->''Nothing venture, nothing win\\
Blood is thick, but water's thin\\
In for a penny, in for a pound\\
It's Love that makes the world go round!''
-->-- ''{{Iolanthe}}''

When characters have to make themselves look thoughtful and wise, rattling off a long string of trite old proverbs often helps them.

May lead to someone WaxingLyrical.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* This was the shtick of Franchise/GreenLantern villain Black Hand prior to ''ComicBook/BlackestNight''; he acted purely based on cliches and old sayings. And had an energy gun.
* ComicStrip/DeKiekeboes: Often characters appear who confuse two or more proverbs and sayings with each other and mix them up in one hilarious mess.
* One storyline of ''ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand'' had Penguin trying to blackmail a priest into letting him put a weapons stash into the basement of his church. They get into an argument of aphorisms with each other, until Penguin gets bored and tells him outright if he doesn't agree, he's going to shoot him and put the guns in the church anyway.
* In one issue of ''ComicBook/XMen'', two of Magneto's Acolytes, [[NighInvulnerable Frenzy]] and Amelia Voight, argue over whether they should listen to a depowered Magneto, eventually turning in a battle of aphorisms and simile. Frenzy eventually gets fed up, and tells Voight if she keeps going she'll hurt her.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''NationalLampoon's {{Loaded Weapon 1}}'' has a conversation between two villains turn into an aphorism duel.
-->'''Gen. Morters:''' Where's the microfilm, Mike?\\
'''Mike [=McCracken=]:''' I don't know, I gave it to York. I thought she was one of your men.\\
'''Gen. Morters:''' Act in haste, repent in leisure.\\
'''Mike [=McCracken=]:''' But he who hesitates is lost.\\
'''Gen. Morters:''' Never judge a book by its cover.\\
'''Mike [=McCracken=]:''' What you see is what you get.\\
'''Gen. Morters:''' Loose lips sink ships...\\
'''Mike [=McCracken=]:''' [[Music/TheBeatles Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing or fighting, my friend]].\\
[Gen. Morters, cornered, looks to Mr. Jigsaw. Jigsaw consults ''Bartlett's Familiar Quotations'', shakes his head.]\\
'''Gen. Morters:''' Sorry Mike, no good.
* In ''{{Hitch}}'', Hitch and the newspaper salesmen converse exclusively in aphorisms.
* Arguably, the medley of love songs in ''{{Moulin Rouge}}'' is this trope turned into half an hour of musical numbers. Much of the dialogue fits, too.
* In ''AFewGoodMen'', Tom Cruise's character exchanges sayings with an old guy at a newsstand (this appears to be the entire basis of their relationship). Inevitably, it ends with, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings." "You can say that again." "It ain't over till the fat lady sings."

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'': In Creator/MercedesLackey's series, the Shin'a'in have a billion proverbs, and they quote them at the drop of a hat. One character encounters a spirit Shin'a'in who quotes them for a solid minute, before he finally breaks in with another proverb: "Who is wisest says least."
* Sancho Panza from ''Literature/DonQuixote'' does this, usually so poorly that it just makes him look stupider.
* There's a good exchange in ''LordOfTheRings'':
-->'[...] For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road.'
-->'Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,' said Gimli.
-->'Maybe,' said Elrond, 'but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.'
-->'Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart,' said Gimli.
-->'Or break it,' said Elrond. 'Look not too far ahead!
* In one ''Literature/{{Retief}}'' story the titular character engaged in a duel of alien aphorisms with an invader. Retief won when the invader started shouting at him to just cooperate.
* ''Literature/AnansiBoys'': Fat Charlie's PointyHairedBoss speaks almost entirely in cliches, and it's contagious. This becomes particularly hilarious when his boss meets [[TricksterArchetype his brother]].

