Gabe: This jackass just said that something can go "through a ferrocrete bunker like a neutrino through plasma." I get it, man. It says Star Wars on the cover. I know I'm reading about Star Wars. It's like, do they not have butter in space? Or hot knives to cut it with? Tycho: Listen, don't get your mynocks in a... sarlacc.
The author uses a popular and/or modern phrase in a work of Speculative Fiction, and adjusts it to the setting by replacing certain concepts with their more-or-less appropriate counterparts. Works as a sort of Shout Out to make the reader/viewer more at home in the world, while at the same time highlighting the difference; it can also be used to disguise swears. Can backfire if the adjustment comes off as too arbitrary (e.g., if the proverb refers to concepts that should exist in the speculative setting as well).
At times these are specific to an exact scene, too. The replacement concepts can be tailored to characters and current action, rather than being a common phrase of its own. A cop with an antagonistic relationship to his Imperial liaison can sardonically say the liaison's investigation team got past security like X-Wings go through a Death Star. In this way it can overlap with Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?, though it can refer to past moments anywhere on the spectrum of awesome and suck.
Related to Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp" and Future Slang inasmuch as they're all about creating immersion through language use. The difference is that Hold Your Hippogriffs is, for one, not about words but phrases; for another, Hold Your Hippogriffs doesn't always create new words, although it can. It's also related to Flintstone Theming, but with fewer puns.
Supertrope of Oh My Gods!. Not related to Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff". The inverse of this, when a word is replaced due to never having the chance to exist, is Orphaned Etymology.
Justified in that horses and pigs may not exist in the world of Pokémon, though "Hold your Ponyta/Rapidash!" would have made more sense. Plus Horsea is a really small Pokémon, so eating one wouldn't be all that satisfying either.
This is especially ridiculous in the Marvel Apes comics; "a human's monkey's uncle" is an idiomatic phrase, except there are no humans in the Marvel Apes universe. Literally none. A few characters are mutated into human-like forms, but humanity is by and large nonexistent.
René Goscinny liked using this trope in his comics:
In Astérix, typical French curses involving God are transformed into those which involve Roman and Gaulish deities.
Lucky Luke's intellectual horse says, when crossing a river, "And the veterinarian doctor told me not to bathe immediately after pasturing. eating."
In Pokémon fanfics, "Hold your Ponyta/Rapidash horses!"
The Legend of Zelda Fanfiction and Fancomics tend to substitute the words "God" or "Jesus" with either "Nayru", "Din" or "Farore", depending on which one is the most "fitting". Especially striking in the fan-flash series Unknown Origin, where Original Character "Biggs" would often shout "For Farore's sake!!" or "Oh my Din!!" whenever something weird happens to Link.
In Hoofstuck, Pinkie Pie is confused over whether or not she should say everypony when talking to the reader. She can't come up with the right word (everyone/everybody) though.
Hi everypony! Or wait a second, not everypony! Everyhuman? No, that sounds dumb. You guess you could say everyman, but why would you greet anypony with an old morality play? That's like the opposite of a party.
Discussed in MAGIC.MOV, where Spike doesn't see the difference between "anybody" and "anypony".
Spike: You know, you can say anybody. Instead of anypony. Frankly I don't see what the point of that is. I would have know what you would meant if you would have said anybody. Seems to me like that's the kind of thing everybody's doing just because everybody else is doing.
In Harry Potter and the Dragon's Revenge Neville commented that after Michael Corner got into Cho Chang's knickers he dropped her "like an exploding cauldron."
In The Lion Tamer Umbridge was thinking that if she could catch Harry doing something wrong and Dumbledore trying to aid him she could "kill two doxies with one hex."
In Harry Potter and the Vale of Destiny the Slytherin table was having an argument and Daphne Greengrass asked if they could "beat that dead thestral" some other time.
In Rocking the Boat it was stated that Dumbledore decided not to "bemoan a spilled cauldron."
In the Harry Potter/X-Men crossover Mutant Storm Snape, commenting on Dumbledore's extreme reluctance to use deadly force, remarked that "If you want to make a proper potion, you have to break a few ashwinder eggs."
