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While Bob and Alice are going about their business, something happens that reveals a (possibly embarassing) fact about Bob he would rather have kept for himself.

Two possible scenarios can follow:

  1. Bob knows Alice saw everything and says something like, "Er... you didn't see that," or "You better forget you ever saw that."
  2. Bob isn't sure whether Alice did see anything incriminating and asks her, "Did you see anything?" This can result in a Suspiciously Specific Denial.

Can lead to Let Us Never Speak of This Again. In some cases, Bob may try to resort to Laser-Guided Amnesia to make sure Alice forgets what she saw.

Sometimes, authors will have this reaction about an Old Shame, and then there are those things we all have never seen.

This trope is not limited to sight, but can also be invoked for the other senses. Though sight and hearing are the most common examples, for obvious reasons.

See also Implausible Deniability. Compare I Was Never Here, when Alice specifically seeks out does not seek out Bob and I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That.

Examples of You Didn't See That include:


Newspaper Comics

  • In an early Garfield strip, Garfield walks up to Odie, pats him and walks on. In the final panel, Garfield looks at the reader and says, "You didn't see that."
    • In a later Garfield strip, Odie licks Garfield, and the latter responds by taking a swing at the former. Odie ducks, Garfield misses, and Odie licks him again. The dog hops away victorious, for Garfield to point at the Fourth Wall saying "You didn't see that!"
  • One Boondocks strip has Huey daydreaming and humming a song, then snap out of it and tell the viewer, "No offense to (name of band), but... you didn't hear that."


Live Action TV

  • Done in House, when Amber sneaks out of Dr. House's office and escapes via Wilson's office. "I was never here."
  • One of the catch phrases of The Fast Show: "You ain't seen me. Roight."
  • In Ned's Declassified, Vice Principal Crubbs often says this when he's caught lazing around in his office when he's suppposed to be doing something productive.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Me^2", Lister catches the Cat up to no good:
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 Cat: "Did you see him clearly? Could you spot him in a parade? I don't think so. I could've been anybody."

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  • Seinfeld: Kramer's intern says that when Jerry went to the restroom, George washed his hands in Jerry's drink and then told the intern "This never happened."
  • Sgt. Schultz does this to himself often in Hogan's Heroes.
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  I know nothing! I see nothing!

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Movies

  • In Spaceballs. Colonel Sandurz barges in while Dark Helmet is playing with his action figures.
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 Dark Helmet: You didn't see anything, did you?

Colonel Sandurz: No, sir, I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!

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    • Also to a lesser extent, when the instant movie is played and they reach the point where the emergency brake was pulled.
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  Dark Helmet: No, no, no. Go past this. Pass this part. In fact, never play this again.

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Video Games

  • Final Fantasy VII: Cloud spends a tender moment with Tifa near the end of the game. Depending on how your Relationship Values with her are, the scene can get more blatantly... physical. When you later come back aboard the airship and it becomes evident that the other party members know that they met up, Tifa will either say, "Were you listening?" and stand a little awkward, or say, "Were you watching?!" and fall on her knees in embarrassment.
  • Combines with Let Us Never Speak of This Again in Tak And The Great Juju Challenge. Lok's bad luck with animals (Being hated by fish and lusted for by apes) culminates in him being sat on by a mammoth. When Tak finally gets Lok free, the older warrior rather testily declares, "That...did not happen...DO YOU HEAR ME?!

Web Original


Webcomics

  • Percy in this Sinfest.
  • In Questionable Content, where Marten walks in on Hanners... wearing underwear on her head and doing a ninja-stance, presumably inspired by Pintsize's 'Underwear Ninja' act in the previous strip.
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 Hanners: If I karate-chopped you really fast, do you think you'd get amnesia about this?

Marten: Nope, sorry. Probably not.

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  • In Looking for Group, the undead warlock Richard looses his hood. After Cale gives him back his hood, Richard tells him "You didn't see anything." Judging from Cale's reaction, it was either a very horrendous or a very surprising sight.
  • In NSFW Comix, Becky comments on a sexy photo of a girl who's way out of Cuthbert's league:
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  "It's a trap. He's a male. I can tell because he's using that clever camera angle that doesn't show off the manly features. And I've used it myself plenty of - Erm - Nobody heard that, right?"

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  Yoda: "Ignore that, you will."

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Western Animation

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 Computer: Hello Smithers,- you're- quite- good- at- turning- me- on.

Smithers (to Lisa): Um... you probably should ignore that.

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  • The penguins in Madagascar. As they disappear down a hole, the rear one says to the sole witness, "You didn't see anything."
  • In an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, after Phil Ken Sebben gets a rather bad haircut, he encounters Harvey in the bathroom and starts sobbing into the sink. "Tell me I'm pretty...I'm a pretty little girl - you didn't hear that."
  • In the Duck Dodgers episode Enemy Yours, Dodgers tries to impress the Martian Commander and his "Arch Nemesis" with an army of.... five adorable kittens. After Dodgers' embarrassing retreat, The Eager Space Cadet remarks "L-l-let's pretend this never happened."
  • XR in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command lost his arm while bragging about the qualities of the alloy of which he's made. "It's OK. Nobody saw that."
  • In the Kim Possible episode Mind games, when a guard of a top secret facility finds out that something has been stolen from that facility he shouts out "The neutronalizer!"... then looks at the people at the dinner table he was sitting at. "Y'all weren't supposed to hear that."
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy, after Edd's hat goes off for the very first time:
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 Edd: If you say one word to anyone, I'll... I'll... never speak to you again!

Ed (with a skull on his head): I am dead from the neck up.

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