How can you be so smart sometimes and still be such an... an AIRHEAD!
HEY! There's no need for racial slurs!
In fiction, racism is sometimes dealt with through metaphor, such as humans treating sentient robots as second-class citizens
, Elves VS Dwarves
, Fur Against Fang
So it's no surprise that many fantastic racists
have a wide vocabulary of fictional slurs to use against robots, vampires, etc. Can be very Does This Remind You of Anything?
When used against humans, Call a Human a "Meatbag"
is very popular with robots, while Son of an Ape
is widely used by all sorts of aliens and celestial beings.
When this happens during times of war or other armed conflict, see Nicknaming the Enemy
Compare Pardon My Klingon
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- In Gundam Earth Federation soldiers call the Zeon "Zeeks" and Zeon soldiers call the Federation "Feddies".
- While Spacenoid is in fact the in-universe term for people who live in space colonies or on the moon, the Titans use it as a slur. This doesn't carry over to the word Earthnoid for space-dwellers.
- There are also Oldtypes, typically used in contrast to Newtypes, though occasionally it's used with the connotation of "a selfish, narrow-minded, outdated fool who refuses to evolve".
- Furthermore, in Gundam SEED the Earth Alliance soldiers call the space-faring ZAFT soldiers "Space monsters". Classy.
- Even worse, Blue Cosmos, the group that's basically pulling the strings behind the Earth Alliance, refers to Coordinators as "Patchworks"
- Code Geass: Citizens of the defeated Japan are called "Elevens" by everyone affiliated with the Holy Britannian Empire, to go along with the whole stripped-of-their-national-identity treatment the Empire put on them (occupied Japan is simply called "Area 11"). Likewise with every other country that has been numbered.
- The Japanese rebels have their own slur for Britannians, "Buriki-yarou", literally meaning "tin-plated bastards" (a reference to their use of Knightmare Frames to invade Japan and other nations) as well as punning off the similarity in the two words. This was Lost in Translation in both (fan) subs and the official dub.
- The Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z were often called monkeys when being taunted by Frieza and his underlings. Syn Shenron of Dragon Ball GT also calls Goku a monkey.
- In Svetlana Chmakova's Nightschool series, vampires are affectionately nicknamed "Nozzies" by the local hunter guilds. They usually get called "Buffies" in return, especially when they feel like the hunters are harassing vampires who were just minding their own business out of nothing but Fantastic Racism.
- In Top 10, robots are sometimes referred to as 'clickers', a term that carries the same connotations as the N-word does in the real word. They prefer "Ferro-Americans" or "Post-organics."
- Although that doesn't stop "scrap" musicians from using it in their songs...
- A lesser slur than "clicker" was "spambo", which carries connotations of both "sambo" and "oreo"; Like a can of SPAM luncheon meat, it's metal on the outside, meat on the inside.
- Vampires are much the same. One vampire character insists that he's "a Hungarian-American with an inherited medical condition."
- Of course, there's X-Men, where mutants are referred to as "muties". Genoshans coin the term "genejoke."
- Also from the X-Books, "flatscan" (presumably a mutant detector with an oscilloscope interface would remain a flat line) and [evolutionary] "dead end" are the derogatory terms for regular humans from the mutant POV.
- In New X-Men, Stuff, a shapeshifting member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, is reprimanded by a colleague for using the slur "solid-oids" against non-shapeshifters; apparently this sort of bigotry is common enough where they come from that there's even a term for it — "morphism."
- And in the House of M Alternate Continuity, where mutants are the ruling class and humans are the persecuted minority, humans are referred to as "sapes"(short for Sapiens).
- In the Age of X... shared hallucination thingy, mutants referred to humans as "preaks". Because they are what came before.
- Blade usually calls vampires "suckheads".
- Aaron Stack's favorite term for humans is "fleshy ones".
- In Friday The13th Jason Vs Jason X robots are called "wind-ups".
- In Fables, non-magical folks are referred to as mundanes or more commonly "mundies" however in on issue during a dream sequence about what should happen if the mundanes ever found out about the Fables non-magicals come up with their own slur for Fables "Meevils" (short for Medieval people due to the serious difference in technology between the Fable homelands and Earth.)
- In Dead Eyes Open, the derogatory name for the Returners is "Deadies."
- Volgans in ABC Warriors refer to humans as 'floppies'.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Firebenders are called "ash makers" by residents of the Earth Kingdom who want them out.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction, Citizen Weevil, as Fantastic Racism is one of the key themes, naturally, there're a lot of slang terms/slurs in reference to the many different species that live in the Six Points, the deprived multi-species district in Lower Manehatthan where the narrator, a middle-aged Changeling immigrant and his family lives. Examples include, but not limited to, "cockroaches" (changelings), "hornkies" (unicorns), "mutts" (Diamond Dogs), "pastels/pasties" (ponies collectively). Others include "dirt/mud ponies" for earth ponies, "feather brains" for pegasi, and "horn heads" for unicorns.
- Jacob in Luminosity and other werewolves use the word "leech" for vampire when they aren't being Mind Controlled. Complete with a Last-Second Word Swap when Jake realizes he's about to use the term in front of some vampires who are on his side.
- Tons in With Strings Attached:
- The Idris call noncombatants “fodder” (e.g., streetfodder).
- Similarly, Jeft calls gaming characters with no chance for survival “fertilizer.”
- Grynun calls elves “dung on legs.”
- Lyndess scornfully calls Terdan a “Foot-Arm,” implying that though he is an Arm (the second highest rank in the Idris), he fetches and carries like a lowly Foot.
- The harveys do not like being called “rabbits” or “bunnies” and are quick to correct John when he innocently calls them that.
- Varx refers to Jeft as a “highgrav,” or big drag.
- The Hunter calls gay men “shameful female-men.”
- In Summer Days And Evening Flames, Gilda, a griffin, gets called a "half-breed". By a pegasus.
- In Legend of the Crimson Avatar, a Naruto AU/Avatar: The Last Airbender crossover, firebenders with extremely weak, low temperature fire are called Rose Flames due to the blood red color. Rose Flames struggle to produce even orange fire in combat and no Rose Flame has ever attained certification as a Master, relegating anyone unfortunate enough to be one to a life of ridicule. The AU Naruto happens to be a Rose Flame, and the first time he tries to look cool lighting his fist on fire, everybody laughs at him.
