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"We are a treacherous, inhuman terrorist organization. We are taking over this ship starting now!" At the serious-faced masked man's words, the Jindai High School students yell out in a fed up voice, "Again?"
—Typical high school field trip in the world of Full Metal Panic!

A new character will walk into a situation that seems bizarre, flaky, extremely dangerous, or otherwise very much out of what he considers ordinary. He asks someone, "Is it always like this around here?" and is told "No, today's rather quiet," or "You get used to it," or "Well, just on Tuesdays," or something similar.

Examples of Is It Always Like This include:


  • Variation: A Budweiser commercial in the United States had horses in a snowy field kicking an extra point as one would during an NFL game. Cut to the two ranch hands watching: "Do they always do that?" "Nah. Usually they go for two."

Anime and Manga

  • Sieg Hart, the only good guy who doesn't frequently aid the manga's humor in Rave Master, is rather taken back when he finally sees how most of the gang usually behaves. When asking if they usually act that way, Musica, the next closest to normal at that point in the story, replies "Fun, isn't it?"
  • Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei often has characters asking this question or variants on it, usually regarding the teacher's antics.
  • In One Piece, Robin asked this when she joined the crew and noticed how lively they were.
  • While terrorist attacks aren't really routine in Full Metal Panic, when the page quote took place, the class in question had just had its school trip hijacked by terrorists for the second time that year. This is in addition to the mayhem caused by the Behemoth attack on Tokyo that summer, Sousuke's excessively paranoid behavior, and a direct terrorist attack on the school the following spring.

Comic Books

  • In superhero-city police procedural Top 10, new recruit Robyn "Toybox" Slinger is led through the station on her first day where superpowered cops are bringing in superpowered perps, she asks this. The reply is "No. Mondays are usually quiet, but it picks up later in the week."
  • Wild CATS: "Wow, a guy just turned into a giant blueskinned monster. You don't see things like this every day" "Tell me, you're new in the city."


  • Zed, the chief agent in Men in Black tells new agent Jay that the reason nobody seems to get any sleep at MiB headquarters is because they operate on a 37 hour day. "Give it a few months, you'll get used to it. Or you'll have a psychotic episode."
    • "There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!"
  • From Backbeat: John Lennon goes off on a tirade against artistic types in one of his first run-ins with Klaus and Astrid. Astrid asks Stu Sutcliffe, "Is he always like this?" Stu replies, "No, he can get really bitter and cynical."
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. After swinging in through the window in a castle, rescuing his dad, shooting a team of Nazis, getting captured, tied up, setting fire to a room (and nearly being been burned to death in the process) and going through two hidden passages, Indy and his father are trying to escape from a Nazi stronghold.

 Henry Jones Sr: You say this is just another day for you?

Henry Jones Jr: No! But better than most.


  • In a confusing reversal, in the book Firewing (which takes place in the bat underworld): a recently dead bat with no memory constantly asks a living bat if the weird shit that keeps happening around them, like mountains shooting up out of nowhere and deserts meling, is "supposed to happen" in the real world.
  • Reversed in The Mote in God's Eye. A more experienced shipmate tells the new recruit not to expect lives of constant excitement. They don't have missions to dive into a star (to retrieve a an interstellar craft decelerating via lightsail) all the time. The new recruit then points out that they're about to do exactly that, again, in search of an interstellar transfer point inside a red giant star.
  • Phoebe, when she was first introduced in The Magic School Bus book Inside the Earth, repeatedly inquired about whether Ms. Frizzle's class was always like this. She adapted and was treated as a regular student thereafter. Nevertheless, the TV show gave her the Catch Phrase "At my old school, we never <insert random occurence here>". See The Artifact.
  • In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Sky Pirates! new companion Roz reflects that her first adventure with the Doctor ended with the possibility her friend could turn into a mindless berserker with no warning, her career in ruins, assassins searching for them, a destroyed city, and asks old-hand companion Benny for reassurance that not all of their adventures will end like that. Benny is suddenly reluctant to continue the conversation.
  • There's one lesser known of Grimm's Fairy Tales about a man who wants to visit the godfather of his last child. When he comes to the house, the first thing he finds are a broom and a dustpan fighting on the stairs. He asks them for the godfather, the broom tells him "next floor". There he finds a lot of dead fingers - they also tell him "next floor". There he finds a heap of death's heads; again, "next floor". On that floor, a bunch of fish are busy frying themselves in a pan - they too tell him, "next floor". There's a door, he looks through the keyhole, and sees the godfather with long horns on his head. (Hmm, Horny Devils?) He walks into the room, but the godfather has already hidden in his bed. Then, this dialogue ensues:

