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Amélie: I had two heart attacks, an abortion, did crack...while I was pregnant. Other than that, I'm fine.

Father: That's nice...

Bob is busy with something - playing a game, reading a book, tampering in the domain of God - and Alice comes up and tries to talk to him about "something important." Bob just answers with a few muttered lines of, "Yep, uh-huh, yeah," the lion's share of his concentration on his task, until Alice gets annoyed and says something completely outlandish: "There's a weasel chewing on my figgin." After a moment, the absurdity sinks in and Bob asks what she said, which (usually) prompts the stock phrase: "You're not listening to me, are you?"

The actual import of what Alice has to say, compared to the importance of what Bob is doing, is largely irrelevant to the gag - it's perfectly okay to interrupt both video games and world-saving research with relationship questions, after all. The whole point of the gag is to bring out as absurd a non sequitur as possible when Alice "tests" whether Bob's listening to her.

Comes in several flavors. The most common is the girlfriend (or wife) who is angry with boyfriend/husband for ignoring her in favor of whatever he's doing. This is almost always the woman testing the man; it's a rare case where the woman is seen as the neglectful one in the relationship. Usually ends in a false reconciliation (sometimes with Bob reaching out to keep playing his game while still hugging Alice), and also often with Alice even angrier at Bob because he doesn't see what's wrong with his behavior. The next most common is the mentor or close friend (who may be either sex) trying to distract Bob from an obsession: Bob must beat the final boss, he must train until he drops, he must finish researching the cure for the supervirus. His efforts may have a noble intent, but he's going to make himself sick with how much he's putting into it, and neglecting food, sleep, and basic hygiene. If the stock phrase is spoken, it's usually with mere impatience or concern instead of outright anger.

A subversion would be if they were listening and pretend not to, or appeared to be not paying attention but could repeat what the person said verbatim.

This is Truth in Television as almost any couple can attest.

Examples of Not Listening to Me, Are You? include:


  • Wayne's World 2: When the boys give an interview to a local radio DJ, they discover he's more interested in loading tapes than actually they start calling him names, and he's completely oblivious to their joking around.
  • The Shaggy Dog [2006] has a scene where Doug's wife Rebecca is trying to point out to him that he's turning into the present-in-body-only form of Disappeared Dad. She points out the kids got into an argument and took the dog's side. Doug nods. Then, to test if he's listening, she tells him that a neighbor asked her something and she told the neighbor the family had converted to cannibalism. Doug replies, "OK, great. I'd have said the same thing." In an odd twist, he does not pick up the absurdity, and Rebecca is forced to drop a pile of heavy law books on his desk to get his full attention.
  • Another variation: The movie Birthday Girl uses this to show that Nicole Kidman's character can't speak English. At the end, when it's been revealed that she was actually faking the non-comprehension and has been fluent in English all along, she translates it into Russian and asks the same three questions of Ben Chaplin's character, who actually doesn't understand her.
  • Done by the titular Patch Adams to his psychiatrist at the beginning of the movie, upon realizing that he's not really interested in his patient. It drives him to leave and become a good doctor.
  • True Lies: Jamie Lee Curtis tells husband Arnold Schwartzenegger how the plumber wants a small fortune for what she considers a small repair, so (thinking he's not listening) mentions that she slept with the plumber and he knocked $100 off the bill. Ahnold then says to her that was good thinking, and gives her a kiss as he goes on his way to work, as if he never heard a word she said.
  • Amelie provides the page quote. Amelie's father is distracted because his favorite gnome went missing and sent him pictures from various cities around the world. What he doesn't know is that Amelie got one of her friends that was a flight attendant to take the gnome and take pictures of it around the world, all to convince her father to travel more.
  • Used in Extraordinary Measures by, of all people, the Ill Girl. Realizing that her father is not paying attention to her playing, she tells him about how her doll is going to go Ax Crazy and slaughter penguins. It takes him awhile to notice.
  • In Carry On Camping, Peter Potter tries to tell his wife, Harriet, that he doesn't want to go camping this summer, but instead wants to go to a resort. She is busy going through their camping things and is ignoring him, so, in the same tone of voice, he talks about his afternoon at work where a series of bizarre things happened, to which she continues talking about their upcoming camping trip.