- In The Ollivander Children, the word "Mudbuck" is used as an extremely rude word for "Muggle."
- Harmony Theory: "Insect" for changeling. Also the two sides of Equestria call each other "lunatics" and "sun-heads".
- In Sideboard of Harmony, a Magic the Gathering and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover, Ditzy is a planeswalker and is yelling at another planeswalker who happens to be a unicorn at the time since her home plane, Ungula, doesn't allow humanoids. Ditzy calls him a "bonehead" for his stupidity just in time for Twilight to overhear and be outright shocked at Ditzy saying such a horrible thing. Ditzy quickly apologizes, saying she forgot the local context, she meant something else entirely, and that the pony she's yelling at isn't technically a unicorn to begin with.
- Bait and Switch (STO) has Eleya frequently using the term "greenskin" for Orions. She also once refers to the Borg as "damned boltheads".
- Reimagined Enterprise: Vulcans are sometimes dubbed 'elves' and Tellarites 'pigs'.
- A Voice Among The Strangers: Jessica's arrival in Equestria coincides with a series of inconsistent rumours of an unfamiliar monster around Fillydelphia. She is promptly captured, caged and put in a monster sideshow as the "Foal-Hunter", and the nickname takes a long to shake off, even after she's escaped and proven that she's sapient and not a threat to them.
- The Replicants in Blade Runner often referred to as "skinjobs." In the original version with the Harrison Ford voice-overs, it's explicitly stated that the term is the equivalent of the N-word for replicants.
- in the otherwise forgettable Creation Of The Humaniods the andriods are called "clickers."
- In Willow, Nelwyns are derisively referred to as "pecks."
- The Alien race in District 9 is referred to as "prawns" by the humans.
- In I, Robot, Detective Spooner (Will Smith) calls robots "canners," presumably short for "can opener."
- The Bug from Men In Black refers to humans as "undeveloped pond scum", "meatbags", "milksuckers" and "monkey boys".
- The Na'Vi of Avatar are called "blue monkeys" by corporate or military bigots.
- Plus, here in Real Life, they are often called Smurfs by anyone watching the movie.
- The Coneheads refer to humans as "bluntskulls."
- In Casper, the Ghostly Trio refer to humans (or rather, living humans) as "fleshies".
- Blade referred to vampires in one of his catch-phrases as "suckheads".
- Switch of The Matrix at one point calls Neo, at the time still unplugged, a "coppertop"◊.
- The knights in King Arthur call the Picts "Woads" (with Word of God that this name is meant to be a slur).
- Robots older robots models are called "outmodes".
- In Underworld werewolves apparently refer to vampires as "bloods." Whether or not the term "lycan" for werewolves is this or Our Werewolves Are Different is a little unclear.
- In Animorphs, yeerks are "slugs", Andalites are "grass-eaters", Taxxons are "bugs" or more commonly "worms", Hork-Bajir are "geniuses" and "bark-chewers", and humans are "monkeys."
- The standard Yeerk-on-Andalite insult seems to be "Andalite filth!," while the inverse is "Yeerk scum!"
- "Buggers" in Ender’s Game was retconned into this. In the later books (starting with Ender's Shadow) we learn that they're officially called "Formics"—likely because the series became more popular among pre-teens than Card expected, and he wanted to avoid gratuitous profanity (he even replaces all uses of "Bugger" with "Formic" in the 2008 graphic novel adaptation).
- Note that while considered a swear on Earth after the first and second invasions, "buggers" doesn't really mean much to the aliens, who at that point are still figuring out the concept of sapience outside of a hive mind, and have little to no real contact with the humans.
- 'Piggies' starts off as an affectionate nickname for the native inhabitants of Lusitania in Speaker for the Dead, but by Xenocide and Children of the mind, it has come to be seen as condescending, and "pequeninos" (Portuguese for "little ones") is the preferred term.
- "Mudblood" is a slur frequently used for non-wizard-born wizards in the Harry Potter series, hypocritically treated by the "good" wizards to be on par with the N word in terms of nastiness. Hypocriticaly, because they themselves commonly call non-wizards "Muggles" (word derived from "mug", an English term for someone who is easily fooled), which is somehow acceptable. Those who are not of non-wizard ancentry but sympathize with them and their magical progeny anyway, are called "blood traitors".
- "Blood traitor" is a real-life racist term and wasn't invented by JK Rowling, but used in the setting.
- Werewolves, mermaids, centaurs and half-giants are called "half-breeds" by the same sort of bigots. While there's no interspecies breeding involved for the first three, it's probably because they appear to be half-human, half something else.
- In Discworld, dwarfs are occasionally called "lawn ornaments" and gritsuckers.
- Trolls take offense at being called "rocks".
- Also, the undead and related (vampires, werewolves, bogeymen) sometimes refer to humans as "Normos" (short for 'normal'), as seen with Shlimazel the bogeyman in Hogfather.
- Conservative dwarfs call those dwarfs who dare to openly show signs of femininity "Ha'ak". No translation is given, but it's very clearly not a nice word (the target's troll friend threatened to kill the offender if he heard it used again). It turns out later it's not just an insult for the openly feminine, or conservative vs. liberal: a rather progressive dwarf says it to an arch-conservative adversary in Thud!.
- Other slurs referring to those showing undwarfly conduct include "Dr'zka" and "D'hrarak". The former means you have a lax approach to dwarfish behaviour and such; the latter means an exile who has been cast out of dwarf society by the Low King.
- Th dwarf word drudak'ak, while it isn't precisely a slur (but is somewhat unkind, judging by the way Carrot hesitates to use it), means something like "They who do not get out in the fresh air enough" and refers to dwarfs who are excessively conservative; generally, the dwarfs that this applies to are rather inclined to believe that the surface is a bad dream of some sort that will go away if they ignore it hard enough.
- The Librarian gets very upset at being called a "monkey." He's an ape, thank you.
- There seem to be inter-undead slurs too, Lady Margolotta once referred to werewolves as "doggies".
- Discworld naturalist, Carolos Linoleum, devised the Latatian taxonomy that gives all creatures a scentific name. He turned in completely uncontroversial performance on mundane animals, but allowed his prejudices to get the better of him on sentient races. Possibly figuring trolls and dwarves were too thick to understand Latatian, he classifed the Dwarf race as Hortus Decorus (Garden Ornament), and Trolls became Stultus Sternum (Stupid Rock). Vampires were filed under Nosferatu Sanguinaie (Bloody Undead) and werewolves as Canii Bonii (Good Doggies). The Watch classed his death as Suicide.
