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"Having characters repeat stuff we already read in the captions was a joke he got mileage out of for 45 years."
Jaime J. Weinman on Frank Doyle of Archie Comics

A character repeats what was just said by the narrator, word-for-word (or very nearly) for comedic effect.

A stealth version can show up in a script by having the character repeat the stage directions word-for-word (i.e. "Character is sad and confused" Character: I'm sad and confused!).

Often a sign of a Lemony Narrator or Interactive Narrator. In news broadcasts, this is a sign of a bad newswriter.

Similar to Ironic Echo Cut, but with the Fourth Wall instead of actual cutting. Can involve That Makes Me Feel Angry.

Examples of Narration Echo include:


Anime and Manga

  • In the dub of episode 15 of Sgt Frog, when the others imagine Keroro and Dark Momoka teaming up to conquer the world, the narrator warns, "But their dark union was not that simple." Cut to Dark Momoka informing the platoon, "Our dark union's not that simple."
    • Used again in episode 22:

 Narrator: *coming back from the Eyecatch* Ten seconds ago on Sgt Frog, Tamama became leader of the platoon and banished the Sarge down a previously unseen well.

Keroro: Why has Tamama dropped me down this previously unseen well?

    • And in the first beach episode.

 Narrator: And so they splashed, while Momoka stewed in the juices of her own anger.

Momoka: Look at them... and here I am stewing in the juices of my own anger...

    • This is obviously one of their favorite gags. In episode 3, the narrator talks about "the foulest of funks emanating from the Hinatas' basement". Natsumi complains by saying "Man, that is one foul funk."
  • In an early episode of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, we see a one of the animals kids put on their cell phone straps lying on the ground, and the narrator gives a quick explanation of what it is and who would have it. Yoshii picks it up and starts saying the same thing, at which point the narrator angrily points out he already said that.
  • Inverted in an early episode of Dragon Ball:

 Yamcha: Those fools have not heard the last of Yamcha!

Narrator: It would seem that our heroes haven't seen the last of Yamcha...

 Narrator: Stuffy Mr. Austria is very strict about rules and discipline.

Austria: I am very strict about rules und discipline.


Comic Books

 The Flash: SUPERMAN! Dammit, I can't fly.[1]


Film

  • Reversed in Plan 9 from Outer Space, where one of the characters says of the aliens, "I wonder what their next move will be?" and the narrator says "What will their next move be?"
  • Something similar happens at the beginning of Magical Mystery Tour:

 Ringo on screen: Good afternoon.

Ringo, narrating: ... said Richard. "Good afternoon," said the bus driver.

 Narrator: It was a bombshell for the Rutles. They were shocked... and stunned.

Dirk McQuickly: Well, we're shocked.

Ron Nasty: Yeah, shocked.

Barry Wom: Shocked.

Dirk McQuickly: And stunned.

Ron Nasty: Yeah, stunned.

Barry Wom: Very stunned.

 Narrator: And they responded with awe.

Cast: Awwwww...

Narrator: No. I said awe. A-W-E.

Cast: Oooooh...

Narrator: That's better.

    • Also:

 Narrator: Ursula was amazed that she was lost in the wilderness with a jungle man.

Ursula: Here I am, lost in the wilderness with a jungle man.


Literature

 She knew that Corrie and Fee made cheese...but Lucy assumed the cheese was made with machines, in big vats, with milk from a factory. "I thought cheese was made with machines, in big vats, with milk from a factory," she said.

  • In the short story "Rough Hew Them How We Will" in P. G. Wodehouse's The Man Upstairs, the narrator says, "Bredin [a restaurateur] was a pig. He looked like a pig; he ate like a pig; he grunted like a pig. He had the lavish embonpoint of a pig. Also a porcine soul. If you had tied a bit of blue ribbon round his neck you could have won prizes with him at a show." Later, when a policeman enters the story: "It was at about five minutes after one that afternoon that Constable Thomas Parsons, patrolling his beat, was aware of a man motioning to him from the doorway of Bredin's Parisian Cafe and Restaurant. The man looked like a pig. He grunted like a pig. He had the lavish embonpoint of a pig. Constable Parsons suspected that he had a porcine soul. Indeed, the thought flitted across Constable Parsons' mind that, if he were to tie a bit of blue ribbon round his neck, he could win prizes with him at a show.
  • Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job has a sort of delayed version: the first line of the chapter "A Fucked-Up Day" is the narrator saying "It was a fucked-up day." The first line of the following chapter is a character saying (of the day described in the previous chapter) "That was a fucked-up day."
  • The Prince from Sleeping Beauty has this as his shtick in There's A Princess In The Palace. Lampshaded by a pair of mice who have been commenting on each story.
  • Used a couple of times in The Scrambled States of America, narrated by Uncle Sam:

 "Well, it was just your basic, ordinary day in the good old U.S. of A. States all over the country were waking up, having their first cups of coffee, reading the morning paper, and enjoying the beautiful sunrise. All the states, that is, except for Kansas. He was not feeling happy at all. How do I know this? Because he said,"

Kansas: I'M NOT FEELING HAPPY AT ALL!

