You and What Army?

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"The trouble is, when you say to a general 'You and whose army?', he just has to point out of the window."
Major ClarkstonMonstrous Regiment

Somebody retorts to some threat, request, or demand with "Oh yeah? You and what army?" The phrase is supposed to be one of defiance, as if to say it will take an army to stop/defeat them. Usually come in three tastes:

  • The most common version: listener cues/points at the army, usually followed by "This army."
    • A (generally comedic) variation is to have tanks or helicopters come over a hill a beat after the question is asked and the person saying "Oh, that army".
  • If the listener is really Badass, s/he will simply say, "I'm the army." or in a punny form, point at his/her arm and say "This army!"
  • In a rare situation, the listener turns back to where the army was, only to find that they have run off.

A form of Tempting Fate, and one of those Stock Phrases that will have teammates, and oneself, yelling "You Just Had to Say It, didn't you?!" For obviously related reasons, liable to Threat Backfire.

Examples of You and What Army? include:

Comics[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In the second issue of Marvel Adventures: Hulk, Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, expresses his disappointment that the thugs he's about to beat up didn't use this line.
    • In X-Factor (Current Series) #6, they did.
  • Part I of the Cartoon History of the Universe uses this phrase exactly in a footnote (yes, a footnote in a comic book; it's that kind of comic book, and it's illustrated and takes up 1/3-1/4 of the page) about physical changes in human beings over time. After explaining that human skulls were twice as thick before the Neolithic Revolution as afterward, Gonick goes on to say that this was characterized of domesticated animals; i.e. that humans had also domesticated themselves. This leads to this exchange between two men shaking hands, smiling, and holding weapons behind their backs:

Man with dagger: Please, let us settle our differences by civilized means.
Man with spear: You and what army?

  • In Bone, variant three is employed when a Rat Creature army encounters the Red Dragon. After a short round of posturing from the Rat Creature leader and a Badass Boast from the Dragon, the Rat Creature attempts to rally his army only to turn around and discover he hasn't got one any more.

Rat Creature: Stay back, Worm! Our numbers are too great, even for you!
Red Dragon: Funny you should mention that -- how many warriors do you have between here and the waterfall? A thousand? Two thousand?
Rat Creature: We're not afraid of you!
Red Dragon: Who's 'we'?

Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • Shrek inverts the usual setup. Shrek said this to the leader of a mob. The leader turned around and saw that the rest of his mob had run away.
  • Open Season:

Boog: Yeah? You and what army?
Squirrel Army: Reporting!
Boog: Oh. That army.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop has the head mall security guy asking this of the leader of the New Jersey National Guard. Three guesses how that works out.
  • The Return of the King: The Corsair captain asks Aragorn this question when he, Legolas and Gimli board their ships. Aragorn's response? "This army."
  • Cobra Commander, in a legendary moment of Genre Blindness, says this to Duke of all people in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
    • It's worth noting that Duke was practically asking him to say it and when Joes suddenly show and surround the fugitives, Duke responds with satisfaction, "MY army!"
  • Hugh asks Bowen this question in Dragonheart. In reply, Draco appears.
  • Aces Go Places

Mook: Wait right here. I'll get my guys after you.
King Kong: Your guys? (Chases him down the stairs, and runs back up in horror as there actually were more guys downstairs)

  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Neville Longbottom completes his transformation into a badass when he says this to taunt the Death Eaters when they try to get past the protective enchantments and three of them end up disintegrating. It's all the more awesome considering Neville says this to about a thousand Death Eaters who are inches away from attacking.


Jokes[edit | hide]

  • There's a well known joke about the U.S.President that says "never challenge a man who can answer the question "you and what army?" or a variant thereof.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Night Watch: "Yeah? You and what army?" "Mine, as a matter of fact."
    • Monstrous Regiment, as seen in the page quote.
    • In Carpe Jugulum, Nanny Ogg reflects that this is a bad line to use when arguing with a king. So is "Who died and left you in charge?"
      • Not necessarily. Nanny Ogg's home kingdom of Lancre, after all, has a standing army consisting of Sean Ogg (unless he's sitting), who is of course Nanny's own son.
  • In the Star Wars EU, this line goes: "You and what Sith Lord?"
  • In Stick To Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain, Scott Adams writes that one of his wishes to become rich enough to hire a private army and a private island for them to march on solely to subvert this phrase.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Said by a villain in an episode of Chuck. It turns out, a platoon of the U.S. Army, APCs and all, were waiting outside to arrest him and his men, in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Saturday Night Live sketch. Abraham Lincoln is in Ford's Theater watching a play, and is acting in a rude and obnoxious manner.

