You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

This is a Stock Phrase said, often by the Only Sane Man or Deadpan Snarker, when they've just heard about the stupid or outlandish Zany Scheme. In some cases, it is not even a scheme that they are snarking at, but the sheer idiocy of their world. Compare My God, You Are Serious, which may follow it if said Only Sane Man actually believed that the person in question was kidding.

It may also be a reaction to something bad happening, making it somewhere between Oh Crap and This Is Gonna Suck. Conversely, it may be a reaction to the characters being challenged by a ridiculously weak opponent... possibly leading to a reveal that the opponent isn't so weak after all.

Truth in Television, naturally.

Examples of You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! include:

Anime and Manga

  • GetBackers episode "The Animal Transformation of the Beastmaster"
  • Chisame Hasegawa tends to utter this in some form or other in Mahou Sensei Negima.
  • Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, at least in the dub.
  • Anytime you hear the phrase "Joudan ja nai wa yo!" screamed in Ranma ½, particularly by Akane, is basically this, as it literally translates into you "You've got to be kidding (or joking with) me!"
  • Ghost in the Shell: during the Tachicomatic Days section of episode 3 of Stand Alone Complex, the Tachicoma utters this when it looks up to see a huge tank about to land on it.
  • Ryuuji in the Festival Arc of Toradora!, when he finds out Taiga's father won't be coming to see her in any of the school's activities.

Comic Books

  • In Legion of Three Worlds, this is Superboy-Prime's reaction upon discovering the 31st Century's Superman Museum.
  • People have often said this about The Punisher. He himself has said it only twice in Garth Ennis' run:
    • In "In The Beginning", Frank has to fight Pittsy the mob enforcer for over a dozen pages. The nutcase manages to blow off one of Frank's ribs, then attempts to tear a lung out through the hole. Frank retaliates by throwing him out a fifth-story window onto a metal picket fence. Then jumping out after him and Goomba Stomping him, driving three fence spokes three inches through his torso. Two pages later, Pittsy not only manages to tear the fence loose, but goes looking for Frank with it sticking out of him.

Frank Castle: You have to be fucking kidding me.
(Gives Pittsy a Boom! Headshot!. With a shotgun. At arm's reach.)
Next step's a reflex action. So's the next one. Got to be.
(Gross Up Close-Up of Pittsy's shotgunned face)

  • Pittsy of course dies, but the reader doesn't get to see if Frank had to shoot him again.
  • In "The Long, Cold Dark", after Frank had captured his nemesis Barracuda, shot, beaten and electrocuted him[1] and left him wrapped in iron chains in the boot of his truck while he attended to other matters. It's all too much for 'Cuda, who just snaps, breaks the chains through sheer strength and barrels out.

The Punisher: "You have got to be fucking kidding me."
(Barracuda arms himself)
...was the thought that came to mind.

  • Scott Pilgrim; this is basically Ramona's reply when Scott first asks her out - justified, as it's not exactly safe. When it becomes clear he is not kidding, she gladly tells him what is required - fight and defeat her previous boyfriends. And girlfriend.


"You have got to be fucking kidding!"

    • Made even funnier when you realise later that Palmer, the man who uttered the line is also a thing!
  • In From Dusk till Dawn: Texas Blood Money Robert Patrick managed to cram even more profanity into the phrase when a total eclipse of the sun makes containment of vampires in a bank during the day impossible.
  • Bon Cop, Bad Cop uses it as the villain's Famous Last Words.
  • In The Lion King 1-1/2, Banzai mutters this in response to Timon and Pumbaa juggling and breakdancing while attempting to buy time.


  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe book Enemy Lines 2: Rebel Stand, Han and Leia are trapped in prison, awaiting what looks to be their final meal before they're shipped off-system to the Yuuzhan Vong. Instead of breakfast, Han's blaster, Leia's lightsaber, and an assortment of other useful items pour through the food tray slot courtesy of a complex plan by R2-D2, and the obligatory line is Han's reaction.

Leia: "This is my favorite prison ever."

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Dumbledore announces that the Triwizard Tournament is being held at Hogwarts.

