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"A good story is like a good bowel movement: it's only really satisfying once it's ended. Because if you just keep going, then eventually your body runs out of shit and moves on to pushing all of your internal organs out of your sphincter, until only a foul-smelling shell remains, and anyone who wants to get in on your incredibly long poo gets turned off, because they need to have gone through all of the poo up to that point to have the necessary context and this is where the analogy is breaking down somewhat."
In one of the "Supplementary Materials" strips written for Azumanga Daioh's tenth anniversary, Chiyo-Chichi gives Sakaki the following advice: "Keep moving forward. Then turn left at the second corner."
In Persona 4 Yuu uses a giant, $35 beef bowl to begin an analogy to relate the need to never give up on their pursuit of a fairly vague goal. Other members of the group pitch in and add to the increasingly narmy metaphor. When it's Yuu's turn again, he says, "And my bowl isn't empty yet."
In Yellow, Taki and Goh get into an argument about whether Taki or the women who go after him are "like moths to a flame." Amusingly this leads to an attempted kiss on Goh's part and this exchange:
"What are you doing?!" "My kiss is like moth balls."
In Great Teacher Onizuka, the eponymous Onizuka once described love as "That magical spark between two people that you hope won't start a fire and burn them both to death."
Bookhunter: Agent Bay preps the police for a dragnet, and ends his speech with:
Agent Bay: It might seem to you that we're grasping at straws. But straws are all we've got left. There is one straw that is going to break this case wide open. Which is why I need each and every one of you to follow your own straw to the bitterest end.
What The?! parodying the narration in Man-Thing, describing the swamp:
This is where things cease to have names, where they cease to have form, where all that is left is fear and a smell something like what you get when you change a cat's litterbox in a poorly ventilated room. Or like those socks of yours - come on, I know you've got 'em - that stand up by themselves, and you put them on on a really hot day in those shoes that aren't made of leather but out of plastic, and you walk around all day, and then take them off...yeah. Like that. That - and fear.
In one Tomorrow Stories Splash Brannigan adventure, the black-as-coal living inkblot Splash fights a white doppelganger. A bystander describes their battle as "Like a black thing and a white thing that are, uh... having a fight."
The narrator of Equestria: A History Revealed often forgets the point of her metaphors, or worse, gets lost in her train of thoughts, and continues on with the metaphor as though it was the point itself.
All the blood was rushing back into her face, there probably should've been steam coming out of her ears, which in turn should've been melting off her head with the liquid flesh running down into her neck, as she realized what she'd just blurted out.
Ginny: Her? I thought we were kicking fate in the balls. Sirius: Oh no, that's Destiny. He's the bastard who shags Fate and knocks her up with prophecies, remember? Ginny: I think your metaphor took the Knight Bus to Stonehenge.
When Twilight notes in Head of a Dog; Tail of a Lion that her status as a Princess demands that she negotiate with the Diamond Dogs for the release of Spike and their other captives rather than simply attacking them, Fluttershy chimes in with the "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar" adage before timidly admitting that it's actually the other way around. Applejack adds that Sweet Apple Acres cider is really best for the job before Twilight exasperatedly lampshades the whole thing.
In Came Out of the Darkness Draco complains about the impossibility of getting a girl alone to ask her to the Yule Ball.
Draco: Don't understand why they keep grouping together like...groups of things that group together.
So, I'm the extra button on a coat in case another one comes loose But if I have to be a button, why can't I be a button that's of use? I may lack style, and I may lack grace And once in a while, I fall on my face But this little button deserves a place in the sky This button wants to fly- Wait, buttons can't fly! That doesn't make any sense.
Ping pong… is not the macarena. It takes patience. She is like a fine, well-aged prostitute… it takes years to learn her tricks. She is cruel, laughs at you when you are naked, but you keep coming back for more, and more! Why? Because she is the only prostitute I can afford!
In 28 Days, one of the recovering addicts in the rehab center tries to explain how everyone has to walk their own path.
There's a time when you can share and you hold hands and be on the same path. But there's always a fork in the road... at some point. And sometimes you have to go on one part of the fork and they gotta go on the other part of the fork. Or just down the back part of the fork while you go forward. And they're like: *sigh* Or they got a salad fork and you have one of the big dinner forks and you have longer to go but they're like done because that's it, they're stuck on a piece of food, that they *sigh*. A dessert fork or like one of those, you know small little shrimp forks or crab forks and you're trying to get out a crab. They're like that and you're over here jumping to the huge serving fork or something like that, or a ladle, you know.
The educational short Drugs Are Like That really doesn't know what the metaphor it's going for is. Drugs are compared to legos, cookies, swimming, toys, and pacifiers. Then they say that the human body is like a perpetual motion machine that the characters make out of Legos (!!) and that moving one piece causes it to explode — "Drugs are like that!" This is all narrated by Anita Bryant.
Topper: My father used to say that not playing to win is like sleeping with your sister. Sure she's a great piece of tail, with a blouse full of goodies, but, it's just illegal. Then you get into that whole inbred thing. Kids with no teeth who do nothing but play the banjo ... eat apple sauce through a straw ... pork farm animals.
Magicians briefly has two spectators muse on the sight of two magicians, who formerly had a successful and well-respected double act going before one slept with the other's wife and the other accidentally decapitated said wife during a trick with a guillotine, reuniting for the first time in four years to perform together:
Spectator 1: It's like Israel and Palestine.
Spectator 2: ... Entering a magic competition together.
"Why don't you make like a tree... and get the fuck out of here!"
The bartender and his patrons did this a lot in that scene, though the latter were making fun of the former.
"People in glass houses sink ships!"
"A penny saved is worth two in the bush, isn't it?"
"And don't cross the road if you can't get out of the kitchen!"
He speaks almost exclusively in these. The hilarity is compounded by his Tourette's.
The opening narration of Out Cold has Stumpy comparing Bull Mountain to a woman, then switching over to a discourse on skiing injuries that has nothing to do with women, then ending on a note that would make his soliloquy a good comparison of a woman to the mountain, but making absolutely no sense the other way around.
In The Social Network, Sean Parker uses the metaphor of a fisherman having his photo taken with one big Marlin instead of 15 trout. Eduardo goes into all the technical details, like how much a Marlin could weigh in real life and how strong the fisherman would have to be, while an irate Mark tells him that he's Comically Missing the Point.
In Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star, right after Bucky is told he isn't big enough downstairs to be a porn star, Antonio the diner owner offers to be in porn, saying "I'm hung like a cocker spaniel", at which point Miles Deep, the porn director, says, "A cocker spaniel isn't a big dog." "Yeah, but it's warm, and cuddly, and loyal, and has warm eyes." "Your dick has warm eyes?" "You know what I mean!"
The Odd Couple II: Oscar and Felix painfully go through several different metaphors, before Oscar says he can't remember what they started out talking about.
Kieran: *after hearing Tim's girlfriend left him* There's not a lot of monogamy in the animal kingdom. Not many animals mate for life. Penguins do. I've spent a lot of time with penguins, and they're really cool. Maybe you're a penguin, Tim, but Julie's not a penguin. She's a lioness! Don't try to mate a lioness with a penguin—ever. Have you ever seen a mammal and a bird mate? I've never even heard of that.
Steve: Dad, it's like this. Doug is like a fax machine. You keep putting things in, but if it doesn't have a cover page, people don't know where it's coming from. And sometimes you get a busy signal. That's why you have a memory button, and a redial button... Actually I never use those, I always screw them up.
John Lennon does a visual gag in A Hard Days Night where he pretends to snort a bottle of soda pop, as in "snorting coke" — but it's a bottle of Pepsi!
In Happy Gilmore, a variation of this happens when Shooter accidentally fuses two insults together:
Shooter: I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast!
The World's End: "And this time we're going to see it to the bitter end! ...Or lager end."