- In The Witcher lore, elves refer to humans as "d'hoine". While it is the word in Elder Speech that literally means "human", it is almost solely used in derogatory manner.
- In Nemesis, by Isaac Asimov, there is still some latent racism in twenty-third century human society. However, rather than use the present-day racial slurs, Asimov makes up his own, such as Euro, Afro, Hindo, and Mongo. These slurs are treated as being just as offensive as the Real Life ones.
- In the Poul Anderson-Gordon Dickson Hoka story "Joy in Mudville", a reptilian alien calls the protagonist a "slimeless conformation of boned flesh", provoking him to reflect that nonhumanoid insults are seldom meaningful to humanoids (and presumably vice versa). "It did not offend him at all to be told he was slimeless."
- In Christopher Anvil's Pandora'sPlanet, the Centran commander of Earth deliberately encourages his soldiers to call the natives "puff-skulled, hairless, flatnosed lop-tails". Only the last part seems to stick. There is no mention of Earthmen calling the Centrans anything in particular, despite noting their resemblance to lions.
- In the Drake Majistral books, self-styled "pro-human" groups call the Khosali "rats" — although their marked canine appearance and traits makes this strangely inappropriate.
- In some of the Shadowrun novelizations, British call orks "baldricks" — probably a reference to the Blackadder character.
- The Fairies from Artemis Fowl call humans "mud people."
- In Karin Lowachee's Warchild Series, "strit" for the striviirc-na aliens and "symp" for human sympathizers (like the protagonist and his mentor).
- The werewolves in Twilight have called the vampires "leeches" and "bloodsuckers" and a few others I've forgotten. The vampires tend to use "dog" like a slur as well.
- Common amongst lit and such that involves vampires and werewolves. Or anything that eats blood or is Lupine, really.
- Rashel refers to vampires as "leeches" and werewolves as "puppies" in The Chosen.
- The now ubiquitous term Toon started out as a slur term for cartoon characters in the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit??. (Note the similarity between slurs like coon or cohn) The movie adaptation Who Framed Roger Rabbit still uses it in this sense, although not as blatantly.
- "Toon" was supposed to be a slur?
- In Isaac Asimov's Robot novels, the people who live on Earth refer to robots as "boy". There's also the mutual distinction and disdain between Earthers and "Spacers".
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Yuuzhan Vong are repeatedly referred to simply as "Vong" until they get to explain that using just that part of the name implies that the person is without the favor of the gods. Some people go on using it; others begin calling them "scarheads" for their badge-of-honor bodily mutilations. Also worth noting, the Star Wars fandom tends to use "Vong" for convenience.
- Among many others: Wooks (Wookiees), Pigs (Gamorreans), Tailheads (Twi'lek), Slugs (Hutts), Bug-eyes (Rodians), Hammerheads (Ithorians; though probably not intended as an insult, they don't like it), Fish (any aquatic species), Bugs (any insectoid species, but perticularly Geonosians), Tinnies, Clankers, Machines (droids), Meatbags, Wets (organic beings), Indigs (natives of any planet), Aliens (non-Humans in general; sometimes treated as an insult, others not), Imp (anyone who works for the Empire, especially Stormtroopers; short for Imperial). The Imperials (at least in the Old Republic era), fires back with "Pubs." "Sith" is often spoken like a curse even though it's the name of an organization. Ditto for "Jedi." I'm sure there are more. "Rimkin" is a slur referring to anyone who lives in the Outer Rim. And if one Mandalorian calls another "dar'manda" (literal translation: No longer Mandalorian) in a cantina? Run like hell because the ensuing fight will involve BFGs and enough dakka to level a city.
- Battlefield Earth has the Psychlos universally refer to humans as "Man-Animals". Creativity is not a Psychlo's strong suit.
- In Harry Turtledove's World War, the Race quickly takes to calling humans Big Uglies. Humanity responds by coining Lizards to refer to the Race.
- In Kim Newman's Anno Dracula, with a vampire aristocracy ruling Britain, "warm" gets used as a derogorary term for the living. Those who object to the vampire rule call them "leeches". In one of the sequel short stories, as vampires spread across America, a California diner has a sign saying "No Vipers".
- In a later sequel, John Alucard has his own slant on reclaiming the terms: he prefers "leech" or "viper" to "Undead American" because people should be scared of vampires.
- The vampire equivalent of "Uncle Tom" is "Grandpa Munster".
- Mary Gentle's Grunts! has elves referred to "squeakies."
- A science fiction short story had "google" as a slur for the genetically-enhanced space people (they have large eyes). Of course, this was before "google" meant "web search".
- One of Andre Norton's earliest books (Star Rangers/The Last Planet) had "Bemmy" — apparently derived from the movie slang B.E.M., "bug-eyed monster," as a generic insult for nonhumans. She got Anvilicious with it to the point of including "Bemmy-lover" as an insult for any human who hung out with them.
- "Bem" is similarly used in the space-opera segments of Piers Anthony's Bearing an Hourglass, as human slang for the alien "Bug-Eyed Monsters" who are mankind's rivals for control of the galaxy. Inverted and parodied, in that these same aliens insist that "Man" is a racial slur they invented for human beings ("Multi-Appendaged Numbskull", or possibly something nastier).
- B.E.M. is also used as an insult by a human de-frosted from stasis in Strata by Terry Pratchett. The insult is so archaic that only one person there, an alien historian, gets what it means, the one other human present is clueless.
- Most of the human characters in Uller Uprising by H. Beam Piper refer to Ullerans as "geeks" - except the Kragans, their closest native allies. The Ullerans, in turn, call the humans "sudabitt", the closest they can get to "son of a b*tch".
- Even the Kragans take to calling all-natives-but-Kragans "geek".
- In Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series, Yellowstonian Demarchists call Conjoiners "spiders" and rogue Demarchists, Skyjacks and Ultras "zombies". The "spider" nickname was also used by the Coalition for Neural Purity seen in the chronologically earliest installments of the series. Conjoiners refer to baseline humans as "the retarded".
- The Bio Punk Moreau Series by S. Andrew Swann features Morey, short for the uplifted animal Moreaus, and Franks, short for the genetically enhanced human Frankensteins. As the protagonist tends to be a Noble Bigot With A PI Badge in a Crapsack World, it's never clear if there's a polite term, but the few 'good' people we run into avoid them completely. 'Nonhuman' is used by several news agencies, but the moreau protagonists react with scorn to the term.
