Sometimes a character doling out Rule #1
has a snappy list of a few words, each beginning with the same letter. He can therefore refer to the rules as "the five M's", or whatever. For added comedy, they may not exactly start with the same letter
Anime and Manga
- The first duel theme in Revolutionary Girl Utena famously begins with "When Where Who Which" (also the song's name). Utena being Utena, the exclusion of "Why" turns out to be significant to understanding what the duels are and how they actually work. No one asks.
- This was the earliest explanation behind Superman's famous S symbol. In Superboy Vol. 1 #78, Superboy explains he chose it not only to stand for his name, but to also mean saving lives, stopping crime, and giving super-aid wherever it's needed.
- In the Harry Potter universe, pupils are taught the Three D's of Apparition: Destination, Determination and Deliberation.
- In the Black Blade series, the top three positions under the head of a Family as the Broker, the Bruiser and the Butler.
- The German Saturday Night All Family Show "Am laufenden Band" once required from their contestants to talk solely in words beginning with a randomly chosen letter. (The performance varied, naturally.)
- Capitol Steps, "Middle-Aged Lady Named Janet Reno":
There are three new R's on the new school grounds:
Readin' and Rappin' and Rifle Rounds.
- Kool Moe Dee's diss track "Let's Go" had him taking the first two letters of LL Cool J's name and makes a list of mocking names the initals stand for:
You got hands for tryna be me, now LL stands for
Lower Level, Lack Luster
Last Least, Limp Lover
Lousy Lame, Latent Lethargic
Lazy Lemon, Little Logic
Lucky Leech, Liver Lipped
Laborious Louse on a Loser's Lips
Live in Limbo, Lyrical Lapse
Low Life with the Loud Raps, boy
- Neue Deutsche Welle song "Anneliese" by Der Wilde Jürgen. All words of the lyrics begin with A.
- Kurt Angle had the Three I's: Intensity, Integrity and Intelligence.
- Just like Angle above, Seth Rollins has the Three R's: Redesign, Rebuild and Reclaim.
- The 4X genre's name is one of these. It stands for "Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate".
- VVVVVV is this of the game's characters: Viridian, Violet, Victoria, Vermilion, Vitellary and Verdigris.
- In Knights of Buena Vista, Adriana's Player Character is being crowned queen, and when it turns out that the bishop is using this opportunity to hypnotize the queen, she calls him a "sneaky, slimy, seditious, sinister, sly, subversive, scelerous swine".
- In the 5-13-1966 comic strip of "The Wizard of Id", the King describes the peasants to be disciplined as "raucous, rude, and reprehensible."
- The Simpsons, "To Surveil, With Love": Chief Wiggum is explaining the duties to some civilian volunteers.
Chief Wiggum: Now, just follow a little formula called PB & J. Peer at the monitor. Be judgmental. And jot it down. One way to remember that is A-B-C. Always Be Considering PB & J. But the single most important rule is the four As. Always Act According to A-B-C.
- Ned Flanders retains his youth at sixty by following the three Cs. Clean living, chewing thoroughly, and a daily dose of vitamin church.
- Animaniacs has the segment "All the Words in the English Language," where Yakko sings all the words in the English language. He starts with words beginning with A (at the beginning of the alphabet) and does not advance to another letter until he sings all the words starting with the letter he is at, making each section an alliterative list.
Yakko (singing): Aardvark, abating, abet, abdicating, abandon, abase, and abreast;
Ablaze and ablution, abhor and abusion, abbreviate, abbey, abscessed...
- In South Park, we get this exchange from the episode "It's a Jersey Thing":
I'm not from Jersey, I was born here. Cartman:
Don't try and deny it! You're one of them dude, and by my account that's strike three! Kyle:
What's strike three? Cartman:
You're a ginger
, a Jew
, and from Jersey
! Three strikes, Kyle — you're out!
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Applebuck Season", Twilight Sparkle complains about the trouble a sleep-deprived Applejack has inadvertently caused.
Twilight: Your apple-bucking hasn't just caused you problems. It's over-propelled a pegasus, practically poisoned plenty of ponies, and terrorized bushels of brand-new bouncing baby bunnies!
- On one episode of the Hercules TV series, Hades takes over Prometeus Academy (Herc's school) and institutes his own take on the three R's: Revenge, requital and retribution.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Trying to help Nergal to make friends, Billy introduces him to the five C's of friendship. Cleanliness, Consideration, Compliments, Conversation, and, uh, Sharing.
- Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses: At the beginning of the movie, there's a visitor from another kingdom and said visitor mentions several reasons his home kingdom is famous for. All reasons start with the letter P.
- In the Strong Bad Email "pizzazz", Strong Bad says that he's cool because of the "three G's: Gumption; Gum, like, chew gum; and Gar... gle. Minty gargle."
- The Ur-Example is possibly the three R's of education: Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic.
- Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, in their books on evolution and xenobiology, refer to "universals", which evolved many times to solve the same problem, and which we might expect alien lifeforms to also evolve, and "parochials", which only evolved once, however important they might seem to us. The most significant universals are the four F's: Fur, Flight, Fotosynthesis and F... sexual reproduction.
- The three R's of waste management: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- The four D's of dyslexia: Defining, Deciphering, Diagnosis and Dealing.
- In certain Christian denominations, it's extremely common for pastors to organize their sermons in this way.
- Slip, Slop, Slap: the Australian mantra for sun protection from a highly successful PSA campaign. (That's slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat). In recent years, they have added Seek (shelter) and Slide (on sunglasses) to the list, although this hasn't quite permeated the public consciousness the way Slip, Slop, Slap did.
- The United Kingdom goes for the far less catchy "Wrap, Splat, Hat".
- Clunk-click, every trip - for the UK safety agency RoSPA's 1970s seatbelt campaign.
- Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? The five dubyas (and an H) of journalism.
- The old science show Johnny Ball Reveals All had "Who, What, Why, Where, When?" as part of the theme tune enthusing about curiosity.
- There's the Four Fs of evolutionary biology: fighting, fleeing, feeding, and procreation.
- There is a saying in Czech: to have all five P's or to have all the P's together, which means to have all that it takes to be very desirable as a romantic partner and future spouse. The P's stand for adjectives, however, the actual lists may vary. Common adjectives included are pěkná (pretty), poctivá (honest), pokorná (humble), poslušná (obedient), pilná (hard-working), peněžitá (wealthy money-wise), pracovitá (industrious), přívětivá (amiable), přítulná (cuddly), přičinlivá (dilligent), prachatá (rich money-wise) or pobožná (religious). note
- The Latin motto "Veni, Vidi, Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered).
- The seven P's of planning: Prior Preparation and Planning Prevent Piss-Poor Performance