Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?

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Jacob: Come on, Sam. It can't be any harder than blowing up a sun.
Sam: You know, you blow up one sun and suddenly everyone expects you to walk on water.
[Alien control panel lights up.]

Sam: Next step, parting the Red Sea!

A sub-trope of Continuity Nod, where a character acknowledges a past Crowning Moment of Awesome, either their own or that of another character.

Can be used to attempt to intimidate an opponent, or even just a minor character that is being a nuisance. If the opponent is impressive enough, this may even qualify as a Moment of Awesome in its own right. Also likely to turn up in a Don't Say Such Stupid Things speech to bolster a character's confidence by talking about the incredible feats they have accomplished in the past. Sometimes said in such an offhand manner that it almost appears that the character themselves mightn't find it all that impressive. It can also be used to lampshade the trumped-up suspense regarding the latest threat; your character can blow up a sun, so why are we all worried about the villain's new death ray?

If the character continues to reminisce on a Crowning Moment of Awesome long after they stop being capable of pulling off similar feats, this becomes Glory Days.

Sometimes subverted if the sun-blower-upper either doesn't remember the incident in question, or does but attaches no importance to it.

If writers seem to think that's all the character does, it turns into Never Live It Down. Closely related to Badass Boast.

If the incident however occurred during an off-screen moment within the plot and is never actually explained to the audience it turns into the Noodle Incident.

Examples of Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Hajime no Ippo: Takamura beating up a bear. Due to his gigantic ego, Takamura himself mentions it more than other characters do.
  • Digimon Adventure uses this trope to restore the Heroic Resolve of the main group of True Companions prior to the Final Battle.
  • Ryohei once punched a lion. He then gave himself the epithet "Lion Punchist" Ryohei.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Rakan was displaying to Setsuna (a Shinmeiryuu warrior) how to pull off a Zanmaken Ni no Tachi (second blade), a highly advanced Shinmeiryuu technique he'd never tried before in a style he was unfamiliar with (he says he "copied" Eishun, his old traveling companion). It cut through Negi's barrier, several walls/buildings and a mountain-sized rock hovering outside the (floating) city (plus, it nicked Negi in the head and nearly killed him). Later, Konoka points out how impressive it is that Negi fought such a person to a draw.

"Frankly, even I'm starting to wonder how I ever managed to pull that off."


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Jean Grey, bonded with the Phoenix Force, became the Dark Phoenix. At the climax of the arc, she went nuts and ate a sun, causing it to explode and destroy its (inhabited) planetary system. No one in the entirety of the Marvel Universe has ever let her live it down. Death made her atone for it, the Shi'ar have tried to kill both the Phoenix and her family for it, the X-Men all fear the Phoenix for it, and Jean herself is afraid of it.
  • Although it certainly isn't particularly impressive when you consider the sheer number of Crowning Moments Of Awesome that occur in Batman's life, the time he knocked out Guy Gardner with one punch gets mentioned far more than most of the Justice League International era.
  • In Exiles, after an encounter with a rampaging Hulk, the Exiles and the resident Alpha Flight team repeatedly joke that Susan Storm never shuts up about the time she beat the Hulk.
  • In the X Wing Series comics, the pilots in Rogue Squadron love talking about how they could take the Death Star. Pilots surrounded by enemy craft say that it's as crowded and hostile as the Death Star, and actually given the odds they'd prefer to be back there. People go through an estate's defenses faster than X-wings go through a Death Star. When breaking into something they say things like "Well, it's not like it's a Death Star." "Not like we're in X-Wings." Understandable, considering that it was founded by the two X-Wing pilots who survived the first one, and commanded by one of the two who proceeded to destroy the second one.
    • While composing a mission plan, someone asks if they abort if something goes wrong. Asked to define wrong, a commando says "They've sent a Death Star," obviously a flippant remark since this is set between superweapon eras. An older pilot says they'll just leave the Death Star to Wedge and Tycho, two pilots who took down the second one, while they do their job. Tycho says "Only one Death Star? Then we'll be ready to save you when you need it."
  • In Mighty Avengers, the Sentry's Crowning Moment of Awesome was mentioned as a possible tactic so frequently that he rapidly got sick of it. He does not throw everything into the Sun.
    • According to the Internet, not only does he hurl everything into the sun, but this has become Norman Osborn's go-to solution to every problem. "Bob, throw X into the sun."
  • In the Mini Marvels strips Hawkeye always talks about how he defeated Iron Man with just his bow and arrows when anybody gives him lip for not having powers. It gets to become sort of a running gag.

