-> Now, by "cough-cough-getalife", do you mean "cough-getalife-cough"? Because [coughs twice] "get a life" isn't funny, but [cough] "Get a life" [cough]. Now that's funny.
-->-- '''John Green''', [[WebVideo/{{Vlogbrothers}} Brotherhood 2.0]]

%% One quote per page, thanks. Additional entries can go on the Quotes tab.

When someone needs some... uh... ([[SelfDemonstratingArticle coughHELPcough]]) help coming up with an, er... what's the word... (coughIDEAcough) an idea, someone else may be particularly unsubtle about giving the answer. Or an insult or snide comment is made, but is not intended to be heard by someone standing nearby (coughJACKASScough).

Hey, I heard that!

Anyway, other things that can be hidden between coughs or sneezes are names, as in, "I'm not going to name names but there's one person in this group who's a real pain coughALICEcough," or even entire sentences. Occasionally subverted by repeating the hidden words for clarification, implying the insult was garbled by a genuine cough and the cougher really just has no respect for the person in question.

Someone who is being especially snarky may just [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud say "cough" instead of actually coughing]].

Sometimes the cough doesn't hide any words, but indicates complete disbelief at what the cougher is hearing.

Rarely related to the IncurableCoughOfDeath.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Advertising ]]
* A commercial for Ricola throat lozenges plays with the "coughing to convey disbelief" variant. A politician is speaking at a press conference, but one of his aides keeps loudly coughing whenever he makes a promise. After getting a DeathGlare from his boss, the aide leans over to the microphone and meekly asks if anyone has a Ricola he can use.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* The English dub of ''Anime/LupinIIIRedJacket'' has [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Zenigata]] pulling this twice in a row towards the chief commissioner of the French police department after he turned down Zenigata's request to put a team together to catch the international criminal Lupin because France regards him as a sort of a national icon. [[spoiler:Though he didn't know that the chief commissioner was Lupin in disguise.]]
-->'''Zenigata:''' {as he is about to leave the room} *sneeze*Penis*sneeze*! Must've caught a cold or something... *sneeze*Asswipe*sneeze*!
* Creator/TheOceanGroup's dub of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouUZ4AjkZLM has Yamcha doing this over one of King Kai/Kaiosama's jokes]].
* Jaden's reaction in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' to Dr. Crowler catching a tennis ball in the eye: "*cough* Cyclops! *cough*"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* There's a scene in ''Box Office Poison'' where a hated comics publisher speaks at a convention and he gets this from the audience.
* [[Comicbook/{{Empowered}} Major Havoc]]: *cough* Bitch.
* In an issue of the Initiative (post-Comicbook/CivilWar), while a group of heroes-in-training is headed to Camp Hammond, a mention is made of Hank Pym, who will be waiting there ([[spoiler:[[SecretInvasion except not really]]]]). Prodigy, one of the people in the bus, immediately responds with "*cough* [[NeverLiveItDown Wifebeater]]".
* During a meeting in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' the original PointyHairedBoss wants to find out why all his division's project's fail, what they all have in common. While the employee sitting at whichever side he isn't looking to is pointing right at the boss, Alice goes for a sneeze-cover: "Haaa-itsyou!" "Gesundheid."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9720211/3/The-Merging The Merging]]'' Tonks and Harry have a chat in the Magical Menagerie.
-->"So you just swooped in and took control of a group of snakes that now pretty much worship you and will follow your every command?"\\
"Uhh, yeah?"\\
Tonks gave a loud cough that sounded awfully close to "Dark Lord" but he just ignored her.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9312468/6/Though-he-slew-the-basilisk Though He Slew the Basilisk]]'' Ron complains that his father was pulled off of an investigation of biting snuff boxes to help look for Sirius Black.
-->"What?" he said, "Snuff boxes are a big deal. You let the small things slide and before you know it people are enchanting who knows what in their back yards."\\
Harry burst into a coughing fit that sounded remarkably like ''flying cars''. Ron went pink.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Film/BringItOn'' has a character mercilessly skewer a "loser sneezer" for their employment of such a tired joke. The loser sneezer, clearly a one-trick pony, responds to said skewering with another loser sneeze.
