the thugs.
  • In a Katers17 YouTube Video, this happens at the halfway point, when the main character is told not to wear the dress.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, in a scene that's an homage to the Joker, Blood Boy says "Why so serious?" as part of his intimidating speech to Matthew Wittany. He then attacks Matt, viciously beating him with his gun, as well as killing Matt's friend, Corbin. The tides eventually turn, though, and Matt gets out his own gun and shoots Blood Boy with it. What does he say while shooting? "Why so serious?"
  • In the Lonelygirl15 episode "Handcuffed", when captive villain Lucy is dying, Jonas tells her, "No you stupid bitch, no! You don't get to die! It's not that easy!" After the Grand Finale, "The Ascension", Lucy uploads a video showing that she is still alive, the description for which is "It's not that easy, Jonas."
  • In the third book of Shadow of the Templar, Jeremy finally loses patience with a bedridden and uber-bitching Simon and tells him to stick it because he's the only friend Simon has apart from his teammates. Simon replies that Jeremy isn't his friend, "just this guy." Later on, when Simon tries to stop Jeremy from leaving in the fourth book, Jeremy says coldly that Simon's "just this guy" to him.
  • This Let's Play of Ratchet and Clank affectionately titles each part, starting with "And they say this is hard...", however, after a long 63 part playthrough, he decides to change his mind.
  • Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog has a number of echoed lines, but the two most prominent are likely:
    • At one point idealist Love Interest Penny sings to Dr. Horrible/Billy, "keep your head up, Billy buddy", to try to cheer him up and get him to be more optimistic. Then later on Dr. Horrible repeats the line to build up his courage to commit his first murder by killing the Hero Antagonist.
    • Then later on, while Evil Gloating, Dr. Horrible sings triumphantly, "Then I win, then I get everything I ever", in anticipation of what he's expecting to be a victory. In the next song, after he's achieved the victory at the high cost of Penny accidentally being killed, the phrase "everything you ever..." is repeated as an eerie, almost mocking refrain.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Toph stuck inside a metal cage, while Xin Fu tells her "You might think you're the greatest earthbender in the world, but even you can't bend metal." She does exactly that, and declares, "I am the greatest earthbender in the world!"
    • In "The Ember Island Players", when the rest of the Gaang is upset over how they're portrayed in the play, Toph tells everyone, "Listen, friends, it's obvious that the playwright did his research. I know it must hurt, but what you're seeing up there on that stage is the truth." Later, when Toph's character, played by "a really buff guy" is introduced, Katara tries to get back at her:

Katara: Well, Toph, what you hear up there is the truth. It hurts, doesn't it?
Toph: Are you kidding me?! I wouldn't have cast it any other way!

    • There is another more subtle example in the Ember Island Players, when in the play Zuko is siding against Iroh

Play Zuko: "I hate you! And you smell"
 Two episodes later, when Zuko is apologizing to Iroh after tracking him by scent
Zuko: "It wasn't that hard [to find you], uncle. You have a pretty strong scent."

  • Rugrats: When Angelica's parents send her to her room for refusing to eat her broccoli, her mother tells her, "We tried to reason with you, but you wouldn't listen." Later, Hilarity Ensues when Angelica sues her parents. When Charlotte tries to reason with her, Angelica tells her, "It's too late for talk now, Mommy. I tried to reason with you, but you wouldn't listen."
    • Also, "And you'll never see your mom, or your dad or your dumb old dog ever again! Ah hahahahahahah!!!
  • Danny Phantom loves this trope. One of the earliest examples is in "Maternal Instinct"; when Vlad first uses the Plasmius Maximus on Danny to temporarily De-Power him, he smugly tells him, "I've seen your grades, and I know you're bad at math. I'll give you five minutes before I send my minions to destroy you.... Five minutes, five seconds -- oh, apparently, I'm bad at math, too." Later, after Danny gets the better of him:

Danny: I'll give you a five-minute head start, Plasmius.
Vlad: Really?
Danny: Minutes, seconds... you know how bad I can be at math.

    • And in "Shades of Gray", Valerie was planning to go to a concert with the other popular kids, but subsequently had to sell her tickets online to pay for a moving truck. Paulina then asks her who bought them ("We don't wanna have to sit next to any losers at the concert."). Later, it turns out that Sam did:

Sam: (at the concert with Danny and Tucker) I can't believe we're sitting next to those losers!