  • Discworld:
    • The Fifth Elephant has a lengthy discussion of the art of listening without listening, which features His Grace His Excellency Commander Sir Samuel Vimes the Dukh of Ankh not only making noises like he's listening to his wife planning for their trip to Uberwald, but adding an appropriate comment to the conversation... and then asking, a moment later, "What alligator?"
    • Later in the same book, Sybil mentions that she's going to have a baby, and the narrative records that Vimes' brain hastily paints this in ten-foot-high letters across his subconscious to prevent him answering absently with something unwise such as "Choose any colour you like" or "I'll have a man in to take care of it".
    • Also in Maskerade, Agnes does this:

 "Do tell me about yourself!!"

"I'm from somewhere up in the mountains you've probably never heard of..."

She stopped. A light had gone off in Christine's head, and Agnes realized that the question had been asked not because Christine in any way wanted to know the answer but for something to say. She went on: "...and my father is the Emperor of Klatch and my mother is a small tray of raspberry puddings."

"That's interesting!" said Christine, who was looking at the mirror. "Do you think my hair looks right?!"

  • In one of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson books, Georgia's mother is clearly not listening to her and Georgia says "Something very interesting happened to me last night. I slit my throat and my head fell off. Have you seen it?"
  • Variation in The Eyre Affair: Thursday and her brother are speaking to an elderly and mostly deaf woman, and when Thursday realizes this she and her brother start saying increasingly obscene things about each other, to absolutely no reaction other than "that's nice, dear."
  • From the Star Trek expanded-universe novel Q-Squared (and paraphrased from memory):

 Q: You're not listening to a word I said."

Trelane: "I am listening!"

Q: "I just said you had a foot growing out of your stomach and you nodded!"

Trelane: "...I thought it was metaphorical."

  • In East of Eden, Sam throws in two lines of nonsense during a story. Adam and Cathy's lack of reaction confirm that they aren't listening.
  • In the opening scene of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones, the main character Clary and her Unlucky Childhood Friend Simon are at a club when Clary spots a mysterious, handsome young man. As she stares at him, Simon tries to get her attention with a series of increasingly outrageous comments, culminating with him telling her that he was sleeping with her mother and considering taking up crossdressing.
  • A very dark example in American Psycho. Bateman often reveals his psychotic nature to friends by saying things such as "I like to dissect girls. Did you know that I'm utterly insane?" They either are not listening or think he is someone else.
  • A brief flashback sequence in Audrey Wait gives us this exchange that happened before the break up.

 "Hey," I said casually. "Bendomolena's on fire."

"Cool. So yeah, Jon wants to do a drum solo and we were like, 'Dude, no!'"


Fan Fic


 "I'm pregnant."


"I've sold the house to an international terrorist organisation."


"I've told Celeborn he can come live with us. Permanently."

"You what?"

"I thought you weren't listening."


 Wammy: What is it, Namikawa?

Namikawa: Just some reports that I wanted to give you in person. Apparently there's a health concern about one of the employees that we don't want the media to know about.

Wammy: [No response.]

Namikawa: One of our employees is in what might be a temporary coma.... There have never been any problems severing a connection with the game before so it's a cause for concern.

Wammy: ...hmm, the media?

Namikawa: The man concerned is Teru Mikami.... He's in the infirmary now, and we're moving him to the hospital if nothing improves. We didn't want a media storm from this, which is why…

Wammy: [No response.]

Namikawa: Actually, Mikami and I were thinking of getting married, and we want L to be the godfather of our adoptive children.

Wammy: [Looks up from his paperwork and blinks.] What about my son?