- The RCN series adopted a racist term from English — "wog" — with the alteration that it no longer has anything to do with skin color. In the eyes of Cinnabar's spacers, you can be whatever race or ethnicity (including as blond, blue-eyed, and whiter than white as a Nazi's wet dream), but you're still a wog if you're not from Cinnabar.
- In Ursula K. Le Guin's The Word For World Is Forest, the human slur for the Athsheans is "creechies".
- There's a fair bit of prejudice against the fruits of cross-kinded couplings in Shadows of the Apt (though people have no trouble with the couplings themselves), derogatory terms include "halfway" and "piebald". "Halfbreed" is occasionally used with some venom, too, although it seems to be the generally-accepted term.
- In the Disney Fairies series, fairies refer to humans as "Clumsies."
- The very not so fantastic "Nought", "Cross", "Blanker", "Dagger", "Halfer" in ''Noughts & Crosses".
- "Flatheads", for Shanka, in The First Law trilogy.
- Tamora Pierce has fairly generic slurs used against non-white people in her Tortall Universe (e.g. "sand lice" for the Arab-analagous Bazhir), and the Circle of Magic books introduce the word kaq, which is... confusing. We're told first that it's used by the Tsaw'ha or Traders to refer to non-Traders, that it's very insulting, and that its main connotation is ignorance of the superior Trader way of life. Trader-ness seems to be an ethnic and/or cultural designation rather than a racial one; the only Traders whose races we're told are black, but there's an ambiguous reference to the notion of a white Trader as if it wouldn't be remarkable, and we meet plenty of black people who aren't Traders. So it appears it's more an issue of cultural xenophobia than of racism. The main Trader character, Daja, soon stops using it about the other three protagonists as they become Fire-Forged Friends, but continues thinking of other non-Traders whom she doesn't like as kaqs, apparently feeling no obligation to stop thinking along generalized lines — and her non-Trader friends adopt it for similar use against people who piss them off, as if it only means "ignorant person" and has no demographic associations. So who the hell knows what's going on there.
- In Gone, the words "freaks", "mutants", "muties", "mutant freaks", "moofs", and "chuds" are all used as slurs for "kids who have mutated and developed supernatural powers".
- In the Star Trek Novel Verse, "Singleton" is a terrible slur in the Bynar culture, signifying one who is unfit for bonding with another; a rejected person. To the Bynars, who (almost) always operate in pairs, this is the ultimate insult. In the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, the character "Solomon" is on the receiving end of such abuse due to his decision not to take another mate upon the death of his partner.
- In John M. Ford's Klingon novels, the ultimate, unforgiveable, kill-the-insulter-to-redeem-your-honor insult you can call a Klingon is tokhe straav' — "willing slave".
- The Wise Man's Fear gives us "ravel," a slur against the Edema Ruh race to which the protagonist belongs.
- Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez series has "blunt tooth" as a vampire term for humans.
- Vampires in Fevre Dream refer to humans as "cattle."
- Vampires in Christopher Farnsworth's novels refer to humans as "the stock", short for "livestock."
- In Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures, natives of the dimension of Perv are "Pervects." Anyone referring to them as "Perverts" may expect a dose of percussive education to correct them.
- There's a reason for this—in later novels, we meet actual "Perverts" on Perv, who personify all of the negative stereotypes of Pervish natives.
- Lee Crabb, in Dinotopia has a tendency to refer to the saurians as 'scalies'.
- The Uglies 'verse has 'crumblies' for older people.
- The worst insult in Guardians of Ga'Hoole is "wet pooper", related to the owls' looking down on birds that don't produce pellets.
- In the Rowan of Rin series, the people of Rin call the Travellers 'slips,' after the 'slip-daisy' weed, because of their carefree nature, which is deemed useless by the seroius, hard working people of Rin.
- The intelligent flesh-eating undead in Dust by Joan Frances Turner call the living "hoos" for "human". There's also "maldie" as a derogatory term for a heavily-embalmed zombie, who are often stereotyped as ditzy and snobbish about their lack of decay. They do, however, view "zombie" as a gross slur when used by humans.
- The novel series Save The Pearls, blacks are now the dominate race and have re-named all the races. Whites are called "pearls", Asians are called "Ambers", Latinos are called "Tiger's Eyes" and blacks are called..."coals". While whites are supposedly at the bottom of the hierarchy, many critics have noted that their name is the only one that denotes value, beauty, and rarity.
- The anatomically modern humans in Earth's Children refer to the neanderthals as "flatheads".
- In Divine Blood, Lady Tinia refers to humans as "monkeys", Hel refers to Naiki as a "deep one", Naiki herself refers to smelling the presence of a "cuckoo" and is reminded that they prefer "changeling" and several people refer to untrained psychics as "akiras". Also, a killer who Mao eliminates in the first chapter is called a "Van Helsing" since he was killing non-humans after learning they existed.
- In M.C.A. Hogarth's Paradox series "furry" is insulting to the Pelted, conversely "skinny" and "devvy" ("devolved") are used on their creators.
- Considering that all the main civilizations in the Codex Alera are extremely xenophobic, it's unsurprising that a few of these crop up.
- Aleransnote often call the Canimnote "dogs" (though "jackal" is the canine metaphor of choice for when Canim want to insult each other), while Canim call Alerans "demons" (and at least one instance of "monkey-boy").
- The Maratnote are on marginally better terms with the Alerans (that is to say, the two groups generally avoid each other with the occasional blow-up into war, rather than continuous low-level warfare as between Alerans and Canim), and the two races at least superficially look similar, so "monster" type slurs are usually out; instead, both groups tend to just call the other "savages", with Alerans insinuating that all Marat are into bestiality and cannibalism, and Marat insinuating that all Alerans are treacherous Dirty Cowards with no morals- the slur "Dead Tribe" is mentioned to be used by Marat for Alerans, but never actually gets used on-page.
- Oddly, no specific slur for the Icemen is ever brought up, even though a significant subplot in the fifth book involves a warmongering Aleran lord who is extremely bigoted against them- though "Icemen" itself might count, since it's the Aleran term for the race and not the name they use for themselves, which is never revealednote .
Live Action TV
- In Greg the Bunny, the slur of choice against "Fabricated-Americans" (essentially Muppets) is to call them "socks."