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* There was an episode of ''{{Sliders}}'' where the British monarchy still ruled America. It involved Quinn becoming the leader of a group of rebels and giving this inspirational speech:
-->'''Quinn''': Power doesn't come from the barrel of a gun, you've got to win over the hearts and minds of the people. A chicken in every pot, y'know what I'm saying? (going for it) Rob from the rich and give to the poor! Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for the rest of his life!\\
'''Raider #1''': He's right!\\
'''Raider #2''': What's he talking about?\\
'''Quinn''': Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. What's it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul? (fist in the air) Power to the people! (cheers) What's that spell?\\
'''All the raiders''': Power to the people!\\
'''Quinn''': All right!
* ''{{Spaced}}'': In the final episode of Season 1, Tim and Daisy get into a proverb-off over whether it's a good idea for him to get back together with his old girlfriend:
--> '''Daisy:''' What do you mean you have a funny feeling?\\
'''Tim:''' I can read her like a book\\
'''Daisy:''' Never judge a book by it's cover\\
'''Tim:''' He who dares wins\\
'''Daisy:''' Look before you leap\\
'''Tim:''' Do YOU believe in life after love?\\
'''Daisy:''' [[WaxingLyrical That's a song.]]\\
'''Tim:''' Shit.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' ends with this. Cue link to ClicheStorm. An earlier episode had the team reacting to an apparently idylic planet with various aphorisms which paraphrase to "appearances can be deceptive", until it's O'Neill's turn and all he can come up with is "Never...run with scissors?" O'Neill meets his match in the Season 7 opener:
-->'''Shamda:''' No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust them.\\
'''O'Neill:''' Don't judge a book by its cover.\\
'''Shamda:''' Enemies’ promises were made to be broken.\\
'''O'Neill:''' And yet honesty is the best policy.\\
'''Shamda:''' He that has too many friends has none.\\
'''O'Neill:''' Ah, but... birds of a feather.
* ''ElChapulinColorado'': The title character constantly attempts this and messes it up, with hilarious results. For example, the two Spanish proverbs ''Cría fama y echate a dormir'' ("Cultivate a good reputation, and go to sleep") and ''Al que cría cuervos le sacarán los ojos'' ("Raise crows and they shall pluck your eyes out"), get mixed up into ''Cría fama y te sacarán los ojos'' ("Cultivate a good reputation, and they shall pluck out your eyes") and ''Cría cuervos y echate a dormir'' ("Raise crows and go to sleep").
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer '': At one point, Buffy sang a hurricane of aphorisms, but she was being sarcastic:
-->Where there's life there's hope
-->Every day's a gift
-->Wishes can come true
-->Whistle while you work

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[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin's dad rattles through five clichés in one panel in a pontification about the virtue of a good work ethic.
-->''"Yes, life is tough and suffering builds character. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. Virtue is its own reward, and when I was your age..."'''
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[[folder: Theater ]]

* The UrExample here is probably Polonius in ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.
** To be fair, only some of his were cliches [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny at the time]].
* "Things are seldom what they seem" from ''Theatre/HMSPinafore''.
* "If you go in" from ''Theatre/{{Iolanthe}}''.
* In ''Theatre/AnyoneCanWhistle'', Hapgood asks each person he interrogates to give a "watchcry," a saying by which they have used to govern their life. This soon leads to many people all singing their "watchcries" simultaneously.
* In ''Theatre/TheBibleTheCompleteWordOfGodAbridged'', Proverbs is done more or less this way, though this leads to such "proverbs" as "Nike. Just do it."
* In ''Albert Herring'', Lady Billows concludes a turgid speech on the wages of sin by dropping her notes and spouting an applause-baiting series of patriotic slogans:
-->"King and Country...!\\
Cleanliness is next to...!\\
God for England and Saint...!\\
Keep your powder dry and leave the rest to Nature...!\\
Britons! Rule the deep!
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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** In ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'', Shi-Long Lang often quotes wolf-related aphorisms by Lang Zi that [[{{Metaphorgotten}} stop making sense after a while]].
** In ''Trials & Tribulations'', Godot constantly rattles off coffee-themed proverbs that nobody but him seems to understand.
--->'''Phoenix''': Um, the rest of the court doesn't speak Coffeenese. Can you elaborate a bit more?

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': [[CoolOldGuy Iroh]] tends to overdo it sometimes. (Although at least once the aphorisms made up a [[SpySpeak sign/countersign]] for [[spoiler: the Order of the White Lotus]].)

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