Mad Libs Dialogue
"How - are - you - supposed - to - learn - when - the - words - are - spread - out - and - doesn't - sound - like - normal - speech?"Mad Libs Dialogue is the practice of recording lines with certain parts missing (often numbers and names of people, places or teams) and later filling them in appropriately with separate recordings. For example, a Madden NFL announcer may comment (the bracketed words represent spliced-in dialog): "The [Jets] are leading the [Bears] [fourteen] to [thirteen] here in the [third quarter]." By doing this, the developers can have the voice actor just record the one line and have the game fill in as needed. This technique saves space and time, and is necessary in situations in which numerous combinations of subjects may exist. You can't have a sports announcer record every single combination of scores in a basketball game, for example. If it's done well, this effect is hardly noticeable. If it's done badly, half-second delays are created and the differences in voice tone and pitch become apparent. As a result, it becomes painfully obvious that multiple recordings are being used. Though it may also be used for comedic effect. Essentially the spoken version of Multiple Choice Form Letter or Hello, Insert Name Here. Also see Paused Interrupt. Unrelated to Mad Libs Catchphrase.
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- An ad for tax resolution company Blue Tax does this very blatantly with its phone number. This is because of the underlying marketing technique; they air the commercial during different time slots with different numbers for each one. That way, the execs can track which numbers get the most response and gauge the effectiveness of the advertising.
Live Action TV
- Back during the Israeli-Hezbollah War during summer 2006, one of the reporters on The Daily Show read a "report" on the war. About a minute in, Jon Stewart interupted her, saying that it sounded a lot like the Yom Kippur War. She looked down and said something along the lines of, "Oops, I left the words in from the last time! So... country, Israel [writes Israel down], other country... well... Hezbollah [writes Hezbollah down]... year.... 2006... president... George W. Bush..." Then, when she's done, she tells Jon Stewart that *all* the reporters use them, and they are called "War Libs" (or something like that).
- Used in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. Mike and the bots are so dissatisfied with the film that they call its customer service hotline. They get a pre-recorded message, where every mention of the film's name is obviously spliced in. "Thank you for calling the... Overdrawn at the Memory Bank... customer service center."
- One episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had Bulk and Skull doing a video project for class. However, Skull's inept editing skills resulted in Bulk "saying" Mad Libs Dialogue like "I have no class" and "Mrs. Appleby can't teach", to the amusement of their classmates.
- Parodied in a sketch on That Mitchell and Webb Look, where three billionaires attempt to give away prizes by phone, only to have everyone hang up on them because their voices all sound like pre-recorded announcements.
Your telephone number has been specially selected in our [Wednesday] draw!
- On Parks and Recreation, Leslie faked this when trying to trick Andy into going to City Hall:
Leslie: [imitating computer voice] Because of a local disaster, you, [Andy Dwyer], must go to the evacuation center at [Pawnee City Hall].
- Parodied in The IT Crowd when Jen calls up a different IT support call centre and mistakes the person who answers the phone for a recording.
- Fonejacker has the flatline/ticketline calls, where the prankster imitates the stilted cadance (and unreliability) of voice-activated automatic telephone systems.
- Any YouTube Poop based on sentence mixing is sure to use this heavily, but with a little effort the end product can sound surprisingly fluid.
- Here is a particularly good example of the above. It does not consist solely of the trope, but it contains major portions playing it straight.
- Musician George Hrab parodied this trope in his video produced for the Atheist Community of Topeka.
- Not the MOST popular fad on YTMND but...
- Done rather well in Bally's Eight Ball Deluxe, to call out the shots the player should make. The sequel, Eight Ball Champ, didn't pull it off as seamlessly.
- Rudy in Fun House talks like this, using a different nickname for each player.
- Similarly, in No Good Gofers (also by Pat Lawlor), Buzz will address each player by a different nickname.
Buzz: "Hey, (name), don't choke!"
- Pat Lawlor's first game, Banzai Run, also uses this.
"He's challenged [opponent name]!" - when you light a rival
"What a move on [opponent name]!" - when you defeat a rival
- Many if not most pinball machines are like this, but this is especially true of the earlier "talking" pinball games. For Gorgar (the very first one) this was especially necessary since he only has a seven word vocabularynote .