- "God hates fangs."
- "Fanger" is also used for vampires, while "fangbanger" is used for either people in some sort of relationship with a vampire or just generally anyone sympathetic to them (by the more fanatical detractors).
- "Greenskins" for female Orions in Star Trek.
- An inorganic lifeform calls humans "ugly bags of mostly water" in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Home Soil."
- The Andorian commander Shran refered to humans as "pinkskins" on Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Weirdly, as there were Vulcans of the same skin color in the room and it clearly didn't apply to them.
- However, Shran's use of "pinkskin" was less as an insult and more as a term of endearment, especially with regards to Archer.
- What about McCoy's frequent "green blooded hobgoblin" rants?
- "Pointy-Ear" seems to be a mild slur against Vulcans and Romulans. Romulans tend to find it more offensive than Vulcans, or rather, Vulcans simply choose to not rise to the insult.
- Another Trek one—in the Expanded Universe, Klingons are sometimes referred to as "turtleheads" or "ridgeheads".
- Deep Space Nine: "Spoonheads" or "Cardies" for Cardassians, and "shifter" for Changelings. Racist Changelings also refer to non-shapeshifters as "solids," and one came up with the term "monoform" to emphasize how limited non-Changelings are.
- Space: Above and Beyond has "Chiggers" or "Chigs" for the insectoid enemy species and "Nipplenecks" or "Tanks" for the In Vitros. (Artificial Humans). In one episode, a Silicate informs one of the human characters that the Chig nickname for humans is similarly unflattering (meaning something along the lines of "red, stinking things"), but is hard to pronounce.
- "Dagger" for Dagwood's people in SeaQuest DSV.
- Stargate: "Snakeheads" or simply "snakes" for the Goa'uld.
- Babylon 5: "Bonehead" for Minbari among humans, and "Snakehead" as a generic term for non-humans. Interestingly, this seems to be a human thing, as none of the often equally racist aliens bother to come up with these kinds of slurs for humans, or each other.
- Bonehead still has its original meaning, which led to a few awkward situations.
- Early on a Minbari warrior insults Sinclair by saying "You have a hole in your mind!", which Delenn reports is a repulsive insult.
- Not so much an insult as a recurring plot point - Sinclair's memory was wiped by Minbari telepaths at the Battle Of The Line. Delenn wanted to change the subject.
- Psi Corps telepaths, especially those with telepath-supremacist beliefs, call normal humans 'mundanes'.
- Ultraviolet uses "leech" for vampires.
- Battlestar Galactica has "toaster" for the Cylons in general, and "bullethead" for the Centurions. Humanoid Cylon models are often referred to as "skinjobs" (a shout-out to Blade Runner, as mentioned in the "Film" section).
- It was mentioned once, in "Bastille Day" by Zarek, that humans from Sagittaron get called "stumps".
- In Caprica, humans from Tauron are called "dirt eaters". The word "monad" also appears to be used as a somewhat derogatory term for monotheists.
- In both the film and TV series Alien Nation, Newcomers are frequently called "slags".
- The Newcomers, in turn, often call humans "terts".
- In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, future-humans often refer to Terminators as simply "metal" in a tone that certainly sounds like a species-insult. As in "you had metal running a submarine?"
- Farscape: Rygel's frequent "blue-arsed bitch" rants at/about Zhaan may or may not qualify, depending on whether the phrase is any more widely used than by him. Many characters refer to him as a "slug" when they're particularly angry with him, and a one-shot villain calls him a "slime toad" and "slime finger".
- In Supernatural, angels refer to humans as "mud-monkeys", while Dean called the Angels "junkless".
- One episode has a ghoul who is offended by being called a ghoul.
- The Muppet Show: Rowlf is disgruntled about having to play the song "Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow" in one episode. He says that for him as a dog, it's humiliating to be called a "bow-wow".
- KITT on the original Knight Rider hated motorcycles, and on one occasion was heard to call a dirt bike a "two-wheeled tarantula".
- In Defiance, "haint" is a common slur for Castithans.
- In Doctor Who, during the 26th century, "Dragons" is a racial slur for Draconians, a race the humans were at war with.
- In Shadowrun settings, or other cyberpunk, Elves are called "keebs" or "dandelion eaters" as a slur.
- Humans refer to Orks and Trolls, collectively, as "Trogs". Not to be out-done, the Orks call Humans "Breeders", which is supposedly an actual slur used in the real world by homosexuals in reference to heterosexuals. Orks are also called "tuskers" and elves are also called "fairies." Yes, it implies that all elves are gay.
- "Troglodyte" is a generic insult for anyone accused of being primitive in reality, and also applies to cave-dwellers.
- Warhammer has stunties (dwarfs), pointies (elves), and manlings (humans).
- Lizardmen call Skaven something that roughly translates to "twisted spawn of the rat". Mind you, this is an entirely accurate description.
- On the other side of the coin, Skaven refer to just about everything else as "X-Thing" (Man-Thing, Dwarf-Thing, Dead Thing, etc...)
- One sourcebook has a Skaven map which uses the Skaven vernacular, in which the Chaos Wastes, populated if at all by mutant monstrosities, is labeled "Thing-Things".
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, werewolves call vampires "leeches," and the vampires (among others) call the werewolves "dogs." The werewolves also have Fantastic Slurs for each other — "apes" and "monkeys" for those with human parents, "ferals" for those with wolf parents, and "mules" for those whose parents are both werewolves, and who are therefore sterile.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, every vampiric clan had a nickname. It could be playful or an obvious slur.
- And humans are "kine", i.e. cattle.
- In another White Wolf example, the superhero roleplaying game Aberrant was titled after an in-setting slur — the superhumans of the setting were more politely referred to as "novas," but those distrustful of them (and some novas out to reclaim the term) use "aberrant." By the time of far-flung sequel Trinity (which was released first), though, the novas were commonly referred to as aberrants.
- On the other side of the coin, the term "baseline" specifies a person who is incapable of achieving Eruption (becoming a Nova), but quickly got co-opted as a slur against unerupted humans in general. "You wouldn't comprehend, you're just a baseline."
- Warhammer 40,000 - psychics call normal humans "blunts" (and are themselves "witches,", "warpfreaks," or "madboys.")
- Navigators, who are raised as nobles and can see the warp, have been known to refer to normal humans as "blinders."
