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A character makes a derogatory statement about a group of people, then realizes that his statement includes either one of his friends or himself, and qualifies the statement with "Present company excluded."

This is often used in passing as a throw-away gag, although occasionally more conflict might stem from it; the character it was unintentionally aimed at might still be insulted (especially if the prejudice was a long running thing), or if the sub-text seems to suggest that the speaker really did mean to offend. Often, though, the character won't seem to mind.

Examples of Present Company Excluded include:


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 Brent: But not me, right?

Mayor: Oh, not you, Brent. No, you've always been Like a Son to Me.

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 Xander: I have the worst taste in girls.

*realizes he is speaking to Buffy*

Xander: Present company excluded, of course.

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 Wash: Don't you just hate doctors?

Dr. Simon Tam: Hey.

Wash: I mean, present company excluded.

Jayne: Now, let's not go excluding people.

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 Michael Knight: Well, these computer things are just a waste of time anyway.

K.I.T.T.: Ahum.

Michael Knight: Oh, present company excluded, of course.

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  • The Mummy 1999, when Jonathan is complaining about the Americans in Hamunaptra, while Rick O'Connell is digging.
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 Jonathan: And when those damn yanks go to sleep, no offense,

Rick: None taken.

Jon: We'll dig our way up and steal that book right out from under them.

Rick: Are you sure you can find this secret compartment thing?

Evie: Oh, yes, if those beastly Americans haven't beaten us to it, no offense.

Rick: None taken.

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 SpongeBob: "We survived the horrible disgusting monsters!"

Monsters (collectively): Awwww.

SpongeBob: But not you guys! You guys were awesome!

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  • On the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Frankendoodle", Patrick is going on about how ugly DoodleBob (a crude drawing of SpongeBob come to life) is:
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 Patrick: He's hideous! He makes me sick just looking at him. Those big, bulgy eyes, that square body, those two buck teeth, and that stupid tie!

SpongeBob: Ahem.

Patrick: Oh, but it looks good on you, SpongeBob.

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 Zapp Brannigan: Our mission is clear: destroy all alien life forms.

Kif: Um, not me, sir.

Zapp Brannigan: Right. Nobody destroy Kif. Unless you have to.

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    • Also in "Less Than Hero":
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 Leela: My parents! They're coming up from the sewers for a visit Sunday.

Amy: Are you off your rocket? Your parents are mutants! It's illegal for them to come above ground 'cause they're inferior genetic scum! ...Uh, present company excluded, of course.

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 McCoy (discussing a new crewmember): There's something wrong about a man who never smiles, whose conversation never varies from the routine of the job, and who won't talk about his background.

Spock: I see.

McCoy: ...I mean that it's odd for a non-Vulcan.

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 Thief: "I hate wizards."

(Beat)

Thief: "What?"

Red Mage: "I'm waiting for you to say 'present company excluded'."

(Beat)

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    • Red Mage then waits an hour for the Thief to say it.
  • Beast Wars
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 Waspinator: Waspinator detect stink of unnatural Transmetal!

Dinobot II: (growls)

Waspinator:...Waspinator exclude present company.

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 "There have to be bright women around here somewhere, with all these bright men. Where are they hiding?" Cordelia shut her mouth, as it suddenly occurred to her that Kareen might mistakenly construe this remark as a slur on herself. Adding present company excepted would put her foot in it for sure, though.

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  • Night Watch: the revolutionaries on the street were rather confused when Commander Vimes comes up to talk to them, instead of forming ranks against them. Reg Shoe's lone cry of "Death to the Fascist oppressors!" was quickly amended to "Death to the Fascist oppressors, present company excepted."
  • Used in this strip of Flaky Pastry, but only after three Beat Panels
  • Used in this Avatar: The Last Airbender parody/recap of "The Western Air Temple."
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 Toph: I'm serious, though! I mean consider his background! He was raised by upper-class, prejudiced crazies and he still turned out pretty well, considering!

Katara: Whatever. You know we can't trust people like that!

Toph: AHEM.

Katara: Present company exluded, of course.

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  • Used in The Movie of Master and Commander, after Jack calls for his ship to spill the wind from his sheets, and act lubberly and panicky, like a whaler might (in order to capture the ship they are chasing). With the captain of a whaler who'd been captured by, had the ship he'd been out for two years on burnt to the waterline, and left on a small boat in the middle of nowhere to die by said enemy ship standing right beside him.
  • Similar to the Night Watch example, in Blackadder Goes Forth a suddenly revolutionary Baldrick announces to Blackadder his intention to "overthrow the hated opressors like you and the lieutenant. Present company excepted, sir."
  • Stated explicitly and unironically by Rayne Summers in Least I Could Do at a comic convention, directed at 'pathetic webcomic artists' who the author, Ryan, holds in contempt for being crappier then him.
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 Rayne: Webcomics suck.

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 Twilight Sparkle: (concerning her friend Applejack) That pony is as stubborn as a mule!

Mule: *snort*

Twilight Sparkle: No offense.

Mule: None taken.

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