- Done with some of Hardboiled Detective Nick Spade's dialog in WHO dunnit, particularly during interrogations.
Nick Spade: "Tell me about [character name]."
- Occurs in Stern Pinball's Harley Davidson with the announcements of the remaining distance to the next city.
"One hundred - and - fifty - three - miles to - Pittsburgh."
- Leap Frog's My Pal Scout and Violet plushes, Story Time Pad and LeapTop toy laptops have this function in addition to Hello, Insert Name Here in that the owner can also program their favorite food/fruit, color and animal into the toy via USB cable which will get integrated into some of the toy's speech and songs. Surprisingly, it worked pretty well.
- V-Tech's clones of Leapfrog's toys, Smart Cubs Cody and Cora, also has the same capabilities, except that instead of into songs, V-Tech's toys tries to create mad-libs stories. However, the toys sound more mechanical and less well implemented than Leapfrog's attempt.
- Crossing with Literature: Some of Publication International's sound books does this, as the book may come with an interactive electronic module that plays games with the reader.
Clifford the Big Red Dog telephone book: (emulating an answering machine) You have [two] new messages. Press [two] to hear your messages.
- Many WWE wrestling games use this. The most egregious example is the infamously bad commentary of Smackdown! Just Bring It, which featured Michael Cole saying things like ''This [Singles] match will be an important match!" and "[The Undertaker] executes a perfect [The Last Ride]!".
- WWE Crush Hour, a Vehicular Combat game sponsored by the WWE, is notorious for having horrible Mad Libs Dialogue from Jim Ross. The most famous piece is his emphasis on "THE TWISTY ROCKETS!"
- Used in Half-Life for a computerized PA system. There's actually a ton of words in the PA system that aren't ever used in the game. It's mildly amusing to hear Black Mesa's PA system talking about Ass Whiskey.
- This was parodied with in Portal.
- GLaDOS: "Unbelievable! You, SUBJECT NAME HERE, must be the pride of SUBJECT HOMETOWN HERE."
- Played straight in her appearance in Poker Night 2.
GLaDOS: "The little robot has [[a pair of fiiives]]. The player has [[two pair]]. The player takes the pot."
- Humongous Entertainment relied on this non-stop. The Backyard Sports were easily the worst offenders ("From the 45...Pete...tees it up...Steve...back to recieve...lands on the...24...collects it at the...32...finally brought down."). The older floppy disk versions of the DOS games relied on this much more due to the lack of space.
- The Adventure Game version of Where In Time is Carmen Sandiego? features a level in the ancient Incan empire, where a man reads off numbers from a type of counting board. The numbers are constructed out of Mad Libs, but the correct answers to the puzzles have separate voice recordings, so it always sounds right.
- Freelancer uses this one to generate the dialog of every non-storyline NPC. It causes a rather jarring effect if your computer is slow, as the cuts in the dialog are immediately evident. Sporadic bugs in the procedurally generated dialogue also led to somewhat comical hiccups when NPC ships would call themselves to beg for assistance or provide backup.
- The X-Universe games also creates voice dialogue on the fly for spaceships (virtually all of them). It's always noticeable, unfortunately, because whoever spoke the lines gave the wrong intonations for many of the words, so a sentence sounds like it's over when it's not, and words at the end of the sentence sometimes sound like they indicate the sentence isn't finished yet. X Rebirth drops the system entirely
Player: Where is the nearest shipyard?Random Teladi: Somewhere far behind the [NORTH GATE]. Good profit!
- Averted by Theme Hospital, where the Announcer gets a separate line of speech for every single announcement in the game with no Mad Libs, even when you might reasonably expect them (for example, the emergencies have a separate "staff announcement" for each disease). This makes the speech seem a lot more natural.
- Used to a particularly jarring degree in the earliest JumpStart games from the mid '90s. The developers appear to have been banking on kids not noticing.
- Much like Madden NFL, the FIFA Football [soccer] series does this. Usually using real match commentators.