Dr. Strange: "Yes I remember that fight, you mention it often."

Bucky: Come on, Cap. Don't you ever wanna go out on the town? Don't you know how to have fun.
Cap: Of course I do. Remember that time I punched Hitler in the face? That was fun.

  • Spider-Man's Tangled Web #13: A group of villains are in a Bad Guy Bar telling their stories of how close they got to killing Spider-Man. A stranger walks in wearing a hat and coat and shares his story.
  • From Astonishing X Men #10: The X-Men are being attacked by a giant swarm of sentinel robots.

Kitty: It's the size of a city!
Wolverine: Yeah, I killed a city one time. Funny story.

  • In the first issue of Ms. Marvel's latest series, Jessica Drew tries to remind Carol of how awesome she is with the inverse of the trope name: "Remember when you stopped the sun from exploding?".
  • Uncle Scrooge frequently likes to boast of his past adventures, especially in stories by Don Rosa, who grew up on the works of Scrooge's creator, Carl Barks.
  • Vixen is frequently reminded of the time she punched a hole in Amazo.
  • Rare is the appearance by frequent Teen Titans baddie Cheshire that doesn't mention the time she nuked the capital of Qurac.
  • Everyone knows: Squirrel Girl once defeated Doctor Doom. And it wasn't just a Doombot, either.
  • Bane's famous actions in Knightfall are referenced so often in Secret Six that it approaches a Running Gag.

Concierge: If you don't mind my asking, what do you bench press?
Bane: ... Costumed detectives, mostly.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • In the Deva Series, Nanoha—an expert at provoking Oh Crap—pulls off one of these completely by accident. Lotte is teasing her, and asks when she last blew out a workroom. Nanoha's casual response makes at least one student pale, knowing that none of the students would have a chance of pulling off such a feat.
  • In Forward, when Badger threatens Mal, Mal retorts by pointing out that he has a personal beef with Adalai Niska, Alliance Military, as well as others far scarier than Badger himself, adding that if Badger really wants to play, he can get in line.
  • In Brave New World (a Pokémon fic), Ash is inadvertently responsible for having killed five deities (including the god of death) and causing a previous apocalypse. While the recently regained memories of this are quite traumatizing to him, Leo sees it as the most badass thing he's ever done and never lets him live it down.
  • Many Sailor Moon fanfics, especially Fix Fic or Patchwork Fics, balk at the So Last Season concept; if anyone, including the Outer Senshi suggest she can't handle a situation, you'll generally have someone mention they been doing just fine till now thankyouverymuch.
  • Undocumented Features has many of these, given its density of CMOAs, but one stands out: Utena, Savior of Titan.
  • In And If That Don't Work? Asuka is constantly reminded that during her first battle she blew up a mountain. She is less than thrilled with the reminders, complaining it was covered with Angels and wasn't all that large of a mountain.


Film[edit | hide]

  • In Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, it's mentioned that all Starfleet command cadets have to take the Kobayashi Maru test, a no-win-scenario designed to see how they deal with failure. Legendarily, James T. Kirk is the only person to have ever passed the test - by cheating. This is brought up several times throughout the film, as well as in the Expanded Universe and the reboot/alternate universe movie.
  • In Pineapple Express, immediately after the action spectacular climax, the heroes go to a diner and talk about all the amazing things they just did.
  • In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, immediately after the massive street brawl between the news teams the protagonists gather in Ron's office where they discuss just how out of control things got, including Brick killing a guy with a trident.

Ron Burgundy: Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast.
Champ Kind: It jumped up a notch.
Ron Burgundy: It did, didn't it?
Brick Tamland: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart.
Ron Burgundy: I saw that. Brick killed a guy. Did you throw a trident?
Brick Tamland: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.
Ron Burgundy: Brick, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.