Parodied in the fourth Scary Movie, when the guy who's hiding in a cellar from the aliens tells Tom the metaphor from War of the Worlds that the alien invasion is no more a real war than there is between man and maggots. He continues: there's also no real war between dragons and wolves. And man, riding dragons, throwing wolves at maggots. Tom gives the camera a vacant expression in response.
In ancient history, a non-comedic version of this is referred to as a "Homeric Simile". This is based on instances in The Iliad and The Odyssey where the narrator starts off comparing two things, then continues into minute details that are seemingly unnecessary. For instance, if someone was feeling happy, the story might say:
"His joy was as warm as the joy that shipwrecked sailors might feel when they catch sight of land after Poseidon has struck down their well-rigged ship on the open sea with gale winds and crushing walls of waves, with only a few surviving, swimming, struggling out of the frothing surf to reach the shore, their bodies crusted with salt but buoyed up with glee as they plant their feet on solid ground."
Tom Holt regularly includes some kind of brutal disjunction of "omelettes and eggs". Did you know that it is possible to make omelettes without shredding chickens, but it doesn't make as good television?
This is frequently seen in Discworld novels, due to the extreme literal-mindedness of many of the characters. Sometimes, of course, taking the metaphor a little too far actually works.
Time was something that largely happened to other people; [Lu-Tze] viewed it in the same way that people on the shore viewed the sea. It was big and it was out there, and sometimes it was an invigorating thing to dip a toe into, but you couldn't live in it all the time. Besides, it always made his skin wrinkle.
... Three decks of balcony and bulkhead were crumpled and staved-in as if a tree had fallen on them. It would have had to have been a redwood tree, I suppose, and made of iron. Perhaps dropped from orbit. Never mind the tree; it looked like a bomb had gone off.
In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, hitchhiking alien Ford Prefect has a dream in which he encounters a new life form emerging from a polluted New York river. When the creature asks him what life is like he responds:
"Life is like a grapefruit. Well, it's sort of orangy-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have a half a one for breakfast."
Lemony Snicket seems to have an affinity for strange and humourous metaphors of this kind.
The Beatrice Letters has, "The day was as cold and bitter as hot chocolate if it had been put in a fridge for several hours and filled with vinegar."
In The Penultimate Peril, there is: "Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter."
Life, to me, is like a quiet forest pool, one that needs a direct hit from a big rock half-buried in the ground. You pull and you pull, but you can't get the rock out of the ground. So you give it a good kick, but you lose your balance and go skidding down the hill toward the pool. Then out comes a big Hawaiian man who was screwing his wife beside the pool because they thought it was real pretty. He tells you to get out of there, but you start faking it, like you're talking Hawaiian, and then he gets mad and chases you...
The thing about it was, though, that if you knew there was something to know, and you hadn't been told about it, there was no way you could keep your mind from worrying about what it might be – like a tongue forever probing at an imperfection in a tooth, while you're wondering whether, if you ever pluck up enough courage to go to the dentist about it, it's going to be merely some calcine accumulation that can be simply blasted away, or the sort of root-canal job that leaves you unable to eat for three days for fear of disturbing what feels like three tons of amalgam.
Lampshaded by Patton Oswalt in his essay "Dating a Stripper is a Recipe for Perspective" from Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me:
"But even the sweetest apple plucked from the tree of love can become a rotted, flyblown failure full of disease, maggots, and yelling. Yes, when love goes bad, it can fill an apple with yelling."
This trope occurs regularly in William Langland's 14th Century Narrative Poem, Piers Plowman, which is famous for its abstruse allegorical method which consistently stretches metaphors way further than their comfortable limits. See, for instance, the explanation of the Trinity as Hand (fingers, palm and fist) and Candle (taper, flame, and wax) in Passus 17 of the B text.
In Jeeves and Wooster Bertie sometimes falls into this while narrating. Very Good, Jeeves! gives us this gem:
One of the first lessons life teaches us is that on these occasions of back-chat between the delicately-nurtured a man should retire into the offing, curl up in a ball, and imitate the prudent tactics of the opossum, which, when danger is in the air, pretends to be dead, frequently going to the length of hanging out crepe and instructing its friends to stand round and say what a pity it all is.
In Kill Time or Die Trying Nathan discourages dating within the club with the saying 'You don't poop where you eat'. He tries to stretch this metaphor to explain to Brad why long-distance relationships are a bad idea, saying 'You don't mail your poop to Bloemfontein either, Brad.'
Mediochre: This whole scene could have stepped out of a cheesy fantasy adventure were it not for the fact that scenes are incapable of stepping anywhere due to severe deficiency in the foot department.
Jack's explanation of all the different worlds in Spider Circus becomes this. It's something to do with knitting baskets and wool, and cracks in the wool.
Live Action TV
Angel, like Buffy below, inevitably inherits this.
Fred: You're like the MacGyver of Wolfram and Hart!
Knox: You're not wrong! I can make practically anything out of a...a fully equipped, muti-million-dollar...lab.
In "Ted", Buffy lets her annoyance at her mother's new boyfriend creep into a strategic discussion about killing vampires:
Buffy: Vampires are creeps. Giles: Yes, that's why one slays them. Buffy: I mean, people are perfectly happy getting along, and then vampires come, and they run around and they kill people, and they take over your whole house, they start making these stupid little mini pizzas, and everyone's like, 'I like your mini pizzas,' but I'm telling you, I am... Giles: Uh, uh, Buffy! I-I believe the... subtext here is, is, rapidly becoming, uh, uh, text.
Willow has a particularly beautiful bit in the Season Four premiere:
Susan's father is talking to Steve about Steve's habit of "soloing" (singing in the shower). Steve takes it as a sexual metaphor, which leads to him saying this: "If music be the food of love, then masturbation is just a snack between meals."
Also when Steve accidentally sees Sally naked, and she starts a metaphor of how she is like Australia:
Sally: Far away, vastly uninhabited, and filled with areas of great danger.
Steve: Oh. I thought it was about having a lot of convicts.
Sally gives Steve a "The hell?" look.
Steve: No, I understand. I'm welcome in your Melbourne, or your Sydney...
Patrick discussing monogamy while pretending to be involved with Susan as part of competing with a rival.
Patrick: I don't share my woman. It's like finding the right tennis racket. Once you've got one you really like using, you keep on using it until it falls apart and you have to get a new one. Only more emotional.
Though, this being Patrick, it's arguable that he didn't forget the metaphor at all, and means what it sounds like he means.
In the Douglas Adams-inspired detective comedy Dirk Gently, this dialogue:
Suspect: "Are you sayin' something's fishy, Mr. Gently?"
Dirk: "Are YOU saying there's nothing to catch? In this river?"
Suspect: "I'm sayin', your waders, have got an hole in 'em."
Dirk: "W..Well, I'm very adept with...a puncture repair kit."
Most episodes end with Doctor Rick Dagless giving a conclusion to the story in monologue form. One of the most memorable is the classic first episode ending:
Dagless: The doors of Darkplace were open. Not the literal doors of the building, most of which were closed. But evil doors. Dark doors. Doors, to the beyond. Doors that were hard to shut because they were abstract and didn't have handles. They were more like portals really.
Also used during the first episode at a funeral.
The Padre: Larry Renwick will be remembered for his wit, and laughing eyes. And for being, above all, a good friend. I'm sure we all feel that he exploded too young, but, the Lord moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes, he'll come in at an angle. Other times, he can hover, then swoop. Sometimes he can even come in from beneath, like a worm, or mole. The Lord, it's his call how he chooses to maneuver.
There's a great one in the spin-off series Man to Man with Dean Learner:
Dean Learner: It's like that philosophical question: If a tree falls in the forest, and I'm not there, and it makes a sound, but I don't hear it, but someone records it and plays it back to me at a dinner party, does that mean I'm still in the forest? And if I am, then why can't I just take a piss in the garden rather than queuing for the toilet? And that's if the toilet even exists; I've been trying to use it all fucking night. I'm starting to doubt the existence of the toilet quite frankly at this stage of the proceedings. Get a portaloo is what I'm saying. If you're going to have a party of that size, get a portaloo. 'Cause I don't want to spend my entire fucking evening in the corridor. And if philosophy can solve those questions, then it's worth it. But thus far it can't. So I'm fucking busting, and what's Plato doing about it? Nothing."