    • "Life Lessons" begins with a great example. When Danny is fighting Valerie, he says "I don't wanna hurt you," to which she replies "What makes you think you can?" Later, after finding out that they were assigned to the same Home Economics project, the teacher mocks them, referring to them as a married couple. Danny says "I am so not kissing the bride" to which Valerie replies, "What makes you think you can?"
      • As it happens, that episode has another instance of this trope; after they finally manage to beat Skulker and remove the handcuffs binding them together, Valerie apologizes to Danny (Phantom).

Valerie: I never thought a ghost could be anything but trouble.
Danny: That's because you never bothered to get to know one.

      • And a few scenes later, when Danny (Fenton) finds out the job Valerie has...

Danny: Wow, this is like the worst job ever. I didn't know this is the job you were talking about.
Valerie: That's 'cause you never bothered to get to know me.

  • In the Season 1 finale of Metalocalypse, Charles Foster Ofdensen, Dethklok's manager, saves an unconscious Dethklok from a masked assassin, saying "That's my bread and butter you're fuckin' with." In the Season 2 finale, Dethklok saves Charles from the Revengencers, repeating the line word-for-word.
  • From Batman Beyond: "Remember. There may be some momentary discomfort." Doubles as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
  • In Code Lyoko episode "Straight to the Heart", Yumi tries to clear up her relationship with Ulrich by claiming they're "Friends, that's all." The sentence comes back bitterly several times in the episode, and (with some variations) throughout Seasons 3 and 4.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown episode "A New Order", Jack asks Chase "Who would you rather be right now? You, or me?" after trapping him in the Sphere of Yun. Later, Chase asks Jack the same question after Omi lets him out.
  • Batman the Animated Series, "Nothing to Fear":

"I am fear incarnate! I am the terror of Gotham! I! Am! The Scarecrow!"

    • Later...

"I am vengeance. I am the night! I! Am! BATMAN!"

    • And another one from the episode "Baby Doll". Baby's catch-phrase on the show (after causing some mayhem) was "I didn't mean to!", à la Bart's "I didn't do it." At the end, she's hugging Batman's leg and crying, saying simply "I didn't mean to..."
  • In an episode of The Legend of Zelda, Zelda borrows Link's shield and leaves him to fight off Ganon's invasion alone:

Zelda: You hold them here!
Link: Hey! Thanks heaps, Princess!

    • Later, after moblins are sent after the duo in the underworld...

Link's Ghost: Just hold them a while!
Zelda: Thanks heaps!

  • Occurs in the South Park episode "Fishsticks," where Cartman "helped" Jimmy write a joke, then is concerned that he won't get proper credit, and asks Kyle for help. Kyle doesn't give him any, but tells Cartman:

Kyle: Yes, I believe that you believe you helped write that joke. That's how people like you work! Your ego is so out of whack that it will do whatever it can to protect itself. And people with a messed up ego can do these mental gymnastics to convince themselves they're awesome, when really, they're just douchebags!

    • Later...

Cartman: Jimmy, you really believe that you came up with it all on your own? Oh my God, wait. I totally get it now.
Jimmy: What? I, I still don't get anything.
Cartman: All this time I've been mad at you, Jimmy, for trying to take all the credit, but, now I realize it's just that your ego has made you believe things happened differently. That's what Kyle was trying to tell me. That you have such a huge ego you do these mental gymnastics to make yourself a part of things.
Jimmy: Rih, r-r-really?
Cartman: I thought you were just trying to Jew me out of my part of the credit, but now I realize that... some people just have egos that are so out of whack that no matter what people tell them, they can't accept the truth of who they are. Jimmy, I owe you an apology. I realize now you can't help believing you created the entire joke, because your ego won't let you think otherwise. I just have to accept that.

    • And in "Coon 2: Hindsight" and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends." You got poop, don't you?
  • Beast Wars: Rattrap accuses Dinobot of treachery. "You're just a lousy, stinkin' saurian. It's good to know where you stand." Later, when Dinobot sacrifices his life to protect the early anthropoids: "It's like I always said. You're just a lousy, stinkin' saurian..." Dinobot bristles with what little anger he can still manage. "...but it's nice to know where you stood."
  • X-Men: From "Beyond Good and Evil Part 4" in the final battle with Apocalypse when Magneto gets attacked and saved by Wolverine:

Wolverine: Oh, look who I'm saving. You'd think I was Xavier.

    • Then Magneto returns the favor when Wolverine is attacked by Apocalypse and saved by Magneto:

Magneto: Look who I'm saving. You think I were an X-Man.

Flash!Clayface: Looks like I didn't need you after all, yo, but you can help me tie him up.

  • After Batman exposes Clayface*

Clayface: ...What gave me away?
Batman: **Completely deadpan** You overplayed your part, "yo".