Live Action TV

  • From Babylon 5:
    • In "Infection", an old mentor of Stephen Franklin's comes back with some alien artifacts that look like they're organic technology. Stephen gets so absorbed in the research that his friend tries to draw him out with the statement, "There's a Martian war machine parked outside; they'd like a word with you about the common cold."
    • Later in the series, Marcus Cole realizes that Ivanova isn't paying attention to his report: "There's always the threat of an attack by say, a giant space dragon, the kind that eats the sun once every thirty days. It's a nuisance, but what can you expect from reptiles? Did I mention that my nose is on fire? And that I have fifteen wild badgers living in my trousers? [She finally reacts.] I'm sorry, would you prefer ferrets?"
  • Thirty Rock does it a few times.
    • From the episode "Jack the Writer".

 Liz: I think we need to change this Donald Trump joke... [all the male writers are staring at Cerie] ...because Donald Trump was eaten by a lion this morning... on the International Space Station.

    • Done again in "Black Tie":

 Liz:You're not even listening, are you? Poop. Monkey butt.

Jenna:No, you're a good friend and thank you.

  • The Yes Prime Minister episode Man Overboard features this; Sir Humphrey Appleby stays behind after a Cabinet meeting to voice his concerns over Jim Hacker's latest scheme to relocate defence establishment to the North of England. Hacker, however, is completely absorbed by his notes, leading Sir Humphrey to facetiously remark that "There's been an earthquake in Hazlemere." Hacker responds with a disinterested "Good".
  • The X-Files:
    • A poorly remembered paraphrase:

 Scully: ...Mulder, I've been bitten by a snake. I need you to suck the venom out.

    • And from the season 4 episode "Home," Scully tries to talk to Mulder about a case while he's tossing a baseball around on the field:

 Scully: I've collected soil specimens and, uh, although numerous shoe impressions were made from the sandlot game, I think a couple of dental stone casts will prove invaluable to the investigation.

(Scully watches as Mulder throws the ball into the air some more)

Scully: Meanwhile, I've quit the F.B.I. and become a spokesperson for the Ab-Roller.

    • And from the season 7 episode "All Things", Mulder tries to talk to Scully about crop circles in England, while she crunches on a salad and ignores him.

  Mulder: And I'm not wearing any pants right now.

  • The Big Bang Theory: the guys are busy playing Halo when Penny comes in with some of her friends and asks the guys if they want to have sex with them. When no one responds, Penny turns to her friends and says, "Told ya." After she leaves, Leonard asks if anyone heard something.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

 Giles: Buffy, a word in your ear. Um, if you, uh, think of the store as a, as a library, (cleaning glasses) it'll help you to, to, uh, concentrate on, on ... service rather than selling.

Buffy: Yes. And then I'm going to marry Bob Dole and raise penguins in Guam.

Giles: (not listening) Yes, uh, quite, quite, yes.


 Lilith: Frasier? Frasier? Doctor, are you listening to me?

Frasier (drowsily): Yes, please continue. (fully wakes up) I hate it when you do that.

    • Funny in Hindsight as His catchphrase in the Spin off is "I'm Listening"
  • Seinfeld: Played with in that George appears to be listening but misses the point of Elaine's words.

 Elaine: What're you looking at?

Jerry: There's a naked woman across the street.

Elaine: [chuckling] This is gonna be the easiest money I've ever made in my life. So, my friend, Joyce, is teaching an aerobics class. I'm gonna go tonight.

Jerry: Yeah...the - the waitress should've taken it back.

Elaine: So then, I got a call this morning. You know, I was, uh, chosen to go on the space shuttle. We're goin' to Mars.

Jerry: Uh-huh.

George: Have a good time.

  • In Scrubs, the Janitor tells JD that he's going on a janitor-only cruise for the weekend. He then tells JD that he paid Ted and Todd to duct tape him to the ceiling of the cafeteria while he's away and that the only reason he's telling him this is that he knows that JD has zoned out by now and isn't even paying attention. JD then leaves, saying that he wasn't sure what the Janitor had said.
    • In another episode, Dr Cox tries the same thing on Dr Kelso:

 Dr Kelso: Perry, are you familiar with Sacred Heart's community service program?

