Trope Workshop:You Know Nothing About X
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Trope Workshop Guidelines
Man in Theater Line: Wait a minute, why can't I give my opinion? It's a free country!
A character, in order to make a point, invokes thing/person/place/event X. Another character then says something to the effect of "you know nothing about X" in rebuttal.
The implication is, of course, "I know all about X in a way that is more accurate/intimate than you do, and it's nothing like what you're saying. Therefore, your argument is invalid."
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Anime and Manga
- Played around with in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie First. When Precia's Familiar, Lynith, learns about Alicia and confronts her master about it, Precia grabs Lynith and starts screaming that she doesn't know anything about Alicia and how much she meant to Precia. Lynith immediately retorts that of course "I don't know anything. You were the one who made me forget".
- In Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, Hector tells Paris that he know nothing about either death or love when the latter claims he is willing to kill or die for Helen, stating that he has killed and it is neither glorious nor beautiful. Justified as Paris is very naive at that point.
- As seen in the page quote above, Annie Hall takes this to the ultimate, where Alvy Singer pulls from nowhere Mr. McLuhan himself to point out that the man knows nothing about McLuhan's work.
- This scene was parodied by Mad TV in their sketch "Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Payback", when one of the terrorists holding schoolgirls hostage pontificates to "Woody Allen" that he teaches a class at Columbia in International Terrorism and therefore knows about Yasser Arafat's works. Cue "Woody Allen" reaching behind a door and pulling out "Yasser Arafat" to tell the terrorist, "You know nothing of my work".
- Pirates of the Caribbean has this in the first movie: when Jack comments to his (former) crew that "the deepest circle of hell is reserved for traitors and mutineers", one crew member grabs him by the throat (and reveals his skeletal arm in the moonlight), hissing "you know nothing of hell."
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher Eliza Jane Wilder claims on her first day at Laura Ingalls' school that she intends to rule by love, not fear, and states that "birds in their little nests agree". Laura's thought is that she obviously knows nothing about birds. Ironically, Miss Wilder ends up as a Sadist Teacher.
- In The Secret Garden, when Martha lets it slip that she'd hoped Mary would be a native Indian, Mary flies into a rage and screams that "You know nothing about India. You know nothing about anything!"
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob: Bob points out that Riboflavin's motivations for his crimes don't make sense. Riboflavin screams, "YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, YOU LITTLE &%!!&!! AND THE PENALTY FOR IGNORANCE IS DEATH!!!" (indicating, of course, that Riboflavin knows Bob is right and refuses to admit it to himself).
- In the 1988 U.S. vice presidential debates, Dan Quayle compared his experience to that of John F. Kennedy. His counterpart, Lloyd Bentsen, responded with the following:
Bentsen: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.