  • Mr. Furious of Mystery Men, when questioning his power, is reminded of the time he lifted a bus! For a while, this makes him feel better about himself, but after a moment of self-realization, he admits that he didn't so much lift it as push it...and it was in gear...and the driver was pressing the gas...
  • In Escape From L.A., everybody appears to know who "Snake" Plissken is (probably the Eyepatch of Power) and how he got infamous (something about a hold-up against a city). He was supposed to be a bit taller, though.
  • In the Sharpe films after Sharpe's Eagle, someone will sooner or later say words to the effect of: "Hey, you're Richard Sharpe! You took the eagle at Talavera! That was awesome!"
  • In Boondock Saints - After their Air Vent fiasco, they are explaining the whole thing to Rocco over pizza and beer. Some of the actual dialogue is montaged over, but they're definitely enjoying themselves, even laying upside down on tables to help demonstrate their sheer awesome.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione and Ron take turns listing all the incredible things Harry had done up to then in Don't Say Such Stupid Things fashion after he claimed he wasn't good enough to teach them Defence Against the Dark Arts. A similar exchange occurred at the first meeting of the DA. Specifically it's his mastering of the Patronus that seems to impress the most people.
    • Apparently, by the time the epilogue takes place, Professor Longbottom is often asked about his DA Galleon, and he keeps vastly impressing his students when he tells them about all the cool stuff he did. So, to his students, he apparently has a few "Remember when you slew a Dark Horcrux-snake with an ancient magical sword while on fire?" moments.
  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Immortal Coil features every artificial intelligence ever shown on Star Trek. One character mentions that Picard is a bit of a celebrity among A.I.s. Picard defended Data's rights as a sentient being in the episode "The Measure of a Man."
  • In The Dresden Files, people always bring up that time Harry rode a polka-powered zombie T-rex against an undead army during a necromantic hurricane.
    • Harry's defeat of the Eldest Gruff, by asking for a donut, apparently had the entire Summer Court laughing for months. Harry also discovered that most of the White Council, Wardens included, is afraid of him because of his accomplishments.
  • Lampshaded in the Nightside novels and The Spy Who Haunted Me: throughout Green's series, people keep bringing up the fact that Walker used his Voice to order a corpse to sit up on the slab and answer his questions. "It was just the one time!"
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe X Wing Series, it's all but stated that the Hat for Tatooinians is possession of Improbable Piloting Skills due to shooting giant rats from an airspeeder.

Nawara: "Run up this rift valley and hit something the third of the size of an X-wing, without the benefit of a targeting computer? That's impossible."
Gavin: "That's nothing. Back home in Beggar's Canyon..."
Wedge: "I don't think any pilot from Tatooine ever found a mission tough, especially when it involves racing through a canyon."

    • Later in the series, Wedge Antilles, Corran Horn, and Gavin Darklighter have this exchange.

Wedge: "Unseating Isard may, in fact, turn out to be impossible."
Corran: "Gavin, this is where you're supposed to tell us that unseating her isn't tough and relate the whole thing to varminting on Tatooine."
Gavin: "I didn't hear anyone mention a trench or canyon or womp rats. Taking a planet is beyond me."

      • Wedge "Only Man To Survive Two Death Star Runs" Antilles gets this a lot.
      • Also known as Wedge "Won A Battle He Was Trying To Lose" Antilles.
    • Kyp Durron, who blew up multiple suns. Bit of an inversion as he was Drunk on the Dark Side at the time and murdered tens of millions of people on an Imperial world in the process, and its generally treated as a bad thing.
    • At one point in the Legacy of the Force series, Wedge has to pick out callsigns for him and Corran. He picks Ganner One and Ganner Two, in homage to Jedi Knight Ganner Rhysode's "None Shall Pass" moment against the Yuuzhan Vong in Traitor.
  • In Thud, Lord Vetinari runs down some of Commander Vimes's greatest hits to explain why the troll and dwarf governments will take his word for things.
    • In A Hat Full of Sky, after coming out of an argument with Granny Weatherwax about how to deal with the hiver, Tiffany Aching recalls some of the stories she's heard about Granny:

I've just had a blazing row with Mistress Weatherwax! They say if you cut her with a knife, she wouldn't bleed until she wanted to! They say that when some vampires bit her, they all started to crave tea and sweet biscuits. She can do anything, be anywhere! And I called her an old woman!