Theatre patron: [[[Deep South]] accent] Will you shut up, suh?
Abraham Lincoln: Hey, hey, you gonna do something about it?
Theatre patron: I may, suh!
Abraham Lincoln: Yeah, you and what Confederate Army, cracker-barrel?
Theatre patron: I warned you, suh!
Abraham Lincoln: Yeah, well, why don't you come up here and do somethin'? What, what are you gonna do, shoot me, pal, huh?
Host: And the rest is history.

    • Decades ago, when the fake Hitler diaries showed up, Saturday Night Live had a sketch with Hitler recounting events in his diary. One event was one where he said something like, "I'll show you!" and the other guy replied, "Yeah? You and what army?"
  • Played perfectly straight in Primeval, with Connor being addressed, and Becker and a couple of Squaddies providing the army.
  • The Buffy episode "Lovers Walk". Spike is threatening Joyce in the kitchen of Buffy's home:

Angel: You touch her, and I'll cut your head off!
Spike: Yeah? You and what army?
Buffy: That would be me.

Prime Minister Brian Green: You and whose army?
Lois Habiba: Torchwood.

  • In Mind Your Language, Mr Brown realises that the headmistress is about to be conned, and confronts the conman by himself - "what army" turns out to be all his male students standing there and looking menacing.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • At the end of Day of the Tentacle, the Purple Tentacle reveals his army of Purple Tentacles pulled from various points in the timeline.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company had its explosives expert, Haggard, taunt a helicopter using this. He Always Wanted to Say That.
    • Of course they were surrounded by an army. Yeah, he really wanted to say that.
      • The army they just defected from, in fact.
        • Hey it did sound cool
  • In Star Wars Starfighter, Nym and Vana Sage have this exchange:

Nym: You and whose army?
Vana: Yours.

    • This was after Vana had sold him out.
  • In Oni for the PlayStation 2 if you let your former boss live, despite the fact that he tried to murder you and turned your loli robot handler into an "put me out of my misery" weapon, Then at the end of the game your brother, The big bad looks to you with his goons as you stand on the rooftop and says "You think you can defeat me you and what army?" Cue choppers rising up from the side of the building and your commander pointing at your brother and his forces as your backup leaps down to help you in the final battle. if you don't save your former boss you have to face your brother as a giant monster
  • Guybrush Threepwood can have this as one of his options after Wally threatens him in The Curse of Monkey Island.

"You and what navy?"

  • In Fallout: New Vegas, depending on the ending and choices taken, the player can have a army of Securitrons (Elite Mecha-Mooks) to be used in "negotiating" with The NCR.
    • In Fallout 1 a dialogue option with one of raider leader's bodyguards when she informs you she'll kill you if you cause trouble: "Yeah, you and which army?" - she's recruited Smith and Wesson.
  • Over the radio in the second mission of Saints Row the Third:

Philippe Loren: I am going to cut your disrespectful tongue from your mouth.
Johnny Gat Oh yeah? You and how many of your... (Beat) Oh, that many.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • This strip from Minus., which demonstrates why you don't want to ask such a question of a Reality Warper.
  • This strip of Schlock Mercenary, where a business-card explains exactly what army, but still has much the same effect.
    • The first variant is employed straight in this strip. Given that the character asked was a general in the UNS military, they really should have seen that one coming.
  • Parodied in the webcomic Patchwork Heroes here.

Guard captain: (to prisoners) All of you. The Emperor commands your presence?
Adam: Him and what army?
Guard captain: Um... the Muroshi army.
Tarn: Adam...
Adam: I'm sorry, it just slipped out.

  • In Girl Genius, the "army" is the one with the comeback: "Oh... that would be me."
  • Inverted in Erfworld:

Decrypted Ansom: We will conquer the whole world.
Parson: Oh, c'mon. "Conquer the world." Right, with what--
(Wanda reanimates a massive crowd with the Arkenpliers)
Parson: --army.