* ''Film/AnimalHouse''. During the Disciplinary Council meeting, the Delta fraternity members protested the Kangaroo Court proceedings by coughing while saying "bullshit".
* Val Kilmer coughs "bullshit" when Tom Cruise is describing his upside-down hijinks ([[DoubleEntendre with a Russian MiG, pervs!]]) in ''Film/TopGun''.
* In Disney's ''Disney/BrotherBear'', one of the Tuke coughs his opinion of recently-turned-bear Kenai, who is trying to convince them that he is actually a human. But Rutt [[TooDumbToLive seriously can't understand him]], and Kenai knows ''exactly'' what he's saying
-->'''Kenai''': I was transformed ''into'' a bear... ''magically.'' I-I was lifted into the sky by my brother-
-->'''Tuke''': Uh-huh... *cough* Crazy *cough* !
-->'''Rut''': Eh, gezundheit.
-->'''Tuke''': Ah, no, *cough* a fruitcake *cough*.
-->'''Rut''': Hey, are you okay?
-->'''Tuke''': *cough* Ah, no! *cough* *cough* That bear *cough* *cough* over there *cough*! *cough* He's crazy! *cough*
* Used by Naveen in ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'' to call Tiana a "killjoy" and a "stick in the mud".
* In ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'', when Prince John tries to blame all his misdeeds on the Sheriff, the entire audience at the wedding coughs "Bullshit!" in unison.
* Also inverted in ''Film/WildWildWest'', in which the coughing is pointedly absent:
--> '''Gordon:''' Someone, who will remain nameless - *turns and shouts in the opposite direction* '''''JIM WEST!''''' - decided to jump over the wire, thereby providing us with that exhilarating romp through the cornfield, and that death-defying leap into the abysmal muck!
* ''Film/DumbAndDumber'' when Harry wants to know how Lloyd got 25 extra bucks.
-->'''Lloyd''': Few baseball cards, a sack of marbles, *coughs* Petey.
-->'''Harry''': Petey? You sold my dead bird to a blind kid? Lloyd, wh- he- wha- Petey didn't even have a head!
* Subverted by Jamie in ''Film/FriendsWithBenefits'', when Dylan is afraid to climb the Hollywood sign:
-->'''Jamie''': ''(cough)'' Pussy. Oh, sorry. PUSSY!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'':
-->"You only like him because he's handsome", said Ron scathingly.\\
"Excuse me, I don't like people just because they're handsome!" said Hermione indignantly.\\
Ron gave a loud false cough, which sounded oddly like "Lockhart!"
** The next book introduces Dolores Umbridge, who's favoured method of getting attention is pretending to cough before making a pointed comment. A CrowningMomentOfAwesome on [=McGonagall=]'s part is her completely ignoring said coughs, before finally offering a throat lozenge.
* ''Literature/ProjectNRI''
-->Louise coughed. The cough suspiciously sounded like “meathead”.
* A lovely example of the disbelieving cough occurs in ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'', when the Scots cavalrymen who don't yet fully grasp what late-20th-Century firepower can do are stunned that the Americans want them to be ready to '''pursue''' an enemy force.
-->'''Alex [=MacKay=]:''' Pursuit? *cough, cough* Doesn't that, ahem, presuppose that you've already defeated the enemy?
* In ''The Golem's Eye'' from ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'', when Nathaniel ignores him, Bartimaeus coughs out "A-hem" and then "A-thaniel" to get his attention. (Nathaniel goes by "John Mandrake," as nobody is supposed to know a magician's real name.)
* An ''inversion'' of this trope is a RunningGag in ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' and many adaptations of it. Whenever a guest says something he doesn't want to hear/reply to, Willy Wonka claims that he just can't understand them (specifically accusing Mike Teavee of mumbling), even though they are speaking clearly -- or, at one point in the 2005 film adaptation, outright yelling at him.
* ''[[Literature/OrigamiYoda Darth Paper Strikes Back]]'': Kellen writes about an annoying little kid who constantly mocks his skateboarding abilities. Tommy comments, "[The little kid] reminds me of someone. Let's see... a kid who just stands around and complains and insults people all the time? I just can't think who that reminds me of... (cough) Harvey [[note]] Pretty much everyone in the series dislikes Harvey. [[/note]] (cough)."