One of them is the Trope Namer for the Timey-Wimey Ball trope. Though the comedy of that example kind of falls flat because the rest of the episode is absolutely terrifying.
"The Time of Angels" has:
"A needle that looks like hay, a hay-like needle of death. A hay-like needle of death in a haystack of... er, statues. No, yours was fine."
And from the second-last episode of that season, on the virtues of buying another half hour's breathing space...not so much meta but definitely phorgotten: "There are fruit flies live on Hopperton 6, that live for twenty minutes and they don't even mate for life." *pause* "There was going to be a point to that. I'll get back to you."
From "Victory of the Daleks", in reference to the Daleks: "There isn't a sincere bone in your body (without pause) There isn't a bone in your body."
Also, in the 2011 BBC Charity Relief Specials, the Doctor mentions to Rory:
"We're just entering conceptual space. Imagine a banana. Or anything curved. Actually, don't, because it's not curved or like a banana- FORGET THE BANANA!"
In the special "The End of Time" (paraphrased):
"The Time War was time-locked; sealed inside a bubble—it's not a bubble, just think of it as a bubble..."
And from the 50th Aniversary Special:
"See, Clara, they're stored in the paintings in the Under-Gallery. Like Cup-A-Soups! Except you add time, if you can picture that. Nobody can picture that. Forget I said "Cup-A-Soups"."
In the Twelfth Doctor's first episode, Deep Breath:
"Question; you take a broom, you replace the handle, and then later you replace the brush, and you do that over and over again. Is it the same broom? Answer; no, of course it isn't, but you can still sweep the floor, which is not strictly relevant, skip that last part.
Washing a car, Paul, is very much like making love to a beautiful woman: you've got to caress the body, breath softly and gently on her, and give every inch of it your loving attention. And make sure you've got a nice wet sponge.
Putting up a tent is very much like making love to a beautiful woman: you unzip the door, put up your pole, and slip into the old bag.
Answering the phone, Paul, is very much like making love to a beautiful woman. You... pick up... the receiver... speak loudly and clearly... oh, and always state your name... (To himself) You're losing it Toni...
On Glee, the new football coach, Shannon Bieste, does this quite a bit:
Shannon: You watch your tone with me, missy. You crap on my leg, I'll cut it off!
Also, Sue "threatening" Will:
Sue: I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then on some dark, cold night, I will steal away into your home, and punch you in the face!
"You know Mark Twain? Scared to death of the Village People."
One of the many varieties of snark available on House is the intentional Metaphorgotten.
At one point in season 4, Cuddy is badgering House to hire a new team to replace his old one. His response?
House: You have sex before you get married. You test-drive a car before you buy it. I can't hire a team based on a ten-minute interview. What if I don't like having sex with them?
Another example, this time a subversion:
Stacy: If I wasn't married to Mark, I'd be on you like red on rice. House: But rice isn't... oh, you.
In season five, after House drives Cameron to resign as Cuddy's temporary replacement (Cuddy wanted to spend time with her new baby), Cuddy secretly marks the elevators "out of order", forcing House to use the stairs.
House: Elevators keep crashing. Is Mercury in retrograde, or what?
Cuddy: Elevators can be capricious. Sometimes it just seems like they're out to get you.
House: Why do you think the elevators would be out to get me?
Cuddy: I don't know. Maybe they wanted to take time off to spend with their little dumbwaiter. But then they had to leave it at home with an elevator sitter because you drove the replacement elevator to quitting because you're incapable of listening to anybody but me. That's just a theory.
Jez is railing against his aunt's decision to give his religious uncle a secular funeral during his eulogy, except that he tries to compare Jesus to the Irish musician Enya, capped off by claiming "Enya died for our sins".
In the episode where Sophie has her baby Super Hans compares it to seeing the channel tunnel. "And then imagine a fuckin huge baby coming out of there!"
Shawn Spencer in Psych frequently comes up with metaphors. Problem is, they either make no sense in relation to what he's talking about, or he veers off in his meaning and... loses it.
Shawn: Pack it in, pull the plug, shut it down, leave the dead meat in the freezer, and put on your Sunday best, 'cause it's Arbor Day, baby!
Or from the Disco episode:
Shawn: You are no longer a cop. And unless you plan on going back to the academy, and climbing the high wall, and doing the obstacle course where you shoot the bad guys but not the old lady with the sack, or the blind guy with the cane, or the cute little squirrel with the bushy tail and the big fat nut ... It started off well.
It's not just Shawn. In the episode There's Something About Mira, Mira's mother offers us this gem:
Pushing Daisies is absolutely filled with this sort of thing and related tropes, due to the eccentric speech patterns of most of the characters. One typical example comes when Olive and Chuck are discussing their scheme to get Chuck's aunts to start swimming again.
Olive: Phase 2 has experienced a hiccup. Chuck: The kind of hiccup that goes away if you drink a glass of water or hold your breath? Olive: No, the kind of hiccup that keeps you up for days on end till you go crazy and you give away all your cherished mermaid mementos and refuse to get back in the pool again.
Frank Constanza says to his son's boss: "You couldn't smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a dame ... I lost my train of thought."
When George's mother catches him masturbating and insists he see a psychiatrist, he complains "If everyone who did... that had to see a psychiatrist..." then veers off realizing he has no idea how to end that thought. At prompting from Jerry he just says "Whatever!"
In the Pilot episode, Tim gives his cheating ex-girlfriend an elaborate metaphor for why he's leaving her.
Tim: You can't dangle the bogus carrot of possible reconciliation in front of my face whilst riding some other donkey.
When Daisy discusses her recent breakup with her now ex-boyfriend:
Daisy: In the end, our relationship was just like a sandwich toaster. You know, you just forget you've got one. And it just sits there on the top of the cupboard collecting a layer of greasy fudge. And even if you do see it you just assume it's broken, you think if it's working I'd be using it all the time, but you don't and it just sits there. Then one day, you get an overwhelming desire for toasted sandwiches, you know? And you get it down and it works, and you can't believe it, you know? And then you make every kind of toasted sandwich there is, you have toasted sandwich parties. [...] And then as quickly as the desire comes, it just goes. And then you put the toaster sandwich maker away. And, you know what?
Daisy: You don't miss it.
Bilbo: So what you're saying is "Don't hide the toasted sandwich maker away, use him regularly and you'll get the most out of him"?
Tim: No, she's saying "Chuck your boyfriend, have a sandwich".
Tim's classic comparison between waiting for a possible reunion with his ex-girlfriend and masturbation:
Tim: I just had a moment of clarity, you know, I woke up. It's like... you know when you have an orgasm on your own?
[Daisy looks increasingly disgusted and uncertain during the following:] You know, you're sort of lying on the sofa watching some porn movie you bought on a drunken lonely night in Soho, and you're lying there and everything's going really great, you're getting totally turned on by these absurdly graphic images, everything seems so right, and suddenly - phht! Bingo! You wake up. And you're lying there sweating, desperately looking for the tissue which you know is still in your pocket, and the remote control which is somewhere on the floor, and it's like walking in on yourself, you know? It's just like "What you doing?" That's how I felt tonight feeling my heart miss a beat every time the door opened. "What the fuck are you doing?"
Daisy: Well... that's love, isn't it? Load of old wank.
When Tim tells Daisy he thinks his ex might want to take him back:
Daisy: What do you mean, you have a "funny feeling"?
At one point, Michael and Caitlin are arguing over their delayed Relationship Upgrade, using recent negotiations between two city departments as the metaphor. Later on, when they make up, Michael tries to continue the metaphor by stating that "the department would really like... to have sex with you."
