Created By: lacusness on February 22, 2011 Last Edited By: lacusness on February 27, 2011
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Playing Pictionary

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Needs a snappy title! and Needs More Examples


It looks more like a mouse...

Happens when someone with poor drawing skills has drawn something. And then the other person will misidentified the drawing for something else. Or, the drawing is really simple that anyone could have mistaken it.

This isn't tied to drawings. Clay arts, handcrafted gifts, needlework or any handicrafts can also be classified into this trope.

Compare Hollywood Scribbling.

Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Rukia in Bleach is known for loving to draw Chappy the Bunny, being absolutely horrible at drawing and using her bad drawings to explain concepts with people being different colors of bunny. Most character in-universe are never really sure what her drawings are supposed to be.
  • In Kyou Kara Maou, nobody ever guesses what Gwendal's knitted animals are supposed to be correctly.

Comic Books
  • Subverted in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, in which Scott draws a blank circle with scribbles at the top, and it's immediately recognized as a picture of Ramona.
  • The "What a horrible ugly monster! It's a picture of mommy..." variant is used in Le Chat, a Belgian comic.

Literature
  • In The Little Prince, the narrator explains how he once drew a picture of a snake that had swallowed an elephant, and all the adults told him it was a very nice hat.
  • In Baby Sitters Club, it is suggested to say along the lines of "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother."

Newspaper Comics
  • A For Better or for Worse comic has a young Elizabeth showing her father a painting after a day of preschool. Her dad starts to comment on what a nice face it is-- until Elizabeth interrupts to tell him that it's just a pizza.

Western Animation
  • Family Guy, "Lois Kills Stewie":
    Peter: Stewie, uh, how long you been all messed up and evil like this?
    Stewie: Oh, so now you're interested in Stewie. Last week when I made that macaroni picture of an owl, you didn't give a damn!
    Peter: That was an owl?
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: Julien and Marlene are missing and Kowalski shows a picture he drew of them to Fred the squirrel.
    Fred: Which one's the otter?
    Kowalski: This one, obviously. Note the whiskers?
    Fred: Oh, I thought that was a cat.
    Kowalski: Did I ask "have you seen this lemur and cat?"
    Fred: No, that's why I thought it was odd that you drew a cat.
    Kowalski: It's not a cat.
    Fred: Then why does it have whiskers?
    Kowalski: You know what? Forget the otter.
    Fred: Cat.
    Kowalski: Whatever!

Live Action TV
  • Played with in Stargate SG-1. Daniel and Samantha are presented with a thermal image of the symbiote inside of Teal'C, and they play dumb:
    Daniel: Oh, that's very good! Did you draw that yourself?
    Sam: What is it?
    Daniel: That... That's a duck, isn't it?

  • From Criminal Minds. Morgan looks at a picture drawn by an autistic kid and can't figure out what it is. Hotch makes a glance, says "It's obviously a dog" and keeps on what he's doing, leaving Morgan absolutely befuddled.

Web Original
  • A skit from The Whitest Kids U' Know has a child named Kevin showing a picture he drew to his parents. While it appears to be something rather inappropriate(read: penis), he explains to his parents after they fail to respond that it is an elephant.
    • Subverted moments later, when Kevin showed a drawing that looks exactly what it meant to be.

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • February 22, 2011
    Acebrock
    <nitpick>the title should be "It's an X! Not, it's a Y" </nitpick>
  • February 22, 2011
    lacusness
    I just slapped it there to give it the actual idea, its not like I overlooked at that one or anything. It Needs A Better Title anyway.
  • February 22, 2011
    RainyDayNinja
    • In The Little Prince, the narrator explains how he once drew a picture of a snake that had swallowed an elephant, and all the adults told him it was a very nice hat.
    • Subverted in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, in which Scott draws a blank circle with scribbles at the top, and it's immediately recognized as a picture of Ramona.
    • Played with in Stargate SG 1. Daniel and Samantha are presented with a thermal image of the symbiote inside of Teal'C, and they play dumb:
    Daniel: Oh, that's very good! Did you draw that yourself?
    Sam: What is it?
    Daniel: That... That's a duck, isn't it?

  • February 22, 2011
    lacusness
    Just found one. Hollywood Scribbling. I don't know whether if this should go on or not. Though, Hollywood Scribbling is more about horrifying drawings.
  • February 22, 2011
    SenshiSun
    I think this title works.

