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"That won't work" phrases v2: Now with more "That won't work" phrases.

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frown started a thread with a similar name, but it didn't do what I'd hoped: Let us come up with "That won't work" phrases.

I hereby propose that we write lots of these phrases and give DF exclusive license to use them in the game. I realize that the best of those lines are situation or character specific. But let's give it a shot anyway. I'll start.

Sorry, that's impossible. I'll explain later.

I'm glad nobody heard me thinking that.

I'd look like a fool. So no, I'm not putting on the fool's costume.


Touch it? No way, it'd probably enjoy it. (alternative: It'd probably purr or something.)

Why is that even a hotspot?

Sure. And while I'm at it, I'll solve world hunger.

Yes, that seems perfectly reasonable. But I can't do it. I lack the appropriate animation. Ehr, I mean, motivation.

Sorry, I can't do that. I love my life too much.

Sorry, I can't do that. I hate my wife too much.

Even if I could open that sewage valve, nothing good would come of it.

Most rats would vomit at the mere sight of this thing. So what in the world makes you think I'd LICK it?

Hear that? That's the cheer of all the people who thing this is a good idea.

No. I tried it when you weren't looking. It looked awesome, but it didn't do anything.

I like the way you think. Except for the way you think that I'm going to do that.

Yeah, because the dead guy in front of that door isn't a sign or something.

I did that on a dare once. And the operating word here is ONCE!


Hm. OK, I think this could be improved. Care to help me out?

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You're forgetting the seminal "You can't do that -- at least not now!" Rage.

I've always hated these. It's like. "I don't want to use that." "WELL I DO SO USE IT!!!" Pickup Object "Oh now I can use this" it's very pointless and annoying, even if it does help show the door before the key type thing.

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On second thought, no. For the record, my first thought was also no.

You play too many adventure games if you think that might work.

How do they say "Never in a million years" on your planet?

No thanks, I've grown attached to these fingers.

How about YOU do it?

That might work the 400th time you try it.

Drat! That would have worked yesterday.

That will ALWAYS work...tomorrow.

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Are you trying to get me killed (always nice to break the fourth wall)

Neh. Meh. Heh. (and other variants)

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There's not enough liquor in the world...or so I've been told.

Just thinking that has brought shame upon your ancestors.

Yes...I see it sitting there, but, due to a localized quirk of physics, I just can't reach it.

That particular tab was never meant to be inserted into that particular slot.

Your gender seems to have offended him/her. As such, he's/she's not talking to any of you, just now...

I know we said 'try talking to everybody', we did not mean the [inert inanimate object name here].

Talking to yourself will only make others shun you faster. (or 1st-person variant)

Future scientists would look back on that as the point where their evolution went horribly wrong.

(upon attempting to use an inappropriate object on a living thing)

I promised Santa I'd give that up.

(upon attempting to use an inappropriate object on yourself)

Sure, then I could get disability benefits!

I'll need to get rid of some more self esteem, first...

I don't have anything he/she might want. Or so I've been told.

(Inappropriate talk action)

I'm afraid it might make a nest in my ears.

I'm afraid I might get attached to it, I'd better leave it be.

I can't touch that, there are girls/boys present.

(a simpler version would be 'there are people around')

I know my pockets seem infinite, but that would be pushing it.

They haven't invented a wetnap yet that can handle that kind of nasty.

It's not the sight of my own blood that would make me queesy, it's the thought that I was using it.

I'm trying to keep all six degrees of separation between us.

Well, I guess being drawn and quartered would be a new experience to put in my diary...

You're making me blush, stop that!

I like my lunch where it is (character pats tummy) I'd better not.

(3rd person variant: if you like your lunch where it is...)

I'd like to, but the [insert object name] took out a restraining order against me after last year's office party.

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For that reason I loved Edna & Harvey the breakout.

It had a unique "That does not work" for every possible combination.

And most of them really funny (in the original German version. I'm unsure about the intl. version)...

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You're forgetting the seminal "You can't do that -- at least not now!" Rage.

I think it depends on the context. If it's just you can't do that now for no apparent reason, but you can do it later when seemingly nothing has changed, that's poor. But I think 'that's a good idea, but...' and then a logical reason why it can't be done right now, is better.

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On being unable to walk somewhere:

I'm not jumping over that!

It's blocked off.

There's all this stuff in the way!

This guard isn't going to let me just stroll past.

How am I supposed to get over there?

What am I, an acrobat? Your personal contortionist? I can't get there.