    • In the Unlimited episode "Alive!", Tala tries to worm her way back into Lex's good graces after a failed mutiny by saying that she's a "sick person", implying that she just couldn't help herself. When Lex uses her as a living magical battery in a device that will resurrect Brainiac at the cost of her life and Tala realizes that Lex planned on using her for this even before she betrayed him, he gloats "What can I say? I'm a sick person too." Tala gets a posthumous last laugh by resurrecting Darkseid instead of Brainiac.
  • Gargoyles: Used in a very dark context by first Demona and then her enemy John Canmore:

"What have I--what have they done to you?!"

    • "It may not be worth much now, but in a thousand years..." First by Xanatos, then by his much more moral father.
  • In Tokyo Mater, Kabuto actually threatens Mater that if he loses the race to Tokyo Tower, then Kabuto will strip him of his modifications and as a result Mater will become "stock." At the end of the short, Mater beats Kabuto to the top of the tower, and as a result it's Kabuto that ends up being stripped of his modifications. As the other cars in Tokyo start laughing at him because of his nudity, Kabuto immediately screams "I'M STOCK!!!"
  • In the first song of the Dr. Seuss special Halloween Is Grinch Night, Grandpa Josiah repeatedly sings, "I wouldn't go out on a night like this for" a given amount of money that increases with each verse, such as "six dollars and sixty cents!". Later, the Grinch starts poetically talking about what a wonderful night it is in the same rhythm as Josiah's song, ending with "I wouldn't stay home on a night like this for sixty dollars and sixty cents!"
  • Disney's Lilo & Stitch: The Series has an episode where Gantu is immediately rebuked for his idea of how useful an experiment would be. When 625 discovers something that could vindicate him, he's too angry to listen.

Gantu: Quiet! I do not want to hear anything more about 113.
625: But—
Gantu: But nothing. Go make a sandwich!
625: Well gee, you don't have to be a jerk about it!
Gantu: Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, trog?
625: Look, I'm trying to tell you that—
Gantu: (covers his ears) I'm not listening! Na na-na na-na-na.

    • And then later, when 625 tells him what he found out, we get one of the best instances of this trope ever thought up:

Gantu: Why didn't you say so before?!
625: (chuckles, then holds up a tape recorder) Caught it all on tape.
Gantu (recording): Quiet! I do not want to hear anything more about 113.
Gantu: But—
Gantu (recording): But nothing. Go make a sandwich!
Gantu: You can't talk to me like that!
Gantu (recording): Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, trog?
Gantu: (pulls out plasma gun and holds it against the recorder) Insolent device! SILENCE!
Gantu (recording): I'm not listening! Na na-na na-na-na.

    • Blasting the recorder didn't do much to mollify him, either.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "One Krabs Treasure" has an Ironic Echo done in a way. First in the graveyard when Mr.Krabs comes to steal back the "valuable" novelty soda drink hat, he comes across a depressed Squidward mourning his hopes and dreams. Krabs replies "What a baby." Later after Krabs finds out that the soda drink hat has no value after others are found, he sobs and Squidward passes by saying "What a baby." May count as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: The Daredevil story gives us a three-fer. In Flash Back we see Kingpin going to prison for his father's crimes, with his father saying "Sacrifices must be made". Later in the flashback Kingpin says the same thing when disposing of his father, as the last link to his old identity. And at the end, he says it again when he lets his own son take the rap for his crimes.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes:

Beezy: Misery? You told me to be causing anguish.
Lucius VII: Anguish? That's barely worse than worry!

    • Later:

Lucius VII: But... look at the anguish on that man's face!
Lucius VI: Anguish? That's barely worse than worry!

  • In the Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "They Call Him Mr. Ed", Eddy says to Nazz "You Got Spunk" for coming to him for a job. In Grand Finale, it's said again by Eddy's brother to Edd...after SLAMMING HIM INTO THE GROUND.
  • Being The Voiceless/the ears and ears for the Decepticons, Soundwave from Transformers Prime "speaks" by replaying recordings of others, and as such a lot of his "dialogue" can turn into this. For example, in the episode "Masters And Students" once Starscream learns that Megatron survived the SpaceBridge explosion, and just before going off to find him, there's this exchange:

Starscream: Remain here and monitor the outcome. When Skyquake snuffs Prime's spark... I must bear witness. *Flies off*
Soundwave: ..."Must bear witness"... *Discreetly sends Laserbeak after Starscream*

  1. Considering he's a bloodied corpse sitting in the middle of a damaged train and not somebody, like the other guy, who just looks like he's sleeping, we can safely say yes.