Also in Spin City, we have Nikki explaining how she got into accounting: "Numbers are uncomplicated. Numbers don't lie. And they don't say they're coming over and then never call, so you go out for a coffee and see them walking up the street with another woman..."
Titus: (holding a glass of water) If sex were water...Tommy hasn't had sex in two years. (shrugs and takes a drink)
In an episode of Yes, Prime Minister, Prime Minister Hacker's political adviser makes a case for being returned to her usual office (from which she has been unceremoniously removed by the machinations of Sir Humphrey) by using some objects on the table, including a teacup, an ash-tray and a saucer, to construct a rough map of the interior of 10 Downing Street to prove its strategic worth. Hacker agrees, and summons Bernard to have the adviser moved to her office "between the tea-cup, the ash-tray and the saucer." Bernard, who was not present during the initial metaphor, is as confused as you'd expect.
Barney: I can't hit on women in my own bar. Remember the old Barney? He was a lion. The king of the jungle; stalking whatever prey he chose. Going in for the kill. Ted: You've got a whole meatlocker at home full of corpses, don't you? Barney: Now look at me. Declawed. Neutered. What was once my jungle is now my zoo and I am forced to mate with the same old lioness again and again and again, while families pay to watch. Ted: Yeah, this metaphor has really fallen apart.
When Marshall and Lily are trying to decide whether or not they should try to conceive a child:
Lily: Well, Marshall was going to come home early from work so that we could... have dinner... but then he couldn't make it, and it got me thinking - what if I'm not ready to... have dinner? Ted: Well, I had an early lunch, so I'm ready for dinner. Lily: Dinner is a baby! Robin: Lily, that's horrible!
Barney anticipating finally having sex with Nora:
Barney: Hey kid. You know how your mom won't let you have ice-cream till after dinner, but the waiting kinda makes it taste better? Well, I've been waiting two months for that bowl of ice cream.... and tonight, I'm going to have sex with it.
A subtle one from Ted's boss (regarding Ted's newest task of designing Styrofoam trees): "This isn't just about trees, Ted. This is about life. And sometimes, in life, you have to get the trees just right, or you're fired."
Ugly Betty has: "You'll always be compared to that first motorcycle. Especially when it's shoving its tongue down your girlfriend's throat."
Rufus: I dated a girl like Serena, once. Actually, a lot like Serena. And girls like that might be challenging. That's true. And they're complicated, and enigmatic. And usually worth it. And the only way you know for sure is to jump it with both feet. Dan: What happened with you? Rufus: I swam for a while. Till I drowned. Dan: Oh. Well, thanks, Dad. That's a great story.
Blair, after having been lured away with Chuck on an all-night trip to find Georgina, which ended with Blair driving off in Chuck's limo after finding out he didn't need her to come along in the first place:
Serena: It doesn't make sense! Blair: Feelings never do. They get you all confused. Then they drive you around for hours before they drop you right back where you started.
In the episode "The Coup," Michael describes Dwight's attempt at betrayal and loses track of his point:
Business is like a jungle, I am like a tiger, and Dwight is like the monkey that stabs the tiger in the back with a stick. Does the tiger fire the monkey? Does he transfer the monkey to a different branch? (eyes light up) Pun! There is no way of knowing what is going on inside the tiger's head. We don't have that kind of technology.
One episode has Dwight attempting to explain his relationship with Michael:
We're like one of those classic famous teams. He's like Mozart, and I'm like... Mozart's friend. No... I'm like Butch Cassidy, and Michael is like Mozart. You try and hurt Mozart, you're going to get a bullet in your head. Courtesy of Butch Cassidy.
Jim in "The Delivery, Part One", re: Pam's decision to not leave for the hospital to deliver her baby until the contractions are five minutes apart:
Jim: "So the plan was seven minutes, but we're calling an audible. Because that's her call. 'Cause she's the quarterback. I'm just the left tackle who happened to get her pregnant."
Veronica: It's time for this fawn to strap on a machinegun, spread its wings and fly! <!— "fawn" as in young deer, or "faun" as in wood-sprite or satyr? —>
Although, this is technically not a metaphorgotten; the end of the episode revealed that Veronica honestly didn't know what a fawn was, and was just stringing ideas together as she came up with them.
Technically this was in a newspaper, but when asked about his cancelled quiz show The Rich List, Andrew O'Keefe came out with this gem, comparing it to his other show: "The Rich List is like a dear cousin sadly taken before its time, never to return I'm afraid. Unlike Deal or No Deal, which is like the bachelor uncle who shows up to every family function without fail and drinks everything in sight and gets all the kids dancing and hyper before taking off into the night in his '65 Mercedes convertible which could use a little TLC."
As far as I'm concerned, moving forward: young is the new old. People who don't just think outside the box, they rip up the box, tramp on it, fly it around the room for a bit and put it back together again. As a circle.
One particular example that springs to mind, from an opening monologue:
Shaun: You know, political humour and satiricalness is very much the bag I'm into laughwise. I see an injustice in our society and I pounce on it like a cougar, ripping it open like a fawn and eating it whole. Now, the suits here tell me to cool it, but I tell them to back off. 'Cause I'm calling the shots here and it's my arse on the line. And if there's a fawn around selling off public housing, or pushing economic rationalism when the cats aren't digging it, or doing other bad things, then this fawn is going down. Down as far as it can burrow. And if the public want to see me kill and eat a burrowing fawn on national television, then by Godfrey they shall!
He's described his more recent show Talkin' 'bout Your Generation as "QImeetsIt's A Knockout, goes out with each other for a few weeks, then QI gets dumped and takes up with Spicks And Specks, but awkwardly runs into It's A Knockout again a couple of months later and they have an affair. Spicks And Specks finds out, shoots It's A Knockout in a jealous rage and goes to jail"
Father Ted: When Mrs Doyle pleads with Ted not to replace the broken tea-making machine, by espousing the pleasures of making tea by hand:
Mrs Doyle: The playful splash of the tea as it hits the bottom of the cup. The thrill of adding the milk and watching it settle for a moment before it filters slowly down through the cup changing the colour from dark brown to a lighter brown. Perching an optional Jaffa cake on the saucer, like a proud soldier standing at attention next to a... giant cup of tea.
Howard: Yes, I slipped and fell. In the bathroom. Bounced right off the tub.
Penny: Yes, now he knows what bathtubs are capable of doing when you don’t treat them with respect.
Howard: Yeah. They sucker punch you when your eyes are closed.
Sheldon on Penny's singing voice:
Sheldon: If cats could sing...they'd hate it too.
Raj tries to convince Leonard to ditch his date with his sister and go on a mission with the guys to track down the guy that hacked Sheldon's World of Warcraft account:
Raj: Bros before... my sister.
This one is admittedly understandable, as Penny was drugged at the time (which is why it's lampshaded):
Penny: "You know people think you are this weird robot man who's so annoying all the time and you totally are. But then it's like that movie Wall-E at the end. You're so full of love and you can save a plant and get fat people out of their floaty chairs."
Sheldon: "Thats a fairly laboured metaphor but I appreciate the sentiment behind it."
Karen: I thought you said a gun was a cop's best friend.
Davis: Well, a gun is more like a cop's lover. There's some things you tell your gun that you'd never tell a lover. And sometimes your lover and your best friend don't get along. Or maybe you go out with one and the other gets mad at you 'cause you didn't go out with it!
Karen: You're divorced, right?
Hank: Check and mate! The hunter has become the hunted! The fox has become the...fox...who is...catching himself...
Britta: "Raising him means letting him follow his dreams." Abed's Father: "Dreams are for sleeping!" Britta: "You don't know that!" Abed's Father: "It's clinically proven!" Britta: "So's polio!" Abed's Father: "You lost me!"
Troy: I wanna be a book. She could pick me up...flip through my pages...make sure nobody drew weiners in me...
