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A Stock Phrase usually uttered in comedies. Basically, someone has learned something strange about another character, but rather than being surprised or shocked, they take it in stride. Why? Because it actually explains a great deal of the odd characteristics of the character in question.
Usually intended as a form of Take That.
- In the fifth-to-last episode of Sonic X, this is exactly what Sonic says after he has been listening in on Hertia/Earthia telling a story to Amy and Rouge about how her former home planet Seedrius-Flora/Greengate got destroyed and how the Metarex, the main villains of the third season, came into the picture.
- When the cast finds out about Luffy's Hilariously Abusive Childhood, Sanji wryly comments that now he understands where Luffy's incredible will to live comes from.
Madam Varcoloc: She's a werewolf, you know.
Nathan: That explains a few things.
- At the end of the Men in Black movie, J offhandedly mentions to L that Dennis Rodman is an alien, which results in this:
L: The high consulate from Solaxium 9 wants seats for the Bulls game.
J: Call Dennis Rodman. He's from that planet.
L: Rodman? You're kidding.
L: Not much of a disguise.
- And earlier, J gets this realization that his 3rd grade teacher was an alien, which he's suspected all along.
- In Mr. Deeds, Longfellow Deeds persuades a packed boardroom to remember their childhood dreams and ambitions, and one of his neighbours, a denim-and-flannel-shirt-clad woman announces that her wish was to become a man. Deeds' response is justified.
- Shrek has this reaction to Fiona turning into an ogre near the end of the first movie.
- In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin tells Harper that Alex thinks that there are no rules if you're on an island, prompting this exchange:
Harper: But you live on Manhattan Island.
Justin: I know. Doesn't that explain a lot?
- In an episode of Hannah Montana, Lily and Miley are sitting in front of their computer when they receive a video e-mail from their teacher Mr. Corelli reminding them about International Relations week at school. During the course of this video, it is revealed that he still lives with his mother and is somewhat nerdy. This causes Lily to remark "This explains so much."
- Subverted on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. One of the characters has recently learned that a man she has been working alongside for quite a few years has been in love with her the whole time, and is taking some time to figure out what to do about it. When she tells another one of the female characters about it, resulting in this conversation:
"That explains a lot."
"What do you mean?"
"... I don't know, really. It just seemed like the thing to say."
Xander: Yes, vampires are real, there are a lot of them in Sunnydale.
Willow: I know this must come as a shock...
Oz: Actually, it explains a lot.
- Angel, as Spike demands an office at Wolfram & Hart:
Spike: At least give me Wesley's office, I mean, since he's gone -
Angel: He's not gone, he's on a leave of absence.
Spike: Yeah, right. Boo hoo. Thought he killed his bloody father. Try staking your mother when she's coming on to you!
Harmony: Well. That explains a lot.
Tony: You know, repeated head trauma causes brain damage?
McGee: Explains a lot.
- In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick discovered he was Canadian in his phony Earth identity. When he told Mary that he was Canadian, she said that it explained all his weird behavior.
- Seen in this short video of Kiefer Sutherland in a state of extreme intoxication.
- Mass Effect 2 - When Shepard and Tali discuss the geth situation with quarian admiral Daro'Zen, she snaps that someone experimenting on Mechanical Lifeforms should feel no more guilt than she did performing surgery on her childhood toys. Tali provides the stock phrase.
- In the Castle Heterodyne Arc of Girl Genius, Agatha, Gil, and Tarvek find the Heterodyne Nursery which has a rampaging huge, steel-clawed, shoulder-spiked jack-in-the-box clank that acted as a nanny. After it finally stops wrestling with boys, Tarvek comments on the trope.
- Showed up in Red vs. Blue Season 5 when Sister first shows up she comments that her and Grif's mother was in the circus. Prompting Simmonds to respond, "You've already made my insults 45% more efficient by just saying one sentence."
- Subverted in Questionable Content, when Hanners reveals that she grew up on a space-station. (Her dad is a Mad Scientist.)
Faye: You're actually from space?
Hannelore: Yes. I'd say "That explains a lot, doesn't it?", but it really doesn't.
- Used at least once in Andrew Hussie's second-person webcomic Homestuck: "You suddenly understand everything."
- In Darths and Droids when Qui-Qon (played as an idiot kleptomaniac) suggests that he acquired his laser sword by killing a
JediCheddar Monk and taking it from him. Padme/the DM says "You know... that would explain a lot".
- In Bibliography, Raoul answers that when he learns that his Super Strength came at the price of his sense of direction: A moment earlier, he had gotten spectacularly lost.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series: During the matches on Kaiba's blimp, Tristan assumes they're in outer space. Then Bakura summons Dark Necrofear, a gaunt, sallow and thin figure...
Tristan: Ahh! Its an alien! Just like the ones that abducted me when I was a child.
Tea: That explains so much, and yet so little.
- Then later, during the Virtual World Arc, when Team 4Kids states that their test audiences loved their dub of One Piece, the scene switches to Iruka and The Hokage from Naruto the Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show.
- In The Annoying Orange video Introduction To "Ultimate Dog Tease" (when Marshmallow and Midget Apple have just watched Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog):
Marshmallow: Yay! I love Bizkit!
Midget Apple: You think Bizkit's gonna be okay after bashing his head against the wall?
Marshmallow: Ooh! I love bashing my head against the wall!
Midget Apple: That explains a lot, actually.
- From an episode of Sushi Pack:
Ben: If you want to wear one later, Tako, just speak up.
Kani: Yeah, we can't read your mind!
Tako: There's nothing to read.
Kani: That explains so very, very much.
Malory: He can take the train home, but he can't pick up a phonebook? Nine years old, crying in a police station... what does that tell you?
Cheryl: Kind of a lot, actually...
- In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, The Grim Reaper notes that love makes people do stupid things. Billy quips back that he loves everything... which explains a lot.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: it was revealed in "Lesson Zero" that Twilight Sparkle's favourite toy as a child, Smartypants, came with a miniature notebook and quill so you could pretend she was doing her homework. This trope is how the Cutie Mark Crusaders reacted.
- In the Catdog special Great Parent Hunt, Rancid Rabbit hosts a fair on Parents Day, where the show's recurring characters bring their parents. Lube brings his parrots. Thinking Lube misheard, Rancid explains he was supposed to bring the people who raised him and made him what he is.
Lube: Duh, yeah...parrots.
Rancid: This explains all so much.
- ↑ and, it has to be said, the audience