- Techpriests of the Adeptus Mechanicus also do this to normal humans. At least one has been heard to call them 'meatbags.' Techpriests in turn are often called 'cogboys' or some other name referring to their heavy use of artificial limbs/organs.
- According to the Ciaphas Cain novels, the term cogboy is actually one of the less degrading names the imperial guard gives to the techpriests, so it should be no surprise they don't have much positive opinions from normal people.
- Non-humans are referred to by the Imperium as "xenos", "xeno" in the singular, a nouning of the Greek-derived prefix.
- Orks are referred to by humans as "greenskins". Orks call humans "'umies," thought this is probably just because they can't pronounce the word correctly. Orks also refer to Tau as "greyskin", and Eldar as "pointy-eared gits" or "panzees". Ork insults usually aren't of the most creative kind.
- And the Eldar call the humans Mon-keigh. Subtle.
- There are many more. Maybe the most polite is the Tau "Gue'la,", strictly meaning "lowest rank of human." To the tau, all beings have a name and a rank, and "la" is the lowest rank given to any member of a particular tau caste (such as a private in an army). "Gue'la" is only used on imperial humans: Humans who defect to the Tau get called "Gue'vesa" ("vesa" meaning 'helper'), and may have "'la" added to that if they join Tau society as soldiers.
- The GURPS Supers IST setting has some Smug Supers refer to nonsupers as "crunchies" due to their frailness.
- GURPS Bio-Tech has a vignette in which an uplifted gorilla refers to "napes:" naked apes. He apologises.
- In Rifts, the most common term for the manyfold races coming to Earth from the rifts is "D-Bees." (Dimensional Beings.)
- Is this used as a slur? Doesn't sound like it. More like a technical description.
- That's the use I saw, it's a simple descriptor, accepted by everyone. Though, like "Jew" mentioned above, there's probably a big difference in the way it's said depending on whether or not it's being said by a Cyber-Knight or a Coalition soldier.
- The Deadlands: Lost Colony setting introduces the anouks who inhabit a planet named Banshee; humans who dislike them tend to call them "grape," on account o' their most common skin color. To elaborate further on how far relations between the humans and the anouks have fallen, you get "wine" from pressing a "grape."
- In Traveller Vargr are sometimes called "doggies" by humans. Other races have their own particular slurs.
- And interestingly enough Traveller geeks have a collection of metafictional jokes about Vargr. This is almost Defictionalization except it is real people making real slurs about a fictional race.
- The orcs from the German The Dark Eye are called "blackpelts", and the goblins "redpelts". Not to be outdone, the orcs have "smoothskins" for humans, while the elves call them "rose-ears", and the lizardfolk have "F'zzmech", which translates literally to "excrement", but is used as a slur against every sentient warm-blooded species.
- The D&D Planescape setting has several, the most outstanding being "prime" and "clueless." A prime is someone from the prime material plane (i.e. an actual Earth-like world, such as most regular settings) rather than from Sigil or the outer/inner planes; to some people, this implied that the person was rural, uneducated, the "country cousin from out of town," although technically it's purely descriptive and not derogatory. A clueless, on the other hand, is very much so; a person who just don't get how things work out among the planes, and sometimes believe he's still back home. (An apt comparison would be your country cousin visiting the city for the first time, and your retarded cousin who can't be convinced he has to wear pants when he's with other people.) Some people consider all primes to be clueless, but there's a good deal of arrogant cluelessness among some planewalkers, too...
- Baatezu and tanar'ri consider "Devil" and "Demon" slurs, respectively.
- Spelljammer has "Groundling" for people who live on prime worlds but never explore Wildspace or travel via the Phlogiston.
- Natives of Ravenloft use "Outlander" as a catch-all term for strangers who wander into their realm via the Mists. While not directly derogatory, Outlanders are usually presumed to be either crazy or Mist-disoriented, particularly if they keep claiming to come from other worlds.
- In Mutant Chronicles Capitol Armed Interdiction Police (riot cops) are sometimes called Apes, implying brutality, single-mindedness and stupidity.
- In BattleTech, Trueborn Clan warriors look down on naturally born people, giving rise to the term "freebirth", meant to disparage not only actual Freeborns, but other Trueborns as well. Freenborns in turn call them "trashborn".
- The term "fire-spitter" is sometimes used as a mild insult to a Ta-Matoran in BIONICLE, although it's not seen as particularly offensive or "racist."
- In Psychonauts, psychics are sometimes derisively referred to as "Spoon-benders." Much like with real life slurs, however, it's apparently okay for one psychic to call another one a spoon-bender; three main characters say it, one joking, one angry and one serious. Within the psychic community, the implied meaning seems to be 'someone who uses their powers for mundane things/to show off'.
- "Mentalist" is another one, but N-Word Privileges don't apply here; it's only used once by one character who is not psychic and is incredibly fantastically racist. Because of this, it's probably worse than "spoon-bender" as a slur.
- "Zombies" is a slur for ghouls in Fallout 3.
- Super Mutants are often referred to as "Muties" or "Uglies"
- The ghouls themselves often use the term "smoothskin" for humans, but it's unclear whether this is actually considered a slur; some ghouls say it like one, but others (who don't show any other signs of prejudice against humans) just use it as a synonym for "human".
- One ghoul you can speak with seems surprised that you don't call him a "Brain-eater" or a "Shuffler".
- In Mass Effect, calling an asari a "pureblood" is an offensive slur. More specifically, this refers to the child of two Asari, as they can breed with any other species (it allegedely increases genetic diversity) and view reproduction within their own race much as humans would view incest, due in part of a possible genetic defect that causes the child to essentially be a Sex Vampire.
- The ammonia-breathing Volus have to walk around in pressure suits all the time, and regularly wheeze in their speech. Telling one to "take a deep breath" is akin to telling them to kill themselves in an amazingly racist way. Expect a bad reaction, especially since about half of them have a Hair-Trigger Temper.
- The batarians, a race of four-eyed aliens, are called "blinks" by some people.
- Quarians are sometimes being called "suit rats" as Tali would attest. The volus, who often refer to people as "planet-clan" (they call humans "Earth-clan"), will also call the quarians "clanless".
- Turians have been referred to as "cuttlebones" and "skullfaces" during the First Contact War. Or, more rarely, "birds" (due to the somewhat avian shape of a turian's head).
- Hanar take offense at being called "jellyfishes".
