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Jay: Run over your plan one more time, 'cause I'm struggling with it. You neuralyzed memory of the Light but left yourself clues. A photo pointing to a key in a pizzeria which opens a locker at Grand Central. In the locker, we'll find another clue.

Kay: I like to keep my enemies confused.

Jay: We're all confused, Kay.
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A form of quick Exposition, used to sum up the crazy situation that the characters have gotten themselves into. Can be for a few different reasons. Maybe someone's playing a game of Xanatos Speed Chess or Xanatos Roulette, or there's a Gambit Pileup going down, and the character(s) are assessing the problem to make a quick decision on their feet. Maybe someone is about to do / has done something insanely stupid, and another character tries to talk them out of / calls them out on it by pointing out the idiocy of the plan. Sometimes a character, finding themselves in an unfamiliar / scary / Mind Screw situation, speaks to him/herself to clear their own head. And sometimes a previous character has just explained it for the first time, either off-screen, but presumably at too much length to show the audience, or onscreen, but in a way the audience is not expected to comprehend. Could happen as an Inner Monologue, or by speaking to a mirror or some other object.

Frequently begins with the words "So let me get this straight...", and also frequently ends with "... is that about right?" However, it can also be pulled off without saying either of those phrases. Often, after the Let Me Get This Straight... exposition is provided, a character will support the plan by saying that it's Crazy Enough to Work.

When done well, may double up as a Crowning Moment of Funny.

If the exposition puts the whole plot or certain point in a nutshell, there is a very high chance that the line will be used in the trailer for the movie/episode.

Truth in Television; which one of us hasn't done this at least once?

Not related to Kirk Summation. Is usually delivered by a Deadpan Snarker. When the characters are talking about something the audience aren't aware of, it's As You Know.

Examples of Let Me Get This Straight... include:


Anime & Manga


Comedy

  • Bill Hicks, talking about how Australia was populated by criminals.
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 Bill: (in a British accent) Let me get this straight: You keep the shitty food and the shitty weather, and we get the Great Barrier Reef and lobsters the size of canoes?... I'm Jack the Ripper!

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Comic Books

  • In Fray, we have this exchange:
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 Fray: Okay, I'm supposed to fight the coming onslaught of Lurks and I'm being taught by a sarcastic goat-thing whose idea of training is throwing scrap metal at me because the good guys all went crazy waiting for the monsters to come back.

Urkonn: Yes.

Fray: Just checking.

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  • Played straight in The Order of the Stick's prequel Start of Darkness, where Right-Eye double-checks the facts of a plan he has undoubtedly heard dozens of times while pre-lich Xykon is in the bathroom. He even ends with, "Just making sure I had it right."


Comic Strips

  • In The Far Side, irritated parents confront their babysitter, who is obviously a wicked witch:
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 "Now let me get this straight. We hired you to babysit the kids, and instead you cooked and ate them BOTH?"

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Double points for the implication that they wouldn't have minded if she only ate one.


Fan Works

  • Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series has had the Yugi character say this a lot. Probably because he's surrounded by a lot of wackiness.
    • Lampshaded in one episode: After Kaiba was trapped in a virtual world by his corporate partners, Mokuba escaped and went to the game shop to ask Yugi and his friends for help. The scene cuts to Yugi saying: "Your brother's been kidnapped?", to which Mokuba responds: "Yes, that is exactly what I just finished telling you."
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero a unnamed high-ranked member of the Organization questions Koizumi's motive to retire from it.
  • Avatar the Abridged Series:
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 Sokka: Let me get this straight: You can invent tanks, jetskis, and a gigantic FRIGGIN drill, but the concept of a hot air balloon eluuuuuuuudes you?

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  • This is the premise of Sarah1281's Run That by Me Again?, which gives Hermione (and occasionally Harry) the gift of Logical Thinking.


Films -- Animation

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 Donkey: Let me get this straight. You're gonna go fight a dragon and rescue a princess just so Farquaad will give you back a swamp which you only don't have because he filled it full of freaks in the first place. Is that about right?

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Films -- Live-Action

  • Page quote is from Men in Black II, from Agent Jay to Agent Kay.
  • The Blade Trilogy: Blade is a bit surprised when he hears the vampires' proposal:
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 Blade: Let me get this straight; you want me to hunt them -- for you?