- The FIFA ones get very obvious in high-scoring games. It's pretty rubbish to hear John Motson waffling on about "an exciting game" because they couldn't get him to record numbers greater than five for the scorelines... In a possible Lampshade Hanging, Motson in one of the earlier FIFA games says "I think we'll need a calculator."
- The FIFA series has become significantly better about this since about FIFA '08, as improved data management techniques have allowed them to squeeze much more commentary samples onto the discs, allowing details of scorelines up to about 10-0 or so, and featuring a decent amount of club and player specific lines for most of the world's major teams.
- The FIFA games have become quite advanced with this, as the commentators will now voice displeasure on misconduct and overly-violent tackles, talk about player histories and string together clichés in a pretty remarkable simulation of the real thing. It still gets annoying hearing Andy Gray saying what the best players do with chances, though.
- Similar to FIFA, one of the more egregious examples is the PS2 game Let's Make a Soccer Team. Whenever a goal is scored, you'll typically hear Alan Green read out the scorer's name (or more commonly, his shirt number) in the flattest voice possible, pause, then yell, "-DELIVERING AN AWESOME SHOT!"
- You'll also hear this about twice per match:
Alan Green: The current time is. X minutes. Gone. [team's hometown]. Are playing well, but they're not creating enough chances...
- You'll also hear this about twice per match:
- Some military-simulation games use this, with varying rates of success. For example, flight-sims such as Total Air War have aircrews using stock dialog spliced together, which have obvious gaps... but since the reports need to be stated clearly, it comes off as the airmen taking their time to ensure their message is clear and concise, and doesn't seem out of place. Operation Flashpoint, on the other hand...
"OH NO! Six. IS DOWN!"
- You can hear it firsthand in this video. Somehow, the radio communications are even more robotic in the sequels (Armed Assault and ArmA 2).
- After the falling out with the publisher of OFP, the developer just didn't have enough of a budget for hiring enough voice actors to voice 'generic' lines (i.e., combat chatter), so they chose to stick to what had made the OFP series stand out among other games — namely, the idea of hyper-realism. Note, however, that there are a few actual conversations in the games that are recorded normally, and the number of such conversations increases with each new game/expansion.
- Similarly, there is an addon called VoxATC to Microsoft Flight Simulator that works as an air traffic control and even understands standard pilot lingo spoken in this way.
- In Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, AWACS SkyEye's combat dialogue is like this, for example "<Rigley Air Base>, at vector <3><6><0>, <4 miles>." Everything said in this manner is said in the same tone, however, and excluding short pauses after the target's name, it sounds perfectly natural.
- You can hear it firsthand in this video. Somehow, the radio communications are even more robotic in the sequels (Armed Assault and ArmA 2).
- Done well in Soul Calibur 2. Soul Calibur 3, however, speed up the announcer, turning "Astaroth Versus Talim... Fight!" into "ASTAROTVERSUTALIMFIGHT!"
- The first Calibur also did it reasonably well during replays.
"[Round loser] ...was seriously wounded, but the Soul still burns.""This victory strengthens the Soul of... [Match winner]!"
- Before that, the original Soul Edge also did it:
"The grueling battle ended with the victory of [winner]!""[Loser] stood an end against an impossible enemy!"
- Completely averted in IV, where the victory messages have been narrowed down to a handful of Captain Obvious lines to save on budget.
- The first Calibur also did it reasonably well during replays.
- Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 did this when Mario is announcing the player names (for the characters imported from the GBC version, he says "Guest" in place of the actual names you give them).
- A very interesting non-voice version of this is in Chrono Cross. Because there are Loads and Loads of Characters, and many characters have their own VerbalTics, the side character dialogue was dynamically "tinkered" with for each character, allowing some to call the Silent Protagonist "Sergey", "Mister S", "Sir Serge", etc., and others to drop their g's, add a lisp, or speak all in capitals. Although this generally was pretty good, there were a few goofs where you might have two apostrophes in a row, for example, or a name that ended in two Y's, or a name that just didn't work with a Y at the end (Franco turning into Francoy, for example).
- Another non-voice version occurs in Tales of Symphonia. At the colosseum, the announcer will refer to you as "[contestant] the '[title]'!". This works flawlessly in almost all cases, but has the notable exception of "Lloyd the 'Aargh Me Hearties'!"