  • In Eye of the Needle, Lucy Rose prevents the Needle from transmitting his information about the D-Day invasion by jamming her fingers into a light socket and blowing out the power to his radio. This happens near the end of the book, but everyone's suitably impressed by it to keep bringing it up in the few remaining chapters.
  • Blackwolf mentions on at least two occasions I remember how he beat CoreFire in a fight.
  • Tasslehoff Burrfoot would like to remind you that he and Paladine are close personal friends.
  • The main character Pip in the Grail Quest gamebooks acquired a new title with every book. By the end of the series, he was Pip the Wizard Basher, Dragon Slayer, Ghastly Kingdom Gateway Closer, Realm Saver and Chaos Tamer.
  • In Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, Opal Koboi, in the middle of her attempted mass-revenge, notes that only two people have ever beaten her, "and both of them were Foaly", a clear reference to said centaur's Crowning Moment of Awesome at the climax of the second book. There are also several points throughout the series where various characters note that Butler is the only human ever to have taken on an adult troll and won.
    • Taken on an adult troll hand to hand and won. Although if not for Holly healing him, he would have died after the first try.
  • In all the Sharpe novels after Sharpe's Eagle, someone will bring up the fact that Sharpe took an Imperial eagle at the battle of Talavera.
  • In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Ford Prefect meets a guy who has been the member of a band who spiced their pretty insane concerts up by crashing a ship into a sun. He vividly recounts this story to the (surprisingly) unmoved musician before realizing that the guy is spending a year dead for tax reasons.
  • In Mockingjay of the The Hunger Games trilogy, in preparation for making an Airtime Assault, Haymitch made everyone on the War Room remember the moments or the events done by Katniss that genuinely moved them. Most of it are the things she did on the first and second book (e.g. taking Prim's place in the reaping).


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Samantha Carter of Stargate SG-1 blew up a sun in order to destroy the massive enemy fleet which was within its system. This event is repeatedly mentioned by other characters as her Crowning Moment of Awesome and gave us our above page quote, though by her own admission she later does even crazier things. The trope, however, is deconstructed in Stargate Atlantis, where Rodney McKay once blew up five sixths of a solar system by accident. This... wasn't awesome; instead of giving them a great victory over their enemy, it cost the life of a teammate, destroyed valuable technology that could have been studied, and underscored his arrogance and fallibility.
    • Depending on who's asking, Teal'c's galactic fame as the First Prime who dared to betray his master either elicits awed respect or teeth-grating hatred.
    • SG-1 develops quite the reputation as the number of System Lords they encounter soon thereafter become ex-System Lords, usually due to dying at their hands.
  • In Doctor Who, Rose intimidates the Cult of Skaro by telling them how the Dalek Emperor survived... until she showed up, absorbed the power of the Time Vortex and reduced him and his entire army to dust in the space of a few seconds.
    • They were not so much "intimidated" as "extremely pissed" to the point of forgetting their goal for a moment.
    • Also subverted in The Girl in the Fireplace when Rose give a long speech along about how the bad-ass Doctor is coming to save them, referencing many of his previously amazing feats, and when he turns up he's apparently highly intoxicated and the opposite of every impression she has just given.
    • Also, when Mickey and Jake set out to stop a Cyberman army with nothing but a blue van. Mickey explains how he once "saved the whole universe with a big yellow truck".
    • The Doctor also did it in the episode Forest of the Dead when he told the Monsters Of The Week to look him up in the database. They retreated on the spot.

"I'm The Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."

    • Sarah Jane Smith and Rose trying to outdo each other with their past adventures in "School Reunion". (Sarah Jane won.)

"THE. Loch Ness. Monster!"
"Really?"

    • In "Battlefield" and "Enemy of the Bane" (the former a Doctor Who story, that latter the Season Finale of the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures), the Doctor and the Brigadier (respectively) name-check a number of the various monsters they had fought while working with UNIT.
    • In "The Eleventh Hour", the Eleventh Doctor makes his debut by saving the world in 20 minutes (without the TARDIS or the sonic screwdriver) by capturing a shape-shifting escapee after his Atraxi captors threatened to incinerate the entire Earth just to get him. Then, after calling the Atraxi back to Earth, the Doctor calmly tells them that Earth is not a threat, they violated laws by threatening its destruction, and every alien who tried before...