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In StudioC's sketch "One Angry Man", the defense in a criminal trial makes the case that the defendant was physically incapable of committing the crime. The judge coughs for a bit, and then states, without coughing, "You're a wimp."
* In episode 7, Season 3 of ''Series/HappyEndings'' 'No Ho Ho', Dave and Pete have this exchange about Pete's gift to Penny.
--->'''Dave:''' *cough* Big mistake! *cough*\\
'''Pete:'''What?\\
'''Dave:''' Nothing, I had something caught in my throat...and you're making a big mistake.
* In one episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshall coughs out ''an entire sentence'' - a sentence about how he's insinuating something about Robyn and he isn't really coughing.
** Also:
--->'''Barney:''' *cough* Lesbian.\\
'''Robin:''' The cough is supposed to cover the "lesbian".\\
'''Barney:''' Nah, I'm [[ForcedMeme trying to start a thing]] where the cough is separate.
** Another time, Barney takes it to extremes when discussing Zoe's description of her cousin Honey (played by Music/KatyPerry).:
--->'''Barney:'''"Cute means fat *cough*"\\
'''Barney:'''"Not-fat means ugly *cough*"\\
'''Barney:'''"I take back everything I said. That girl is extremely attractive *cough* *cough* *cough*"
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'' specifically references the trope in the episode "Like a Virgin". After someone took a false purity test for Meg Manning (she "got" a 48, which for someone who hadn't even gone to second base with her boyfriend of years was delightful to the gossip hounds), she notes the many ways she's been teased, including "slut sneezing". Veronica, for some reason, doesn't get the reference, and Meg has to demonstrate by sneezing and saying "slut" as she does so. She seems embarrassed even by this, but does it again as if to reinforce how lame it is, and shrugs. We then see it in action when the other students do the "slut sneezing" while she's auditioning for the school musical.
* ''Series/TheOffice'' (American version) has Andy and Dwight get into a coughing conversation after their first day of work together.
-->'''Andy:''' *cough* Idiot
-->'''Dwight:''' *cough* You're the idiot. *cough*
-->'''Andy:''' *cough* Nice comeback. *cough*
-->'''Dwight:''' *cough* I was *cough* making fun of your comeback. *cough* That's why it *cough* worked! [Andy walks away and Dwight turns to the camera] Well, it looks like I got the best of that interchange. [Starts coughing uncontrollably.]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' does this a lot.
** In the episode "Some Assembly Required":
-->'''Cordelia:''' Why are these terrible things always happening to me?
-->'''Xander:''' *cough* Karma! *cough*
** When the Initiative boys complain about Prof. Walsh sending them to look for Spike on Thanksgiving, Riley insists that Spike knowing about them means he's still a threat even with his RestrainingBolt.
-->'''Forrest:''' (coughing) Mama's boy.
-->'''Riley:''' That's a nasty cough. You might need to spend the weekend in quarantine.
-->'''Forrest:''' Oh, no. I'm done coughing.
** In a later episode, Buffy is [[Awesome/BuffyTheVampireSlayer tearing into the Watcher's Council about their actions. While she is on the topic of getting Giles re-instated as a Watcher, Giles throws out a *cough* "retroactive" when his salary is mentioned]].
** And from the season after that, this exchange between an active vengeance demon and a former one:
-->'''Halfrek:''' Oh, [punishing men who wronged women] was just Anya's little raison d'etre. Most of us try to be a little more well-rounded.
-->'''Anya:''' "Well-rounded", huh? Is that how you explain ''your'' thing for bad-parents?
-->'''Halfrek:''' Oh, that's not a thing. The children need me.
-->'''Anya:''' *coughing* Daddy issues.
* ''Series/That70sShow'' example:
-->'''Kitty:''' So, Laurie, who are you seeing up at the college?
-->'''Laurie:''' Oh, I'm dating several.
-->'''Eric:''' *cough* Slut!
-->'''Kitty:''' Bless you.
** Another example:
-->'''Pastor Dave:''' Instead of LSD or PCP, I get high on G-O-D.
-->'''Hyde:''' *cough* [[YouNeedToGetLaid Virgin!]]
