Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
"Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You know what words are funny and which words are not funny. Alka-Seltzer is funny. You say 'Alka-Seltzer', you get a laugh... Words with 'k' in them are funny. Casey Stengel, that's a funny name. Robert Taylor is not funny. Cupcake is funny. Tomato is not funny. Cookie is funny. Cucumber is funny. Car keys. Cleveland... Cleveland is funny. Maryland is not funny. Then, there's chicken. Chicken is funny. Pickle is funny."
Harry Potter features the following quote from Albus Dumbledore:
Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show known for its willingness to use the word "shit", has an episode in its fourth season called "Who Pooped the Bed?", where "shit" is scarcely used. Lampshaded, even.
Men Behaving Badly creator Simon Nye thinks this about the words "shed" and "cheese", and took every opportunity to use them in unusual ways in the show.
In mid-2006, there was a segment of The Colbert Report where Colbert combined the names of celebrity couples. For William H Macy and Felicity Huffman's portmanteau, he couldn't help laughing at "Filliam H Muffman".
One episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch featured Aunt Hilda musing over words she enjoyed saying. She eventually ends with "brackish water".
The Sopranos gets a lot of mileage out of this trope. A lot of the series' more light-hearted (or, blackly comedic) moments tend to involve the characters' favorite foods, which always seem to have really silly names. Choice examples include "gabagool"note Over here!, "buffalo mozzarella"note pronounced "moozarell", and of course, that time Chrissy shot a rude bakery cashier in the foot over a box of sfogliatellenote pronounced "Shfuyatelle" for some reason non-Italian speakers can only begin to fathom and cannolisnote he did not leave the gun.
Monty Python's Flying Circus got a lot of mileage out of naming characters with these. One sketch revolved around a man whose name is spelled "Raymond Luxury-Yacht" but which is pronounced "Throatwarbler Mangrove", another featured a Tarquin Fintimlinbinwhinbimlim Bus Stop Ftang-Ftang Olé Biscuit Barrel.
Political songster/satirist Mark Russell had to do a song about Michael Dukakis on short notice, knowing absolutely nothing about him; he finally settled on pointing out that Dukakis was, of the 1988 lineup of Presidential candidates, "the only one whose name is fun to say":
Michael Dukakis, Michael Dukakis,
A name to gladden every voter's heart
A name that's so neat it's
Fun to repeat it —
It sounds just like a car that will not start! Michaeldukakismichaeldukakismichaeldukakis ...
Borderlands 2 has a side-quest, "The Name Game", where Sir Hammerlock tries to come up with a new name for the ape-like Bullymongs. After his first two ideas are rejected, he gets frustrated and starts calling them "Bonerfarts". This leads to the Bullymongs being labelled as "Bonerfarts" for the remainder of the quest, including the young Monglets being called Bonertoots.
It last the rest of the game if you choose to stop advancing the quest at that point.
The Nostalgia Critic: "Lettuce' is not funny. 'Cabbage' is freaking hilarious. Just watch: lettuce (silence), cabbage (laugh track). Works every time."
The inherent hilarity of "gurt" is a Running Gag in Echo Chamber; it starts when Ace makes a video about portmanteaus, including separating "yogurt" into "yo" and "gurt". He keeps cracking up whenever he says "gurt", and later the word merely being mentioned is the only thing to get Mr Administrator to laugh, leading to the first time we see more of his face.
In YouTube Poops, one popular practice is to play a short part of an audio clip forwards, then play the same part in reverse. (For example, "something" would become "sus"). This is known as a "sauce joke".
John is travelling on February 1st, 2007. "Okay, we're gonna walk through the airport and see if we can find anything funny. The word "choate" is funny."
When discussing the 2008 Nerdfighter website, John finds another word he considers inherently funny — "ning", related to their new site building. It's as good as bling but you don't have to spend money on jewels!
The Cinema Snob describes "Yeti" as one of the funniest words in the English language, to the point he thinks a horror movie with that as a monster (such as the reviewed one, Shriek of the Mutilated) is just asking for involuntary comedy.
In thisCracked article, Seanbaby describes how he filters any email he receives containing the words "cheese" or "weasel", citing these as the words most often used by people trying too hard to be funny.
Observe this trope in live action! There is a famous German Take That against modern art, "Kunst kommt von Können, käme sie von Wollen, hieße sie Wulst" note mechanic translation: "Art comes from ableness, if it came from wanting, it would be named bulge" - of course this ruins the joke considering "Kunst" as sort of a plusquamperfect infinitive of "können", likewise "Wulst" of "wollen" , attributed to every Tom, Dick and Harry. This version is the earliest reported; the variant "Wunst" is no German word and never caught on. But in todays oral conversation, you will now always hear "Wurst", sausage. note Oral! The "Wurst" version is not googleable! It partly ruins the "mechanic" of the joke, but it's (somehow) funnier.
Another German example for forced vague sexualization: Decades ago you could hear kids playing catch, shouting "Krieg mich doch, Eierkopf!" (Catch me, egghead!) Also dictated by rhyme, today it degraded to "Eierloch" (egg hole). Which doesn't make sense at all. But he said hole, Butthead, hu hu.