In 3 Slytherin Marauders Voldemort's saner, freed-from-the-diary Tom Riddle persona commented that a lecture by the new assistant professor of History of Magic "set the kneazle among the jarveys."
In Lunch at Maxine's Ron commented to his mother that he'd told her that when she "woke up and smelled the wolfsbane" he and Luna would start coming back to the Burrow.
In A Marauder's PlanMc Gonagall stated that the "proof was in the casting" and referred to a recent trip to Thailand by Dumbledore as a "wild nargle chase."
In the Harry Potter/Addams Family crossover Perfect Slytherins - Tales From The Second Year, Snape compared Draco's ham-fisted behavior to "a house-elf in a library."
In Came Out of the Darkness Draco Malfoy scoffed at something and Narcissa commented "Draco remember, never judge a dragon by a single scale."
Considering that the whole franchise was a commentary about racism, you can't forget a line like "The only goodhuman
is a DEADhuman!
Alexander manages to naturally do this, replacing phrases like "By God!" with "By Zeus!" or "In the name of the Gods!" instead of the singular, and other such things using ancient Greek-era things in place of more modern phrases and outbursts. A few times, it tends to get too clunky and usual, with things like "By Athena's Justice, this girl has spirit" that tend to be less artificial and more sticking out like a sore thumb.
At the climax of Oh, God! You Devil, when the Devil (George Burns) loses his nerve in a poker showdown with God (also George Burns), God comments, "I put the fear of me
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Had Kirk mentioning "Moon over Rigel-7" as a potential campfire sing-along. When this movie was later riffed, Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy mocked the use of this trope with such song titles as I Left My Heart On Tau Ceti Five and I Have Thirteen Eyes For You.
This also doesn't make sense, as in-universe, this is basically "Son of a football".
Bludger has also been used in other contexts as a generic curse. Since the purpose of Bludgers in Quidditch is basically to impede and harm the players, it makes a bit more sense used that way than "football" would.
"God rest ye, merry hippogriffs
" being sung by Sirius at Christmas in Order of the Phoenix. (This may very well have been Sirius messing with the words for his own sake, since he was attending on Buckbeak at the time.)
A weird one that started out as a Nanny Ogg malapropism in Carpe Jugulum, and then somehow became the accepted version of the phrase in later books is: "The leopard does not change his shorts." In Unseen Academicals, this phrase's complete meaninglessness gets lampshaded.
Another common mangled saying is "the worm is on the other boot", a mash-up of "the worm has turned" and "the boot is on the other foot".
The tendency of Honest Johns in UK media to call everyone "squire" (CMOT Dibbler does this) gets extended to other Discworld cultures, with a camel merchant who calls Teppic "emir" in Pyramids, and Disembowel-Meself-Honorably calling Rincewind "shogun" in Interesting Times.
Klatch's role as the "generically foreign" country to Morporkians means we get "Excuse my Klatchian
A few aversions are lampshaded early on, when he notes that the use of the phrase "gypsies" is anomalous, given that there is no such thing as Egypt, but some words of place-name origin need to be kept for coherency's sake, so he's not calling them Djelibabes, as technically apropriate as that would be.
The same character a few pages later said the same speeder "dropped like a rock", so "freefalling Hutt" was probably just for color.
As the smugglers say, we were putting all our spice
in one freighter
Don't plot a course into that black hole
I get the holo
I'll walk away, shedding my crimes like a Trandoshan
sheds its skin.
In that case it was deliberate — a criminal offered to hand over some crucial info in exchange for immunity from prosecution, money, and a way off planet, and was amused when an old enemy was sent to pick him up. He knew she needed the info and was too honorable to go against the deal, so he used this phrase to remind her that he had let the Trandoshan who had murdered a friend walk free.
This really came out of the asteroid belt.
Alternately, it came out of the black, as in deep space.
"Like a neutrino
A similar but less arbitrary example from one of the Young Jedi Knights books: Lando says that a certain diamond drill can cut through durasteel just as easily as a laser can cut through Sullustan jam.
