The Spanish Inquisition

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This was one of the most memorable of the Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes, which consisted of the recurring entrance of three characters dressed in ecclesiastical attire, in response to the denouement of previous sketches where one of the characters, becoming frustrated by repeated questioning, erupts: "I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!"

At this point the ensemble of the Inquisition—consisting of Cardinals Ximinez (Michael Palin), Biggles (Terry Jones), and Fang (Terry Gilliam)—would burst into the room, with Ximinez declaring: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our main weapon is surprise... and fear! Our two main weapons... etc." The only instrument of torture to have been deployed by Ximinez, Biggles and Fang was the 'comfy chair'.

This phrase has now passed down into common usage, (compare Spam ), so that when someone is being questioned, they might reply "I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition".