Created By: Unknown Troper on May 13, 2010 Last Edited By: Tiiba on May 14, 2010
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Calling me a logarithm

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That's when a person hears an unfamiliar term and assumes it's some sort of insult. Named for a phrase occurring in Mark Twain 's Roughing It. I also remember an episode of Cow & Chicken where a character's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness got him in big trouble. Also, the author of Sonichu once took exception to "benevolent".
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • May 13, 2010
    foxley
    A sketch on The Tracey Ullman Show had a girl asking her friend what 'satiated' meant, and then phoning her boyfriend to apologise for what she had done after he had said he was satiated following sex.
  • May 13, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • May 13, 2010
    halfmillennium
    A subtrope of Compliment Backfire?
  • May 13, 2010
    Cidolfas
    The word "oxymoron" is always used for a gag involving this.
  • May 13, 2010
    suedenim
    In a Running Gag, Groo The Wanderer becomes violently enraged whenever someone calls him a "mendicant," even though he has no idea what the word means.
  • May 13, 2010
    randomsurfer
    On Get Smart during The Most Dangerous Game episode the bad guy called Max a "Homo sapien." Max replied: "Hey, I'm as normal as the next guy."
  • May 13, 2010
    suedenim
    Another Get Smart example deals with Hymie the Robot, and why he shouldn't date the Chief's niece. Someone says "Max, he's an android!"* Max replies with something like "Hymie's religion shouldn't enter into it!"

    • Actually, I'm pretty sure the word is not android, but I'm blanking on what synonym it actually was. I think the same gag was used with regard to Hymie more than once.
  • May 13, 2010
    jfpbookworm
    ^^Automaton?
  • May 13, 2010
    Tiiba
    halfmillennium: no. The trope namer, for instance, was a reply to a straight insult, although the offended party misunderstood what the insult was.
  • May 13, 2010
    RobMandeville
    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie has one "insult" (actually a description) traded for another:

    Casey Jones: "Claustrophobic? Hey, do you want a punch in the face or something? I've never even LOOKED at another guy!"

  • May 13, 2010
    Arivne
    ^^^^ @suedenim: The episode was "Anatomy of a Lover" and the dialogue was as follows:

    4:00-4:05
    Chief: Max, Hymie is a cybernaut.
    Max: What's his religion got to do with it?

    Later on, after Max learns that the Chief's niece has fallen for Hymie:

    1:50-2:00
    Max: Hymie is a cybernaut.
    Phoebe: Uncle Max, I'm ashamed of you. A person's religion doesn't make any difference.
  • May 13, 2010
    CodeMan38
    This has been inverted on American Idol: Simon Cowell tells a contestant they're horrific, and they take it as a compliment.
  • May 14, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    A Running Gag on Pinky Elmyra And The Brain is Elmyra scolding Brain for being a "naughty-waughty potty mouth" whenever he used a big word she didn't understand.
  • May 14, 2010
    DaibhidC
    This must have happened to Homer Simpson at least once, but I can't think of an example.
  • May 14, 2010
    Shrikesnest
    Did Pinky Elmyra And The Brain even last long enough to have running jokes?
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