- In the PaRappa the Rapper games, you are encouraged to "freestyle" lines in the songs to get more points. Because of the way the lines are cut apart so that each word corresponds to a button press, attempting to "freestyle" often leads to this trope. In fact, simply playing the game as intended can sound like this trope.
- Jen Taylor lends her voice to the Xbox Live version of 1 vs. 100, announcing how many of the mob is left and the answers the One chose. Unlike Chris Cashman, who does live announcing, Taylor's lines are prerecorded. It's typically done well, but it sometimes slips into "The One has eliminated [Eight] opponents. It's now One versus [Sixty] [Three].".
- Speaking of Jen Taylor, she also voiced Sunny Day in the Backyard Sports games, who uses this trope (sometimes jarringly). Sunny's partners, however, avert this.
- Used in Super Smash Bros., particularly in Classic Mode where the announcer tells the player who they'll be fighting next. However, the splicing is quite obvious in some places. For example: "[Luigi?] [versus] [Metaaall] [ZERO SUIT SAMUS]"
- Melee's 2-on-2 Classic Mode matches had the Large Ham announcer belt out an "AAAND" between the two characters on the opposing team. For example: "Versus [Jigglypuff] AAAND [Mew Two]".
- An old edutainment game called Little Howie's Fun House (both the Great Math Adventure and the Great Word Adventure) had this that varies from being handled well to being painfully obvious. The game asks the player to give Howie their name and age, however, as the entire game is voiced, it's very easy to see how this can go wrong so instead of refer you by name (which only appears on text items like certificates and progress reports and anything else generally not read out loud), you have to pick a "really cool nickname" from a list of pre-set names (such as Angel, Stinky, Pinapplehead, etc.) which all the characters will call you and will insert in their conversation through this trope whenever they refer to you.
- In Thief II: The Metal Age, the steampunk guard robots' lines are stitched together from a set of pre-recorded phrases. "Be notified, thou... I have... not determined... visual indications."
- The AFL video games are terrible at this. Any time a player's name or a stat is brought up, there is a distinct pause, and usually a change in tone of the commentator's voice.
- The X-Men arcade game: aside from Magneto's infamous line "Welcome... to die!", actual examples of the trope are found in such phrases as "[I] [KILL you!] [X-Chicken!]" Even grammatically correct sentences come off sounding noticeably spliced together, such as "You are [DEAD!]"
- Another infamous example comes from the awful SNES game Mario's Early Years (found here). The horrible abuse of Mad Libs Dialogue is the main reason people hate it.
- This gets lampshaded repeatedly in a Let's Play by ProtonJon where he and his friend also slam the game for its other quirks and oddities.
- Tonka Construction: examples can be found in this video.
- Done by the announcers in Pokemon Stadium, Stadium 2, and Battle Revolution, the latter in which this trope is particularly noticeable.
- In the 3rd and 4th generation Pokemon games, there was an "Easy Chat System" that let players communicate by selecting a string of phrases and words from a list, probably to allow for multiplayer chatting without the potential for profanity. Naturally though, sentences put together with this end up looking really awkward. Best seen in Emerald's Battle Frountier, where every opponent speaks like this, resuting in bizarre lines like "POUND THE THICK FAT ON MY BELLY DRUM!" or "I AM GOING TO ENJOY AN EGG."
- The PC game Stay Tooned contains a Mortal Kombat parody. During this game, an announcer yells the names of the characters fighting.
Announcer: Tai Chi Chisel. Versus. Kung Fu Frank. (evil laugh)
- The Super Jeopardy! game on the NES contains this:
Announcer: For [[TWO]] [[hundred]] points, the answer is...
- Psychonauts: When you are not talking to Boyd, he rambles on about connections to his conspiracy theory. It's done very well and most people have to listen for a while before they figure out it's a bunch of quotes randomly strung together.
- Although his insane mannerisms do help to camoflage the splices.
- Punch-Out!! has an accidental example in Super Macho Man. He calls his attacks with Surfer Dude lingo, but only finishes the phrase if they connect. If he misses, the phrase is interrupted with his disappointed interjection. Popular phrases resulting from this include "Release the...Bogus." and "Crunch...Dude?"