- The Avernum series does this a lot. Racial slurs include calling Nephilim (cat people) "kitties" and Slithzerikai "lizards." Avernites get their nationality insulted constantly: "worms" by Empire citizens and "voles" by people from the Abyss.
- A Darwin Award is reserved for people who get killed for calling Bangaa "Lizards."
- The native Dunmer of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind occasionally use the term "n'wah" as a slur against foreigners and slaves. (Of course, it does pull double-duty as meaning "foreigner" or "slave.") They also use "fetcher," which also seems to refer to the target as a slave.
- Argonians will sometimes refer to non-Argonians as "soft-skins" in a derogatory fashion. Conversely, Argonians are called lizards and Khajiit "kitties"; and in Oblivion, every race gets a set of battle cries which specifically insult the other races - a human yelling that their Argonian opponent "will make a fine pair of boots," for example. Also, Khajiit are said to get very upset if you call them unclawed or bald, even if they technically are.
- Conversely, as seen in Skyrim, Nords (and presumably other races the Dunmer don't get along with) refer to Dunmer as "greyskins".
- In Star Control II/The Ur-Quan Masters, a conversation with a species of alien gas-giant dwellers ends with the cheerful exchange: "Goodbye, Slylandro gas bags." "Goodbye, human fluid sack!"
- May not actually be slurs, though, as the Captain and the Slylandro were obviously teasing each other with that exchange. The Slylandro in general just seem too friendly to have slurs against anyone.
- Valkyria Chronicles has their Jewish/Gypsy analog Darcsens derisively called "dark hairs" because... They have bluish black hair.
- This also applies to Valkyrur - Selvaria is frequently referred to as a "witch" even by her own soldiers, and Alicia is treated to a kind of reverse discrimination when Gallian soldiers begin genuflecting her in the canteen.
- Dark-hair only applies to the English dub. In the Japanese dub, they're simply referred to as 'Darcsen'.
- In Xenogears, people from the aerial empire of Solaris refer to surface dwellers as -Lambs-.
- People from Kislev were often called "steam-heads."
- In Chrono Trigger, citizens of the floating continent of Zeal, when they consider surface dwellers at all, call them "Earthbound."
- In Dragon Age: Origins, elves are known as "knife-ears." And the forest-dwelling Dalish elves call city-living elves "flat-ears." Elves refer to humans as "shems," short for "shemlen" which means quick children.
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn deserves mention for coming up with the most blatant Fantastic Slur ever. Some beorc (humans) actually refer to the laguz (shapeshifting animal-people) as "sub-humans." Also present in the Battle Cry "Bleed The Half-Breed".
- Not to be outdone, the laguz use the word "human" as an ethnic slur (which many beorc don't even recognize as such in the first place.)
- Hybrids between the two are referred to by the Laguz as "parentless".
- Neeshka from Neverwinter Nights 2 has been called, among other things, "goat girl".
- In Wing Commander, 'Hairless ape' is used by Kilrathi on Terrans. Terrans call the Kilrathi "furballs" or "cats" usually.
- The slur 'Hairless ape' is probably inspired from the Kzinti, who where themselves called 'ratcats' by humans, as their naked tails do resemble those of terran rats.
- Prophecy gives us "bugs" to refer to the hostile new alien race, with a taunt message for Casey in its sequel Secret Ops referring to them as roaches.
- Ys VI gives us the Rehda, who look like humans with fox tails and elongated ears. One in particular, who has a hate-on for "Eresians" (humans), calls humans "small-ears". Ruder humans in turn refer to the Rehda as "tailed freaks".
- In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, members of GDI are referred to by the mutants as "blunts." Likewise, everyone else calls the mutants themselves "shiners."
- In the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series, "onion" is a slur used against the Lilty tribe.
- The "Ender" in Zone of the Enders is a slur basically towards anyone born further from the Sun than you. (Earthlings to Martians, Earthlings and Martians towards Jovians).
- Killzone features the term, hig, to refer to the Helghast.
- In Halo the Covenant are sometimes called covies for short.
- The Forerunners had dirt-beast, their "most obscene slur for anyone not of [their] species". The councilor Splendid Dust calling Glory an idiot might count as well, as the book is supposedly a narrative translated from Forerunner, so the actual word is described as a way to put inferiors in their place (Glory being low in the Forerunner caste system)
- Also, though in the novels as well as dirt-beast, humans refer to Sangheili as hinge-heads.
- The Elites are called "split-lip", "squid-head", etc. by Marines in the second game.
- In the X-Universe, the Boron are sometimes called "squids", though they don't seem to mind since that's actually not a bad description from the neck down. Meanwhile, the Paranids are sometimes called "three-eyes". Again, not a bad description, but the Holier Than Thou Paranids may take offense to it.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution features some slurs against augmented humans: "hanzer" (enhanced human), "cog" (cybernetic augmentation), "robot", "chromeboy", etc.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, Republic characters will call Imperials "Imps." The Imperials, in turn, call their opponents "Pubs."
- In Dominic Deegan, Orcs are insultingly referred to as "piggarts." The author commented that he wasn't sure if he should feel proud or ashamed of making up such a nasty-sounding slur.
- Sparks are often called "madboys" or "madgirls" in Girl Genius. Not to their faces, of course.
- The sparks themselves generally call everyone else "minions." The word isn't offensive in and of itself, but is often made a part of rants against clumsy lab assistants.
- Drowtales: 'Drowhiir' (an impolite term for drowussu or grey drow), and 'Sick Bestiality Fetish' (said of a male drow who finds human women sexually attractive) are both used in-story. Drow also seem to use the word "motherkiller" in the same context that humans use "motherfucker" and as a specific reference to how the Sharen sisters killed their own mother.
- In Ugly Hill, cyclops monsters are referred to as "winks."
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, the insectoid Nemesites will sometimes use "vertebrate" in a derogatory fashion.
- As seen in the page quote, Celia (a sylph native to the Elemental Plane of Air) objects to being called an airhead in The Order of the Stick.
- Hobgoblins are also called "hobbos" by Durkon during the battle for Azure City.
- And some hobgoblins refer to goblins as "greenskins".
- In Planes Of Eldlor, "fallen" is one of the most common slurs used to refer to dark elves.
- In Poharex, the dinosaurs use the word "human" as an insult.
- In Impure Blood, freak lovers — to be sure, the men he took down were stalking him to taunt him with the same thing.
