"Be vewwy vewwy quiet; I'm hunting wabbits. Hahahahahahahahaha."
The condition where characters (especially the cute ones
) talk with the L's and R's replaced with W's in their words, along with the softening of hard suffixes such as "-er." In Real Life
, the latter condition is called rhotacism
, a term that must have been constructed specifically to make those who have the condition unable to say it without invoking it
Not to be confused with Baby Talk
, which is deliberate. Can result in Got Me Doing It
. In no way related to Porky Pig Pronunciation
Here's the Home Page in this condition. Here's this article in Self Demonstrating.
open/close all folders
- AWAHHN BUHH Justified, in that his mouth was full of peanut butter, and there was no milk to wash it down.
- Could switching to GEICO really save you 15% or more on car insurance? Does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter "R"?
Elmer Fudd: Shhh! Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits!
Director: Okay, cut! It's "I'm hunting rabbits," Elmer. Let's try that again. [Elmer nods]
Elmer Fudd: Shhh! I'm hunting wabbits!
Director: CUT! Rabbits!
Elmer Fudd: Wabbits!
Elmer Fudd: Wabbits!
Director: "Rabbits", with an "R"!
Elmer Fudd: [stalks off] Aww, dis diwectuh's stahting to wub me da wong way!
Anime and Manga
- Nina from Fullmetal Alchemist...which only makes her death that much sadder.
- In the English translation of Black Jack, Pinoko talks like this.
- Used by the titular character in the official English translation of the Chi's Sweet Home manga. In the original, Chi's speech was apparently modeled after Tweety Bird, with the "d" sound replaced with "r", "ru"s are now just "u"s, and "shi" becomes "chi". For example : "desu" becomes "resu" and "miruku" turns into "miuku".
- Clara in Kuragehime
- Cebolinha (Jimmy Five) from Brazilian comic Monica's Gang, though exchanging just "R" - and not the whole time (in the original, he exchanges "R" for "L" - except when the words end with that letter, e.g. the totality of Portuguese verbs). In English translations, the speech impediment is the normal Elmer Fudd thing with the W.
- Walter the Wobot from Judge Dredd.
- Winda Wester from the Howard the Duck comic, with L's, hence the name.
- The hitman Frankie from the crime series Kane, a Captain Ersatz of Sin City's Marv. Justified in that his target is a guy in a rabbit suit.
- Hunter from Knights of the Dinner Table.
Fiwm (Wive Action)
- Mr. Medulla as a baby in Sky High.
- The Impressive Clergyman (Peter Cook) from The Princess Bride:
Impressive Clergyman: Mawidge. Mawidge is what bwings us togevvah today. Mawidge, that bwessed awangement, that dweam wiffin a dweam. And wuv, twue wuv, wiw fowwow you fowevah and evah? So tweasuwe youw wove? Have you the wing?
- "I AM DE DWEAD PIWATE WOBERTS!!" — of course, this was actor induced; not character-related.
- Pontius Pilate in Monty Python's Life of Brian: "I've had enough of this wowdy webel sniggewing behaviow. Silence! You call yourself Pwaetowian guards?"
- Blazing Saddles: Lily von Schtupp. "It's twue, it's twue!"
- "Excuse me...you're sucking on my elbow."
- Wobert in Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles.
- Alice in Wonderland: The Red Queen. This isn't the first time that Helena Bonham-Carter played such a character.
- Sasquach from JB's hallucination in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
- Judy in Shakes the Clown.
- An up-and-coming boxer and Air National Guardsman in the movie Weekend Warriors has this going on.
Captain Cabot (calling roll call): McCracken!
McCracken: Heah, suh!
Cabot: Did I pronounce that correctly?
McCracken: Absowutewy cowwect. McCwacken.
- The Charge Of The Light Brigade depicts several British cavalrymen using such accents (eg. "Wussians," "Gwey, sneaky coluh!"). See also the Flashman entry under literature.
- In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Richmond Valentine has a noticeable lisp rendering his diction somewhat mangled, especially compared the erudite Kingsmen agents. Oddly he professes the opposite to be true saying he finds it hard to understand his opposition as they "all talk thso funny".
- Parodied in the Discworld book Hogfather, where Susan tells one of the children in her charge to stop doing this, claiming that exaggerated lisping should be a hanging offense.
- Interestingly, Terry Pratchett himself also speaks with a touch of this.
- And Jeremy Irons' version of Havelock Vetinari does it, too. Not that it detracts from his intimidation factor.
- Oh, you wascawwy Wincewind. It's the awena foah you!
- Hooray For Wodney Wat is a children's book where Rodney's speech impediment is used to Rodney's advantage against a loud and annoying new classmate, to the delight of the west of the class. This was followed up with Wodney Wat's Wobot, in which the annoying new classmate weturned, but was again outwitted.