In this sequence on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert tries to explain a metaphor made by John McCain comparing Middle-Earth to the debt ceiling debate, using Lord of the Rings figurines. Each one he brings out strains the metaphor a little more, until:
One more thing. [brings out a full-scale sword replica] This, of course, is Aragorn's sword Andúril, Flame of the West, reforged from the Shards of Narsil, given to me by Viggo Mortensen. Now, this has nothing to do with the metaphor; I just want to remind everyone that I have this.
In Stargate SG-1, O'Neill at one point gets into a sort of metaphor battle with a village leader. When O'Neill says "Birds of a feather," the leader doesn't get it, having not heard it before. O'Neill tries to explain that it's about "flocking" and "togetherness", before admitting that he isn't sure himself.
Michael's very first line on Burn Notice slips into this.
Know what it's like being a spy? Like sitting in your dentist's reception area twenty-four hours a day. You read magazines, sip coffee, and every so often, someone tries to kill you.
Though arguably, he's not derailing a metaphor—he's literally saying that being a spy is like sitting in a waiting room where someone occasionally tries to kill you.
Jon Stewart: It's a great day when the president of the United States says on national television that gay people should no longer be regulated to only planning other people's weddings. It's not right. It's like putting a cat in charge of the Goldfish Toss game, it's not fair. You're just torturing the cat; just let him eat the fish or move him to Down a Clown. That's a better game for the cat. What are we talking about, I forgot already.
Grace Under Fire: When (smart, sarcastic) Grace's ex-husband Jimmy (dumb) is telling their children what far away part of the States he's moving to, he uses his his body to represent the country. Grace quips "Don't ask him where Florida is." When one of the children asks where they are on the map, Jimmy places a hand on the right side of his chest and says they'll be there, right next to his heart. Grace moves his hand to the other side, "across the Mississippi," to which Jimmy replies, thanks, he was never good at geography.
Pixelface: In "The Problems of Dr. Nigari", Kiki says that taking an exam is exactly like dancing because it's all about "planning ahead, knowing your next move, and wearing a spangly leotard".
Callen: Sam sees the glass as half-full. I see the glass as half-empty; that's why we make such a good team. Kensi, on the other hand, drinks straight out of the bottle, Nate wonders why it's a glass and Eric usually breaks the glass by putting his feet on the table.
On one episode of Covert Affairs, Henry Wilcox doesn't waste much time getting here. Quoth Henry, when informed of all the collateral damage his scheme caused: "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few skulls."
Max: There's an old Chinese proverb that goes: Life is like a pair of chopsticks. You grab them, you, er... that's not it. Max: Life is like a shirt. If you lose your buttons, you... Max: Let's see, I've got it. Life is like a kumquat. Agent 99: That's it? Max: Life isn't a kumquat?
Derry Merbles:Leslie, could one say that a book is nothing more than a painting of words, which are the notes on the tapestry of the greatest film ever sculpted?
Ron Swanson gives us a variation on the common "Teach a man to fish" metaphor:
Give a man a fish, and he feeds for a day. Don't teach a man to fish, and you feed yourself. He's a grown man; fishing's not that hard.
On the 21st season premiere of Wheel of Fortune, Pat and Vanna were discussing at the end of the show just how long they had been hosting it. Pat then quipped, "It's like riding a bicycle: I'm all sweaty and my rear end hurts."
Star Trek: The Original Series: Spock, trying to confuse some robots: "Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell BAD."
Paul Hennessy: Thank you very much, Mrs. Connelly. I'm sorry for all this. It's just that, uh, you know, I'm a concerned parent. Father bear, as it were, and I just want the best for my little cubs so that one day they can spread their wings and fly.
The Babylon 5 episode The Exercise of Vital Powers has Garibaldi arguing with Wade about whether or not he is going to put on a blindfold before his first meeting with their seclusive wealthy employer, William Edgars.
Wade:I ever tell you I have a master's in literature? Don't take it personal, but you don't seem the type. Everything is illusion, Mr. Garibaldi. Concepts of language, light, metaphor. Nothing is real. Except this blindfold.
Star Trek: Voyager features an instance of metaphysical metaphorgotten. In their first Q episode, in order to help Janeway understand the nature of the conflict shes judging, Q and Quinn agree upon a metaphorical representation of their home. That works fine. But in a follow up episode, the Q are at war, Voyager ends up visiting the Q Continuum which is represented as a battlefield with factions wearing the American Civil War era regalia. Q weapons are represented a muskets and shotguns. The metaphor breaks down when Voyager crew members are somehow able to pick up and wield these weapons and pose a real threat to the Q. Also, when Q is "wounded" by a Q-gun, Janeway treats the "wound" as though it were a normal human shotgun wound.
In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "It's a Wonderful Lie", Will's friend tells him about a party. His friend tells him he should be careful because he's not single anymore and there's going to be a lot of women.This trope happens when they have a verbal exchange involving a metaphor about bees:
Friend: But be warned, there's gonna be females up in there. Girlies swarming like bees!
Will: Let 'em swarm on, bruh, because I got the queen.
Friend: Okay. But once the party starts buzzin', you gon' wish your stinger was free.
'Will: The honey is always sweeter at the hive.
Friend: But you know bees got to go from flower to flower.
Will: Oh yes sir, but once they start pollinating, then they...what had happened and...Look can we just talk please?
Sophia: Jean is a nice person. She happens to prefer girls instead of guys. Some people prefer cats instead of dogs. Personally I'd rather live with a lesbian than a cat. Unless the lesbian sheds, then I dunno.
From Tim Minchin's beat poem Storm: "I'm becoming aware that I'm staring / I'm like a rabbit, suddenly trapped / in the blinding headlights of vaccuous crap."
Bill Bailey revels in this in one of his songs.
"I was alone/my heart was cold it was a stone/my soul was lonely like a stone/there was no moss! And when I danced I danced alone/Except I did not dance because I was alone/so I did not dance."
"The snowflake on the eye of the deer/has turned to pus that oozes from an open wound./The deer now blinded stumbles into a ravine."
Whilst Wynona's Big Brown Beaver by Primus consists of euphemistic metaphors, the entirety of the song seems to be an example of metaphorgotten:
Wynona loved her big brown beaver and she stroked it all the time She pricked her finger one day and it occurred to her She might have a porcupine.
During the introduction to "We Will All Go Together When We Go" Tom Lehrer said that the last thing this guy he knew said before they took him away to the Massachusetts State Home for the Bewildered was "Life is like a sewer - you get out of it what you put into it."
A 1984 installment of Matt Groening's Life in Hell included a few supposed quotations about love by great philosophers from history. They all follow this trope and become increasingly bizarre and ridiculous, finally finishing with this one: "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." - Nietzsche
In Frazz, Caulfield once asked if life is a journey, and a sled ride is a journey, does that mean that the sled ride is a simile?
Nebulous: The whole of the universe is unravelling into a massive coincidence like a badly knit cardigan caught on the wire of coincidence. A whole sleeve has already gone, and now the collar's starting to unravel. Un-knit 1, un-purl 1, un-knit 1, un...I'm drifting..
Nebulous: Doctor Klench is a chap who came to a crossroads in life and took a turning marked evil. He put his foot to the accelerator and he's not stopping. Not for pedestrians, not for a picnic, not for a toilet break, not- I'm drifting.
Interestingly, Professor Nebulous always realizes he's doing it, and stops himself with the remark, "I'm drifting."
Frequently played with on Adventures in Odyssey, since TV Genius Eugene interprets all metaphors as Metaphorgotten. For example, when he gets offended when his future father-in-law calls Katrina's engagement ring a "mere trinket."
Eugene: Trinket? Mr. Shanks: Now, no offense, Eugene, but let's call a spade a spade. Eugene: Frankly, Mr. Shanks, if I had given Katrina a shovel, then we could call a spade a spade.
