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"If I wanted a joke, I'd follow you into the john and watch you take a leak."

If I wanted to describe If I Wanted X, I Would Y here, I would go to All The Tropes... wait a minute.

A common put-down of a work/activity/food/etc., by naming a prominent aspect of that thing, and claiming that aspect is better in another thing, usually in the form of "If I wanted (aspect), I would (other thing with that aspect)."

Can often overlap with Better by a Different Name and Deadpan Snarker.

Compare X Called. They Want Their Y Back..

Not to be confused with If I Wanted You Dead....

Examples of If I Wanted X, I Would Y include:


 Rimmer: I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, Lister, but if I wanted to attend an amateur poetry reading, I'd be mad.

Fan Works

Films -- Live-Action

 Cab Dispatcher: Where are you going?

Neal: Chicago.

Cab Dispatcher: Chicago?

Neal: Yeah, Chicago.

Cab Dispatcher: You know you're in St. Louis?

Neal: Yes I do.

Cab Dispatcher: Why don't you try the airlines? It's faster and you get a free meal.

Neal: If I wanted a joke, I'd follow you into the john and watch you take a leak. Now are you gonna help me or are you gonna stand there like a slab of meat with mittens?

(the cab dispatcher punches him in the face)

 Bill Tanner: Seems your hunch was right, 007. It's too bad the Evil Queen of Numbers wouldn't let you play it...

(M walks in)

M: You were saying?

Bill Tanner: No, no, I was just... just um...

M: Good. Because if I want sarcasm, Mr Tanner, I'll talk to my children, thank you very much.

  • From Dragonheart, after Draco wonders about the ethics of their scam:

 Bowen: If I wanted my conscience pricked, I would've stayed with the priest!

  • From X-Men: The Last Stand, after Professor Xavier is believed to have died, Magneto tells Pyro that, if he[Magneto] wanted Xavier dead, he[Magneto] would have killed Xavier himself.

Live-Action TV

 "Technology businesses must cut the baby talk. It's 2007. You're a rapacious, multi-billion-dollar corporation, not a stuffed animal. This week, Yahoo! announced a deal with Bebo, which will help it compete with Google. I had to Wiki Bebo to find out it's kind of like Friendster and Woofy. Gosh, I hope they can all band together and save Fuzzleton Village from the evil Snorgs! Grow up! If I want to see uncaring money-making machines with cutesy names, I'd go to a strip club."

    • Another one:

 "If China is going to be the world's most dominant superpower, they must figure out a better way to package soy sauce. Seriously, you've had thousands of years to work on this, and this is the best you could come up with?! If I want to spend my night cleaning up after a thin, leaky bag of chemicals, I'll date Amy Winehouse."

    • Bill does this a lot in his book, New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer.
  • Firefly, "Objects in Space":

 Mal: If I want medical jargon, I'll talk to a doctor.

Simon: You are talking to a doctor.

    • Also, quoth Jayne, "Hell, if I had wanted schooling, I would have gone to school!"
  • In one episode of Friends, Phoebe is dating two men at once -- a teacher and a fireman. She's out with the teacher when they see a car catch fire, and he's confused when her response to the sound of sirens is to run away (so he doesn't find out about the fireman).

 Phoebe: If I wanted to see a fireman I would date one!

  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Out of My Mind", Riley thinks Buffy won't want to be with him if he's just a normal man, and she responds with, "Do you think that I spent the last year with you because you had super powers? If that's what I wanted, then I'd be dating Spike." (This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight about a year later.)
  • Parodied in Fist of Fun: During a discussion about water pollution Stuart Lee asks Richard Herring if he wants to swim in raw sewage. Herring replies "Stuart, if I wanted to swim in raw sewage I'd..." and then details a highly developed plan to break into the local sewage works. Lee quickly realises that yes, he really does.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "That Which Survives", after major seismic tremors and loss of contact with the Enterprise:

 Sulu: Could it be the Enterprise hit the planet? Once in Siberia, a meteor flattened whole forests--

Kirk: If I wanted a Russian history lesson, I'd have brought along Mr. Chekov.

Newspaper Comics

 "I hate all the rules and organization and teams and ranks in sports. Somebody's always yelling at you, telling you where to be, what to do, and when to do it. I figure when I want that, I'll join the Army and at least get paid."


  • In one episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Jack Dee introduces the Pick-Up Song round by saying he can't see the point of karaoke.

 "If I wanted to see some hopeless drunk ruining an Amy Winehouse song, I'd go to an Amy Winehouse concert."

    • Also, in another episode, there was a round of Closed Quotes which specialized on comebacks. Among these comebacks was the lovely "If I wanted to hear from an arse, I would have farted."

Stand-Up Comedy

 "If I wanted to be bored by 6,000 pages of unreadable dreck, I'd read War and Peace four times."

Web Original

 Yahtzee: If I wanted to be a space quantity surveyor, I'd play Eve Online.

 Van: "If I wanted to sleep through half of the episode, I would have watched..."

List of series flashed rapidly: Wolf's Rain, Gungrave, GitS: SAC, Paranoia Agent, Mushishi, Boogiepop Phantom, Hi, Mom!, Serial Experiments Lain, squirrels do it, Samurai 7, Soul Taker, Casshern Sins, Kino's Journey

Van: "Witch Hunter Robin."


  • Schlock Mercenary: When I want your opinion I'll mind-rip it out of your shattered skull, thank you

Western Animation

 Steve: Dad, can we go to Graceland?

Stan: Steve, if you want to pay your respects to a fat man who died on the toilet, we can visit your Aunt Mary's grave.

    • A variant on "Not Particularly Desperate Housewives": When Francine wants to adopt Fussy the dog, Stan says, "Forget it! We already have something girly and annoying in this house. It's called Roger."
  • This was a frequent trope in Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the early 1960s. For instance, in one episode of The Flintstones, Fred says, "If I want laughs, I'll call Yogi Bear."
  • Archer:

 Archer: Don't you want a grandkid?

Malory: Well, if I did I'd just scrape all your previous mishaps into a big pile and knit a onesie for it.

Archer: Jesus Christ!

    • And another:

 Archer: If I wanted to look at your bare feet, I'd sneak in and do it when you were asleep.

      • One more:

 Malory to her chauffeur: If I wanted to sit around all day going nowhere, I'd become a teacher!

  • The Simpsons: after Bart is caught shoplifting at Try 'N' Save, the security guard dismisses his offer to pay for the stolen video game with "If I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I'd be at home with a pack of cigarettes and a short length of hose!"
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