[[quoteright:264:[[ComicBook/ALittleSomethingSpecial http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scrooge_rebus_bubble.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:264:Uncle Scrooge gives us all a lesson in Elementary Villain Arithmetic.]]

->'''Beepin' Tom:''' ''(Scatting in the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) (SpeechBubbles + Images + {{A|ppliedMathematics}}ddition = Rebus Bubble''

When you want to show the keen, obsidian-sharp mind of a character at work, or lay out their cunning and complex plans out in a ComicBook, WebComic or [[NewspaperComic similar media]], the best way to do it is with a Rebus Bubble. Simply show '''[=(Person 1) + (Item/Event/Person 2) = Result.=]''' For Result, expect an IdeaBulb, StuffBlowingUp, HilarityEnsues, or a gravestone.

People more practiced in these mental mathematics can also subtract, multiply, divide, and do other awesome algebraic equations in the Rebus Bubbles to show more complex thoughts.

It's not rare for a given comic to replace all text in Speech Bubbles with Rebus Bubbles for especially funny non-verbal exchanges.

It should be noted that this doesn't actually have very much to do with an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebus actual rebus]], which is where a word or phrase is represented by images of objects, whose names are homophones (they're a central part of the game show ''Series/{{Concentration}}'')... Which, in turn, should not be confused with [[Comicbook/DoomPatrol Rebis]]. It should also not be confused with SpeakingInPanels, which shows a story in a bubble. And certainly not with [[Literature/{{Rebus}} a hard-bitten Scottish policeman]].

A type of a PictorialSpeechBubble. ExpositionDiagram is often used much the same way. For this concept applied to tropes, see JustForFun/{{Troperithmetic}}.



* In the first episode of ''Anime/ExcelSaga'', Excel thinks '''"[[EatTheDog dog = creature = food]]"''' upon seeing Menchi.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' has Potato + Tomato = Pomato, and the rather disturbing results of the possible combinations of Major Armstrong's parents.
** Ed goes through two involving a see-saw and labeled weights when he contemplates Al's [[spoiler:[[TookALevelInBadass learning to transmute without a circle]]]] while his arm isn't even working. The first bubble is before: Ed(Older Brother's Pride + Alchemy Skill + Strength) > Al(Strength + Height), and the second bubble is after: Ed(Older Brother's Pride + Alchemy Skill - Strength) <<< Al(Strength + Height + Alchemy Skill + [[RunningGag cat(?)]])
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', [[TheNicknamer Hajime Saitou's]] logical reasoning for making new insulting names is graphically depicted this way:
** If '''Megumi = kitsune (fox)''' and '''Kaoru = tanuki (raccoon dog)''', then '''Misao = itachi (weasel)'''
* In the ''Manga/DNAngel'' manga there's a side story about Daisuke's birthday which uses this exclusively.
* [[http://manga.bleachexile.com/one-piece-chapter-267-page-10.html This]] southbird in OnePiece, to Zoro's chagrin.
* [[BadassBiker Yusei Fudo]] in ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' does a dramatic variation of this when he think of a combo that will defeat his opponent. In the final season, he did it one last time with CGI effects to add to the impact of the scene.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' does this a few times, particularly with Courtdetennis (Ptenisnet in English), the Egyptian who speaks in hieroglyphics.
* The comic ''Owly'' uses this instead of dialogue, and can throw out some quite complex combinations.
* In ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'', it shows up with Haddock in ''Recap/TintinTheRedSeaSharks''. There is also a Snowy sequence with these later in the album, but no maths involved. Whiskey bottles and chickens feature in Tintin's thought bubbles in ''Recap/TintinTintinInTibet''.
* ''ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse'':
** The Creator/DonRosa ''Uncle Scrooge'' story "ComicBook/ALittleSomethingSpecial" features a more elaborate than usual application of this trope as Scrooge puts together the facts to realize that [[VillainTeamUp Glomgold and Magica have teamed up]].
** Also used in Don Rosa's story based on the Finnish national epic ''Literature/TheKalevala'', where a character's rebus bubble is translated into Kalevaic prose for the reader's convenience.
* Bart Allen thought in pictures at some points of ''Comicbook/YoungJustice'', but mostly in his own title, ''ComicBook/{{Impulse}}''. Unfortunately, this disappeared when he became ComicBook/KidFlash and lost his FunPersonified status.
* This was done extensively in a ''ComicBook/{{Cerebus}}'' special, dealing with Cerebus introducing an apprentice to the world of alcoholism. After he gets the boy drunk, the boy starts bashing his master (using speech bubbles with a picture of the master in a clown costume), and, after the master finds out, [[HilarityEnsues murder ensues]].
* The ''Birger the Barbarian'' strip, featured in the swedish RPG magazine "Fenix", uses these almost exclusively for communication. (Though things like signs and the like are written normally.) The only exception was when a random female character says something with an overly long, absurdly complicated rebus, Birger thinks for a long moment, then says (with actual text) "Sorry, but what the heck did you just say?"
* Occasionally done in Franchise/{{Archie|Comics}}. If one character thinks another is a nut, a thought bubble with a nut (of the construction-related variety) will be their only reaction. Once, Archie's and Reggie's antics were observed by a background character for a while, until she finally turned away, with a thought bubble with a screw and a baseball.
* Also used in some ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' comic books for Dino's thoughts on the subject. (For example, a tree, key, pile of cash, and another key - "Okey-dokey")
* This is how characters in ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'' (And other Spanish works) swear.
* In Magazine/{{MAD}}'s "A Mad Look At...", all dialogue is presented this way. One notable exception, though, is when some Secret Service agents yell "GOAL!", and it is revealed that they were listening to radio coverage of a soccer game on their earpieces.
* In issue 15 of the ''ComicBook/AdventureTime'' comic book, Finn and Jake are forced to talk like this after [[JackassGenie Magic Man]] uses his powers to steal their voices.
* Kathy uses one in ''ComicBook/TheMask'' to hypothesize that Stan + the mask = Big Head.