Humphrey Lyttelton: Each member of a team is presented with a song from which the words have been omitted and replaced with the lyrics of a second song from which the tune has been discarded. Still not clear? Try to imagine you have two electric lamps but in one of the lamps the light bulb has failed. You could swap it over for the good one. It doesn't matter why one of them has failed, although it is almost certainly because you bought them cheaply from some dodgy market trader — their light bulbs are certainly good value but they do have a habit of going out if handled badly — they are not built to withstand rough treatment such as putting electricity through them. To be fair they probably work well enough where they come from, some sweatshop in Uzbekistan no doubt, where if the mains supply goes above 7 Volts they classify it as a power surge. Finally, in those places even a dead light bulb is considered something of a luxury compared with what they normally have. I know what you are thinking—what could possibly be more dim than a dead light bulb? At the piano we have Colin Sell.
Aziz Ansari has a bit on his special Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, talking about how a immigrant doctor friend of his was able to bypass the greencard process by going to Alabama, which is an "underserved" state.
I was like, whoa, that's kind of a weird deal. The government's like, "Oh yeah, you can come to the United States! C'mon, c'mon! Yeah, you, c'mon, c'mon!...but you gotta go to Alabama". It's kinda like a girl going "Yeah, you can see me naked, but you can only look at my left elbow. And my left elbow is racist."
Another one, from Dangerously Delicious:
When does Harris play dirty in life? I can only think of one instance: It's when he's playing Halo. 'Cause as soon as the board starts, he always knows where the rocket launchers are, and he grabs them and starts blowing everybody up. It's fucked up, he does this shit every time, it's why I don't play Halo with him anymore. Now, I'm sure there's some people here that have never played Halo, and that doesn't make any sense, so I will give you an analogy, OK? It'd be as if you were playing Monopoly, right? And someone rolled a 10, and landed on Park Place, and Harris came in with a rocket launcher and blew everybody up.
Followed later by "I like coffee hot and strong. Like I like my women: hot and strong. ...With a spoon in them."
As well as another Izzard comment on beekeeping:
"My father was a beekeeper, his father was a beekeeper before him, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. And those footsteps went like this: 'AAAAAAAAAAAH I'm covered in beeeeeees! HELP!'"
Comedian Lewis Black on his Red White and Screwed tour would like you to share his outrage about Bill Clinton's marital infidelity:
Lewis Black: "Is oral sex adultery? Yes! There is no fucking question! If curling is an Olympic sport, then oral sex is adultery! And oral sex should be an Olympic sport! Why? Because it's harder than curling, and if you're any good at it, you deserve a medal!
The old Yakov Smirnoff joke, "Russian men have a saying: 'Women are like buses...' That's it."
From Passing Strange: "...They mimic the phallo-centric narrative of 'verse, chorus, verse, chorus, climax, fade out, smoke a cigarette, turn over, snore all night and never call me again—'"
"You know, absence really does make the heart grow into a state of mind which somehow transforms what you once could not stand about your family into a somehow quaint pleasure-giving construct."
Cyrano de Bergerac: The baker Raguenau, obsessed with poetry, tries to combine the poetry with the cooking when talking to his cooks at his bakery. Of course, the cooks don't understand anything he says:
Raguenau(ceasing to write, and raising his head): Aurora's silver rays begin to glint e'en now on the copper pans, and thou, O Ragueneau! must perforce stifle in thy breast the God of Song! Anon shall come the hour of the lute!—now 'tis the hour of the oven!
(He rises. To a cook): You, make that sauce longer, 'tis too short!
First Pastry-Cook: (showing a dish to Ragueneau): The tart!
Second Pastry-Cook: The pie!
Raguenau(before the fire): My muse, retire, lest thy bright eyes be reddened by the fagot's blaze!
(To a cook, showing him some loaves): You have put the cleft o' th' loaves in the wrong place; know you not that the coesura should be between the hemistiches?
(To another, showing him an unfinished pasty): To this palace of paste you must add the roof...
(To a young apprentice, who, seated on the ground, is spitting the fowls): And you, as you put on your lengthy spit the modest fowl and the superb turkey, my son, alternate them, as the old Malherbe loved well to alternate his long lines of verse with the short ones; thus shall your roasts, in strophes, turn before the flame!
Lampshaded in the Ireland Reprise from Legally Blonde, where Paulette sings:
"You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and that's what White did. She smashed the eggs of crime to make the omelette of justice. Me, I just put the eggs in the pan still in their shells, and kind of bashed them around a bit without breaking them...you can't make an omelette that way, it's quite true...I just got sort of...hot eggs..."
"You always were the sharp one, White! You were the knife cutting through the butter of crime, and I was...I was the spoon, still useful, but...not as good at cutting..."
In Red Dead Redemption Edgar Ross attempts to explain civilization and outlaw behavior by using the metaphor of a man admiring a flower and shooting another man because he might not like the flower. Somehow, according to Edgar, it's a perfect metaphor, when he then goes on to tell John Marston that although the rules aren't perfect, they aren't so bad after all (like, the rule of you don't kill others just because they may not like the same things you like.) This only serves to confuse the hell out of John (and the player.)
In Ace Attorney Investigations, Shi-Long Lang pulls out many wolf-related aphorisms that progressively make less and less sense, and eventually Edgeworth starts wondering what the hell he's talking about.
Godot is also prone to doing this with coffee.
Kang the Mad, a character from Jade Empire, is a master of this trope. When asked how he can remote control his flyer: "Well, it's much like the dilemma of the centipede. If he relaxes and lets things happen, he can walk naturally all day long, his hundred legs not missing a step. But, if he thinks too hard about the complexity of what he's doing, those legs might crash into the teahouse and kill everyone. A valuable lesson." Whether or not he's doing it on purpose is debatable.
Isabela: "It comes to you. Usually at night. It's like a lover...or maybe a burglar. Either it ravishes you or makes off with all your jewelry. And you have to run it down and stab it in the heart. And...That metaphor got a bit away from me, didn't it?"
Merrill: "I think it did, but it was certainly exciting!"
In Baldur's Gate, Minsc says: "Lead evil by example, and one day it will no longer go tracking its great muddy bootprints across our lilywhite tiles of justice. Boo will have CLEAN WOOD SHAVINGS, you evil bastards!"
And in the sequel, Minsc has this gem: "I trust those who prey on children no farther than they can be thrown, even if I manage to throw them pretty far, and throw them I shall!"
In Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition, Neera explains her Art: "Casting wild magic is like... playing a flute by ear. I just kind of picked it up as I went along, doing what felt natural. In magical terms, I can play a pretty mean tune. But when I miss a note, the flute shoots fire at everyone. Also the flute sometimes turns me into a hamster."
In Noitu Love 2, at the end of Xoda's Story Mode, the final Boss and our heroes talk about the Villain's evil plan. Almond says it is playing God, but the villain retorts that they will become God, and then goes back to the heroes' statement, pronouncing, proudly, something along the lines of "It will be Just like playing with myself."
"Princess Peach's sweet voice will soon be the bread that makes the sandwich of Cackletta's desires! And this battle shall be the delicious mustard on that bread! The mustard of your doom!"
There's a pink Bob-omb in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, found in Herb T.'s Cola Bar underneath Rogueport, who really wants to be an informant like Wonky. Unfortunately for him, most of his "information" just turns out to be this. For example:
"I know stuff too! Seriously! Like... Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Because, you know, then all the other baskets get jealous. I don't even like eggs!"
Ghostbusters: The Video Game has Egon's hilariously convoluted attempt at comparing the mandala that's causing all the ghost activity to a city bus line. Ray responds "You were going strong right up until the passengers got trapped inside the bus station."
Garrus is sometimes guilty of this in Mass Effect 2. His crowning moment, however, comes from the romance option with him.
Garrus: You know me; I always like to savor the last shot before popping the heat sink.