- The original World Series Baseball for the Sega Genesis went to the absolute extreme with this. Virtually every single word was spliced. "[Welcome] [to] [the] [game] [between] [the] [Dodgers] [and] [the] [Cubs.] [The] [Cubs] [take the field!]"
- City of Heroes has an occasional bug where a villain will say something to the effect of "You can't stop me, [HERO NAME!]" (where the character's name SHOULD be, but apparently someone messed up the namespace code). Invoked by players by literally naming their characters "Hero Name". Also done on purpose in some Nemesis missions to show how imperfect the Automatons are...
"Manticore": "You think that hurt? SARCASTIC COMMENT 304 NOT FOUND!" (Or something like that)
- Similarly, in The Oregon Trail II, there's a glitch where the diary will sometimes say "[name] [have/has] an infection."
- The MechWarrior series has this to varying degrees in the voiceovers for the on-board computer, Betty. In MechWarrior 2, she speaks with noticeable gaps in her speech (Planet Twycross, ambient temperature 3 5 1 degrees). 3 and 4 have a much more human voice and drop most of the Mad Libs dialogue. Returns in Living Legends, where Betty has pauses when notifying the player on status "Base ECHO FIVE Under ATTACK" or "Right External DAMAGED"
- Sifting through the sound files in the third game does reveal that MLD was planned for when a critical space on the 'mech was hit. "Streak SRM, destroyed.", for example. The finished product was only hearing "critical hit" when an arm, leg, etc. was blown off and the only lines it will say when a weapon was destroyed was LRM and ERPPC.
- Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side slips into this with your name, particularly in the DS remakes. Each possible name pronunciation (selected from several common Japanese names) is pre-recorded by the guys' voice actors, then spliced into conversation. Unfortunately, each name was only recorded once, and it's in a fairly normal, flat voice, meaning that everything from a melancholic mumble to a motormouth rant to a Love Confession is appended with an emotionless tag at the end.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator's built-in ATC uses Mad Libs Dialogue when communicating with you and other aircraft (ex: "[aircraft callsign], cleared to land [assigned runway]"). It's actually pretty well done, although the original voicepack sounds... like... the... controllers... are... on... depressants.
- Borderlands' "Zombie Island" DLC uses this in-universe for a computerized P.A. system, played heavily for laughs.
"Thank you valuable Jakobs employee for your continuing patience during this transitional — Zombie Apocalypse. — Your satisfaction is very important to us..."
- Similarly, in Borderlands 2 there's a set of collectible ECHO recordings found in the Bloodshot base, including two from amoral weapons dealer Marcus:
"Dear... Roland... I can’t help but notice the... Bloodshots... you are fighting pack some seeerious firepower. If you are going to have a chance against them, you’ll need to up your arsenal — you could always arm your men with some high-quality munitions from my store. If you buy from me, those... Bloodshots... will be dead in no time!Followed a minute later by:"Dear... Bloodshots... I can’t help but notice the... Crimson Raiders... you are fighting pack some seeerious firepower. If you are going to have a chance against them, you’ll need to up your arsenal — you could always arm your men with some high-quality munitions from my store. If you buy from me, those... Crimson Raiders... will be dead in no time!"
- WaveRace 64 does this under two circumstances:
- The track introductions...
"Welcome to [track name]."
- ...as well as the occasional notification how much of a time gap is between the player and an opponent after each lap.
"You're about [number] seconds [ahead/behind]."
- The track introductions...
- Legoland does this. When Mr Bimble gives you an appraisal for your park, he says, "You now have... [insert number here]... chances to pass an appraisal before the park is closed," as well as "You still need... [insert things you still need]". This, coupled with the voice, can actually be quite funny.
- Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 does this in spades. Example.
- Mrs. Pac-Man... Is hit by... The basin!
- MLB Power Pros has this, but in an improvement over most sports games, it has two different recordings for each player name and team name: A neutral sounding version when introducing the player or reacting to a negative play, and an excited sounding version when reacting to a positive play.
- Used in Sewer Shark for Catfish the nav-bot's directions.
Catfish: Catfish to Ghost, the dang thing bit me! Bearing twelve... three... niner.
- The two video game adaptations of SpaceHulk have this in virtually every line of dialogue. Because there were a small pool of voice actors and the lines were semi-randomly generated to reflect various events in game, you had obviously spliced lines with objects and marine names, some parts in a quiet and grim manner, some in a bombastic delivery and even some in a different voice. This lead to gems like "*Crackle* Akhad. GET OUT OF MY WAY!. I cannot see the. ARCHIVED RECORD VIEWER!"
- In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, this is apparently how "galactic greeting" balloons work:
Voice: Hello...Angela Cross: Ratchet and ClankVoice: You lucky devils...Angela: Angela CrossVoice:...has sent you a galactic greeting!
- Parodied on Futurama in the episode I Dated a Robot, when Fry downloads a copy of Lucy Liu into a robot body. The robot's dialog is smooth, except when customization is necessary: "You are one sexy man, PHILIP J. FRY."
- "I'll always remember you, Fry MEMORY DELETED"
- "It's amazing the way you NOTICED TWO THINGS."
- "Oh Fry... I love you more than the moon, and the stars, and the POETIC IMAGE NUMBER 37 NOT FOUND"
- "You should write a book, Fry. People need to know about the CAN EAT MORE"
- The South Park episode "The Return of Chef". Since Isaac Hayes had left the show, all of Chef's dialogue was spliced together from old episodes. The interesting part was that It was intentionally spliced together badly (and hilariously) to show that he was brainwashed, and spliced together well when he was snapped out of it.
- I wanna MAKE LOVE TOo ya AASSholes, chil'ren!
- The Simpsons loves to parody this trope.
Krusty: Krusty can't be here right now, so allow me to introduce you to my friend, [Mister Black.] I want you to treat [Mister Black.] with the same respect you'd give me. Now here's [Mister Black.]
- From the stock corporate video shown at camp in Kamp Krusty:
Voice: Thank you for calling the parking violations bureau. To plead not guilty, press one now. (Homer dials 1) Thank you. Your plea has been [Rejected.] You will be assessed the full fine plus a small [Large lateness fee.] Please wait by your vehicle between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for parking officer Steve [Grabowski.]
- An Enforced Trope example from Sunday, Cruddy Sunday. A super bowl game was up for grabs so they left room for themselves depending on which team won.note :
Homer: Hey, Moe, you wanna come with me and Wally to the Super Bowl?
Moe: Oh, absolutely! My favorite team's in it! The ... (obscures mouth with mug) Atlanta Falcons.
Homer: Yeah, they're good, but I wouldn't count out the... (obscures mouth with mug) Denver Broncos.
Wally: Yeah, I hear that President ... (mug) Clinton is gonna be watching with his wife... (mug) Hillary.Wally: Yeah, I hear that President ... (mug) Gore is gonna be watching with his wife... (mug) Tipper.
- From "The City of New York VS Homer Simpson"
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Karate Island", when SpongeBob receives the tape inviting him to said island, SpongeBob's name is very clearly spliced in, and read out in a completely different voice to the rest of the narration. It's one of many clues that the whole thing is a scam, but SpongeBob doesn't notice.
- On The Venture Bros., the Guild of Calamitous Intent's video invite to Dr. Orpheus does in hilariously inept fashion: Watch and Ward are reading a scripted skit "personalized" by periodically inserting the recipient's name... by means of awkward pauses where an obviously different speaker announces "Dr. Orpheus and team" in a polite monotone while Watch and Ward cover their mouths with their hands to hide lip movements (or the lack thereof).
- Invader Zim gave us ADHESIVE MEDICAL STRIPS (bacon scented!) from the Door to Door episode.
- GPS programs' voices. [After] [Two hundred] [Meters] [Turn] [Right]. [Go straight] for [Three] [Miles].
- The DMV waiting room. [NOW]...[serving]...[number]..[B]...[eighty]...[four].