[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide''[='s=] "Creationism explained" had a lecturer pointing to a complicated equation on the board with a drawing of the globe on the right-hand side and pseudomathematical rebus expressions on the left, including the product of battery and battery combined with flashlight, the square root of cat and "your age" squared times "mass."

* There are sequences in ''Film/TheFlintstones'' featuring Fred's thoughts as filmed bits in thought bubbles.


* [[http://prydester.deviantart.com/art/He-s-been-thinking-47370704 A piece of fanart]] for ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'' using this.
* In ''[[Literature/MythAdventures Myth-Fortunes]]'', a family of Kobolds (natives of Kobol, a computer-obsessed dimension) speak in their native language, causing clouds of dingbat-style symbols to appear floating above their heads.
* PlayedForDrama in ''Literature/TheBookThief'', when Liesel deduced what could have happened to her mother after finding out she was a Communist and her letters to her went unanswered.
-->"The word ''communist'' + a large bonfire + a collection of dead letters + the suffering of her mother + the death of her brother = the ''[[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Führer]]''."

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In an episode of ''Series/MyWifeAndKids'', Michael tries to help Jay study for her psychology test using what he calls "[[JustForPun Psy-Kyle-Ogy]]", using rebus images to teach key terms (example: Lion + Shaquille O'Neill = Rorschach). This causes Jay to fail the test, so she gives him a "Psycolo-Jay" image reading "[[LysistrataGambit Booty on Lockdown]]". After Michael successfully convinces her professor to give her a retest, Jay hands him another image and walks off:
-->'''Michael:''' "Spank that donkey"? Why would I want to spank that [[CurseCutShort a-]] ''(EurekaMoment)'' Baby! ''(chases after her)''
* Larry Kubiac had his moment in a ''Series/ParkerLewisCantLose'' episode involving Jerry Steiner's coat.
* In an episode of ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', Sabrina has to figure out her "family secret" before her Witch's License is approved, and is given [[http://sabrinatheteenagewitch.wikia.com/wiki/Family_Secret a rebus puzzle]] as a clue. (She solves it quickly, but the [[SecretTestOfCharacter hard part comes later]]...)

