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Picture this hypothetical scenario: someone corrects a mistake you just made, or makes a point that you don't have a ready counter for, or levels a rather cutting remark against you that leaves you unsure of how to respond. You're not an especially witty individual (again, hypothetically), so you don't want to go home and spend all night trying to think up a clever comeback. And why would you do that when you can just give a dismissive flick of the hand and utter the pre-fab zinger that's sure to leave 'em flustered?
Yes, it's "Whatever": a catch-all retort for people who can't be bothered to come up with good retorts. The line is often used by teenagers, especially Caucasian female ones of the Valley Girl variety, and often emphasizes the last two syllables, as in "what-ever!"
The full version is: "And I was like, whatever..."
Anime and Manga
- In a classic Subbing Versus Dubbing moment, the official English release of the first Naruto movie has Sasuke reacting to something by saying "Whatever" (but the official sub was more like "Preposterous")
- In the comic Young Justice, in a special where the members of are projected into strange fictional worlds (basically an excuse for the writer and artist to spoof other genres), one of these is a Western. Archer heroine Arrowette becomes a stereotypical Indian brave with buckskin, feathers and warpaint, and decides to team up with the other heroes' posse...
Arrowette: Me join your war party, ugh!
the other heroes: "Ugh"?
- Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights has this conversation between Rabbi Tuckman (Brooks) and King Richard (Patrick Stewart):
Richard: [hands Tuckman his sword] Hold this, Father.
- After Richard has thoroughly kissed the bride, Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck):
Richard: Now you may marry them.
Tuckman: Thank you. Here's your knife.
- The classic example is probably Clueless. There was even a "W" hand gesture!
- Within the Xanth novels, one of Demoness Metria's quirks is that she frequently uses the wrong word, specifically a synonym of a homonym of the correct word. The running gag involves a character questioning her use of word whereupon she begins naming synonyms, a character makes the correct word suggestion and she replies, "Whatever." This is played with a number of times including people guessing the wrong word and one time where someone made the suggestion of "whatever" and she snapped back the correct word before doing a Double Take.
Live Action TV
- Catch Phrase of one of Catherine Tate's characters.
- Pops up memorably in the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "How can I repay--"/"Whatever..."
- Whenever it comes close to dying down and become discredited, some show or person crops up, achieves popularity, and further perpetrates the trope, most infamously shows like The Hills or Laguna Beach.
- In the various Muppets shows and movies, whenever the question of Gonzo's species arises, Gonzo identifies himself as a "Whatever." (At least, before Gonzo discovered that he's an alien in Muppets from Space.)
- Boston Legal: Lori Colson's response to everyone's stunned stares after she kissed Alan Shore under mistletoe.
- One of the Shows Within A Show on All That was called "What-EVERRRR" (may have the wrong number of R's.) It was Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- In the That 70s Show episode "Cat Fight Club", Hyde teaches Jackie how to "be Zen" and ignore Laurie's insults. This is one of the key phrases she has to learn.
- See also: the Liam Lynch song, "United States of Whatever."
- Avril Lavigne's song Girlfriend: "She's like, so whatever!"
- Used liberally by Squall Leonhart in Final Fantasy VIII to emphasize just how distant and apathetic he is. At other times he would just stick to a Visible Silence.
- Princess Daisy, to an extent.
- Yashiro Uzuki. "Like, so whatever!"
- The Zombie Apocalypse Shooter Left 4 Dead
Francis: I'm not gonna let these damn vampires eat me.
Bill/Louis: They're zombies, Francis.
- Meganekko Lisa Crocket (now Crockett) from Backyard Sports uses this phrase all the time.
- Juri Han in Super Street Fighter IV says this when doing a quick recovery (pressing the punch buttons as you get knocked to the ground, springing right back to your feet), but it's said in a bored/disgusted fashion.
- This actually appears as an enemy in Mother 3; apparently, the researchers at the Chimera Labs had just thrown a bunch of things together for no real reason, creating the 'Whatever'.
- Bob and George, though it was in response to what could be labeled a curse...sort of...
Skull Man: Death is not the end!
Mega Man: Whatever. (annihilates Skull Man))
- In some areas, it's such a pronounced problem that many schoolteachers will make a point of penalizing kids who answer a question with "whatever."