The Doctor: One more question, just one... is this world protected? Because you're not the first lot to have come here, oh there have been so many!
(Montage of various assorted alien threats come to Earth)
The Doctor: Now what you got to ask is, what happened to them?
(Montage of all the past Doctors, ever, ending with Eleven walking through Ten's projection.)
The Doctor: Hello, I'm the Doctor. Basically... run.
And they do.

    • Let's not forget the moment in "The Pandorica Opens" where the Doctor, after boasting how he doesn't have a plan or weapons worth "a damn", temporarily scares off a fleet of ships of pretty much every enemy he's ever encountered by simply saying:

Tonight, just remember who's standing in your way.
Remember every black day I ever stopped you. And then,
AND THEN, do the smart thing: Let somebody else try first.

      • This is subverted almost immediately by The Doctor himself, when he snarkily comments "That ought to keep them squabbling for half an hour." A grander subversion is also afoot, since the fleet of aliens are all part of The Alliance, and are all a part of one giant plot to trap the Doctor in the Pandorica.
    • And most recently, when the Thin Fat Gay Married Anglican Marines are talking about him in A Good Man Goes To War.

Fat One: Digger says he once chased the Atraxi off a planet,
then called them back for a scolding!
Thin One: We're supposed to fight him, not praise him.

Riley: When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. Turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of "apocalypse".

    • In the first season, it was teachers referencing when she burned down her last school's gymnasium.
    • Dying was also fairly high on Buffy's list of oft-referenced accomplishments.
      • To be fair, she died a lot. Not nearly as often as Daniel Jackson, but a lot more than most of us have.
  • One of Delenn's Crowning Moments Of Awesome in Babylon 5 recalled one of Sheridan's.

"This is Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari. Babylon 5 is under our protection. Withdraw or be destroyed."
"Negative. We have authority here. Do not force us to engage your ship."
"Why not? Only one Human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else!"

Cole: Wow! So that was Tommy. He really is the greatest Ranger.
(The others snicker): Right!
Cole: What? What'd I say?
TJ: Well, I wouldn't go that far. After all, I was the one that replaced him.
Jason: Are you kidding me? I was the one doin' all the work while he was at the juice bar kissing on Kimberly!
Carter: All right, well at least his haircut's regulation, right?
Eric: Ah, my Q-Rex would eat his Dragonzord for lunch! NOM!
Leo: I discovered new galaxies!
Wes: I changed history. So why does he have a fan club and I don't?
Andros: Hey, I saved two worlds! What about that?
TJ: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Did I ever tell you guys about the time I got baked in a giant pizza?
Everyone else: YES!

    • In the original script, Andros instead said: "Hey, I killed Zordon, top that!"
  • Lost: I recall a few awed mentions of Sayid snapping a man's neck with his legs.
  • In Farscape it becomes clear that the crew of Moya have developed a reputation over the seasons, as the fugitives who have avoided Peacekeeper capture for years, then as the ones who blew up a Gammak Base AND a Shadow Depository. Their reputation for badassery becomes so pronounced that at a conference between the major powers in the galaxy, when the crew of Moya shows up and takes a place at the table, hardly anyone bats an eye. Although to be fair, that's also because 1) Crichton was offering to sell a superweapon, and 2) he had a hair-trigger nuclear bomb strapped to his hip.
    • Two different one-shot characters reveal that they have heard about Crichton's exploits and proceed to list them back to him. First, in "Suns and Lovers":

Borlik: You know, I heard he destroyed a Peacekeeper Gammak Base, murdered an entire Nebari battalion, even laid waste to a Shadow Depository. The guy was a devil: he raped and pillaged, he popped eyeballs-
Crichton: Whoa-whoa! Where do they get these stories? Let's set the facts straight. First off, there was no raping, very little pillaging, and Frau Blucher popped all the eyeballs.