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 Al: We're in a middle of a desert, looking for the source of a river polluting wells, using as our map a cave drawing of a civil war gunship which is also in the desert. So I just wondered when we're gonna have to sit down and reevaluate our decision-making paradigm.

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    • And in a deleted scene: "I just realized the funny part" "What's that" "We're a couple of oceanografers, probably gonna die in a desert, chained to-to truck parts? So, when they write our obituaries," both: "That'll be the funny part."
  • Ben Grimm in Fantastic Four:
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 Ben: Okay; we're now officially enemies of the United States of America, Victor is out there with unlimited power, and we've got a giant intergalactic force that's about to destroy our planet in less than twenty four hours. Did I miss anything?

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  • Played straight in the Dawn of the Dead 2004 remake, where the resident character with the Jerkass Facade points out all the flaws with the proposed plan of action... then signs on to help anyway.
  • Nice Guy Eddie does this in Reservoir Dogs when he refuses to believe Mr. Orange's explanation for why he had to shoot Mr. Blonde:
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 Nice Guy Eddie: Okay, let me just say this out loud, cause I wanna get this straight in my head. You're saying that Mr. Blonde was gonna kill you, and then when we got back he was gonna kill us, take the satchel of diamonds and scram, I'm right about that right, that's correct, that's your story?

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  • Oceans Eleven : "Let me get this straight: say we get past the door we can't open and down the elevator we can't use and past the guards with the guns and into the vault we can't open; what then? Do we just walk out with a hundred and fifty million dollars?"
  • The Dark Knight Saga: "Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."
  • Inception: "So, now we're trapped in Fischer's mind battling his own private army, and if we get killed, we'll be lost in limbo till our brains turn to scrambled egg."
  • Back to The Future: "Let me get this straight: You built a time machine... out of a Delorean?"
  • Alien 3 features an outrageously straight version of this trope. "All right. Let me get this straight. You want to burn it down and out of the pipes, force it in here, slam the door -- and trap its ass? And you want help from us Y-chromo boys?" One can only wonder how Ripley managed to explain the plan in a way convoluted enough that Dillon had to get it straight.
  • Star Trek First Contact has the crew of the Enterprise having to explain the situation to the inventor of warp drive.
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 Zefram Cochrane: Let me see just make sure that I understand you correctly, Commander. A group of cybernetic creatures from the future have traveled back through time to enslave the human race, and you're here to stop them?

Riker: That's right.

Cochrane: Hot damn, you're heroic.

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  • Road to Morocco has this exchange:
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 Turkey Jackson: A fine thing. First, you sell me for two hundred bucks. Then I'm gonna marry the Princess; then you cut in on me. Then we're carried off by a desert sheik. Now, we're gonna have our heads chopped off.

Jeff Peters: I know all that.

Turkey Jackson: Yeah, but the people who came in the middle of the picture don't.

Jeff Peters: You mean they missed my song?

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  • Highlander II the Quickening has this exchange that almost seems like a lampshading on just how stupidly convoluted the rules of immortality have become:
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 Louise: Okay, now let me just see if I can get this straight. You come from another planet, and you're mortal there, but you're immortal here until you kill all the guys from there who have come here... and then you're mortal here... unless you go back there, or some more guys from there come here, in which case you become immortal here... again.

Connor: Something like that.

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Literature

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 Character A: The enemy is using System Z!

Character B: System Z? You mean [brief explanation]? That System Z?

Character A: Yep.

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Possibly justified in some cases; Thrawn tends to refer to knowledge so esoteric, or seemingly trivial, that explanation is warranted.
  • In The Mysterious Benedict Society, the eponymous group forms a plan that's described as being "bold, ill-formed, and likely to fail, and all of them knew it." "So let me just review the plan..." states Constance and launches into a series of nitpicks about all of the problems with it. "'So I ask you again,' she concluded, 'exactly how are we supposed to distract the Helpers?' 'Just be yourself,' Kate said with a sigh."
  • In the first The Kingdom Keepers book, Finn's mother says this line after Finn explains to her what's been going on, but he cuts her off, saying that she won't understand.
  • Jerry Frond of Antia to the Voyagers in Stationery Voyagers:
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 Frond: Pardon me for asking... but just who the devil runs your HR department!?

Pextel: I don't follow.

Frond: You're a professional at getting yourself killed, and your first mate is a daredevil! Your girlfriend is a professional corporate princess whose daddy was a crook, and that... that blue boy there is a sissy singer!