    • Possible example; Ansom has approached Jetstone with what appears to be his usual choice of units, Infantry and Siege. Ossomer mocks him for using the same old tactics;

Ossomer: You made it easy! Bringing your usual siege-heavy infantry assault? Come now, Ansom. Someday, you must develop some tactical imagination!
Ansom: [to one of his "soldiers"] Dispel the veil.
[the siege units are revealed to be dwagons, and there are now archons among the infantry]

Captain Matheson: Who, you and your piddly little cog crew? Come now, Fang. We outnumber you three to one.
Arachne: Truuuuuuue. But do you outnumber them? (points)

Maxim: You and who's army?
Morris: Why, the army of Ninjas I brought along. Actually, I'm suprised you didn't seem them stand behi- [turns around and sees Maxim performed his trademark Decoy Getaway while Morris was looking at the ninja] Poop.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

Beast Boy: Oh, yeah? You and what army? (an army of fire creatures appears; Beast Boy screams)
Cyborg: You just had to ask, didn't ya?

  • Family Guy, when the Griffins form their own nation-state in the episode "E. Peterbus Unum":

Chris: Dad, I tried to go to school, but this guy won't let me.
Peter: Oh yeah? Him and what army?
Chris: The U.S. Army. [points to tanks and soldiers on the other side of the fence]
Peter: Oh, that's a good army.

  • Seen in The Tick (animation) before a Mad Scientist attacks with a horde of elephant, mongols and ninja.
  • The Simpsons early episode "Bart the General".
    • And a later one, "Mountain of Madness". Homer and Burns are in a cold cabin, slowly going mad. Eventually, Burns snaps and threatens to kill Homer. Homer responds with this... and then just imagines an army of snowmen. His response? Scream and claim he has powers. Political powers. Then Burns imagines the ghosts of world leaders backing Homer up.
  • The last episode of Megas XLR had some fun with this. When main character Coop popped the question, he was already inside the fortress that was clearly holding the army in question.

"You and what army?!"
"... No doubt that one."

Angelica: You and what army?
Susie: (makes a fist) Me and this arm-y!

  • Tale Spin: "You and what army?" "Shere Khan's."
  • Batman the Brave And The Bold: "Never ask that question, Speedy."
  • Used in a Celebrity Deathmatch episode, where "Weird Al" Yankovic asks that of Al Gore, who replies with "the United States Army".
    • Of course, the guys who immediately pounce on "Weird Al" are Secret Service, not US Army.
  • In Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy often asked this question to his father Lucius, ruler of Miseryville.

Beezy: (to Lucius) You never get tired of that one, do you?

Egon: You go on ahead. I'll hold him off.
Peter: Yeah? You and what Starfleet?

  • In The Transformers, Megatron using this line while smacking Starscream around is actually what gave the latter the idea of building the Combaticons, converting abandoned WWII military vehicles into Decepticons.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode 'Plankton's Army'.

Plankton: (over megaphone) Attention Krusty Krab management! This is your better speaking.
Mr. Krabs: What?! (Plankton is standing outside the Krusty Krab with a megaphone)
Plankton: (over megaphone) I have the restaurant surrounded. Give me the secret formula or I'll destroy the Krusty Krab! (Mr. Krabs and Squidward run outside to Plankton)
Mr. Krabs: Ah, you and what army, bub?
Plankton: What army? What army?! Look around ya, Krabs! (scene pans out to show the Krusty Krab surrounded by something green)
Mr. Krabs: ...Ya planted grass?
Plankton: GRASS? (starts laughing maniacally, joined by his family)
Mr. Krabs: Uh-oh.

Sarah: HEY!! Get outta our spot!
Eddy: You and who's army?
Edd: You'd think you would've learned by now, Eddy...

Raimundo: Oh Yeah? You and What army?
Jack Spicer: I was hoping you'd say that...

Space Ghost: Yeah, you and what army?
Zorak: The, uh... the Kiss Army!
KISS Army (off-camera): YEAAAAHHH, DETROIT ROCK CITY!!!]

  • Biker Mice From Mars: When Lawrence Limburger's Mooks and later Greasepit and Karbunkle went on a strike, he hired someone to train a better team of mooks. Unfortunately, the villain he called decided to overthrow Limburger, who decided to ask the question, and the betrayer showed the new mooks and answered: "YOUR army!"
  • Gargoyles: Fang, the Token Evil Teammate of the Mutates, decides he's had enough of Talon's leadership. He sees an opportunity when he finds a hidden cache of advanced weaponry. When Fang announces his intent to overthrow Talon and Talon asks "You and what army?", Fang reveals his now heavily armed Mooks and answers "This one. And our first prisoner of war is you."