* One episode of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' has Shawn and a teacher doing this.
-->'''Shawn:''' *cough* Loser!
-->'''Mr. Turner (the teacher present at the time):''' *cough* Detention!
-->'''Shawn:''' *cough* Sorry!
* Happens once on ''Series/{{Reba}}'' when Van says "*cough* baloney!" But because it's aimed at his wife, an argument ensues.
* Was something of a running gag in the early episodes of ''Series/{{Sabrina the Teenage Witch}}'' whenever Mr. Kaft was announcing something. A random student would cough "Loser".
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' had it at least twice: when Monica's correcting the title Ross was buying at the comics shop as a kid ("Seeing what kinda trouble Spider-Man got into that week" "*cough* WonderWoman") and once when an old hater of Rachel reacts to her table manners ("*sneeze* Typical")
* ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'': When Cody was creating a laser for the science fair, Arwin "innocently" told him how to build it correctly. He wasn't supposed to tell him.
-->'''Arwin:'''Not *cough* quite! You *cough* need the puf*cough*fer gas!
** Also, in the episode "A Prom Story":
--->'''Zack:''' I've got something special with Maddie. I love her, and she loves me. She just...doesn't know it yet.
--->'''Cody:''' *sneeze* Doofus!
* Charles Ingram of the British Army once won (the original, UK version of) ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' with the help of a friend in the audience feeding him answers through coded coughs. Although these just took the form of ''numbers'' for the options, invariably for the many parodies this spawned he was shown to be using this trope.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''
-->'''Amy:''' Your mother thinks you might be losing your mind over me. As a neurobiologist, I was curious.
-->'''Sheldon:''' Well, rest assured I am in full possession of my faculties.
-->'''Leonard:''' *Pretending to sneeze* ''[[CrazyCatLady Twenty-five cats!]]''
-->'''Sheldon's Mother:''' Oh, God bless you, dear.
* Creator/MorecambeAndWise did a sketch in which Eric was supposed to be a 'Memory Man' who could answer any question put to him, but Ernie had to feed him the first answer (Arsenal - a soccer team) disguised by a cough. This became a RunningGag in which any time someone coughed, Eric would shout "Arsenal!"
* Izzie Stevens of ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' says ''"sexual harassment!"'' in a sneeze when [[HandsomeLech Mark Sloan]] refers to her as a "hot blonde."
* The ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "After School Special" starts with a girl in high school getting taunted with "*cough* Slut *cough* Slut *cough* Slut *cough*...", which leads her to take out her anger on a less popular girl [[DontYouDarePityMe for showing her some sympathy]], which leads to [[spoiler: her death at the hands of the BullyHunter ghost possessing the unpopular girl.]]
* In ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', a friend of Earl does this while calling him a snitch about three times without Earl catching on, so he just says it out loud. He then coughs for real and blames Earl for making him sick.
* In ''Series/{{Survivor}}: The Amazon'', the camp has just burned down and Rob Cesternino is sharing his thoughts about it in a ConfessionCam. Well, it's ''possible'' that the fire started due to the huge pile of wood stored at the campsite when Butch [[SanitySlippage suddenly went on a mad quest to get as much firewood as possible]], but no one can prove it for sure and Rob certainly wouldn't want to point any fingers as to who might be responsible for the fire... ''*cough* Butch! *cough*''
* In the ''[[Series/DoctorInTheHouse Doctor at Large]]'' episode "Mother and Father Doing Well", doctors Upton, Stuart-Clark, and Collier are trying to help fellow doctor Huw Evans' wife bluff her way through impersonating a nurse to be present when her husband has stitches put in a cut of his forehead. When she pours a tiny dribble of antiseptic into a glass gallipot at the instruction of Prof. Loftus, the surgeon (from whom they are trying to conceal the deception), Collier fakes a sneeze while shouting "MORE!"
* In ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', Michael Bluth hires a publicist to help improve the family's image, and one of her suggestions is for everyone to start getting jobs. When George Michael mentions that he does have a job, Tobias' response is a coughing "Kiss-ass!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* Done by the author in the commentary on ''WebComic/DarthsAndDroids'' [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0744.html #744]]:
--> ... fantasy borrows many tropes from modern day life as it is (*cough*Creator/TerryPratchett*cough*).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* Matthew Buck from ''WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown'' gave his opinion to ''ThePatriot'' like that.