    • And again in "Scratch and Sniff":

Raxil: 2 guns? I mean - I thought you were the Great Crichton & D'Argo! I mean - you blew up a shadow depository! I thought you'd bring pelshfer charges! And a plasma bomb! And a really big gunship! BUT NO! YOU BRING NOTHING! YOU BRING 2 LITTLE WEAPONS THAT WOULDN'T KILL A NIKNIK!
D'Argo: (hesitantly) You - have heard of us?
Raxil: Yeah - I've heard stories. But obviously they aren't worth a bucket of dren!

  • Oddly, Star Trek: Enterprise is really the only series in which the exploits of the crew are actually referenced later. Archer becomes either a hero or a curse depending on who's passing on the stories. He becomes a living legend with the Trekverse after defeating the Xindi, an accomplishment referenced regularly in the fourth season.

Dave Lister: I tell you one thing: I've been to a parallel universe, I've seen time running backwards, I've played pool with planets, and I've given birth to twins, but I never thought in my entire life I'd taste an edible Pot Noodle.

  • In Happy Days, the Fonz at one point recalls the episode where "I saved your brother's life once!" - "How?" - "I stopped hitting him."
  • Leverage. Eliot is the freaking KING of this trope. His sort-of fiancee broke it off because he was off doing awesome badass stuff. He liberated Croatia. He's not sure, but he's fairly certain a fatwa was issued against him. He almost killed a guy called 'The Butcher of Kiev' with an appetizer and, according to "The Cross my Heart Job" he once fought a guy using a Nerf sword.
  • Does it count when someone does a Badass Boast of "I dunno, I've taken some pretty big fish", and you have to have been watching the show for years to know that those fish included Loki, the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, and The Devil? Because if so, Dean Winchester does it towards the end of Season 6 of Supernatural.
  • Any time the MythBusters are about to set off a particularly big explosion, the first of these "big booms" (specifically, the cement truck from Cement Mix-Up) is always going to be brought up, by the narrator if no one else. Same goes for any time the "big booms" of the series are brought up.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Many wrestlers have one of these. Chris Jericho has the night that he beat Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock in back-to-back matches, which is frequently cited as a near-impossible achievement.
  • Defied Trope: The Undertaker's winning streak at Wrestlemania has become so impressive that if anyone ever did actually beat him at Mania, they would be able to brag about it for their entire career. JBL himself said that it would be a bigger deal than winning a world championship. Nobody has managed to pull it off, however, and with Taker's impending retirement, it might stay that way. Unless someone were to force 'Taker to retire - that is, by handing the Deadman a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that partially crippled him, which could then be boasted about as a de facto WrestleMania victory.


Video Games[edit | hide]

Joker: "It'll be better than the old days, you'll see."
Shepard: "I hope so. I died."

      • Almost every story you hear from Zaeed Massani eventually comes out to this, usually consisting of him coming out as the sole survivor of ridiculous odds, but still getting his mission done.
    • Garrus and James Vega can be found trying to top each others' war stories in Mass Effect 3.
    • Marvel Ultimate Alliance does a variation, where it goes over all the sidequests you completed, and then shows the effects that this has on the future (ie, you saved some research data that will help out the mutants later). God help you if you didn't complete one.
      • Not that even doing all of the sidequests helps, considering one forces you into a no-win scenario where either choice results in a bad ending in a very "what the hell?" sort of way. Made worse because the implied consequences of either choice are horrible.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, when Vyse has a moment or two of doubt, Captain Gilder peps him up by reminding him of some of the ludicrous things he's accomplished in the game so far such as escaping from the Valuans' "escape-proof" giant prison fortress. Twice.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, the hero will encounter of group of Mooks who recognize him and recount his various accomplishments in terror.
  • At the beginning of Tales of Monkey Island: The Siege of Spinner Cay, Guybrush encounters Morgan Le Flay, a pirate hunter and long time Fan Girl of him, who enumerates all the things he had accomplished that had made him famous, like defeating the Ghost Pirate LeChuck in the first game, finding the treasure of Big Whoop in the second and escaping the carnival of the damned in the third.
  • Remember that time Samus Aran blew up three planets and a dimension?
  • Remember when Phoenix killed that locked door? Lotta Hart remembers.
    • From case 2 of the third game upon meeting Adrian Andrews:

Phoenix: I meet Ms. Andrews during the Nickel Samurai case.
Maya: Oh yeah! Remember when you outsmarted that assassin to save me and bring about justice?
Phoenix: Y-Yeah...(Do we need to keep reminding ourselves of that case?)

