Some people can't just say "hello" and leave it at that. These people are the ones who belong to this trope.
A character cannot give a simple greeting, salutation or announcement.
Protocol or cultural mores from their city, state, dimension, planet, or other point of origin may require a lengthy greeting far longer than local etiquette requires.
- a character has a long string of greetings to deliver one right after the other.
- a character tries to deliver one single greeting, but is repeatedly interrupted or thwarted from doing it. But undaunted, they keep going until they succeed.
- a character must deliver individualized greetings to each member of a group.
The greeter may fall over exhausted after the greeting; or those they are greeting may do so.
May overlap with Try to Fit That on a Business Card
or Large Ham Title
. See also Long List
and Secret Handshake
. If one specific person greets people or is greeted in this manner, see catchphrase
and Phrase Catcher
Anime and Manga
- In Wicked City, the Taito Hotel's sole guest Giuseppe Mayart gets one of these and leaves the hotel manager still in his bow reciting his greeting speech until his friend Taki tells him the guy has gone upstairs.
- From The Sandman arc The Season of Mists:
Lucifer: Deliver your message, Cain.
Cain: Message. Yes. Right. Um. Ahem: "From the Lord of the Dreamworld, Prince of Stories, Monarch of the Sleeping Marches, His Darkness Dream of the Endless, to His Infernal Majesty, Lucifer, called Morningstar: Greetings. Our right trusty and well-beloved cousin—"
Lucifer: No. Not the message. Just the content.
- Old joke:
Q: How do centepides greet each other?
A: "I'd like to shake your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand...."
- An old skit formula from Antero Vipunen, is for two to don their Fu Manchu Mustaches and play out "a traditional Chinese good day's greeting", after an announcer has informed the audience of how very very polite Chinese people are, and how meeting an equally polite fellow Chinese can lead to prolonged... situations. The point is to go as long as possible, one-up each other at every turn with ever more flowery phrases, and bow constantly very deep. (The book is from the 1930s if not older.)
Alice: "This one would like to greet your honourable self."
Bob: "This humble sparrow lowers oneself in front of the sun-like blaze of your honourable glory."
Alice: "This lowly earthworm is exalted by the most serendipitous blessing of happening at the sky-blue path of your honourable shoes."
and so on
- Wild Cards: The royal houses of the planet Takis have greetings along these lines. One recites another's name along with their birth order and family geneology. To drop a name or mess up the order is a major insult. That's why the Americans dubbed the first Takisian they met "Dr. Tachyon".
- In the Earth's Children series formal introductions are done by providing a person's name and ties, to show their status. Ayla in particular has a very long list of ties since she's a Zelandoni, a Mamut, a Clan member, has the Cave Lion as her totem, and is friend to three horses and a wolf.
- Harry Potter doesn't have an official, formal title, but his fans in-universe have been known to greet him as such: The Boy Who Lived, and any combination of the nicknames/titles/monikers he's been given throughout the series.
- The Dresden Files: Certain of the Faerie have formal greeting protocols, and it is a grave insult to omit a step. The Rule of Three also applies in faerie conversation and depending on whose domain you're in, it's also tacky to invoke it.
- October Daye: Faerie protocol has long and specific proclamations for specific events. Death, since it is so rare, has a really elaborate one — it is, however, considered acceptable to shorten it, because the Faerie really don't like having to discuss death. So while the long version is technically correct, it is not bad form to simply say "<Name> has stopped their dancing."
- Jane Yellowrock: Vampires getting together for formalities, weres getting together for formalities, and both getting together for formalities spend time citing their titles in detail.
- Hank Kimball from Green Acres can't just say "Good morning." He ends up debating on whether it is a good morning and then goes off on a tangent, much to Oliver's annoyance.
- Game of Thrones: Daenerys has a long title that must be recited in formal introductions: Daenerys of House Targaryen, called Daenerys Stormborn, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, the Unburnt, Queen of Mereen, Princess of Dragonstone, Silver Lady, Slayer of Lies, Daughter of Death, Bride of Fire, widow of Khal Drogo.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- Lwaxana Troi's full title. "Lwaxana Troi, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed" is appropriate to recite in formal introductions, but Lwaxana milks it for all it's worth.
- Picard had to make contact with a new species for treaty negotiations. The alien species had an extremely long and complicated greeting that, if said incorrectly, could be taken as an insult and prompt an interstellar incident.
- Super Sentai roll calls. It's more for the whole team combined than for just one character, but those scenes can get pretty long especially in the crossovers and series where there are a lot of members for the team. Mahou Sentai Magiranger's roll call is particularly long.
- African tribes have extended ritual greetings which it is considered polite to recite in full, although it is not an insult to skip some of the greetings if the situation warrants it (such as a doctor greeting the relatives of an emergency patient). English translation of part of one such greeting:
Person 1: Good day.
Person 2: Good day.
1: How did you sleep?
2: And how did you sleep? (The tradition seems to be to ask but not answer this question)
1: What do you eat?
2: Only porridge. (Traditionally made with millet flour)
1: What news of your place?
2: Only good. (African custom dictates that you first say all is well even if you're at the point of death)
- There are also other countries whose etiquette revolve around a couple of back-and-forth conversations declining a host's hospitality so as not to trouble them. The host in turn will insist on offering hospitality, and only then may the guest accept, reiterating that only if it is no trouble to the host.
- Jerry Potts, a Metis guide and translator, was notorious for not liking to talk a lot. Once, after a Native Chief had spent several minutes greeting some White guests, he translated the speech as "He says he's damn happy you're here."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Party of One": Pinkie Pie delivers the same singing telegram individually to Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy to invite them all to her party for Gummy's birthday. By the time she gets to the end of the song, she's a sweaty, breathless mess, and collapses, saying that she should've just sent regular invitations.
- Teen Titans: "For Real" opens with Control Freak growling, "GRRRRRReetings, Titans! It is your number one nemesis!" But since the Titans are out of town, they're not there. Control Freak pops all over the Tower, repeating the greeting, before finally saying it one last time, listlessly.
- In the Animaniacs Made-for-TV Movie Wakko's Wish, Wakko wishes upon a star and gets a visit from his non-gender specific wish fulfiller, who never stops shaking his hand during the introduction. Wakko first lampshades it by asking not to waste his wish on ending the handshake, and then gets out of it by replacing his arm with a fake one that the wish fulfiller continues to shake.
- Ben 10: Omniverse: The ruler of the Incursian Empire and his daughter both have long, overly complimentary greetings that state their name, rank, place in the royal line, etc.