--> *cough* Rule Britannia!
* [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] has done this once or twice regarding his comic ''Revolution of the Mask'', usually to imply that whatever comic cliche he's finding in the professional comic he's reviewing is ''not'' present in his own.
* In this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D8lj3dg5-o parody of "Blame It" by Jamie Foxx]], UsefulNotes/BarackObama says, "Repubs blamin' me! *cough* [[Series/TheOReillyFactor O'Reilly]]."
* One ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' machinima, ''Combine Nation'', has a [[DeadpanSnarker Vortigaunt]] [[OutOfCharacterMoment using this trick]] to call a [[GasmaskMooks metrocop]] an asshole. When the cop asks what was that, the Vort denies that he said anything.
* ''Webcomic/{{Concession}}'', when Matt's in the {{Confessional}};
-->"You don't go to my church, do you, child?"
-->"No, sir, my church doesn't have these confessional dealies. I go to Reverend White's church."
-->"*cough* Pedophile *cough*"
* [[WebVideo/WarningReadersAdvisory Warning! Readers Advisory]]'s review of Necroscope, describing the plot: "...and *mumble* extradimensional vampire semen... *cough*"
* In MikeJ's review of ''SonOfTheMask'', he says that Bob Hoskins had ruined his career years before, just before sneezing into a DVD box of ''Film/SuperMarioBros''.
* In WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation's review of ''VideoGame/LollipopChainsaw'':
-->'''Yahtzee:''' But there are games with certainly worse combat and games with more offensive depictions of women. [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud (Cough,]] ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', [[LampshadeHanging Unconvincing]] [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud cough.)]]
* From one [[HellfireCommentaries playthrough]] of ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'':
-->'''[[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname THD:]]''' *Cough*Xehanort!
-->'''N Tom:''' Nasty cough you got.
* ''WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesTeamDattebayo:''
--> '''L''' (to Light): *cough* [[HoYay last night]] *cough*
* From a Website/StarDestroyerDotNet [[http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=160398 analysis thread]] of the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series:
--> '''Tropers/StarSword:''' Also, [[Creator/WilliamHKeithJr William Keith]] apparently groks the concept that space is fucking HUGE, unlike certain other recent writers I could mention. *hacking cough that sounds suspiciously like "Creator/JJAbrams"*
* In ''The Weirdest Christmas Traditions Around the World'' by [[WebVideo/MatthewSantoro Matt Santoro]], Matt talks about Zwarte Piet, who is always depicted as [[UnfortunateImplications black, having an afro, and having big lips]]. He then says, "(Cough) Racist!" and acts like he was just coughing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade", the third-grade teacher remarks that Bart came from [[ReallyGetsAround Krabappel]]'s class (coughSLUTcough).
** Also, in "She Used to Be My Girl," one-shot character Chloe remarks that she's slept with numerous famous people, including coughCLINTONcough.
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': When Luanne was dealing with her irresponsible roommates.
--> "You know who else had anti-smoking laws? Who was it...[[HitlerAteSugar oh, yeah -- Hitler!]]"
--> *cough* Nazi! *cough*
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Doug}} Doug's 1st Movie]]'', the nerds Roger hires repeatedly insult him this way. He never catches on.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', it's exposed that Lois [[OldShame was once in a porno]]. At church, her peers do this trope, calling her things like "sinner" and "harlot". All except the last man, who says "*cough I'm actually sick*".
* WesternAnimation/SouthPark
** In ''Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society'' the other girls use this method to call Bebe a slut in the cafeteria.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* If you manage to run out the [[BossBanter dialog]] in the [[DiscOneFinalBoss "Stalemate Resolution Associate" scene]] of ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', Wheatley starts coughing the word "button" at you, even though by that point everyone in the room already knows that you're supposed to press the [[BigRedButton button]][[note]]It's ''getting to'' the button that's the problem[[/note]], so there's nobody to hide this information from. Take long enough, and this will eventually culminate in "*cough* *{{beat}}* Oh, just press the button, would ya?"
[[/folder]]
----