  • Mario, who has actually killed the sun before.
    • With his shoes. Or possibly his girth.
  • City of Heroes: Mender Lazarus loves to talk about the adventures he's had with you. Thing is, you've never met him before.
    • About the 4th mission into the story-arc with Lazarus, you run into him again. He gets 3 speech-bubbles into explaining time-travel and the nature of his group, then: ".... Ah. By the look in your eyes, you knew this already. We've met before, haven't we? Sometimes I really hate time travel."
    • Long before Orororobrrrborrowbus this was implemented as random passer-by NPC's would go "Hey, there's [Character]! I heard she just busted up a 5th Collumn cell!" or "Did you hear about how [Character] took down those Skulls?"

Mender Lazarus: Ah, [Character], back for more, eh? I still tell the stories about how we teamed up against those Shivans! I never would have figured out that destroying the meteor would have been the key to succeeding, but you knew that somehow!
What's wrong? Don't you remember me? You look puzzled... oh my... we haven't actually MET yet, have we? That's one of the funny things with Time Travel... for you this is our first meeting, but for me, we've met before. Don't think about it too hard, you'll only end up with a headache.

Raine: It's not like I'm doing it for fun...


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Serenity RPG describes the scene in "War Stories" where Mal beats the crap out of Adlai Niska after being tortured to death and resuscitated by him as Mal succeeding at an "Incredible" skill check for Discipline. For reference, an "Incredible" check is two steps below the most difficult possible check ("Impossible").

Webcomic[edit | hide]

  • "Reakk the Dragon Boinker, boinked that dragon good!"
  • Used early on by Eight Bit Theater, where Fighter boasts to a bunch of random encounter monsters about how Black Mage nuked a forest(and the giant within it). Subverted when Black Mage tells him to shut up because he can only use the spell that did that once a day.
    • Played with more later, when Black Mage tries threatening someone with it, and Fighter tells him he's being an idiot because he already used it that day.
    • At one point, Black Mage encounters the incarnation of all his mortal evils, which, being the only thing evil enough to represent all that, is himself. He promptly asks himself if they're including the time he ruled Hell for ten minutes, or the time he orphaned some kid twice. He was advised to stop after that, seeing as the incarnation had, in fact, forgotten, and was getting stronger after each reminder.
  • Schlock Mercenary - rather unsurprisingly, given all those crazy misadventures of the Toughs. The stories others tell of them may be somewhat less accurate, however.
    • Used to good effect in this strip to deter unwanted attention.

Elf: My boyfriend shot down Pranger's flagship... With an antimatter grenade... That he'd been wearing for years as an epaulet.

    • That's also when Para Ventura joined the merry crew, and let Kevyn know he also can Never Live It Down his "sloppy" invention of teraport (and being guilty of grand spamming, and teraport wars).
      • ...so, of course, she scored some highly memorable moments for herself:

Karl Tagon: Keep an eye on Ventura. The girl can build robots like nobody else, but frankly, that may be because nobody should do it like that.
Elf: (amused and making "spidery" motion with her hand) Are you worried that Eina-Afa will get overrun by Ventura's mechanical crypt spiders?
Karl Tagon: Ventura already instigated one robot apocalypse. I'm dropping a marker and calling that the career limit.

Richard: Remember a few moments ago when you murdered a little boy? That was rather entertaining.

  • In Dragon Tails, Bluey hijacks a mecha at a convention and does something incredibly cool offscreen. It is never shown, but becomes a returning gag.
    • After the convention, Bluey's elder brother Enigma watches a video recording of the event (with the back of the TV toward the viewer) and remarks "Bluey, you were reckless and irresponsible, but... I have to admit, that was the coolest thing I have ever seen."
    • In a much later storyline, two characters talk about their project is going to be more awesome than anything else

"Except for what Bluey did with that mecha."
"Well, that's pretty much a given. No one will ever top that."