  • Later, after the states have all switched places*

"And worst of all, Kansas, who had switched places with Hawaii because he was sick of being stuck in the middle of the country, was now stuck in the middle of NOWHERE, feeling lonesome and seasick."

Kansas: *singing* In the middle of nowhere, feeling lonesome and seasick, my guitar is soggy and I feel so blue...


Live Action TV

  • The Middleman has a tendency to invert this with its Scene Shift Captions. For example, one episode ends with Ida smugly announcing the address she's discovered they have to go to:

 Ida: 8660 Hawkins Lane, Apt 9. God am I underpaid.

And the caption for the next scene is:

 8660 Hawkins Lane, Apt 9.

God am I underpaid.

 Milkman: Right...well I should definitely say you're suffering from a severe personality disorder, sir, sublimating itself in a lactic obsession which could get worse depending on how much money you've got.

[Cut to the office of a real psychiatrist]

Dr. Cream: I would like to take this opportunity of complaining about the way in which these shows are continually portraying psychiatrists who make pat diagnoses of patients' problems without first obtaining their full medical history.

[Cut back to milkman and gynecologist]

Milkman: Mind you, that's just a pat diagnosis made without first obtaining your full medical history.

  • In the That 70s Show episode "I Can't Quit You Baby", when Hyde tells the (false) story of how he got together with Jackie:

 Hyde: So, I'm hangin' out in the basement like I usually do, when Jackie showed up. It was obvious she wanted me.

(fantasy clip, Hyde is in the basement, Jackie walks in)

Jackie: I want you.

Hyde: It's obvious.

 Penn (narrating): Wait a minute! He's sleeping naked with the girls? And the girls are naked too?

Biographer: He's sleeping naked with the girls and the girls are naked too!

Penn (narrating): Cool!

  • Pushing Daisies was fond of this.


Music Video

  • The music video for the Men At Work song "Down Under" has this... sort of, by always showing the events described in the song as literally as possible. The song talks about a guy who is 6'4" and full of muscles, and shazam, a man fitting this description appears. In VH-1's I Love the 80s, this was joked on by Patton Oswalt. "Is this just for deaf people who can't hear the song?"


Theatre

  • At the start of Act Two of Spamalot, the Historian recaps the end of Act One, ending with, "King Arthur and his knights fled for their lives and were instantly scattered and lost in a dark, and very expensive, forest." Soon after, King Arthur moans, "This is a total bloody disaster. All my knights have fled, and we're lost in a dark, and very expensive, forest."
  • Michael Frayn's Afterlife inverts the variety with stage directions.

 Reinhardt: [...] And here, on the cathedral square in Salzburg, we shall [act out parts in a play] as simply and naturally as children do in their games. No sound effects. Only the cathedral bells. Only the distant sound of traffic in the streets.

 Sound effects


Video Games

 GLaDOS: Well, this is the part where he kills us!

Wheatley: Hello! This is the part where I kill you!

Chapter 9: The Part Where He Kills You.

Achievement Unlocked: The Part Where He Kills You

And on the PC, the achievement's subtitle: "This is that part".


Webcomics


Western Animation

  • The Word Girl episode "Mecha-Mouse" is narrated by the usual Interactive Narrator and his Darker and Grittier twin brother. At one point, they muse, "Will Word Girl be able to stop Dr. Two-Brain's plan to buy his own private island?" "Or will Two-Brains Island become the center of evil and villainy for all eternity?" Later on, as Dr. Two-Brains goes to buy his island, he cackles to himself, "Two-Brains Island will become the center of evil and villainy for all eternity! The narrator told me so."
  • Happened a lot in the Lucky Luke cartoon. Most of the time, it was Luke himself repeating the narration, but now and then, some other character would do it for him...
  • Happens in the Merrie Melodies short, "The Scarlet Pumpernickel"; the Narrator (Daffy Duck), announces, "The Lord High Chamberlain was simply furious."

 Lord High Chamberlain (Porky Pig): I'm simply furious!

Narrator: But Milady Melissa was simply delighted.

Melissa: I'm simply delighted!

  • The Histeria! sketch about the Boston Tea Party contains this:

 George Washington: And so the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which taxed newspapers, playing cards, and all printed material imported by the colonies. The American colonists were not happy.

Charity Bazaar: We're not happy.

Pule Houser: Hey, this tax is unfair!

Froggo: We won't pay! [Redcoats surround them with their guns.] Unless they make us.

George Washington: Then in 1767, Parliament passed the Townend act, which taxed tea, paper, glass, and lots of other items. Now the colonists were even less happy.

[The Redcoats surround Froggo, Charity, and Pule with their guns again.]

Charity Bazaar: Now we're even less happy.

  • The script for the unproduced Invader Zim episode "The Trial" includes this:

 Zim: Escape with me to the surface!

Skoodge: (terrified but okay) Sounds terrifying, but okay!

Notes

  1. The Flash cannot fly--The Editor
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