Dr Cox: Bobby, lately I've noticed you don't listen to a single word people say, so my reply to your question is "I think you're the world's biggest jackass and I look forward to your death."

Dr. Kelso: {not looking up) Well, you must not be familiar with it because you're the only staff member not to have completed his 24-hour mandatory community service. Consider yourself suspended until you do. Oh, and I'm never dying.

  • In an episode of Dinosaurs, Earl is poring over his new car's operating manual while Fran tries to tell him her errands for the day. She then tries to get his attention with a line something like "...and then I'm going to strip down and start dancing in the driveway." Earl just brushes her off with "Have fun," while the baby asks to dance with her.
  • Home Improvement had Jill trying to talk to Tim about ballroom dancing lessons while he was trying to listen to a football game on the radio through an earbud. Tim remains completely oblivious.

  Jill: So anyway, the lessons are on Tuesday nights. And it doesn't really cost very much. And I've been having an affair with a space alien. Yep, I'm having his baby.


 Sheppard: (Trying to get Rodney's attention) Pluto should never have been a planet... Zelenka's smarter than you are...

Rodney: (Indicates that he's finally paying attention)

Sheppard: Whatever, Meredith


 Elizabeth: And so I told him I would spend the night with him for a million dollars. I'd have to run it by my husband first, but honey, it's a million dollars. What do you think?

Peter: I think that's great. (notices her expression) I don't think that's great. What did you ask me?

Elizabeth: Okay, admit it. You're worried about Neal.

  • Castle:
    • Beckett is out on a date, but she can't stop talking about her latest case. At one point, her date says "Do you want to have sex with me?" and she doesn't even notice.
    • In another episode, Beckett is speculating about why a victim's clothes are missing, but Castle is distracted by thinking about his daughter having a boyfriend, and doesn't react when she suggests that giant moths killed the guy and ate his clothes. A few minutes later, he says, "Wait, did you say something about a giant moth?"
  • Gilmore Girls: Emily Gilmore outlines her itinerary for the day to Richard, who is engrossed in the financial pages. She ends it by telling him that she was going to have sex with the gardener after the party they were planning. It was averted because Richard had been listening and suggested that the gardener might not be able to wait. After all, he hadn't.
  • How I Met Your Mother:

 Ted Mosby: I think we should go someplace else. In this bar I will always be known as the guy who was left at the altar. It sucks.

Barney Stinson: Good Times.

Ted Mosby: Uh-oh, we lost Barney.

Robin Scherbatsky: What'ya mean?

Lily Aldrin: There's a woman over there in a tight red sweater, and he's not listening to a word we're saying.

Barney Stinson: Gimme a Break!

Ted Mosby: Long ago, he learned that he can fake a conversation by listing black sitcoms from the '70s and '80s. Right, Barney?

Barney Stinson: What's Happenin'?

Lily Aldrin: Hey, Barney. Wanna go with me and do stuff that I don't even let Marshall do to me?

Barney Stinson: Diff'rent Strokes!


 Gunn: They've made arrangements to transport his body back to... the North Pole. Turns out he had a close personal relationship with Santa. Angel?

Angel: What? I'm with you. Turning over to... (mentally catches up) Santa?


 Rikki: "Me and the girls were going to have a pillow fight in our jim-jams if you wanted to join us"

Lewis: Sure, no problem.


 Andrea: And then I hope he rips my clothes off and has his way with me on the table.

Melinda looks up.

Andrea: Oh you were listening.

