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"Hey look, there's something moving in the forest about eight miles off! I'll go and check. And I'll take a thimble with me."
Eddie Izzard on Horror movies

A Stock Phrase where a character sees something strange or decides to go somewhere to investigate something.

It's usually a "Famous Last Words" situation as they immediately find themselves too close and getting in over their head with trouble.

Examples of I'm Going for a Closer Look include:

Anime & Manga


  • Under Siege. When a jet pilot is doing a flyover of the Missouri, he says "Going in for a closer look" just before being shot down by the bad guys.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes. While exploring the hidden temple: "Holmes: I'm going down for a closer look."
  • Beau Geste (1939): "I'm gonna take a closer look."
  • Recess: School's Out
  • Alien. Promptly followed by one of the most frightening moments in movies.
    • Slightly justified in that investigating the derelict ship was company policy, and because Ash was trying to trick them into bringing a living alien specimen aboard.
  • The Empire Strikes Back. Luke tells Han he's going to check out a meteorite crater, and immediately gets attacked by an ice monster. Unusually for this trope, this is just a coincidence, not an ambush by the thing he went to investigate.
  • Subverted in Scream 2. After crawling across the unconscious killer to get out of a wrecked car, Sidney goes back to see who it is. Sidney is unharmed, but her genre-savvy friend who stays behind gets killed.
  • Subverted by the Dangerously Genre Savvy protagonist in There's Nothing Out There.


  • Klystar by Leong Ying, page 230.
  • Animal Rights and Pornography by J. Eric Miller on page 25.
  • Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh on page 10.
  • A Hero Betrayed by Jan Springer on page 111.
  • Museum of Voices by Jay E. Valusek on page 142.
  • Trapped in Time by Clifford B. Bowyer on page 52.

Live Action TV

  • In the first episode of Ultraman, Hayata sees two strange meteors and says the phrase as he moves in to investigate. Sure enough, he gets so close that he collides with Ultraman's meteor and crashes.
  • In the Adam West Batman this phrase is used when they decide to find a supervillain's hideout, only to get captured.
  • Babylon 5 fighter pilots who encounter Shadow warships can expect a very quick death if they say this. Results vary a bit more on random wrecks or Negative Space Wedgies.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Flesh and Stone", a blinded Amy and a group of soldiers who are standing guard in the woods[1] spy a bright light in the distance. Soldiers being soldiers, some are sent off to investigate. The catch being that the light will Ret-Gone you out of existence, meaning more soldiers are soon sent to check out the mysterious white light, having no idea three of their former-comrades have already "gone for a closer look" before them...


  • The Dingo Star

 Star Kitten: I'm going in for a closer look.

Western Animation

  • Parodied in The Simpsons, where Rainier "McBain" Wolfcastle decides to go in for a closer look after being told his shoes are untied. After staring at his feet for several hours, he declares that, upon closer inspection, he's wearing loafers.


  1. ...consisting of treeborgs, in a spaceship, being hunted by psychotic stone angels, but that's not important right now.
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