- In Tickle Amongst the Cornstalks by Bob Bishop, lady Charlotte has this impediment (an unusual case of a Love Interest afflicted with this).
- In the Flashman series, Lord Cardigan, a historical figure has this accent, representing the British Upper-Class Twit version. For instance, whenever he says the protagonist's name,, it's spelled phonetically as "Fwashman".
- Like much of Flashman, this is Truth in Television (if not necessarily for Cardigan himself). Many aristocratic British officers, especially in the cavalry, deliberately affected such an accent to set themselves apart from lower class officers.
- In Jack Scheffield's book series, Nora Pratt speaks like this.
- In the third installment of the Howl's Moving Castle series, "The House of Many Ways", Howl disguises himself as a young boy named Twinkle who talks in an overbearing lisp. Needless to say, it drives Sophie mad.
- Lord Dorwin in the first Foundation book by Isaac Asimov talks this way. The protagonist suspects it's an affectation; when Dorwin's giving all his attention to his hobby (archaeology), he pronounces his Rs.
- The cavalry hussar, Denisov, from Tolstoy's War and Peace has this quirk. English translations tend to pweserve it.
- Silas Heap in Septimus Heap is mentioned to sometimes invoke this when he's telling stories.
- Richard "Clever Dick" Cleaver, an Evil Genius in Kim Newman's Diogenes Club story "Cold Snap", suffers severely from this problem. As Richard Jeperson, one of the Club's greatest special agents, thinks to himself: "How cruel was it to give a speech impediment a technical name sufferers couldn't properly pronounce?"
Wive Action Tewivision
- Baby Bear on Sesame Street has this impediment.
- As does Junior Gorg on Fraggle Rock.
- An episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? saw Colin Mochrie use this when he had to play a Trigger Happy Huntsman during a game of Weird Newscasters.
- Barry Kripke from The Big Bang Theory. Also of note is that no matter how much of a Jerk Ass he is to the main cast, nobody responds by making fun of his speech.
- Once Sheldon did (unconsciously) imitate his speech, but realized it and corrected himself.
- Raj unknowingly asked what part of America Barry's accent was from.
- One episode has him get an iPhone 4S, and not being able to understand why the voice recognition software (Siri) wouldn't work for him.
"Not westauwant, westauwant."
- Barbara Walters. And, of course, mentioning her means that you have to mention Gilda Radner's Saturday Night Live parody, Baba Wawa. One Baba Wawa sketch is a parody of My Fair Lady. By the end of it she's not only not cured but has passed her condition on to Henry Higgins (Christopher Lee!).
- The club singer from an episode of Only Fools and Horses. Del only discovers this, of course, when he's already on stage and singing Roy Orbison's "Crying"...
Raquel: Oh yes, Derek, we saw it through to the death. "Please Welease Me", "Congwatulations" and "The Gween Gween Gwass of Home"!
- In the TV-movie vewsion of Merlin1998, Morgan le Fay talks like this.
Morgan: I want the cwown. Get me the thwone.
- Hector in a TV-movie based on The Odyssey.
- In an episode of The West Wing, C.J. had an emergency root canal that caused her to (temporarily) talk like this.
C.J.: YOU COMPWETWY IMPWODED!
- Angel Batista of Dexter has a bit of one of these due to his actor's very thick Cuban accent.
- "I'm wetiwing to open a wesauwant."
- Rick Pratt from The Young Ones has difficulty with "r" but not "l" (a childhood problem of his actor, Rik Mayall) and it only serves to highlight what a petulant whiny prick he is. It is particularly noticeable in the theme tune when he says "Shouldn't be afwaid."
- Frasier had a temp help out on his radio show once, with this problem. He related a tragic tale about how he lost his wife in the Caribbean. She ran away with a Rastafarian. Roz, listening from her sound booth in the background, was simply dying. Just repeat the above line for yourself to understand why.
- Used again with a live radio drama Frasier was direting. Roz had to have emergency dental surgery that day, and arrived on set with an impediment. "I can't bewieve that one of our guests could be a ... [resigned] mubable muhberber."
- The TV show based on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids featured Fwuffy, a robotic teddy bear that is infected with a computer virus. Fwuffy plans to take over the world. His use of this trope even carries over into his spelling. When Nick has to guess his password, it ends up being destwoy.
- From the Doctor Who serial The Twin Dilemma, Romulus and Remus, known to the fans as Womulus and Wemus.
- Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey depicts Michael Faraday speaking like this as a child in "The Electric Boy", which the teacher considers a caning offense. His mother takes him out of school rather than let this happen.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 has Tom Servo do this in his attempt to be cute at the end of Jack Frost, making Mike and Crow unable to understand what he's saying.