Fred Weasley: You're joking. (crowd laughs)
Dumbledore: I am not joking, Mr. Weasley, though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag and a leprechaun who all go into a bar -
McGonagall: *clears throat*

Live Action TV

  • The Bold And The Beautiful (soap opera)
  • Gossip Girl episode "Seventeen Candles"
  • Monk episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever"
  • Smallville episode "Odyssey"
  • Stargate SG-1: Colonel Jack O'Neill, in the first manner explained. It's his signature line!
  • Stargate Atlantis
  • Scrubs: JD has been know to say this on occasion.
  • The United States of Tara episode "Aftermath"
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway
  • Angel episode "Redefinition"
  • Doctor Who in a couple episodes, one by Donna, another by the part-Donna Doctor clone.
    • It's actually Donna's Catch Phrase.
    • Also, when the Ninth Doctor ends up on a futuristic version of Big Brother, "You have got to be kidding."
  • The protagonist of the US remake of Life On Mars gives a quiet "No way" upon waking up in the 70's and seeing the World Trade Center still standing.
  • John Crichton on Farscape, more than once. Not always very sensibly either: once he says "Aeryn, honey, you have got to be kidding me" on the discovery that she objects to serious drug abuse. And no, he wasn't being sarcastic.
  • The Office: Kevin reacts this way to Jim's declaration that he's single and Pam saying that they're "good friends" at the start of season 4. He's right.
  • On Monster Garage, a variation ("You've gotta be kidding me!") was used almost Once an Episode by The Big Schwag during the final challenge.
  • Dillon from Power Rangers RPM reacts this way when he opens up a refrigerator, revealing a cannon primed and ready to blast him—just so Dr. K can prove a point. Tenaya 7 also reacts this way later in the episode when the same fridge cannon is about to blast her and end her All Your Base Are Belong to Us. A later episode also has Tenaya utter the line when she sees the ridiculous-looking Nozzle-Bot that Venjix created.
  • Wire in The Blood (TV special): Dr. Tony Hill literally says this when set up and busted for possession of cocaine in his car (after he has pried around too much for the Texas locals). Unusually, everyone else, including the cops, also acknowledges how ridiculous the charge is, but they go through with the drop-charges-if-you-buzz-off-now spiel nevertheless.
  • Burn Notice, 5x10, when a duped bad guy sees Michael, out of cover and alive.

Professional Wrestling

  • This ended being the response at any Royal Rumble matches since knowing what order the wrestler would come or any surprise entrant is pretty much the guess of anyone.
    • At the 2014 Royal Rumble, CM Punk, The Shield, and the commentators had this response when El Torito, a midget wrestler, entered the match. This isn’t the first Punk had this reaction since he had the same response in 2011 when Hornswoggle did just that.
    • Beth Phoenix and Kharma generated this reaction when the former entered in 2010 while the latter entered in 2012. As a result, they became the only other known WWE Divas after Chyna who entered in 1999 and 2000.
  • In 2011 at Vengeance, Mark Henry delivered a superplex to The Big Show that got Booker T to shout out the name of the trope when the ring collapsed as the result.
    • This isn't the first a superplex delivered to the Big Show resulted in disaster as Brock Lesnar did the same thing in 2003 on an episode of Smackdown prompting this response from Tazz.

Tazz: Holy (bleep)


  • In 2014, Paul Heyman demanded that Brock Lensar be part of history at Wrestlemania because he had it with Triple H playing mind games. Heyman had a contact signing in hopes of getting either Orton or Batista since Triple H gave an option of an open challenge … Somebody accepted the offer, guess who did? Cue this reaction…
  • When someone steals a finisher of another wrestler, this ends up being the response from watching including the wrestler whose move is done by another.
  • Raw, March 31, 2014, AJ and Jerry Lawler had this reaction when Naomi got tossed outside of the ring. Normally, in a lumberjack match, the other wrestlers that surround the ring have to toss another wrestler back, like how lumberjack handled feuds. When AJ notices the other divas leaving Naomi, she tossed Naomi back only for Natalya and Emma going after her.
    • Later in the match, the audience thought Alicia Fox was going to trip over Naomi, only for the former to quickly move her hands out of the way.
    • When AJ is tossed out of the ring and heads to the announcer table and Tamina goes to protect her, Rosa Mendes decides there’s one way to handle the matter… No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, prompting this response by JBL, Michel Cole, and Jerry Lawyer.
  • When Nikki Bella was ordered to face the entire cast of Total Divas in a handicap on an episode of Main Event, Naomi and Natalya clearly were distraught because they felt what manager ordered wasn't right. After the match, they go to comfort Nikki, only for Cameron to push Natalya and kick Nikki. This prompted Naomi to chase her, leaving Rosa Mendes, Eva Marie, and Summer Rae with expression.
  • Pretty much the reaction Kane had when Damien Mizdow keeps copying what was happening to The Miz.
  • February 16, 2015 episode of Raw, Summer Rae had this question on her mind when Paige arrived dressed as one of the rosebuds, thanks to the Bella Twins taking her gear.
  • Pretty much the reaction to anyone who saw Dean Ambrose showed up at the WWE headquarters, during a blizzard.
  • Las Vegas Show Girls Match resulted in these reactions since it was William Regal and Goldust in the match. Regal felt humiliated that he would have to be in drag, while Goldust went with the idea. The Crowning Moment of Funny had to go to Jerry Lawler, who found himself laughing.
  • Pretty Much, any cash-in prompts this response.
  • Upon Bayley completing her Face Heel Turn, while the audience responded in shock, while Charlotte Flair, yes the daughter of Ric Flair, just stood there in complete silence, wondering on what just happened.