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]
* From a 2007 episode of Wrestling/{{WWE}} Raw, when Chris Jericho challenged Randy Orton for the WWE Title:
-->Jericho (Me) + Cookie Monster (Want) + WWE Title belt (Title) + Lit match (Match)


[[folder: Scratch Projects ]]
* In [[http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/Astro947/1538956 this]] project, Astro thinks '''X-Cube + 4000 lemonade cups = rich Astro''' when X-Cube says that he will take all the lemonade Astro has.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', the Dabus are a race of goat-horned municipal custodians who only communicate this way. There's also an Ethereal race that communicates only by creating glowing, floating words, which seems to have been created solely to spawn EpilepticTrees about the relation between the two.


[[folder: Video Games ]]
* According to the first mission of ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'', ''everything'' can be calculated to a quantity equal to "football". (American football, incidentally.)
* Quite a bit of dialogue in ''VideoGame/TheSims'' is enhanced through the use of this trope.
* All dialogue in the adventure game ''VideoGame/{{Machinarium}}'' is in rebus bubbles.
* The dialogue in ''VideoGame/{{Dropsy}}'', which avoids text almost altogether and has every character SpeakingSimlish. It fits Dropsy's [[AmbiguousDisorder odd]] worldview.


* In ''Webcomic/TheStupiders'', Cheche the {{ridiculously cute|Critter}} furry boa, is incapable of saying anything other then "Hi"[[spoiler:and "Darko"]], so he thinks with these[[http://www.stupiders.com/comic.php?pg=26]].
* [[http://silentreaper.deviantart.com/art/Death-Note-The-Quiet-Ones-63372296 This]] well-known ''Manga/DeathNote'' comic on Website/DeviantArt has a particularly hilarious example -- you really have to have seen/read the whole thing to get it, though, and it's a spoiler past episode 27/chapter 60.
* [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070718 This sequence]] from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', though ([[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20071123 follow]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20071203 ups]] are more distinctly arithmetical), with bonus {{Stealth Pun}}s.
** Agatha's creations communicate [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090318 this]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091009 way]].
* [[http://www.pennyandaggie.com/index.php?p=667 This]] ''Webcomic/PennyAndAggie'' did one for "[[MistakenForGay Aggie likes girls]]".
* [[http://zapinspace.com/d/20051222.html This]] ''Webcomic/{{Zap}}'' webcomic.
* A ''Webcomic/PrincessRandom'' comic called [[http://jeremyandnikki.tripod.com/id21.html "Bleeping Beauty"]] uses this in place of dialogue.
* ''Webcomic/{{Nukees}}'' used separate bubbles for the same effect in [[http://nukees.com/d/20020705.html this strip]].
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' the dig-bots all [[http://beta.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=070211 speak like this]]. It's unclear what exactly the other characters are "hearing" when this happens.
* ''Webcomic/CravingControl'' combines this to create a recap ''and'' a LongList [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/30077412@N07/2966707160/in/set-72157608289592780 here]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}'' uses the trope [[http://achewood.com/index.php?date=11102003 Here]] and [[http://achewood.com/index.php?date=11182003 here]] to show Roast Beef's extreme panic and confusion.
* Early on, ''Webcomic/NerfNOW'' used Rebus Bubbles exclusively, except for rare occasions. Starting in September '09, however, normal speech has been cropping up more and more.
* [[http://www.picatrix.net/index.php/2008/04/23/page-187/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{Picatrix}}'' webcomic.
* [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/20020530.html Used once]] in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' to show Ardam's train of logic regarding Eternion's backstory.
* When Jason of ''Webcomic/TheWotch'' is transformed into [[FountainOfYouth little]] [[GenderBender Sonja]], with some mental alterations being part of the transformation, she mostly only "speaks" in rebus bubbles, though most of them are sans addition (though she says "Thank you" at one point). When temporarily becoming a super-feministic teenage girl later on, she doesn't speak and still gets an image in her bubble. Apparently, Sonja with her own brain (as opposed to Jason's brain) is a near-mute.
