Oblivious to His Own Description

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Character comes across some kind of definition that the audience, or other characters, know to be right about him. The character is the only one who is unaware of that.

Usually Played for Laughs. May come in a variety of ways:

  • Someone tells something about an unspecified someone. The character asks, "Who would be that?" The reply is, "That would be you."
  • The character hears a word or expression for the first time and asks out loud what it means. Perhaps it is beyond the character's vocabulary, perhaps it comes from a Fictionary. Irony is, the character is a walking example of the word.
  • There is a picture, drawing or wanted sign of the character. He fails to see himself in it.

An embarrassed or hypocritical character might act like this, while keeping quiet about knowing the description is accurate.

Compare Failed a Spot Check.

Examples of Oblivious to His Own Description include:

Anime and Manga

  • Happens in Lovely Complex when Koizumi describes Otani as her perfect guy and he does not get it despite it being a perfect description of him.

Comic Books


What did he mean, "slow of mind"?


Fan Works


Kyoko: Sayaka just didn't like the fact Madoka has a crush on someone.
Madoka: Kyoko-chan!
Homura: ...Can that person make you happy Madoka?
Madoka: Um... that's-
Sayaka: As if. Not with such violent tendencies, nasty looks, gloomy air, and the worst-possible personality. We're talking about the worst and lowest person of all who betrayed Madoka.
Homura: ...Madoka, who is this boy?



  • Harry Potter: Vernon Dursley is outraged and reacts as he's being insulted when he's addressed as a "Muggle". In his defence, it is a word partially derived from the term "Mug", meaning "fool" or "easily deceived". Again, accurate descriptors, but it can easily be misconstrued as an insult.
  • "Notorious", a short story by João Guimarães Rosa (of The Devil to Pay In The Backlands fame). The narrator, a doctor, is surprised to get a visit from a feared outlaw. It happens a newly arrived guy from the government called him "notorious", and the furious outlaw travels miles... to ask the doctor, one of the few educated men in the backlands, what the word means. Fearing the worst, the narrator answers it means "important", and the outlaw leaves happy.
  • Hit and Run by Lawrence Block: Hitman with a Heart Keller is watching TV in his hotel room and sees a story on CNN about the assassination of the governor of Ohio. They show a picture of the assassin, and he takes a moment to realize that it's a picture of him.
  • To the Ends of the Earth: The narrator overhears two people discussing someone with a very out-of-date worldview, but who is nonetheless fairly likeable and not completely stupid. He does not realise that they are probably referring to him (it is never explicitly confirmed that they are, but it seems very likely).

Live Action TV

  • Breaking Bad, episode "Cat's In The Bag...": Hot Mom Skyler inadvertently enters a "certain" website.

MILFs? What the hell is a MILF?

  • In an episode of the American The Office, one of the workers is flashed by a pervert. Pam is asked to draw up a description of the man in order to make wanted posters. Pam ends up drawing Dwight with a moustache and asks him to put the posters up. Dwight does so, even mentioning happily that he wants the "pervert" to be caught.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour", the newly-regenerated Eleventh Doctor witnesses the Monster of the Week transform into a perfect likeness of himself, and remarks, "That's rubbish, who's that supposed to be?" Justified, as he didn't know what he looked like at that point.
    • In the season finale he tells us of the legend of the being trapped inside the Pandorica: "A goblin. Or a trickster, or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it - one day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world." The Doctor doesn't seem to realize that sounds exactly what his enemies would describe him as...
  • In The Andy Griffith Show, Barney overhears Andy and Aunt Bee talking about a particularly irritating Know-Nothing Know-It-All. They look horrified when Barney walks into the room, only for him to agree that people like that are annoying.

Video Games

  • In Sonic Colors, one of Eggman's PA messages has him informing the "owner" of "a white hovercar shaped like an egg" that said car was broken into. He only realizes what happened once he repeats the message.
    • For extra hilarity, judging by another of his messages, his own robots go around looting the guests' cars, meaning they might be responsible.

Web Comics

  • In Something*Positive, Davan tells Peejee he used to have a crush on a girl, but she didn't return the sentiment. They became really good friends and it ended up being for the best. Peejee insults the girl for not realizing Davan's great, he replies that, no, she's one of his favorite people. He walks away. Peejee catches on and blushes.
  • Captain Tagon in Schlock Mercenary comments on the emblem with his side-face (and conveniently stands so you can see his side-view and see how accurate it is).

Western Animation


Suki: I lost someone I care about. He didn't die. He just went away. I only had a few days to get to know him, but he was smart, and brave and funny.
Sokka: Who is this guy? Is he taller than me?
Suki: No. He's about your height.
Sokka: Is he better looking?
Suki: It is you, stupid!


Team: If only we had someone who could stretch that far... (everyone turns to Sasquatch, who is The Big Guy and resident Rubber Man)
Sasquatch: Yeah... but who could that possibly be? (Beat) I know! The Mighty Sasquatch can stretch that far!

  • In the first episode of South Park, Cartman is watching a news report on Crop Circles and the camera pulls back to show that the circles form an exact portrait of himself.

Hey! That looks like... Tom Selleck.