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Usually a Stock Reply to "No!", with a hint of threatening sarcasm. A popular phrase with villains when heroes just won't cooperate. Precedes use of force to get the object of the not-a-request.

May also be worded as "That wasn't a suggestion/question" or "I wasn't asking."

Not to be confused with That's an Order, which is said by a commander to a subordinate to show that they're pulling rank and that things are not up for discussion. "That wasn't a request" is said by people who have no official command over others but, for the moment, are ordering them around anyway; there is no reason for the person to cooperate except that the person giving the order is about to use force to back up their demand, whatever it may be.

Examples of That Wasn't a Request include:

Anime and Manga

 Kari: No!

Myotismon: That's not request!

 Adrian: Come with me, Echo.

Echo: I don't want to go with you, you're scaring me.

Adrian: That wasn't a request!

Comic Books

 Dr. Manhattan: Pay attention. You will all return to your homes.

Protester: Oh yeah? And what if we don't, ya big blue fruit?

Dr. Manhattan: You misunderstand me. It was not a request. <Teleports them all home>

 Alien: Rasputin and Pryde. You will come with us.

Colossus: It's unlikely.

Alien: Your translators are primitive. It is not an order. We are asking. We are asking for your trust.

Film -- Animated

 Beast: (to Belle) You will join me for dinner! That's not a request!

Film -- Live Action

  • Fiddler On the Roof: When Perchik and Hodel tell Tevye (Hodel's father) of their engagement and he blusters that he won't allow it:

 Hodel: You don't understand, Papa.

Tevye: I understand, I understand, because I said yes to Motel and Tzietel you feel you also have the right, but my answer is still no.

Perchik: No, Reb Tevye. You don't understand. We're not asking for your permission.


  • The heroes of David Eddings' Belgariad are quite fond of this; one such example is as follows:

 Ce'Nedra: In the absence of King Belgarion, it appears that I must act in his stead, and I need your advice on how to proceed. I wish the transfer of power into my hands to go as smoothly as possible.

Rhodar: (after a bout of incredulity) An interesting proposal, your Highness. We have, however, made other arrangements. There's a long-standing precedent in the matter. We thank your Highness for her gracious offer nonetheless.

Ce'Nedra: It wasn't precisely an offer, your Majesty, and any previous precedents have been superseded.

  • Discworld's Thud: Vimes is attempting to investigate the death of a prominent dwarf community leader, but is being stymied by another dwarf:

 Helmclever: "I refuse to comply with your request!"

Vimes: "It wasn't a request."

Live-Action TV

 Badger: "I thought we might have a bit of a sit-down."

Mal: "I'd prefer a bit of a piss off."

Badger: "I'm very sorry, did I give you the impression I was askin'?"

    • Mal himself is fond of the expression:

 Simon: I'm not sure that's such a good suggestion...

Mal: Best not mistake it for a suggestion.

  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor tells a woman who wants to fight the Silurians to hand over a weapon. She refuses, and he tells her that right now "he's being nice".
  • The Italian from Leverage says this through a translator in her first appearance.

  My employer wishes you to understand that that was not a request. We will not be providing warrants. You will provide us with all the files you have on Nathan Ford, or you will find yourself under state, federal, and international investigation.


  "The castle spoke to him. It demanded to be repaired. One of the team members spoke against the idea. And the castle made it clear that it wasn't a request. It was then that they realized just how far it was to the door."

Web Original

 Gale: Seeing as you've concluded your business with her, you should not be pressed to conduct some with me now, would you? I've just a couple of questions to ask.

Cassidy: It's an attractive offer, but I've no interest in discussing such matters on top of a train.

Gale: I'm sorry to say that was a rhetorical question. The rest of these won't be. If the setting is not to your liking. I could always arrange to take you elsewhere where you'd be more willing to chat.

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