* This is used to show a robot's [[http://mountaincomics.com/2009/09/28/aisle-5/ literal-interpretation-turned-logical-meltdown]] in ''Webcomic/MountainTime''.
* ''Webcomic/InstantClassic'' uses this trope within the [[http://www.instantclassic.net/bd/index.php?comic=150 void of nothingness]] for its characters to solve problems.
* ''Webcomic/RequestComics'' had [[http://www.requestcomics.com/comic/18.html this strip]], in which every speech bubble was a separate photograph.
* ''Webcomic/{{Galaxion}}'', page 19: What's a common phrase meaning you [[http://girlamatic.com/galaxion/2007/03/20/019/ just said something embarrassing]]?
* ''Webcomic/AlienDice'' had one where Vic imagined Lexx with Chel, then himself strangling Lexx.
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': Everyone knows that [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/17p52 Gorilla + Bazooka > Ninja]].
* Used in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2008-04-30 here]] as part of an ImagineSpot. And a [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2008-09-03 borderline example]] (no bubble as such, but also in an ImagineSpot). And again [[www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=2000 here]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Fite}}'', most of the dialog is in {{S|peakingSimlish}}imlish, but the parts that the reader is meant to understand use pictures.
* Used in the "A Picture's Worth" arc of ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'' (focusing on the conflict between Sharon's allergies and Fred's need to be in a filthy environment) in a few ways.
##Explaining the situation as is shown. Fooker shows a picture of Sharon having an allergic reaction to explain to Fred why things need to be clean, and Fred later has a "(Fred)+(Bleach)=(Tombstone)" to reiterate that cleaning products can kill him.
##Literal indicators of dialogue by way of VisualPun, such as Fred's bubble showing sewing to indicate him saying "So...?" and Sharon's bubble with a well to say "Well..."
##Pictures that show the situation through metaphors. When a solution is found, Fooker sighs in relief and imagines a lit dynamite fuse being cut.
* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'' [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Chapter002/ib011.html Occasional use]]
* ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'' has [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level-5-19/ this one]] where Sir Malevolus understands what he faces.
* [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3715 The cat]] in ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}''.
** Also, when Crimney reads the book after the angels have put their glitter dust on it, the plot is given in three bubbles.
* The {{fan|Fic}}[[{{Webcomic}} comic]] ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' gave us [[http://asherhyder.deviantart.com/art/Roommates-129-Mashup-181507675 1+1=<><]] (poor [[Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera Erik]] tried to understand the [[TangledFamilyTree family relationships]] of the [[WitchSpecies magical]] [[TheFairFolk people]]), and [[Creator/OrlandoBloom Legolas]] = [[Creator/OrlandoBloom Will Turner]] (Jareth figured out why James can't stand the elf's face) [[http://asherhyder.deviantart.com/art/Roommates-24-Bloom-72785397 here]].
* [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Volgin]] explains the Philosopher's Legacy in [[http://s31.photobucket.com/albums/c365/peachifruit/hiimdaisy/mgs/?action=view¤t=mgs3comic9.jpg#!oZZ52QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs31.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fc365%2Fpeachifruit%2Fhiimdaisy%2Fmgs%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3Dmgs3comic17.jpg this]] ''Webcomic/{{Hiimdaisy}}'' strip.
* In ''Webcomic/SidequestStory'', literally every page with dialogue makes use of this trope exclusively.
* This is how everyone communicates during the Hink & Carmickle sections of ''{{Webcomic/Marla}}'', even characters who speak normally the rest of the time.
* In ''{{Rhapsodies}}'', Paul has a series of these when a night with his girlfriend is interrupted by [[http://rhapsodies.wpmorse.com/comic/waking-up/ a need to go to the bathroom,]] and made all the more dificult since she's still [[http://rhapsodies.wpmorse.com/comic/escape/ asleep on his arm.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* WebAnimation/TeenGirlSquad Issue #6: "Lion's mouth + [[YouMeanXMas Decemberween]] present / peer pressure X height = TRIPLE SALCHOW!"