  • Houston Knights: Detective Lundy tells his distracted lieutenant that he's thinking about buying a suspect lunch, a new car, and a round-trip ticket to Paris. She doesn't react as he says it, but a few minutes later she dryly warns his bemused partner that she doesn't want to see a ticket to Paris on their expense report.
  • The episode "Come Dancing" of The Goodies has an unusual example, with the one on the receiving end simply revealing he wasn't listening. The leader of a female dancing mafia (...uh, It Makes Sense in Context) is informing Graeme of the vital importance that he listen to her right now because if they genuinely win the dancing competition it will be very bad for them, while he just keeps tinkering with the gadget vital to their success. After she's done snarling and yelling, he simply says "Sorry--wasn't listening" and, distracted and absent-minded, reveals exactly what he was doing and how that machine is vital to them winning. She, however, listened. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Royal Pains: Evan is worried about his father, and replies with "uh-huh, that's great" when his girlfriend says, "Oh, by the way, I'm pregnant. With triplets. Which is going to be tough in a maximum security prison." Later, at the end of the scene, he jokingly adds, "And I'll be sure to visit you and the triplets in prison."
  • Lois and Clark: Lois is distracted on the way home after an evening out with Lex Luthor. When she doesn't respond to his comments about the production of Othello they just saw, he says, "Did you know that Shakespeare didn't write Othello? Turns out it was written by Dr. Seuss." Lois just nods and says "mm-hm".
  • In Queer as Folk Michael is doing laundry, and there's an incredibly creepy guy there, staring at him like he wants to devour him. Michael rushes out of there and is in such a hurry that he drops things on the way out. When he comes back to the apartment, Ben is engrossed in the newspaper.

 Michael: "I lost a sock and a pair of short, but the fuck if I'm going back down there with the crypt master!"

Ben: "..."

Michael: "Ben?"

Ben: "Uh... yeah?"

Michael: "I said there was this guy down there... this incredibly hot guy, and I was bending over to get my laundry out of the dryer, and, and he ripped off my pants and he fucked the shit out of me!"

Ben: *still not listening* "Uh-huh?"

Michael: *walks over, throws himself across Ben's lap and steals his glasses and the newspaper*

  • In a season three episode of NCIS, McGee isn't listening to Abby, prompting her to say: "I'm pregnant, McGee. Twins. Haven't told the father yet. It's Gibbs. I know it's wrong, but something about his silver hair just gets me all tingly inside."
  • In an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, B'Elanna makes the mistake of building Tom a television set.

 B'Elanna: You didn't miss much while you were away. The Doctor gave a lecture on insects indigenous to the Delta Quadrant.

Tom: *engrossed in a cartoon* Uh-huh...

B'Elanna: It was pretty boring. Until Ensign Farley started snoring, and then no one could keep a straight face. Of course, the Doctor wasn't at all amused...

Tom: *changes the channel* Oh! Hockey!

B'Elanna: ...It was a shame we had to cut the lecture short, but the warp core overloaded and then the Borg invaded and we were all assimilated.

Tom: Mm-hmm.

B'Elanna: You haven't heard a single thing I've said, have you?

Tom:: *yells at the TV* Oh! Look at that!

B'Elanna: ...Maybe this was a bad idea...

  • The 4400 has "So I took my pistol and I shot her in the forehead." Tom immediately looks up and says "Shot who?" The other character laughs at how he was clearly not listening.
  • In Power Rangers SPD, while Cruger is distracted during her report, Kat tells him that the Rangers have requested clown suits while on patrol, and that she approved them. Cruger just replies with "Uh huh."
  • In an episode of Murder, She Wrote, Jessica is worrying about her new book while the sheriff tries to discuss the case with her. Eventually he says they found lion tracks around the body, and she nods absently. Subverted when the next body shows up and she asks "No lion tracks this time?"