Tabletop Games

  • In Munchkin Bites, the text for Were-Muskrats is "+4 vs. Werewolves, who cannot BELIEVE this...".

Video Games

Telemarketer: Uhm, good morning, afternoon, evening, Mister Cal-Eeb. I'm with a market research firm and we're doing a survey on computer games, this call is not an attempt to sell you anything. First question: are you currently or have you ever been a character in a computer game?
Caleb: You've gotta be kidding.

    • Caleb utters the line again at the beginning of the second chapter, when Gideon once again crashes the subway train Caleb was riding on into another one.
  • In Famous has Cole say this when he gets a load of Sasha.
  • The Legend of Zelda CDI Games: "How about a kiss, for luck?"
  • Portal: "You are kidding me. Did you just stuff that Aperture Science Thing We Don't Know What It Does, into an Aperture Science Emergency Intelligence Incinerator?"
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning summoning Odin for the first time cues the following quote just before he tries to bisect Hope. Bonus points for snarking her sudden role as the Badly-Battered Babysitter after they were separated from Sazh and Vanille prior to the summoning.

This cannot be happening.

  • Variations happen twice in Modern Warfare. First, when Gaz hears that The Squad's extraction point has just become compromised and they have to fight through a virtual army downhill to the secondary one before the chopper leaves without them, he lets out the anguished: "Oh, he's gotta be taking the piss!" A few levels later, Price, Soap, and Griggs fight their way to the final bunker door under extreme time pressure and the door begins to open veeeeerryyyy slooowlyyy. Griggs: "Oh, you gotta be shittin' me!" Cue snarks from Price and Gaz on the comms. In Black Ops Hudson says the quote verbatim when told the only way to escape a pursing Spetznaz hit-squad that wants him, his partner and their prisoner dead is to jump off the roof of the building they're all standing on.
  • In the very beginning of Beyond Good and Evil the main heroine Jade finds out that the power company cut off power feed to her house for nonpayment. Oh, yeah, she finds it out when the defensive force field over her house dies in the middle of an alien invasion. Jade is apparently a very polite and temperate girl so the worst she has to say over the situation is You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!.
  • Shepard utters this exact line in Mass Effect 2's Overlord DLC when the huge satellite dish they just disabled starts collapsing. While they're still standing on it.

Garrus: "Did we just get shot at by a Reaper?!"

  • The Uncharted series uses this at least once per scene. Often said by rogueish protagonist Nathan Drake as he suddenly finds himself face-to-face with a tank, or a helicopter, or a slimy zombie-like thing, or a dude with a humongous gun. Or even just another wall that must be scaled.
  • Zidane of Final Fantasy IX says this almost word-for-word when the Armodullahan appears out of nowhere in an enclosed space. To his credit, he does start running before saying the line.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Scout on the losing team sometimes says this.
  • Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes: "Ya gotta be shittin' me!"
  • Kyle Katarn in Jedi Knight, when he sees just how far he's got to jump to get to his goal. The player probably had a similar reaction: it is a long way over a hell of a drop.
  • In Killzone 3, after blowing up an oil rig and jumping to safety, the resulting wave towers over him, and he simply quips "...really?".
  • Both AWACS Thunderhead and one of the allied tanks in Ace Combat 5 The Unsung War have this reaction in the "Desert Lightning" mission, after the enemy manages to sneak a battleship into the river near their fallen airfield.
  • Sheena in Tales of Symphonia is very fond of this line when she gets flustered, such as if Lloyd catches her playing with children and Luin and comments how cute this makes her look.
  • * The reaction of Marcus Fenix in the third game after shooting a chicken he finds at random once said chicken turns into a giant golden one.


  • In the remake of Final Fantasy VII. Tifa says this word-for-word upon the party confronting the Abzu, Don Corneo's demonic attack beast.

Web Comics

  • This is Ginger's reaction in Collar 6 when Linda Knight shows up as her "training partner".
  • Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger used this when after thoroughly mocking insane engineering of a Star Trek Federation it turned to The Cold Equations. On page 126 a former crewmember of Enterprise Expy (reproduced in all the "best" details - ludicrous layout, force field airlocks, nonexistent computer security, handling of antimatter, and so on) was shown schematics of a shuttle involved in such a case, and even he gets... rather surprised by the unusual approach to reliability demonstrated therein.

