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A Stock Phrase That comes up in several situations:

  • 1. As a response to "How was your day?". Used this way, it implies that it's been a very bad day indeed.
  • 2. As a response to "How did that happen?". Used this way, it implies It's a Long Story.
  • 3. As a response to "How do you know that?". used this way, it implies a more detailed answer would provide Too Much Information.
  • 4. Before anybody could even ask when they see the character in something awkward.

Sometimes the statement is made preemptively, before the other person can even ask a question. Usually used to avoid recapping events the audience has already witnessed, or used to set up a Noodle Incident.

See also You Do NOT Want to Know.

Examples of Don't Ask include:


Film

  • Arabesque
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 Yasmin Azir: This is like a recurring dream I used to have.

David Pollock: How did it end?

Yasmin Azir: Don't ask!

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  • As Good As It Gets
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 Carol Connelly: How are you?

Simon Bishop: Don't ask.

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 Nate: What happened out there?

Neil McCauley: Don't ask.

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 Wulfric: This is where your ship went down?

Kainan: That's right.

Wulfric: In a lake?

Kainan: Don't ask.

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 Indiana Jones: What happened? How did you get away from those Arabs?

Maya: Don't ask.

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 [Materials being used for escape clothes]

Bartlett: Where in God's name did you get these?

Griffith: Hendley.

Bartlett: Well, where did he get them?

Griffith: Well, I asked him that.

Bartlett: What did he say?

Griffith: "Don't ask."

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 Teresa: What are you doing here?

Jeremy: Good question, but don't ask.

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  • Trouble Man
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 Mr. T: What's happenin', Willy?

Willy: Don't ask. Also don't have daughters who marry schmuck husbands.

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 Milo Perrier: (Bursts into the room wearing the dead butler's clothing) Don't ask me!

Dick Charleston: What are you doing in the butler's uniform?

Milo Perrier: I said don't ask me! I don't know. It all happened too quickly!

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 (Emmett staring at Elle as she stands in line to buy a computer, wearing a Playboy bunny outfit)

Elle: Don't ask.

Emmett: Wasn't gonna.

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 (After Dylan arrives in a small motorcycle and clothes obviously too small for her)

Dylan: (to Natalie and Alex) Don't ask.

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Literature

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 Luna: (regarding her father) He's always saying he'd believe anything of Fudge; I mean, the number of goblins Fudge has had assassinated! And of course he uses the Department of Mysteries to develop terrible poisons, which he secretly feeds to anybody who disagrees with him. And then there's his Umgubular Slashkilter —

Harry: (to Cho Chang) Don't ask.

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  • In Going Postal the Post Office has a long list of things not to ask about, Mrs Cake is featured three times. Later when a Golem that used to work in a messenger service for an ancient empire is hired it turns out that the ancients also had a very similar list. The Goddess C'zol appears multiple times. Naturally Moist finds himself asking, only to be told "Do Not Ask!".


Live Action TV

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 Willow: Magic wasn't all great. I won't miss the nosebleeds and the headaches and stuff.

Buffy: There you go.

Willow: Or keeping stinky yak cheese in my bra. Don't ask.

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  • Castle episode "Home Is Where the Heart Stops"
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 Kate Beckett: [shows her badge while wearing a slinky dress at the fancy charity ball]

Richard Castle: Where was the badge?

Kate Beckett: Don't ask.

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  • Farscape episode "I Shrink Therefore I Am"
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 Rygel: There's a wrinkled old woman floating outside the forward portal.

John Crichton: Whoa. Gigantic oops. [to D'Argo] Can you do me a favor? Pop outside the tier three treblin side hatch and haul Granny in.

D'Argo: Noranti is outside?

John Crichton: Yeah. Don't ask.

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 Elliot DiMauro: Nina, I told you I'd never work with Nikki Ellston.

Nina Van Horn: I thought you said Mickey Rooney.

Elliot DiMauro: Why would I say Mickey Rooney?

Nina Van Horn: Oh, that's right. I won't work with Mickey Rooney. Don't ask.

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 Detective Tutuola: He lives at 1634 Broadway.

Detective Munch: Not unless he's one of the nuts lobbying for yet another extension of "Cats". That's the Winter Garden Theatre. [Fin gives Munch a look] Don't ask.

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 Doctor: [after Dewey's stomach is pumped] We didn't find any candles, but we did find some marbles. And the waistband to a pair of underpants.

Dewey: Don't ask.

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  • Monk episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas"
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 Capt. Stottlemeyer: [singing "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone]

Natalie: [comes in and sees Stottlemeyer at the mic]

Adrian Monk: Don't ask.

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  • NCIS episode "Silver War"
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 (Abby hugs Bert, the stuffed hippo that farts)

Tony: (to Ziva) Don't ask.

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 Chris Miles: Last night, man. Cool. Total blast. Everything you could ever want from an evening. Songs, choir girls, colourful costumes, fellatio, rabbits...

Maxxie: Rabbits?

Chris Miles: Don't ask, man.

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 Giger: Where's the hydrosaline solution?

Jake Sisko: We should have it soon. Nog just got the bear...Don't ask.

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 Indiana Jones: Where have you been?

Rashid: Don't ask. Next time, you play the dead man!

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Music

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 I met a girl at the Rainbow Bar

She asked me if I'd beat her

She took me back to the Hyatt House....

[spoken] I don't wanna talk about it...

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Video Games

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 Crypto: This gas is noxious. Smells like Pox's underwear. Don't ask me how I know that.

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Web Animation

  • Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles episode "Have We Met?"
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 [Snip description of bizarre events involving time travel and a rocket launcher]

Church: [to yellow Church] Well, what did you do?

Church: Dude, don't ask. Trust me, it - it didn't work.

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Webcomics


Web Original

  • The Nostalgia Critic, at the end of his review of Casper
    • It's exactly at the end of the video. As he is exiting from the GMX expo. In a Ghostbuster suit. And he is completely soaked. Don't Ask.


Western Animation

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 Rolly: What things could a chicken possibly want?

Lucky: Don't ask.

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 Starscream: So, which part of me did you come from?

Slipstream: Don't ask.

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 Elephant(with trunk tied in a knot): Don't ask.

Melman: Ha, someone's been knotty.

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 T.J.: My older brother used to play on Old Rusty.

Spinelli: My mom used to play on Old Rusty!

Mikey: Heck, my Uncle Mary used to play on Old Rusty!

Vince: Your Uncle Mary?

Gretchen: Don't ask.

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