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': Ron + Battlesuit = Victory.
* Creator/ChuckJones' ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Cheese Chasers" has mice characters Hubie and Bertie attempting to commit SeenItAllSuicide by inducing Claude Cat to eat them. Claude's reaction to their initial attempt:
** '''[=Map of Scandanavia + Denmark highlighted = "Something rotten in"=]'''
** The short ''Bartholomew Versus the Wheel'' has the titular dog blaming wheels when a scooter runs over his tail. '''Wheel = Arrow pointing to squashed tail.'''
** And on several occasions, WesternAnimation/BugsBunny showed his poor opinion of somebody by holding up a sign with a picture of a screw, and a ball.
* The ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' episode "My Fair Ed" uses this with '''[=Band-aid + Hand = Pain=]'''.
* Of course, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has done this. '''[=Homer + Beer = Car crash=]'''. "Wait, I didn't add that right." Redo: '''[=Homer + Beer = President Simpson the basketball star=].'''
* Like on ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', with "Sponge... [=+=] Starfish... = Scallop!?"
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzazd6XXgZw&NR=1 Here]] is a ''Spy vs. Spy'' cartoon which plays with the idea.
* It's also done in one of Creator/ChuckJones' ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' shorts.
** '''[=Tom + A Second Cat = Jerry laying dead holding a lilly=]'''
** '''[=Jerry + Lettuce + Ham + Cheese + Tomatoes + Onions + Sandwich in a lunchbox = Fat Jerry=]'''
*** Tom's response goes: '''Fat Jerry + Sandwich in a lunchbox = Jerry Sandwich'''
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'': '''Raven + [[RealityWarper Larry]] = Explosion'''.
** And '''Beast Boy + Meat + Eggs = Not Himself''' (Source: "The Beast Within")
** Also, according to Terra: '''Starfire's Homemade Glorg = Sushi + Ice cream'''
* The Itsy Bitsy Spider had one interesting scene, in which the Exterminator - very, very determined to kill the spider realized he's about to step on his own grenade.
** ''Exterminator + Grenade = Foot on Grenade = KABOOM!''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMask'': '''Obnoxious Old High School Bully + The Mask = Nuclear Explosion'''
* Mickey Mouse has one in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'' when he realizes that Mortimer Mouse used a newspaper ad to dupe Mickey and steal Minnie from him. '''Mortimer + Newspaper = SUCKER.'''
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck, in the short cartoon "Honey Harvester", finds a bee in his greenhouse, and thinks: '''Bee + Flower = Hive = Honey'''
* Randal Graves has one in ''WesternAnimation/ClerksTheAnimatedSeries'': '''Monkey + Burrito + sickened Leonardo - Burrito + (Due to the recent lawsuit by Dustin Hoffman over the alleged unauthorized use of his likeness, the face of Dustin Hoffman in Randal's cartoon brain calculation will be played by... Al Pacino!) = Film/{{OUTBREAK}}!!'''
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' while watching the odd behavior of his teammates [[spoiler:who actually were their [[EvilCounterpart evil versions]] from an AlternateUniverse]] Numbuh 4 comes up with the conclusion...
** 2 + 2 = PIZZA!
* ''WesternAnimation/BeanyAndCecil'' [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5rx8qs_beany-and-cecil-ain-t-i-a-little-stinger_tv had Beepin' Tom, a little alien who spoke in word balloons filled with rebuses.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': Cartman's take on Osama bin Laden (e.g. holds up pic of rooster and lollipop) shows that the rebus can also come without solution (which the viewer adds on the fly). Of course, the gag is a nod to analogous ones on Looney Tunes.