  • The chorus of the song 'circle of shame' by 'the All New Rosie and Rachel show' is a series of minimal responses a woman uses to give the impression that she's listening. Listen to it here: [1]

Newspaper Comics

  • One FoxTrot strip had Paige make all sorts of strange statements, which Roger basically ignores giving the "yeah", "uh-huh", and "that's nice", responses because he's reading the paper... right up until she says she's staying an hour past curfew, and he promptly shoots down her request. She comments that one day she's going to get past his "Dad Radar". Meanwhile, Peter or Jason is telling him his intent to change his name to "Moonbuggy", with the same initial responses.
  • Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes tried a similar trick on his mother by announcing that he planned to become a radical terrorist when he grew up and that he was going to inhale a pesticide, to both of which his mother responded with a distracted "Mm hmm". But when he declared that he was going to stay up all night and watch television, she shot him down, leading him to observe "You can never tell if they're listening or not" (paraphrase).
  • Zits subverted this one: Walt's driving Jeremy to school, asks Jeremy a question, no response. Then he gets more outlandish, promising Jeremy more "gigawhatevers" in his computer, a raise in his allowance...oh, and Martians have landed. As Jeremy leaves, he agrees with Walt's plans for more memory and allowance and the like, but notes that the Martian thing seems unlikely.
  • Played with in a Peanuts comic when Lucy pretends to fall asleep on Schroeder's piano. Schroeder doesn't buy it and flirts with her to see if she's awake.

Professional Wrestling

  • On SHIMMER volume 26, LuFisto earned herself a title shot by asking the inattentive champion MsChif a long series of inane questions - ending in a request for a title match.

Video Games

  • In Jade Empire, a man sends you to search the marshes for Fen, whom slavers have captured. You find a woman, but she isn't pleased to find out that you've been sent to find her husband's ox. When they leave the marshes together:

 Woman: "Do I have to slaughter that thing to get your attention?"

Man: *bored* "No, dear."

Woman: "Are you lying to me?"

Man: *bored* "No, dear."

Woman: "Are you listening to me?"

Man: *bored* "No, dear."

(offscreen) *smack!*


Web Comics


 "...Burmese tiger traps are fun and recommended for ages six and up."



 Ellen: "So I was thinking I might dance naked in your backyard while burning your finest art and furniture."

Susan: "Have fun."

  • Happens twice in the webcomic Sorcery 101.
    • In the first strip, main character Danny appears to be studying a magic tome while his teacher Pat (a vampire) compliments him on his work ethic. After he realizes Danny's not listening, Pat says, "...and I ran out of pig's blood so I'm going to cut open your jugular and take all yours." Then he snatches the porn magazine Danny had hidden behind his spellbook.
    • In a much later strip, a werewolf girl is trying to set up a romantic evening with her boyfriend, a bounty hunter who's busy planning his next kill. He doesn't even notice that he's agreed to watch a chick flick with her, so she asks if she can paint his claws bright pink.
  • In Station V 3, one rumormonger is constantly repeating "I know that", leading to the following dialogue:

 RM #1: Orange aardvarks are going to visit the moon.

RM #2: I know that.

RM #1: You're not listening to a word I say.

RM #2: I know that.

  • Order of the Stick:
    • In a variation, Roy's ghost isn't sure whether the Oracle is capable of hearing him, and tries to prompt a reaction through a series of "Yo Mama" jokes. Also subverted in that the Oracle can hear him but doesn't want him to know until it's too late for him to make much use of it.
    • Similarly (in a more broad application of the trope), after the group splits up, Vaarsuvius spends every waking moment (and s/he has plenty, seeing as how s/he refuses to sleep) trying to devise a spell to look for Haley. Sure, s/he listens to the things the other members are saying, but actively dismisses them as unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
  • Moon Over June: Summer actually IS listening (link not work safe).
  • Subverted in Starslip:

 Quine: I guess the moral of the story is even a finely-tuned machine like the protocol system can't always THE BACK OF MY HEAD IS ON FIRE. ...See? You're not even listening.

Cutter: I am, Quine. You know where the extinguishers are.

  • Can't remember which comic, but someone did a visual version of this: A woman and her boyfriend were going clothes-shopping and he responds to every time that she asks "How do I look in this?" with "Fine." ... Including when she comes out wearing nothing.
  • This happens to Amy in one issue of Sonic the Comic Online. Her friend says, to see whether she's listening or not, "I'm really Don Long-Legs in a wig" (which is funny since she has no hair, being an anthropomorphic bug), and Amy just replies "Mm".