Oceanoe: Pop star!

Frond: Whatever. The other guy is a cowboy! Then there's the exotic dancer...

Viola: Gymnast!

Frond: All right, fine! Then there's the hooker, and a dude who's a walking atomic bomb...

Liquidon: Uh... afraid I can't argue with that one...

Frond: NOTHING IN THIS FILE STATES ANYTHING ABOUT HAVING DIPLOMACY CREDENTIALS!

Pextel: The Xyliens, I guess... really took to heart that part about the foolishness of God being wiser than our wisdom???

Frond: I need an aspirin!!!

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  • Animorphs frequently had Marco invoke this trope, followed by a decleration of its insanity, Occasionally used with other characters.


Live-Action TV

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 Buffy: So let me get this straight. I'm really back in school because the school board overruled you. Wow. That's like having your whole ability to do this job called into question, when you think about it.

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    • And once by Spike in the episode "Crush":
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 Spike: So, uh, let me get this straight. Darla got mojo'd back from the beyond... you vamped her... and now she and you are working on turning Angel into his own bad self again.

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    • Subverted repeatedly in episode 5.20: Glory, the Big Bad and Ben the nice doctor are the same person. There is a spell that Humans forget this. Spike explains the curse, but the Scoobies continually forget.
  • And once in Angel, by (of course) Cordy:
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 Cordelia: So, let me get this straight. Angel gets the visions of people who are gonna die, and he tells you, and you go out and slay, and -- this is how you make your living? This -- got to be the suckiest job in the world.

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 Foreman: Let me get this straight, instead of picking up the phone and talking to a patient for 5 minutes, you gave up on sleep and you drove in here?

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 Jake: So let me get this straight -- you have fifteen cases of stolen Denevan crystals...

Quark: Allegedly stolen.

Jake: ...allegedly stolen crystals hidden somewhere down in Cargo Bay Three. And you're planning to sell them to a Nausicaan friend of yours -- who just happens to be a known criminal...

Quark: Alleged criminal.

Jake: So, how are you going to get an "alleged" criminal onto the station and deliver the "allegedly" stolen goods to him without Odo getting wind of it? And what does any of this have to do with his anniversary?

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 Captain Cragen: Let me see if I got this straight -- some girl is being sexually abused by some guy somewhere in Manhattan?

Elliot Stabler: Something like that.

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  • Law and Order does this at least once an episode -- usually twice: at the twenty-minute mark (just before catching the suspect, so set up Why This Crime Is Bad) and the forty minute mark (just before moving to the courtroom, to set up Why This Guy Is or Isn't That Bad).
  • Done quite clumsily in Charmed. Just when the antics are starting to get interesting, Piper puts her hand on her hips and says they still need to defeat the monster of the week. It wouldn't be so bad if she could have some real danger (of the monster) of annoyance (of the antics) in her delivery. It just comes across as flat, and a way to remind the viewers of the plan they made just ten minutes before.
  • Red Dwarf
    • While not the actual plan, but in response to the crew trying to explain around Rimmer's temporary insanity: "So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet, to see the King of the Potato People, and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane?"
    • Played annoyingly straight in a series 6 episode ("Rimmerworld") where Rimmer does this repeatedly in the first part of the episode.
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 Rimmer: So let me get this straight. If we board that ship and we get captured, we're finished. However, if we board that ship, don't get captured but the superstructure disintegrates around us, we are finished. On the other hand, if we board that ship, don't get captured, and the superstructure doesn't disintegrate around us, but we can't find any fuel, we are in fact finished.

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  • The West Wing, "The State Dinner": at the end of The Teaser, C.J. recaps everything that's going on (that will unfold as the episode does), and laments how the press corps is more concerned with the First Lady's wardrobe:
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 C.J.: So, let me see if I have this... a hurricane's picked up speed and power and is heading for Georgia, management and labor are coming here to work out a settlement to avoid a crippling strike that will begin at midnight tonight, and the government's planning a siege on 18 to 40 of its citizens, all the while we host a state dinner for the President of Indonesia.