  • On the "Spill" podcast A Couple of Cold Ones (ACOCO), the time he threw a chair is this for Korey. Seriously, they bring it up at least once every 3 episodes.
  • The fact that Jack (of The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon) once got buried underground and punched his way out gets referenced a lot.
  • Dan of DMFA has two: Defeating a room full of Death Knights with only a spork and chasing off a horde of ice trolls while only wearing a loin cloth.[1]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Used back-handed by Coach Callahan in Tales of MU, when she tells the Vice-Chancellor (who is a shapeshifted greater dragon) that he has her at a disadvantage because he's killed thousands of humanoids but she's only managed to kill seven of his kind.
  • The Ed Stories by Sam Hughes use this in the finale. Ed asks Sam to list all of his inventions that previously appeared in the story in the hopes that one of them can save the world from a Colony Drop.
  • In the Whateley Universe, lots of people have referred to the time that Chaka faced a three-on-one battle in her combat final, with tornadoes and earthquakes thrown in, and used a tornado as a weapon.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Burns in The Simpsons in the season 13 episode "Hunka Hunka Burns in Love." His love interest, Gloria, is also local criminal Snake's ex-girlfriend. After she leaves Burns for Snake because Snake is such a "bad boy", Burns complains that he is truly evil and recites a number of his evil schemes, such as blocking out the sun in Springfield.
    • In reference to the quote above, that episode would mark the at least the third time that the scene of Homer falling down Springfield gorge was flash-backed to. It's been referenced at least twice again since then - including in The Movie. It's Matt Groening's favorite episode of all time.
      • In "The Blunder Years", Homer drinks some Yaqui tea with the family in an attempt to remember a traumatic childhood event. The following exchange takes place:

Marge: Well? Is anything coming back to you?
Homer: Ah, heh-heh. There have been so many classic Simpson moments. I remember the time I tried to jump over Springfield Gorge.
Cut to the infamous scene. Homer cries "I'm going to make it!", but we then return to the present.
Lisa: No, Dad, everyone's sick of that memory!

    • Another example would be people reminding Homer that he is a former astronaut. Sometimes used to mock how low he's fallen, sometimes its used to cheer him up. There's one episode (Wizard of Evergreen Terrace) that recalls this milestone achievement only for Homer to deride it with "Eh, all we did was grow some space tomatoes and sabotage MIR." The episode then subverts this trope when Bart asks if Homer remembers nearly becoming heavyweight champ and Homer genuinely doesn't remember.
  • Eric Cartman will occasionally threaten people after the fifth season by telling him that he will make them eat their parents. Remembering Scott Tenorman, the other kids will back him up.
    • Then there's "201", where Scott returns and not only seeks vengeance but reveals that that wasn't just his father he ate...
  • Deconstructed in Avatar: The Last Airbender: After Aang uses the Avatar State to single-handedly destroy a massive war fleet in a matter of seconds, an impressed general tries to help him master it so so he can win the war quickly. Not only does this turn out to be a bad idea (since the Avatar State also makes Aang extremely vulnerable), but Aang is horrified when he realizes just how scary and destructive that power really is.
    • Later, after Azula temporarily kills Aang, she lets Zuko take the credit because he was (rightfully) worried Ozai wouldn't respect him otherwise. Azula being Azula, this is part of a greater plan: if Aang turns up alive (which he does) then Zuko takes the blame for the failure to kill him.
    • The series also has a weird subversion with Iroh. People often remember his legendary siege of Ba Sing Se, but it's just as much a mark of shame because he failed and lost his son in the process. Then he goes and takes it for real from the Fire Nation in the finale.
    • There's a great straight example as well, when Sokka and Zuko are discussing romance:
  • Done in Phineas and Ferb. In "De Plane! De Plane!", when Candace is feeling inadequate after seeing Jeremy talk to a shapely blonde girl at a pool party:

Stacy: What are you worried about? You're Candace Flynn!
Candace: Yeah, and she's super-cool, foreign-accent, snake wrestler, high-diving, natural hottie Nicholette.
Stacy: Snake wrestler, whatever! You fought dinosaurs! You traveled to Mars! You've been through time!

  1. It was later suggested that the latter owed more to Dan's "endowments" than any fearsome reputation