    Also, Super Man.
  • February 22, 2011
    TTurtle
    I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but in The Hudsucker Proxy, the main character keeps showing people his great invention, saying "You know, for kids!" They're understandably puzzled, because it just looks like a circle. That's because it's a hula hoop.
  • February 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Family Guy, "Lois Kills Stewie:"
    Peter: Stewie, uh, how long you been all messed up and evil like this?
    Stewie: Oh, so now you're interested in Stewie. Last week when I made that macaroni picture of an owl, you didn't give a damn!
    Peter: That was an owl?
  • February 23, 2011
    bluepenguin
    I used to have a babysitting handbook that suggested saying "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother." (That's a rough paraphrase, but the elephant/grandmother thing was definitely in there.)
  • February 23, 2011
    Duckay
    @bluepenguin This may be weird, but I recall that line almost verbatim (the elephant/grandmother thing and the advice to use "tell me about it!") from a Baby Sitters Club book. I think it was the one where Laura Perkins was born; the picture being talked about was of Mrs Perkins pregnant.
  • February 23, 2011
    CinnaThePoet
    A For Better Or For Worse comic has a young Elizabeth showing her father a painting after a day of preschool. Her dad starts to comment on what a nice face it is-- until Elizabeth interupts to tell him that it's just a pizza.
  • February 23, 2011
    Siranae
    A skit from The Whitest Kids U Know has a child named Kevin showing a picture he drew to his parents. While it appears to be something rather innapropriate, he explains to his parents after they fail to respond that it is an elephant.
  • February 23, 2011
    TonyG
    The Little Prince should go under Literature.
    • The Penguins Of Madagascar: Julien and Marlene are missing and Kowalski shows a picture he drew of them to Fred the squirrel.
      Fred: Which one's the otter?
      Kowalski: This one, obviously. Note the whiskers?
      Fred: Oh, I thought that was a cat.
      Kowalski: Did I ask "have you seen this lemur and cat?"
      Fred: No, that's why I thought it was odd that you drew a cat.
      Kowalski: It's not a cat.
      Fred: Then why does it have whiskers?
      Kowalski: You know what? Forget the otter.
      Fred: Cat.
      Kowalski: Whatever!
  • February 23, 2011
    Chabal2
    Caption: It's mouse not mice.

    The "What a horrible ugly monster! It's a picture of mommy..." variant is used in Le Chat, a Belgian comic.
  • February 23, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Horrible page title, could mean anything.
  • February 23, 2011
    lacusness
    I couldn't think of something witty. Maybe Mistaken Art, or using an example for the title, like Its A Bear. Or Its A Duck.
  • February 23, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Rukia in Bleach is known for loving to draw Chappy the Bunny, being absolutely horrible at drawing and using her bad drawings to explain concepts with people being different colors of bunny. Most character in-universe are never really sure what her drawings are supposed to be.
  • February 23, 2011
    lacusness
    Inspired from the Noir Grimoir's example abve, changed the title to Chappy The Bunny, opinions? Perhaps it's too misleading?
  • February 23, 2011
    Grandy
    I don't get the new title at first glance. Too character-specific.
  • February 23, 2011
    lacusness
    Well, how bout "Misidentified Drawing" .Its plain though.
  • February 23, 2011
    TTurtle
  • February 24, 2011
    Aminatep
    I think the iconic picture from Little Prince should be the trope picture.
  • February 24, 2011
    lacusness
    Which one? Link please.
  • February 24, 2011
    henke37
    Sokka isn't shown to be good at art, but at least Toph likes it.
  • February 24, 2011
    lacusness
    Nah, that will just be Hollywood Scribbling.
  • February 25, 2011
    HieronymusII
    For a little less plain title howabout Playing Pictionary?
  • February 25, 2011
    KeithM
    Example from Criminal Minds. Morgan looks at a picture drawn by an autistic kid and can't figure out what it is. Hotch makes a glance, says "It's obviously a dog" and keeps on what he's doing, leaving Morgan absolutely befuddled.
  • February 25, 2011
    whereismytea
    • In Kyou Kara Maou, nobody ever guesses what Gwendal's knitted animals are supposed to be correctly.
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