(sounds of assent from the others)

C.J.: Amazingly, you know what I'll get asked most often today? (turns to a reporter hovering nearby) Black suede and velvet Manolo Blahnik slides with a rhinestone and mother of pearl toe buckle. (reporter scribbles, thanks C.J., and leaves)

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  • This is usually how Scully reacted to Mulder's paranormal theories on The X-Files. One clip show featured a collection of all the times Scully had a line with some variant of, "Mulder, are you saying that [ghosts/aliens/the Loch Ness Monster/werewolves] did it?". The collection took several minutes.
  • Used almost invariably at the top of the third act of NCIS, apparently to fill in those who missed the first thirty minutes. Usually the agents are in front of the squad room's plasma screen, summing up the case so far.
  • Married With Children. Back when the topic was still kind of edgy.
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 Pete: I just think you oughta know, that your wife has been seeing my husband.

Al: So let me get this straight... pardon the expression.

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  • Fringe practically lives off this trope, at least in the first season, to sum up it's more ridiculous plot points.
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 Peter: So you're telling me that this guy was exposed to X, which caused his body to Y, and your genius plan to fix this is to Z?

Walter: (surprised at being questioned) Yes.

Peter: (sarcastically) Of course!

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  • Used quite frequently in Stargate SG-1, using the exact words of the trope.
    • In "There But for the Grace of God":
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 O'Neill: Okay, wait a minute, wait a minute, let me get this straight. You want us to give up our last chance to strike back at the Goa'uld, so we can save ourselves in... what... what?

Carter: Alternate Reality.

Jackson: Not just yourselves, everyone on Earth!

O'Neill: Your Earth.

Jackson: The Jack O'Neill that I know, would do it.

O'Neill: Well apparently, you and I have never met.

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    • In "Ties That Bind":
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 Landry: So let me get this straight. You need to get this ship, to get the power coil, to get the necklace, to get this guy to tell you how to undo whatever is keeping you two connected?

Mitchell: Yeah, that about sums it up.

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    • In "Ripple Effect":
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 Black Mitchell: Now let me get this straight. We figured that you guys would try to escape and we set this trap for you, not realizing that you'd figured out that we'd figure you out and you'd set... your own.

Teal'c: ...Indeed.

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  • White Collar. "By the Book" has Neal explaining the perfect exchange with Peter's only question being "What happens to the middle man?"
  • Chuck has General Beckman use this at least once, observe:
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 General Beckman: Let me get this straight, a girl just walked in off the street and picked up the asset?

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 Undersheriff Jeffrey McKeen: Let me see it I understand this correctly: You let one of the members of your team drive his personal vehicle to a crime scene investigation. And then, even though there was a perfectly good crime scene vehicle there, that personal car was crammed with every bit of evidence collected at a major murder investigation, because two of you were maxed out on overtime. And then the driver of said car -- instead of securing that evidence in the lab -- gave priority to his need for runny eggs. And the aforementioned vehicle was stolen from a parking lot filled with police cars. Is there anything I missed?

Grissom: Just this: Even if we recover the vehicle, the chain of custody has been broken, so all the evidence has been compromised. No judge will allow any of it to be admitted into court. Also, we released the crime scene, so it too is compromised, leaving us nothing to go back for.

McKeen: Thank you for clarifying the situation.

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    • And another in "4 X 4".
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 Brass: Let me get this straight, Larry. An old man refuses to let you steal his money, so you jack a Hummer and try to run over his taco stand?

Larry: Maybe.

Grissom: I think this is the dumbest thing we've ever heard.

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  • In Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie will always be completely confused by the current plan the gang has devised off-screen, forcing someone to explain it to him as if for the twelfth time.
  • A humorous example in Breaking Bad when Hank is interrogating a suspect.
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 Hank: So, let me get this straight, Russell. You got this meth from "some guy", in khaki pants, who -- you're eighty percent sure -- had a mustache. And... that's it. That's your brain working at maximum capacity?

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Music

  • "Now let me get this straight, you put the lime in the coconut and drank 'em both up?"
    So, do it again "and you'll feel better." (Does that seem right to you?)
  • The first words of Anberlin's "A Day Late": "So let me get this straight, say now you loved me all along."


Video Games

  • Happened in Geist after Raimi rescued Bryson. May be justified in that 1), Raimi is a Heroic Mime and 2) Raimi had been turned into a ghost and was possessing a female nurse. They might have thought that going right to the next action scene was too jarring, but they couldn't show Raimi talking.
  • Uncharted 2 has this exchange:
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 Elena: So let me get this straight: you're competing with a psychopathic war criminal for a mythological gemstone?

Jeff: When you put it that way, it does sound pretty stupid.

Nathan: Thanks for the input, Jeff.

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  • An example from Thief Deadly Shadows:
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 Garrett: Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to find Gamall's lair, learn what she wants your treasure for, and find and destroy this final glyph? Anything else?

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 Admiral Hackett: All I know is I sent you to break Amanda Kenson out of prison, and now an entire system's been destroyed. I hope you can fill in the logic between those two events.

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Visual Novels

  • Said by Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney in the case "Reunion and Turnabout" when he presses Lotta on her testimony, which describes something he did.


Web Animation

  • Red vs. Blue
    • Tucker is quite accurate in his summary of events soon after Tex arrives.
    • As is Grif, later on in the series, discussing a plan.
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 Grif: Let me get this straight: we're going to steal a bomb from our enemies -- a bomb that can be remotely detonated I might add -- and then we're gonna bring it back to our base, and all huddle around it. What a great plan.

Simmons: Well sure, it sounds stupid when you say it like that.

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    • Episode 13 starts out this way, with Tucker using the trope.
  • Done multiple times in "The Greatest Caper Ever" by Strong Bad and The Cheat. Normally, when this trope gets used by Homestar Runner, it's someone translating Pom Pom or The Cheat for the benefit of the audience, but in this case it's justified; Strong Bad and The Cheat are trying to retrace their steps to figure out A) how they got Homestar onto an ice floe somewhere in the Arctic Circle, and B) how they have satellite coverage of Homestar on his ice flow in the Arctic.


Web Comics

  • In Holiday Wars, Tegan has this reaction when Labor Day says The Easter Bunny is trying to capture her.
  • Eight Bit Theater
    • Red Mage sums up a predicament to himself using "Let's review" as his opener. Somewhat justified in that he had just messed with his stats to give himself super engineering skills, then couldn't understand what he made once his stats were normal again. And like in Real Life, sometimes it's best to stop and try to explain things to yourself, at least if they're sufficiently confusing to begin with.
    • Played straight in this one issue.
    • Also here:
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 Black Mage: Okay, let me see if I've got this. [...] I "get" to learn magic abilities if I am lucky enough to survive them being cast on me. So far, this consists of a crotch kick and puking out my organs. You get total enlightenment by looking in a box.

Red Mage: Yup.

Black Mage: I'm going to choke on my endless rage now. Excuse me. GHKK!

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Web Original


Western Animation

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 "Ah all right, just let me get this straight: the head of Homeland Security ordered you to fly us, five kids, to Peru, but had you land way up in the Andes Mountains of Peru so that other government people could meet us and then... somehow tell us how to go to the capital of Peru, way over in Lima, and take down their government. And that makes sense to you?"

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  • Rugrats: All Grown Up!, "Susie Sings The Blues": after the school vice-principal has just discovered that Tommy and Chuckie have been playing pranks on him, the first line of the scene where they're in the office goes thusly: "So this whole thing was to take risk and break Chuckie out of some pathetic rut he's in."
  • Daria, "Arts N' Crass". When Principal Li called Daria's mother to tell her about a serious offense committed by Daria and her friend Jane Lane, Mama Bear quickly surmises the truth of the matter:
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 Helen Morgendorffer: All right, Ms. Li, let me make sure I have this straight. You took my daughter's poster from her, altered its content, exhibited it against her will, and are now threatening discipline because you claim she defaced her own property, which you admit to stealing?

Ms. Li: (flustered) That's not what I said at all!

Helen: Ms. Li, are you familiar with the phrase "violation of civil liberties"?

Ms. Li: I...

Helen: And the phrase "big fat lawsuit"?

Daria: (smiles as she sees Ms. Li go down in flames)

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 Sokka: Let me get this straight: you expect me to clean mud out of Appa's toes while you two go splash around and have fun?

Aang: Mud AND bugs!

Sokka: ... OK.

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  • Happens a lot in Futurama, usually said to the Professor. For some reason, the Professor usually interrupts and explains again:
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 Leela: So what you think you just explained to us is that...

Farnsworth: Correct! This box contains our own universe!

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 Pinkie Pie: So let me get this straight. It's pretty dark. It's kinda scary. And it reeeeally stinks. (nervous laugh) And they want me to follow them where?

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