A particularly egregious one: What time is it when an Imperial AT-AT Walker
steps on your wrist chronometer?
Time to get a new wrist chronometer.
Wedge Antilles is said to have ice water in his veins and cold-space lubricants for blood.
"And then ask yourself if that doesn't make you look a bit like a dewback's cloaca
One that's almost the same: "Plenty of other Suckerfish in the River".
"If Ice Bores kill your Ailicorne, make Ailicorne steaks". (Andorian). There are also the Andorian axioms "Absence makes the heart forget" and "What goes around comes around...but with a sharper knife".
The Ferengi morality tale of "The Boy Who Cried Audit"
"Like Honge on fresh meat" (Cardassian). Also the Cardassian saying "the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy, but may prove useful".
"Sap and fog", for when Nasats are being dismissive.
"Screw with the Mugato, you're getting the horn".
"In a Tribble's eye!" (Which didn't need to be said, because McCoy uses the phrase "In a pig's eye!" in the original series).
Dragaera: In the book Issola, Lady Teldra makes a reference to Vlad engaging in "gray humor". This is the equivalent of what we would call "black humor"- the difference is that in the series, black is the color of magic and gray is the color of death.
They also have "how many X does it take to sharpen a sword?" instead of Light Bulb Jokes.
A clever and appropriate use in Robert Heinlen's Starship Troopers novel, "...on the bounce." Its meaning ranges from along the lines of 'don't waste time' to 'stay alert', depending on the context it's used in.
Fridge Logic: But why would you kill the wyvern out of greed? Does it puke up the rabbit after fetching it? And they have chickens on Safehold, so why not geese? Why not just use another bird in place of the goose? Arrgh!
", and use of "exhaust port" (as per the Transformers example) is a common stand-in for "ass" in all manner of expressions.
Guardians Of Gahoole does this a few times. Most common is the use of 'gizzard' in place of things like 'know in my heart' or 'bad feeling in my gut'.
"Are you yoinks
"Racdrops" is a common swear, short for 'raccoon droppings'.
"Glaux" is used in place of "God" ie "Great Glaux!".
H. Beam Piper: one book replaced "hot knife" and "butter" with "fast neutrons" and "toilet paper".
In the Honor Harrington novels, characters from planets other than Earth (most of the cast), typically substitute native fauna into their metaphors, such as "We've got the hexapumanote tiger by the tail" or "If you had the sense God gave a near-turkey". A few technological metaphors show up - "adding hydrogennote gasoline to the fire".
Oddly enough, the phrase "what the dickens" actually appears in Shakespeare's writing and has nothing to do with the author Dickens at all ("the dickens" = "the Devil"), but it would be even odder for Charles Dickens to say "what the dickens".
One of the CDi games has "I'm so hungry, I could eat an octorok!
Wakka instructs Tidus over the course of Final Fantasy X to hold his chocobos. The Chocoboy of Final Fantasy VIII instructed Squall to do the same. There's also Wakka's "son of a Shoopuf!" and another character's "...my shoopuf!"
In Nautilus in Final Fantasy XIII, there's a boy who asks his parent to give him a "chocoback ride."
Mass Effect 2 features an advertisement for a movie about "Blasto, the first hanar Spectre", whose trademark phrases are "This one has no time for your solid waste excretions" and "Enkindle THIS!"
Mass Effect 3 features many excerpts from the movie, the humor of which often stems from this trope.
When you first meet Legion, Tali mentions that a single geth would have no more intelligence than a wild varren. It makes more sense since varren are basically Space Dogs, and 99% of the characters, humans included, probably never saw a real life dog before.
Quarians in general use the term "Kee'lah" in place of "God" *
This Very Wiki will sometimes alter trope names to fit the work that the page is dedicated to. Especially the Just for Fun page for Daring Do, where all the tropers are supposed to be sentient horses, zebras, griffons, etc.
Transformers does this a lot, replacing certain lines in stock phrases with robotic related terms, especially when talking about body-parts. It also uses this technique for Getting Crap Past the Radar.