- Most English songs from 1980's German singer Nena, in particular "99 Red Balloons": "to wuwwy, wuwwy, supah scuwwy, caw the twoops out in a huwwy..."
- Lady Gaga's song "Bad Romance" features her, after singing most of the bridge in French, sing "I don't wanna be fwiends..." Strangely, this is the only time in that song she comes down with Elmer Fudd Syndrome. The very next repetition of the line is sung normally.
- This, as well as the Nena example above, may be explained by the use of guttural R in German and French, which can sound like w to an English speaker.
- Matt Bellamy, the lead singer/guitarist/pianist of the British rock band Muse does this. It's particulawly noticeable in Muse's performance of "Time is Running Out" at Wembley in 2007, seen on their HAARP DVD. This lisp, particularly Bellamy's pronunciation of the word "proper" (which comes out more as "pwopah"), has become a Muse fandom meme.
- The Trope Namer appears in a strip from The Far Side, being lectured by an employer about his speech.
: I'm sorry, but it seems you're having a subliminal effect on everyone in the factory. We're very proud of our product, Mr. Fudd, and there's no company in the world that makes a finuh scwew dwivuh...now you've got me doing it
- Doctor Light in Mega Man 8. This is regularly mocked by the fandom.
"We may at be abew to lokay anudda enewgy emission fwom da wadaw woom! When we fine dat metea, we'ww fine Dogta Wawwey!
Translation: "We may be able to locate another energy emission from the radar room! When we find that meteor, we'll find Dr. Wily!"
- Due to the bad sound compression, it sounds as if Zeus from the Sega Genesis port of the arcade classic Altered Beast is telling the players to "Wise fwom yo gwave!"
- Fallout 3 has a boy called Biwwy (Billy). He speaks like this. He offers to sell you his Waser Wifle. When you buy the Wifle, you realize that it's the gun's actual name! It's better then a "Laser Rifle" (Though Billy also calls those Waser Wifles).
- He doesn't even notice his speech impediment:
The Lone Wanderer: "Stop talking like that. No one thinks it is cute."
Biwwy: "Stop tawking wike what? You'we weiwd."
- Handel and Greta from the Spyro the Dragon series fit this trope, with one interesting twist: the fact Handel's English deteriorated to Elmer Fudd English from Ripto's Rage to Year of the Dragon: while Greta speaks Elmer Fudd throughout both games, Handel actually speaks normal English in Ripto's Rage but is speaking Elmer Fudd in Year of the Dragon. Did he get younger, or did she just get him doing it?
- Pip from Chrono Cross.
- The announcer from Samba de Amigo during the opening logos ("Pwesented by Sega, heh heh.").
- Fable has a few examples, like the traveling merchant in the first game who offers to sell you a present for your sister's birthday, Murgo the Trader in the second game, and Reaver's butler Hatch in the third game.
- Kala'ma in World of Warcraft is a troll hunter with an impediment caused by a nasty scar on his lip. Be vewwy quiet, he's hunting waptors. And is also hilarious. The PC can help him out by "pwacing waptor twaps."
Kala'ma: "Be caweful with the waptors, they can be wewy wewy smawt. Last week two hewd me down while a thiwd beat me with a stick."
- The Tax Collector in the PC version of The Secret Island of Dr. Quandary, who challenges you to "pway" a game of Tax Factor before he'll let you cross his bridge.
- Chaos Cultists from the original Dawn of War. This eventually gave birth to the fan-character Cultist-Chan. "Hwee hav captoored eet for kay-oss" indeed.
- Homestar Runner, who admits "I have twouble with my aws" in a "Puppet Jam" session with They Might Be Giants. (But his L's are fine.) His counterparts, Homsar, 1-Up and The Homestar Runner don't suffer from this.
- Catbug from Bravest Warriors, although this is mostly due to his voice actor being so young.
- Trope Namer: Elmer Fudd.
- The Looney Tunes short Wabbit Twouble plays with this during the opening by listing "Superwision: Wobert Cwampett"
- Parodied in The Far Side, with a strip where Elmer loses his job at the "scwew dwivuh" factory.
- and his spiritual successor Elmyra
- Among other Looney Tunes characters, Tweety Bird talks with Rhotacism, most notably his signature line, "I tawt I taw a puddy tat." Translated, of course, is "I thought I saw a pussycat" – which one time, Sylvester did say at least once.
- In the animated series of The Little Rascals, it sounded as if Patty Maloney was doing this in her potrayal of Darla Hood.
- Edmund from the Don Bluth film Rock-A-Doodle talked like this, reading to his memetic Mondegreen, "Jeepers, IMMA FUWWY!"
- Shows up in ReBoot, in a game wherein Enzo plays the part of, basically, Elmer Fudd.
- Randall, the snitch from Recess, suffered this speech impediment when he was in kindergarten (as seen in one of the episode featured on the video Recess: All Growed Down).