When Shepard tells Joker that he can turn EDI's sound off if he doesn't want to listen to her.
Joker: That doesn't change anything, it's still watching! Like some creepy kid staring at the back of your head in a comp sci, you just want to punch him, but he's "special" and sets fires or something. Okay, a little far there, but you know what I mean.
Grim Fandango has this gem, courtesy of Glottis: "Manny, until now we scraped along the ground like rats, but from now on, we soar! Like eagles! Yeah, like eagles.. on POGO STICKS!"
Magical Starsign gives us the easily missable "Right, so, space is like this big onion, ya see? You know, onions got lots of layers? Well, you start peeling those layers off, and all you get is tears. But we do it anyway! You can't stop peelin' the layers, or else you've got nothing to eat! You feelin' me, kid?"
We'll use the contents of the Yutani Shin record that you retrieved as a guiding light, so to speak. Like lighthouses, the famous beacons of the sea. One beam of light piercing through the darkness, guiding the many travellers who journey across the ocean— Ah... I'm going off on a tangent again.
Valkyria Chronicles Largo loses his squad-mates when he gets a little incensed over the imperial blockade preventing vegetable shipments from getting through.
Largo: Vegetables are like bombs packed tight with all kinds of important nutrients! Kids gotta eat 'em to grow up right... and the body's practically made of vegetables!
Rosie: Which are like bombs...?
In Touhou 12.8: Great Fairy Wars, the Fairy Trio gives you this lovely little trinket at the end of the C-1 route:
Luna: We three together make one.
Sunny: Even if a single arrow breaks if you bend it, if you bundle three together...
Star: You'll run out of arrows three times as fast!
"Theory: Imagine, if you will, that you are unique. The pinnacle of an exiled, cast-out Jedi who can't even use the Force. Imagine that no one has sunk lower than you. That you are truly the most miserable example of a Jedi ever. ... Now that you have that image, imagine this - someone clones you. Badly, I might add. They make the clones talk differently, rob you of any shred of personality, and take your Jedi Code and adjust it so that it is not really the Jedi Code anymore. They even change your pigmentation to a rather poor shade of durasteel, rather than the proper rusty red that inspires fear in targets. And of course, they refer to meatbags as "organics." Unacceptable."
If you value your ability to think logically and avoid falling over in paroxysms of laughter, do not allow Otacon to attempt to explain proverbs. Here's a good example from Metal Gear Solid 2:
Otacon: Another Chinese proverb. "Those who look to the Heavens prosper, those who defy it are no more." Do you know this one? The meaning here is — hold on a sec — that you can only survive as long as you're a part of the natural order of things. You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully —
Snake: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?
Otacon: Denim should fray and rip on its own, naturally. Right? Some designers tried to go against that, and — no one bought them! The earnings report from that fiscal year is enough of a proof!
Cave Johnson has a notable metaphor regarding life giving you lemons...
Cave Johnson:I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What the hell am I supposed to do with these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!
Wheatley: Guess what — I'm holding all the cards, and they're all full houses...
In the prequel comic Portal 2: Lab Rat, GLaDOS drops the following line to Aperture Science employee Doug Ratmann, whom she is trying to convince that her attempts to kill him are merely a schizophrenic delusion:
GLaDOS: I'd ask you think think outside the box on this, but it's obvious that your box is broken. And has schizophrenia.
Also, from the Perpetual Testing Initiative Update Promo, when Cave Johnson talks about the company's motto over footage of a production line:
Cave Johnson: Do it from scratch. Spare no expense. And never cut corners. Well, that's a corner cutting machine, we obviously cut them there...
Some good questions. Good enough, anyway, that when we angrily confronted our writers with them, they got that look animals get when they're walking across a road in the middle of the night, headlights appear, and they realize they're about to lose their jobs.
Mr. House: There's more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes. Or went, that is. Cats being extinct.
Quoth Jasper the critic, in Psychonauts, upon being asked if he hated a show so much, why didn't he just leave: "I just can't take my eyes off it! It's like watching the scene of a horrible car accident... an accident where the victims can't act, and the paramedics forget their lines!"
Homestar Runner has: "If I had to choose a word to describe myself, that word would be 'Fluffy Puff Marshmallows'. Or Homestar. Either one, really. They both fit!" Strong Bad's attempt to compare emails to fish also counts.
Zero Punctuation: Given Yahtzee's love of strange metaphors, this trope was bound to show up occasionally.
(On the Mortal Kombat remake) "I've made no secret of my feeling that one of the biggest recurring problems in the games industry is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Development teams being too big, perhaps the industry as a whole being too big, with none of the cooks taking any personal responsibility for the broth so you end up with a lot of gluey unseasoned broth that is just about inoffensive enough to be palatable to mainstream broth audiences but isn't exactly getting five star write-ups in Broth Monthly. And almost inevitably there'll be a few cooks who want to be able to pad their resume and perhaps one day join a better broth making corporation that will let them have creative control of the broth, so they put a lot of effort into polishing the carrots that are their sole responsibility, and then everyone feels like they have to make the carrots float to the top all the time and show off how well polished they are, but the broth isn't supposed to be about the carrots so I just get kind of put off by the way these carrots are being pushed in my face while I'm trying to enjoy the beef cubes and the radishes. I think this is already the best metaphor I've ever written."
It's also used during the review of Splinter Cell: Conviction.
"I'll applaud [Skyrim's faults] if it means we can have less games that treat me like a child stuck in a pipe, games industry. I will applaud it as hard as you like. I will slap at my palms until my future children suffer masturbation guilt. No, I don't know what I'm on about. Go away."
And while I was able to deduce that the Microsoft Kinect would be a crap gaming system simply by using my magnificent brain, I recently picked one up anyway because Pope Urban VIII probably thought he was very clever when he condemned Galileo; but who got the last laugh there? Well he did when Galileo died in poverty and dishonor. What I'm saying is that I'm basically like the Pope.
Just like in Gears of War, we'll need to be resurrected by an ally. So on top of all the aforesaid combat blindsiding issues, I have to break off the fight now and again to do the retard roundup. It's like keeping plates spinning, in the middle of a mosh pit... and the plates won't shut the fuck up.
"Still, the range of elemental powers on display are pretty creative, although the word "elemental" is getting stretched like a mozzarella bumhole at the novelty sausage gala - what am I on about?"
From the RWBY episode "Ruby Rose", Ruby replies with this line after her sister, Yang, tells her that she will be "the bee's knees" at Beacon Academy:
"I don't want to be the bee's knees! I don't want to be any kind of knees! I just want to be a normal girl with normal knees!"
Also in RWBY, the character song of Yang, "I Burn", has the line "You're standing too close to a flame that's burning / Hotter than the sun in the middle of July.", jumping from the temperature of a flame to the temperature of the sun, only to finish on the not-so-impressive temperature of a hot summer day.
In Prequel, the guardian spirit starts off its comforting speech to Katia by giving her the 'When life gives you lemons' speech.
Guardian Spirit "You see… Khajiit person… sometimes life gives you lemons. And when that happens… you need to find some spell that makes lemons explode, because lemons are terrible. I only ate them once and I can say with certainty they are the worst fruit. If life gave me lemons, I would view it as nothing short of a declaration of war."
Black Mage: You can't make an omelette without...um...destroying a forest. Or something.
Antihero for Hire, when the main character is describing the battle between him and his enemies.
Dechs: It's like a game of chess. It's their turn, and their strike can come at any moment from any direction, completely invisibly, and from multiple fronts all at once...
Wrench: Um, have you ever actually played chess?
Dechs: That's not important.
Bobwhite: Cleo's mom tries to tell Cleo that sometimes one can't really be in control of their own life. Then she gets a little distracted. "Anyway... what was I saying? Something about how sexy your father is?"