 Man: "What's going on in your house? There were a broom fighting with a dustpan!"

Godfather: "You're stupid, those were my servants, they were talking."

Man: "On the second floor, there was a room full of dead fingers."

Godfather: "You're being silly, those were scorzonera."

Man: "On the third floor, I found lots of death's heads."

Godfather: "Dumb man, those were cabbages."

Man: "On the fourth floor, I found fish in the pan, frying themselves."

(The fish come in and serve themselves.)

Man: "And when I looked into your room, I saw you wearing horns."

Godfather: "Hey, that's not true!"

And the man is leaving very fast.

Live Action TV

  • Used in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Prodigy".
  • In the new series of Doctor Who various companions beginning with Rose have asked if it's always as dangerous as their often inaugural adventure. Usually involves the Doctor offering to take them home, followed by a refusal. Credit to the Doctor, he never sugarcoats that yes it is dangerous, and yes he is a madman with a box.
  • Utilized with Ziva's arrival in NCIS.
  • Detective Sergeant Scott used this to Lampshade the rather high murder rate in Midsomer.
  • Babylon 5 would bring this up every time there was a significant visitor to the station. Usually a visiting oversight officer would comment on how strange behavior was a sign of inadequate leadership before leaving.
  • From the end of the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint" (which involved giant space jellyfish, their first encounter with the god-like entity Q putting Humanity on Trial, and Counselor Troi clutching her head and reeling off every emotion in the book):

 Picard: Some problem, Number One?

Riker: Just hoping this isn't the usual way our missions will go, sir.

Picard: Oh no, Number One. I'm sure most will be much more interesting.

  Riley: When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. Now I'm suddenly finding myself have to find out the plural of "apocalypse".

    • And later, from an exasperated Xander...

 Xander: Now there's something you don't see every day... unless you're US!

  • The fact that his family is horribly dysfunctional is part of Justin's plan in Wizards of Waverly Place to dump a clingy Girl of the Week. When she asks if his family is always that weird, he tells her yes, and that quickly causes her to reconsider the relationship.
  • Something like this is invoked at least once on Match Game, during one of Betty White's recurring instances of rolling up Gene Rayburn's pant leg.

 Allen Ludden (Betty's husband): Does this go on when I'm not here?

New Media

 Qwerty: Is this a relatively normal Thursday evening for you?

Tina: Sometimes I have homework, too.

 Helen: Oh, a portal to hell seems to have opened in the ladies' room, and horned beasts are gibbering for his blood.

Seth: Is it always like this around here?

Dave: (looking at Helen) Hell no. Usually she just wears jeans.

 Justin: This is messed up on so many levels. I'm guessing you don't visit your cousin and uncle that much?

Nanase: It's common sense not to.

Video Games

  • Played for drama in Mass Effect 2. A NPC from the first game (Shiala) approaches you with a subquest involving medical contracts. If you choose to help her she thanks you and then utters the trope title in context of lingering problems arising in new forms. "Isn't anything ever just fixed?"

Western Animation

 Lewis: Is dinner always like this?

Art: No, last night we had meatloaf.

 Jazz: Is it always like this on this crazy planet?

Prowl: Pretty much.

 Rocket: It IS always like this!

Zatanna: Told ya.

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