- Ming-Ming of Wonder Pets. Then again, she is supposed to be the equivalent age of a three-year-old.
- Apparently the voice actress cast for Ming-Ming talked this way when she was cast for the role, and they decided to continue it for the character even after the actress outgrew it.
- Scuffy the Tugboat in the Little Golden Book Land special.
- Franklin's sister Harriet on Franklin, though she eventually outgrows it.
- In one third-season episode of The Boondocks, Lamilton Taeshawn likes to "smoke wit' cigawettes."
- Gussie Mausenheimmuh on An American Tail. This leads to problems when she declares that they need to organize a rally. She's voiced by Madeline Khan, who reprised her Lily on Schtup voice from Blazing Saddles (mentioned above).
- Eileen "The Birthday Girl" from WordGirl, who talks with a lisp in order for people to give her whatever she wants.
- The Critic. Parodied with a Cousin Oliver who pretends to have an endearing speech impediment - and has copyrighted it for himself.
- 2D of Gorillaz has a mild case of this in his speaking voice, combined with a heavy Cockney accent. Here's a sample. Of course, it goes away completely when he's singing, due to being voiced by different people for singing and speaking.
- Caillou's sister Rosie. Apparently, she outgrew it sometime after Caillou's Holiday Movie.
- The Talespin episode "Waiders of the Wost Tweasure" plays with this. A character afflicted with this tells Baloo about the "wuby wings", which he naturally assumes means "ruby rings". It actually turns out to be a pair of ruby wings that inexplicably actually grant the wearer the ability to fly.
- Octus starts talking like this in Sym-Bionic Titan upon watching and mimicing a children's cartoon, until Lance tells him to stop.
- The 1968 Cool Cat cartoon "Big Game Haunt" featured a Casper the Friendly Ghost expy who speaks in Elmer Fudd-ese.
- Krazy in the 1960s Animated Adaptation of Krazy Kat. (In the original comics Krazy had a rather bizarre Funetik Aksent, but no dropping of Rs was involved.)
- Coiffio from Perfect Hair Forever went back and forth on this. He could pronounce "grooming" but couldn't pronounce "tree".
- Strawberry Shortcake's little sister, Apple Dumplin', in the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake series.
- Barbra Warbler from Animalympics.
- According to Wikipedia, as evidenced above, the proper term for this condition is called "Rhotacism".
- Most toddlers go through a rhotacism phase while learning to talk.
- Jonathan Ross. Also fondly known as "Wossy".
- Barbara Walters, famously parodied by Saturday Night Live as "Baba Wawa".
- Doctor Who writer and script editor Terrance Dicks.
- Longtime Celtics broadcaster Bob Cousy, leading Bill Simmons to say "It's a good thing Cousy doesn't call Red Sox games where he'd have to pronounce Trot Nixon's name."
- Incidentally, many English accents sound rather like this. This can be unintentionally humorous if a character has a Funetik Aksent (for instance, the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist.)
- Same for some East Coast American accents, e.g. Boston.
- 1930s actress Kay Francis had some trouble with her 'R's and L's and was known around the Paramount lot as "the wavishing Kay Fwancis"
- Art critic John Berger.
- US politician Barney Frank.
- British politician Roy Jenkins
- Novelist and biographer, Peter Akroyd.
- British TV historian Lucy Worsley, whose official day job title is, unfortunately, "Curator of Royal Palaces".
- Another British TV historian, Kate Williams.
- Dutch people attempting to speak English tend to do this, because in Dutch, syllables can only start with a rolling "r". The English "r" does exist in the language, but only at the end of a syllable. Some southern Dutch/Flemish accents use more of a German-style "r" sound instead, making it much easier for the speakers to adapt to the English sounds.
- Cantonese lacks the "r", so many Hongkongers can't pronounce it right. The common substiture is "w", while "l" and the occasional "n" may arise, usually depending on the word, and what is deemed to be closer in pronunciation.
- Jeremy Crispo.
- Biochemistry textbooks sometimes encourage this trope to help students associate the amino acid Tryptophan with its rather arbitrary one-letter abbreviation, W ("Twiptophan").
- Manager of the English national football team, Roy Hodgson, pictured above, was mocked by the British press using this when he was appointed.
- Actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. A Justified Trope, as Ferrigno suffered a massive hearing loss.
- Bulgarian powitician Mihail Mikov has the L variation, resulting in sentences such as "pwease wower the vowume a wittwe bit".
- This speech pattern is actually the so-called Western accent in the country, typically regarded as the equivalent of Cockney accent or Kansai Regional Accent. It is parodied in a song called Skakauec ("Gwasshoppew"/Grasshopper) which is made up mostly of words pronounced with Elmuh Fudd Syndwome at the L's.