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How do you spell "FBI"?
Rex, Toy Story 2

When Bob asks a question and the answer to the question is actually part of it. At first Bob doesn't realise this, but after a moment of reflection (expect a Beat or even a Beat Panel) he realises that he just answered his own question.

Bob will then often remark something along the lines of "Right." or "Forget I asked". Sometimes Alice will point it out to him. If Bob doesn't realise what he just did, there's a good chance that Alice will point it out anyway.

The Ditz will use a more basic version of the trope, asking how to spell "ABC" or how to call 911.

A variation of this trope is when Alice is discussing something, making a presumption Bob doesn't agree with. Bob will ask an either-or question, restating Alice's presumption and an alternative that would normally be reasonable. Alice and Bob will pause a moment, often burst out laughing and continue with Alice's original discussion as if nothing had happened.

 Alice: I'll be off this weekend, so I'll bring Tropey to your place on Friday.

Bob: Wait a second! You just assume I'll be there to look after Tropey? You don't think I might have a date Friday evening?


Alice: I'll be there at 18:00

Bob: Bring a six-pack.

Differs from a rhetorical question in that Bob actually expects an answer when posing the question. Compare Is the Answer to This Question Yes.

Examples of You Answered Your Own Question include:


  • A McDonald's advertizement celebrating the USA's bicentennial has the Grimace asking Ronald McDonald, "How do you spell USA?"

Comic Books

  • Scott does this early on in Scott Pilgrim: " What's the website for that?"


 Buckwheat: Quick! What's the number for 911?

Porky: How do I know?

  • Flip asking how much sixteen-penny nails are in With Six You Get Eggroll sounds like this, but the term actually refers to the size, not price, of the nail.
  • In Toy Story 2, when Rex runs into the middle of the "crime scene" model the other toys have constructed, he's asking, "How do you spell FBI?"

Live Action TV

  • Sally in the Coupling episode "Inferno: "I've never understood men's obsession with lesbianism - a whole area of sex with nothing for them to do. I've just answered my own question haven't I?"
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look has a sketch in which a Mad Scientist builds a "Giant Death Ray", which turns out to be an oversized supermarket scanner.

 Major Agnew: Well, one question that obviously leaps to mind, Professor, uh, Professor...

Professor: Death.

Major Agnew: Professor Death, is why on Earth you elected to name this contraption of yours the Giant Death R-- oh, I see.

  • In Hustle, when the team of grifters is looking for a place to stay -- having been run out of every hotel in the city that's fancy enough for their standards -- Eddie grumbles, "Why don't you just pay your hotel bill like normal people? ... I can't believe I asked that."
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Penny tells Leonard that everything goes wrong with their relationship when they talk. She then adds that she had an 8 month long relation with a guy named T.J. and they never talked.

 Leonard: "Wait, if you guys never talked, what did you... Never mind. Stupid question."


  • in the Mad Magazine parody of the first Superman movie, someone asks why everyone is fleeing a disaster site when "the government told us there's no danger." The reply: "You just answered your own question, buddy!"


 "I'd get these bizarre letters from Tina," he said, gritting his teeth. "They'd say what a fucking dumb jerk and asshole piece of shit I was. It would go into detail how badly I'd behaved. What a terrible person I was. How hard I was to work with. How unfair I was. It was this thing meant to make me feel real terrible and how much 'I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.' And then in the end she'd go, 'Why don't you want to work with us? Why in the world don't you want to work with us? What's the matter?'" Byrne paused and sighed. "You've answered the question. Look at the beginning of your letter, look at the end. You've answered it. There is some kind of weird denial going on."

Newspaper Comics

  • This Dilbert comic (June 4, 1995): "Do you think our boss will believe a vendor over his own loyal employees?"


  • The occasional physics quiz question:
    • Which weighs the most, a pound of lead, a pound of aluminum, or a pound of cork?
    • What is the rate of change of a constant? (Used in analyzing DC circuits with capacitors and inductors.)


  • It Pays to be Ignorant, a parody of radio quiz shows, featured this kind of question:
    • "What color was George Washington's white horse?"
    • "Who wrote the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and what famous historical figure was it about?"
    • "What season of the year does spring fever refer to?"


 Lich: What the hell is this?

Kary: You answered your own question, pal.

 Deputy Mayor: Our non-human population consists of one person, Sam. Do we really need an entire police force for one larcenous squid?

Police Robot: Sir, I believe if you look past the obvious answer, you'll see one that's even more obvious.

Overreacting Wiccan: You'll never know what it's like to live with the pain of your ancestors being oppressed for who they were! That they lived in fear because they might get lynched! To know they'd suffered so I'd have the right to -

**Beat Panel**

Kim: Do you need some time to comprehend why saying that to me makes you stupid?

Overreacting Wiccan: ... No, I think I've figured that out.




Scott: And on the firstth try!

 Hugo: Taylor said that "he" showed her the idol, and there are only four guys, and I know I don't have it so... [...] (to Charlie) Well, either Hogan or Sky has it; one of them is lying.

Charlie: It could be Craig; he's a guy.


Hugo: Like I said, either Sky or Hogan is lying.

 AJ: "Then what the heck is Nightmare Moon up to anyhow? Is she waitin' outside or somethin'?"

AJ: ".. Aw, shoot, I just answered my own question."

Naga: Hey, are you the house with all the bloodless corpses in garbag- ... Okay, yeah, that should have been obvious in hind sight.

Western Animation

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