Dweebley: Okay, I... What the? Oh, for - BWAHAHAHAHAH!! Oh you can't be serious--

  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, when the elves are threatening Lewie the Lich. With... bows and arrows?
  • Girl Genius has a scene built up for two pages as the British Royal Princesses are informed their presence is requested at the ceremony named "Hail the Heroes of the Galloping Waves". One rolls eyes at having to wear "those outfits", the other reminds her these are "emblematic of the fleet"… When we get to see what "those outfits" are, Agatha's reaction is "you have got to be kidding". This managed to stun her after she had to wear a mermaid suit with starfish bra once.

Web Original

Iron Man: Tank missile!
Moriarty: You've got to be kidding me.
*Balcony explodes*.

  • Yami in Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series in episode 30, "Sore", when his opponent appears to be none other than Jigsaw.
    • Not to mention when Yugi realizes that Jaden challenged him to a rap battle, and he accepted it.
    • Or Yami's reaction in the pilot when he sees Kaiba's holographic duel arena. "Okay, seriously, you've got to be [BEEP]ing kidding me. Who wastes all that money on something like that?"
  • Done by Washington in Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction after he discovers that even the Big Bad's computer pronounces "E.M.P." as "ehmp".
    • It has become the closest thing he has to a catchphrase, always uttered when something extremely stupid happens to or around him. Which is a lot.
  • Everyone's reaction in Suburban Knights when it was revealed that Malachite's Hand is in the same field that they started in at the beginning of the special.
  • "YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! OH MY GOD! After all 30 of my Ultra Balls failed, a Poke Ball caught it!"
    • Let's Play/Chorocojo had a similar reaction after finally managing to catch a Weezing in Crystal, wasting a ton of Ultra Balls on it before finally catching it with a Great Ball (made funnier considering Great Balls had literally never worked before that point).
  • In The Mercury Men, words to this effect are said by Edward on several occasions.
  • Sun Wukong says this in V3E12 of RWBY when, after a long and difficult fight, upwards of a dozen students of various academies manage to take out two Atlesian paladins -- only to have a third one show up heading toward them at a full run.

Western Animation

  • King of the Hill
  • This is Tak's verbatim reaction in Invader Zim when Zim, instead of figuring out that she's a rival Irken who's out to prove herself a better invader than him, concludes that her mistreatment of him over the past several days meant they were dating, and so triumphantly "breaks up" with her.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang overcomes a Fire Nation vessel with some difficulty... then says this exact phrase on seeing the ENTIRE FLEET behind it!
  • Jackie, in Jackie Chan Adventures, frequently.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 2003 cartoon episode "Scion of the Shredder", Raph has tired himself out fighting a few Foot Soldiers while escaping on an elevator. Then, just when he's catching his breath, more Foot Soldiers show up. His response? "You've gotta be kidding me."
    • This isn't the only moment he drops this - he says it quite often when he runs into trouble. For example, he even dropped it at least once in the Fast Forward episode "Home Invasion" when a machine that brushes his teeth and puts shaving cream on his face came to life where he thought he could get the privacy to read a newspaper.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has Nightmare Moon utter "You're kidding. You're kidding, right?" when Twilight gives the do-you-want-a-piece-of-me ground kick
  • In Beware the Grey Ghost, Bruce Wayne realizes that a series of bombings are copied from the Grey Ghost show he enjoyed as a kid. After the actor who played him hands over the episode, which Bruce enjoys watching while searching for clues, until he finds out that the bombs were driven in toy cars, leading to a unbelieving reaction and Bruce to comment, well, You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!.
  • In "A Sitch in Time", Kim is incredulous when Shego summons Dr. Drakken to fight her. This leads to The Reveal that Drakken is now a mass of muscle.
  • In the Fourth Tree-house of Horror, Homer is sent to hell after selling his soul for a donut. A demon has Homer being force-fed donuts, only for him to come to this response when Homer just keeps asking for more.

Real Life

  • Notably, the unofficial catchphrase for Wild Weasel crews was "YGBSM", for "You Gotta Be Shittin' Me". To clarify, the Wild Weasels were Vietnam-era USAF fighter aircraft whose job was to act as bait for North Vietnamese air defenses, in hopes of drawing their fire, evading it, and then destroying the antiair site. The phrase was supposedly coined as

"...the natural response of an educated man, a veteran EWO on B-52s and the like, upon learning that he was to fly back seat to a self-absorbed fighter pilot while acting as flypaper for enemy SAMs."

    • This is, by the way, still US Air Force doctrine when they cannot locate the SAM or AAA site through other means. It's called SEAD duty (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense), and pilots are typically not happy to draw the short straw on it.
      • The original Catch-22 revolved around this: any airman who tries to get out of flying dangerous bombing missions by claiming insanity is clearly sane enough to fly them, because he's trying to avoid doing so.
  • Pretty much the reaction anyone has when they hear disturbing news, especially if it involves a love one.
  1. His balls, specifically, wired to a car battery. For around 45 minutes. Frank did not like him