Web Original

  • Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog: Dr. Horrible is in the middle of conducting a heist via remote control when his crush, Penny, asks him to sign a petition for a homeless shelter. He tries to keep up a conversation with her while working the remote, and she picks up on his distraction:

 Penny: We would be able to provide 250 new beds, get people off the streets and into job training so they could... buy rocket packs and go to the moon and become florists... You're not really interested in the homeless, are you?

  • The Joker Blogs: Poison Iv - uh, Pamela Isley does this to Harleen Quinzel, who's feeling the pre-wedding nerves.

 "Guy's nervous too, if it makes you feel better." (beat) "I slept with him last night to calm him down."

"That's okay, I poisoned your champagne."


Western Animation

  • The Simpsons:
    • A sequence from the episode "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" may or may not have been intended this way:

 Bart: I got suspended from school today.


Bart: They found a switchblade in my locker.


Bart: I took a swing at a cop.


Bart: I'm just mad all the time.


 Guard (after whipping him): No listenin'. You hear me?

Homer: Ummm... No?

Guard: You just don' learn do you?

  • Chowder:
    • Played with when the title character's boss, Mung Daal, has just started lecturing him. He immediately cuts to an Imagine Spot about filling the room with chocolate and swimming in it.

 Mung Daal: Chowder! Were you listening?

Chowder: Sure I was! You said we should fill the kitchen with chocolate so we can swim in it all day long!


Mung Daal: Lucky guess.

    • Also used in a holiday special Hey Hey It's Knishmas! with Panini trying to explain to Chowder that Knish Krinkle was only Gazpacho in a costume.
  • Played with, like so many other tropes, in Kim Possible: Kim claims Ron wasn't listening to him and it not only turns out that he was listening, but that he fully expected her to claim otherwise and recites her words back exactly.
  • From the Daria episode That Was Then, This Is Dumb:

 Jane: You see, my theory is that our primitive hunting instinct has no outlet in modern society.

Jesse: Cool.

Jane: So, rather than stalking animals, we substitute it with the shopping experience, and hunt for objects.

Jesse: Cool.

Jane: And then, Jesse, while we're asleep, those objects come to life and plot their secret takeover of our civilization. April 1st, 2007. That's the day they make their move.

Jesse: Cool.

    • Also played with elsewhere:

 Jake: Hey, kiddo! How was your day?

Daria: Fine. I heard a new voice inside my head and Kevin stole a test, so everyone's getting an F.

Jake: That's great!

Helen: Daria, you were just kidding about the voice, right?

Daria: Relax...we don't have to answer that.


  "Wow! You're amazing! You're incredible! You're... not even listening to me..."

  • From an episode of Sushi Pack, where Maguro is trying to get Tako to stop playing a video game and come to dinner:

 Maguro: As co-leader of the Sushi Pack, do you think you should spend so much time sitting here playing that game?

Tako: Yeah.

Maguro: You do?!

Tako: Yeah, sure.

Maguro: Or should you take a break and come eat dinner?

Tako: Yeah.

Maguro: Yeah, what?

Tako: Yeah, whatever. Maguro, I'm playing here!

  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Dragonshy," Fluttershy tries to get out of going on a dangerous mission, and approaches Twilight Sparkle while she's reading the map. The unicorn isn't really listening and just keeps saying, "Uh huh," even when Fluttershy says she should just stay home.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs tries to tell Daffy about his childhood, but realizes he isn't listening and switches to Superman's origin story. This makes Daffy listen, but being Daffy, he believes every word.

  "You're from the planet Krypton?"


 Bill: ...But then the rash went away, and I could wear pants again.

Hank: Yup.


Bill: Dale, Hank says he's going to become a...tugboat captain.

Dale: Yup.

Bill: ...Kabu, icksnack, bungo!

Boomhauer: Mmhmm.