- In Unsounded, Gold Caste (Blonde Haired, Green-to-Gold Eyed) individuals in Alderode are 'pissmops', and Platinum Caste (Platinum Haired, Pink-To-Lavender eyed) caste individuals are insects
- In Homestuck, trolls right at the very bottom of their blood-colour based social structure are called 'rustbloods'. The more neutral term is 'lowblood'. At one point, Meenah also gets very offended when Mituna calls her 'chumbucket', as it's apparently an anti-highblood slur.
- In A Mad Tea-Party, genetically engineered people are derisively labeled "Genie."
- In The Dreadful, demons are a fairly common humanoid race, but they're second-class citizens and get called "Pinky," probably for their reddish skin.
- In Our Little Adventure, drow use "sunnies". One explains that it's an insult.
- “ape,” “hoofless,” “soft-footed” and “monkey” all get tossed around in Hotblood! by centaurs to humans. Also, considering centaurs have the lower body of a horse, the obvious insults are used as well.
- Tales of MU has several, including "pinkskins" for humans and "treefuckers" for elves. Unconventionally, "drow" is a slur for dark elves, along with "cowl head" and "spider jockey". The inhabitants of the non-human dorm, Harlowe Hall, are collectively referred to as "harlots".
- Red vs. Blue has Gary the computer who calls humans "shisnos" one of the greatest insults in the galaxy.
Gary: "What is the worst smelling animal on your planet?"
Church: "Erm... A skunk. Wait, so 'shisno' mean skunk?"
Gary: "Not exactly. Does a skunk defecate?"
Gary: "And does the skunks defecation in turn create its own excrement?"
Church: "Eww... No!"
Gary: "Then there is no equivalent for shisno in your language."
Gary: "Like you would not believe!"
- Several other characters use the word "shisno" as well. Sometimes as a slur, and sometimes in the context of "ah, shit".
- In Kid Radd, or rather in its fanbase that literally no longer exists (due to the combined factors of it ending six years ago, being barely readable in modern browsers, and too much spam on the forums), black-and-white video game characters were called Gids, which was shortened from Game Kids, which was a parody name of Game Boys.
- Orion's Arm has several of these, including Beastheads to refer to Rianths.
- The term "serpent" is considered to be a very offensive term (roughly equal to the N-word) for snakes in the Darwin's Soldiers universe.
- Tasakeru has the slurs "stinktails" for skunks, "stains" for wolfoxes, and "snake", used by the squirrels as a vicious insult.
- Uncouth humans in The Pentagon War refer to Centaurians as "xorns."
- Metahuman supremacists in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe refer to normal humans as "Normans" (as in "Norman Normal"). Normal humans are also sometimes referred to as flatlines, bases, and cheesers. The exact origin of that last one has long been a mystery.
- As Fantastic Racism is a key theme of the show, Exo Squad uses two distinct terms for Neosapiens: "Sape" as a slur, and "Neo" as a neutral descriptor. It's also notable that "Terran" is used by many Neosapiens on either side (both Marsala and Phaeton use it) to refer to non-Neosapiens, as Neosapiens are engineered from human DNA and are thus human as well, yet you'll hear non-Neosapiens (on either side) refer to themselves as "human".
- Bender from Futurama often refers to humans as "meatbags" as well as various other insults.
Bender: Are you familiar with the old robot saying Does Not Compute!?
Old Man Waterfall: Sir, to me a robot is just a trash can with sparks.
Bender: *upset* The sparks keep me warm.
- When Bender sold his body (leaving him as just a head), he called people with bodies "Coffin-stuffers".
- In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the clonetroopers call droids "clankers".
- Which is taken from the game Republic Commando. The accompanying books also give us "Tinnies" and "Wets," to refer to any organic enemy.
- They also call Twi'leks "tailheads." Bad pun on "towelheads," or unintentional? You decide!
- The Fairly OddParents has "conedomes" for Pixies.
- Don't forget Jorgan von Strangle's ever-so-creative, "pointy-headed freaks."
- Justice League Unlimited: In the episode "Hunter's Moon," Vigilante calls the Thanagarians "filthy hawks." I think that's the only time it's used, but the way it's said make it sound like "hawks" is a racial/species slur.
- On Teen Titans, it is revealed that Tamaranians are often refered to as "Troq" by other species. When Cyborg asks what it means, Starfire comments that "It means nothing". Only later, when he calls her that, does he realize it literally means "nothing." While she was merely depressed by being called it, Cyborg and Robin were decidedly furious when they learn the truth.
- Transformers sometimes refer to humans as 'insects' (despite humans not being insects), although obviously not when they transform into insects. Also, the term 'mudflap' is roughly analogous to 'bumpkin'.
- Some Decepticons have been heard referring to humans by the common "robot's anti-human term" of Fleshling. "Squishy" and "puny flesh creature" are also favorites.
- As a series where Fantastic Racism is one of the main themes, Shadow Raiders has plenty of these. Some of the most common include "rockhounds" for the people of Rock, "toad" and "reptile" for Bone (or at least Femur), "hothead" and "lavahead" for Fire, and "ice fleas" & "insects" for the people of Ice.
- The Family Guy Parody Episode "Something, Something Dark Side" had "nerf herder".
- South Park gives us the time-traveling Goobacks.
- Ugly Americans refers to zombies as "Leg Draggers"
- On My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon call their classmates who haven't gotten their cutie marks yet 'Blank Flanks'. Ironically, they appropriated the term from their teacher, Cheerilee, who wasn't using it as an insult.
- Truth in Television: Almost without fail, slurs started out as either innocuous descriptors without negative connotation (like "stupid", which once meant "in a stupor", so a term for someone drunk or concussed rather than unintelligent) or descriptors which did have a negative connotation, but weren't meant to be used as insults (like "retard", which used to just mean "someone who is retarded", the then-acceptable term for someone with a mental disability). And it's not something that's stopped happening either; "LD" (for "learning disability") is starting to pick up as a playground insult.
- One particularly Anvilicious episode of Rolie Polie Olie had the square character, Billy, feel out of place in a world full of circles. The episode consisted of Rolie and his sister trying to help him fit in. While it ended well for Billy, both of them agreed that triangles didn't deserve to fit in.
- It's apparently common for three horns in The Land Before Time to call long necks 'flatheads'. Petrie did use the term first not meaning to be insulting. However, Cera was not back with the group to hear him at that time, though she uses the term on her own after running into them. "My father told me that flatheads have very small brains!"