Broken Echo

Doofenshmirtz: Ah, Perry the Platypus. Welcome to my evil space station!
Echo: Station! Station! Cookie! Station!
Doofenshmirtz: Wait, did you hear that? That "cookie" part? I think my echo is broken. I really do.
Phineas and Ferb, "We Call It Maze"

Someone notices that the room or canyon they're currently in has a great echo. They shout and get the expected reply. Then they shout something that the echo either refuses to repeat or replies to.

This could be:
  1. An insult that is spoken in the first person that the echo repeats in the second person.
  2. A controversial statement that the echo doesn't want to repeat, remaining silent or echoing something completely different.
  3. A statement or noisy action, such as a sneeze, with a common response, which is replied to, rather than repeated, by the echo.
  4. An echo in a different accent or language.

This is frequently acknowledged by the person being echoed. A broken echo always follows the Rule of Funny. This is a completely unrealistic trope as an echo is a property of acoustics and in reality, cannot be altered from its original source, or it's not an echo.

Not to be confused with an Ironic Echo or Meaningful Echo, which are not literally echoes and are instead someone repeating the words someone else said.

This trope does not refer to totaling a Toyota compact.

Examples

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Film
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch gets into an argument with his echo and ends it by saying "I'm an idiot." His echo responds with "You're an idiot." Twice.
  • In Ghostbusters II, Ray, Egon, and Winston are walking through an abandoned subway tunnel. After Ray and Egon shout down the tunnel and have their calls echoed back to them, Winston tries, only to be greeted with a few ominous seconds of silence, followed by a deep voice slowly growling "WINSTON". Unlike most examples, this is played for horror rather than for comedy.

Radio
  • The Goon Show:
    • In "World War One":
      Seagoon: Hello!
      Echo: Hello!
      Seagoon: Ahh, an echo!
      Echo: Ahh, an echo!
      Seagoon: Mi mi mi mi mi.
      Echo: Mi mi mi mi mi.
      Seagoon: Holla-loo!
      Echo: Holla-loo!
      Seagoon: I'm an idiot!
      Echo: You certainly are!
    • In "The Great Bank of England Robbery", Eccles gets in an argument with his echo, thinking it's a real person mocking him — "Who's that?" "Who's that?" "I'm Eccles." "I'm Eccles." "You can't be, I'm Eccles." and so on — even though it's just repeating what he says... until the end of the bit, when this happens:
      Eccles: Now then I've got to find Mr. Seagoon.
      Echo: Needing me anymore?
      Eccles: No!
      Echo: OK, goodbye!

Theater
  • In Peer Gynt, the title character comes across The Sphinx, and decides that it must represent the Boyg. When he calls out to it, "Who are you?", he is surprised to hear his words echoed in German. Berlin dialect, he notes.
  • Lampshaded in Rose-Marie with one of the reprises of "Indian Love Call":
    When through the valley a voice is calling all alone,
    Why does the answering echo sound so very baritone?

Web Comics
  • In this Cyanide & Happiness strip, a man notices the cave he's in has an echo and eagerly shouts "I love you!", expecting to hear it back. After a moment of silence, the cave instead replies "Echo... echo... echo..."

Web Animation
  • In the Red vs. Blue Season 11 episode "Heavy Mettle" Caboose shouts, "Have a nice day!" Into a cave. His echo replies, "Thanks. you too!"

Western Animation
  • In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Dale looks into a cave and yells "Hello down there!" The echo repeats this. He then says "Say, you're handsome!" The echo says "Thanks!"
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode, "We Call it Maze," in a slightly different approach to this trope, Dr. Doofenshmirtz shouts "Welcome to my evil space station!" To which his echo replies, "Station... station... COOKIE!... Station" This happens to him again later in the episode. and then to Buford at the end of the episode.
  • On one Pepe Le Pew cartoon, Pepe has Penelope cornered at Echo Point and decides to try something.
    Pepe: I, I, I! Love, love, love! You, you, you!
    Echo: I love you! I love you! I love you!
    Pepe: Pretty good, eh?
  • On the Donald Duck cartoon "Grand Canyonscope", Donald sneezes and the sneeze echoes all over the Grand Canyon... but then one of the echoes comes out as "Gesundheit". Donald then argues with the echo until the ranger yells "Quiet!", and both Donald and the echo shut up.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BrokenEcho