- It causes some amusement on commuter rail networks the world over. Some railway announcements fit this to a T, with recordings of real voices: The next train to arrive on platform [TWO] is the [FOURTEEN] [THIRTY TWO] [SOUTH WEST TRAINS] service to [PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR] calling at [BEDHAMPTON] [HILSEA] [FRATTON] [PORTSMOUTH AND SOUTHSEA] [AND] [PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR]. One of the operators on train ones are funnier, with identical inflections on each word, but like you'd expect at the end of a sentence.
- In particular, the announcer seems to linger over the stop of "Rrrrowlands Castle".
- A similar example: on major arterial roads in Auckland, New Zealand, the bus stations have LCD screens with the arrival times and destinations of oncoming buses. Pressing a button on the signpost of these screens will cause the sign to 'read out' what's on the screen, in the format "Service number [OH-TWO-THREE], bound for [GLENFIELD], is due in [FIFTEEN] minutes". The announcer speaks in a rather thick British accent, and puts entirely too much stress on the words "bound for".
- The Parisian subway system is weird when it announces the trains : "Direction [LA DEFENSE], next train in [TWO] minutes, the next one in [ELEVEN MINUTES]" ; yes, there is one track for the first train and another for the second and they aren't recorded the same way.
- Sometimes happens with Japan's automated announcement system for train stations. For example, a announcement about a train service suspension from Tokyo to Yomohama would be translated as: Train services are suspended between [TOKYO][STATION][TO][YOKOHAMA][STATION] because of [CAUSE].
- Automated phone systems in general. Speaking, in, sentences strung together, from, a bank of pre-recorded phrases, often leads to, unusual grammar. It's also odd when the mood and intonation of the samples mean they don't gel together. Following Vodaphone UK's system to pay a bill, the voice gets progressively harsher, as if you've personally annoyed her, and returns to base pleasantness an option later.
Hello [caller says name of person being called on some systems], this is the operator. I have a collect call from [caller says name]. To accept charges press 1, to deny charges press 2.
- Orange have recently adopted a new system, which is a much better simulation of human speech — and thus slams headfirst into the Uncanny Valley. Really doesn't help that it's kind of a sexy voice...
- Parodied in 3rd Rock from the Sun, with the communicator giving different patterns for both the hour and minute, when the group was going to be recalled.
- This also includes automated collect call systems as well. This is what a typical one may sound like:
- Answering machines (anyone remember those?) often use this trope when telling the time and date. "[Sunday] [Two] [Oh] [Eight] [P.M]." Some (specifically those with "Answer On/Off" buttons) even go beyond: "Answering... machine... off. Answering... machine... on," or "Press. One. To play. Messages."
- Answering machines' Spiritual Successor voicemail can fall into this as well. "You have [one] new [message]."
- Some clocks for the blind work like this as well: "*short jingle* IT'S [ONE] [P.M.] *another jingle*"
- This is how commercial GPS voice navigation works. Actors and actresses record a surprisingly short list of phrases, which is then cut up into parts (a word or two each, usually, but also single syllables for forming street names) and recombined as needed.note
- At many grocery stores with self-checkouts, most of the computerized dialogue (if present) exemplifies this trope. For example: "You have purchased [SIX][DOUGHNUTS] for a total of [THREE DOLLARS]. Please move your [DOUGHNUTS] to the belt."
- In airports radio communications, there's the ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service), a continuous stream of information regarding operational info for take-off/landing, as well as weather, visibility, etc. Like this: "La Guardia Airport, Information [Alpha], Main landing runway  [Left], Transition level , Visibility  [kilometers], Temperature , End of information [Alpha].
- Some varieties of talking crosswalks use this, saying "[street name] Walk sign is on." when the light changes.
- Phones with caller ID that announce who is calling and the number also fall into the trope. "Call from [UNA]-[VAIL]-[ABLE]"
- Chicago's two bus systems, CTA and Pace, as well as one train system, Metra, have sounds that play in this style.
- Pace examples: "NOW approaching. Madison. And. Circle." "The next stop will be. Harlem Avenue. And. South Boulevard. CTA. Green Line."
- CTA example: "Route. Ninety. One. Austin. To. Roosevelt."
- Metra doesn't have it too bad, but it's still there: "Now approaching. River Forest."