On not being able to give a full description of an examined object:

[brief, incomplete description, followed by:]

...I reckon I could see more if I were a little closer.

...I'd be able to tell more if it didn't have all this stuff on it.

...If I could get it out of there I could tell you more.

...I doubt I'd be able to get a closer look at that.

On being unable to talk to someone:

Hello? Hello? Well, fine, ignore me then.

They're avoiding eye contact with me, I don't think they want to talk.

I'm not going to disturb them while they're doing that! How rude!

On not being able to use something with something else because you can't use that thing with the other thing:

Wait... what? Go over that again, maybe it'll make sense the second time. [if the player immediately tries the action again:] No, still doesn't make sense. Do you need a lie down?

How would I even begin to do that?

I don't understand what you're getting at and I'm not sure I want to.

There's got to be a better way than this.

On not being able to use something with something else because you don't know how/why you need to do that yet:

Seems like a waste of time to me - maybe we should ask around about this.

I've got a hunch you're onto the right track, but maybe we should wait until we know exactly how to do that. Don't want to break anything, after all.

I'd love to, but I don't know how. Maybe someone around here can explain.

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I'd love it if you ever got to talk to people/things that weren't bound to a particular language (e.g. they speak 'Foreign').

Then, the following exchange could occur:

Character: "Oh, nice to see a familiar face."

NPC: "Echuta!"

Character: "How rude!"


In fact, I think the wink would really sell it, but this is a just a little notion of mine...

(Edit: Arthur, above, reminded me. I can't read/hear the phrase "how rude!" without thinking of that scene)

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It would also be useful to have some "it doesn't work" or "nothing happens" phrases... in many cases the character shouldn't refuse but should hit the door with the wrench and say things like "Huh, I thought that would work too."

Using a door as an example:

Huh, I thought would work too.

It doesn't fit.

I'm not very good at lock picking.

I'm not strong enough.

The hinges must be on the other side.

Knock, Knock... there's no answer.

- any hanging objects you could hang on the doorknob for a second and then pick it back up. "Well that didn't do what I thought it would."

(I also had a thought one time where there would be a team of writers sitting in a room while I played and if I did something unexpected they would write the response on the fly and then if anyone else ever tried the same thing there would be a response for it... clearly this wouldn't be feasible real-time without me paying a lot more then $15 for the game... but it could be cool if I would get a generic negative response and a prompt to write what I was trying to do... that way over time the developers would get feedback on why people kept trying to use the hat on the statue and include a real reply in a future update.)

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Just realized I'd posted to the first thread when the action for actual examples was here for some reason.

“Between you and me, that SHOULD have worked. Just not in THIS game.”

“I’m not putting my lips on that… yet. Maybe later.”

“I don’t know what to tell you. Nothing happened. I blame Tim Schafer.”

“Oh, a message magically appeared! It says… ‘that was a bad idea and you should feel bad’.”

“This isn’t one of those puzzles where trying the wrong thing a bunch of times makes something funny happen. OR IS IT? ... No, it isn’t. Please stop.”

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OK, try...

• Oh, sorry, didn't see that there. Here, let me put my book down, and you try that again.

• According to article 63, paragraph 4, line 8 & 9... yeah, that's not supposed to work that way.

• Please hang up the phone and try again.

• Here, let me get the manual... page 25... nope, that's not supposed to work that way.

• Not working? Lessee... Ron wasn't in that day for the meeting. Sorry.

• Won't work that way. It broke Tim's notebook.

• I postulate that on the humorous line of the Pythagorn theorem, multiplied by the contigent of the total sum of red pixels found in this room alone... the answer is 4.

• Prrzzzzzzbbbbtttt...

• Error 404: Event not found.

• I'm sorry, but that's found behind curtain number 3.

• Sorry, we've ran out of pixie dust by the time we got here.

• I'm sorry, but Ben Franklin hasn't invented that yet.

• I'm sorry, but the solution has left the building.

• I'm sorry, but that's been outsourced to India.

• Oh, sorry but that was recalled. Causes chicken pox in chickens or something like that. Nasty stuff.

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3rd person: (I'm a fan of the GLaDOS brand of dry passive-aggressive insults).

"I'd tell you 'bonus points for creativity', but then I'd be lying."

"It takes a special kind of talent to even conceive of combining those items. But you, YOU, actually tried it. That's... spectacular."

"Maybe you should look for rope. There's always a way out with rope."

1st person:

"I feel suddenly ashamed. And sticky for some reason."

"Does anyone know how to read a manual?"

"If there is some greater power influencing my fate, let it be known that they should try something else!"

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