Tramennis: You seem bent on spending your last moments in this world with your thumbs jammed into the thumbscrews of guilt, and turning them as hard as you can... which is impossible, I realize... but that analogy had a lot more promise when I started this sentence, and it seemed likely to end with a witty bon mot about screwing yourself. That didn't work out, did it? Nothing has, today.
Avery: What are you, some kind of a Grammar Nazi? Millie: Yup. I just invaded Grammar Czechoslovakia and duped Grammar Neville Chamberlain, and now it's on to Grammar Poland and Grammar World Conquest! ... Ozy: Would this, ironically, make you an "analogy Nazi"?
Victim: He beat me with a hammer until I went blind! Police Officer: You know what else is blind? Justice. But Justice didn't get beat with a hammer. Justice is always blind. That's regular for Justice.
Sort of averted when Tycho angrily and sarcastically finishes Gabe's "When life gives you lemons" metaphor:
Tycho: I got out to get the mail, and a rabid dog mauls my other hand and face! Gabe: You know what my mom used to say: "When life gives you shit," you just... Uh..." Tycho: Make Shit-ade? What? Gabe: Wait, it's coming to me.
Professor: Imagine time is a long corridor. At the end of the corridor there is a curtain. Are you with me so far? Behind the curtain there is a man. The man holds a black egg. A cat hatches from this egg. The cat screams with the voice of a man.
Aidric: The vents... *gestures dramatically* OF JUSTICE ...wait, that... doesn't work because it's a building of evil, so I guess it's... more like vents of sodomy and villiany and... *pause* ...okay, this is getting away from me now.
This example from lonelygirl15 episode "Go For It :)", when Emma and Sarah are at the Grand Canyon:
Sarah: Welcome to the world's biggest metaphor. See, the, uh, cliff, it's like your power thingie (if it's real) and the canyon is your life, if you choose to accept it.
Joey: Remember, you treat a duel disk just like a woman. You fasten it to your arm and place trading cards inside it at regular intervals.
Yugi's grandpa also gave us this disturbing example in a flashback:
Grandpa: Playing card games is Just Like Making Love. You do it on a table, and you feel deep shame after it's finished. Also, the older you get, the less fun it is. So remember, always wear a condom when playing card games.
[end of flashback]
Yugi:[looking at deck] Hmm...I should probably wash my hands after using these.
This YouTube video starts out with an apple and an orange representing two gay people who want to get married, and the potato representing someone who doesn't want them to do so. Then the guy says "But the potato is also a closet homosexual....," and turns the whole thing into a Shaggy Frog Story with fruit. And a potato.
Penny: You're not really interested in the homeless, are you?
Dr. Horrible: No, I am, but... it's a symptom. You're treating a symptom while the disease rages on, consumes the human race. The fish rots from the head, so they say. So I'm thinking, why not cut off the head?
Penny:[pause] Of the human race?
Dr. Horrible: It's not a... perfect metaphor.
Arguably, he WAS talking about cutting the metaphorical head off of the human race (by overthrowing the government and society in general) but just didn't want to tip his supervillainous hand.
In the same work, the lyrics of "Everyone's a Hero".
Cpt. Hammer: It's not enough to bash in heads/You've got to bash in minds!
Captain Hammer: It's curtains for you, Doctor Horrible. Lacy, gently wafting curtains.
"Richard Lawrence blazed his own trail as the first person to attempt to kill a U.S. President while being crazier than a bag of agitated cobras injected with some sort of... crazy serum. For cobras."
"Hollywood filmmakers like their women like they like their coffee: shrill, stupid and submissive. And usually not black."
[Steve Bucholz on gay marriage] "On the Internet, people have gotten so gay for gay marriage, that things have even gotten a little gay, if you know what I mean. (Do you? I'm seriously asking. I've kind of lost track.)"
This video, a parody of science documentaries that get too carried away with their analogies, is made of this trope.
From a Cracked article describing World of Warcraftlike a girlfriend: "Over time, the relationship gets stale because you're just doing the same old shit. So you either call it quits or you grit your teeth and fight through it because the idea of finding another game to fuck is just mentally exhausting. And then one day you log in to find that it's gotten a boob job and lets you do anal. Wait, I think I got my analogies crossed somewhere."
From 3 Despicable Internet Behaviors (That Are Really Your Fault): "The Internet allowed for the creation of a fast food version of information that's not particularly good for you but still triggers that same pleasure zone in the brain. You're essentially fattening yourself up with information obesity, because the news outlets, in the end, are businesses that know they can stay in the black by feeding you what you want as opposed to what you need. Meanwhile, reason and rationality rot like neglected teeth. Or maybe it's journalism that's rotting like teeth. I don't know anymore, that metaphor kind of got away from me."
When all drugs are lumped together, kids start to think of them as different flavors of ice cream, when in reality they're more like different species of snakes. Weed may be as harmless as a garter snake whose heart is filled with love, but meth is more like a king cobra whose venom sacs are filled with meth.
If there's any game that puts you in a bad mood, it's Castlevania III. Putting this game in your Nintendo is like running open-armed out into a rainstorm of piss! You wanna go balls to the wall? Well, there's one way to go balls to the wall and that's to stick your dick in an electric outlet! You wanna play shit tennis with an orangutan while shoving your head up a hyena's asshole? Well, good luck.
Like a beautiful and delicate snowflake, no two friendships are alike. Unlike the beautiful and delicate snowflake, some friendships break out the flamethrowers in the face of this sickening sweetness.
In A Very Potter Sequel Ron attempts to cheer up Hermione, who's worrying that she's too much like Umbridge, by comparing her to Spider-Man. It's pretty clear that's not what he's really talking about when he mentions Spider-Man's 'enormous breasts.'
A relationship is like a house. If a light bulb goes out, you don't buy a new house. You fix the light bulb. Unless of course that house is a lying whore. In that case you burn that fucker down and buy a better house with good light bulbs.
Calm down, will you? Everything is going to be fine!
You're not going to tear any wonky holes in any fabric of space and time
Actually, it's a lot more like a rug really, well, never mind
This blog post about comic book science contains a particularly glorious passage about how un-subtle infrared spectrometers are by comparing them to crude, drunken uncles.
I like the image of a loud, asshole IR spectrometer eating a mountain of mashed potatoes saying, “DID YOU KNOW THAT CARBON IS GAY? HE’S TOTALLY GAY.” And then everyone at the table says, “Yes, IR, we know. And since we are all made of carbon, perhaps we’re all a little bit gay…”
Nostalgia Critic: You know how with the Grinch, you kinda love to hate him? Well, Adam Sandler movies are worse than cancer.
The Nostalgia Critic is quite fond of these. Another example from his review of Little Nemo:
Nostalgia Critic: This whole movie is like watching someone else's kid at Chuck E Cheese's. You're happy they are having fun at first, but soon you get bored by it. And when you realize you're stuck there for another hour and a half, you begin to hate that little kid, and his birthday. And Chuck E Cheese's. And the idea of celebrating birthdays altogether. I hope you're happy, movie. You got me to hate birthdays!
Seanbaby loves these. For example, taken from a review of a video game version of Jenga:
Seanbaby: Buying a virtual version of Jenga is a lot like purchasing a video of a man making love to a fish; why pay to simulate something that you could actually do for less money and really shouldn't be doing in the first place? Maybe I'm getting lost in my own metaphor here, but I find it disgusting that all Jenga players simulate fish sex.
Buzzfeed comedy writer and Youtuber zefrank1 creates a series of videos called "True Facts" where he very loosely discusses facts about various types of animals, such as the octopus or the sea pig. His analogies and metaphors usually start reasonable and then very quickly go downhill.
zefrank1, regarding armadillos:...the armadillo is like a tiny gladiator, with only one weak spot: its entire belly. Yes, it can take a downward blow but is vulnerable to the leg sweep, or stepping on a tiny land mine, or falling into a pit of boners—all right, that doesn't exist.
Azula: That's a sharp outfit, Chan. Be careful, you could puncture the hull of an empire-class Fire Nation battleship, leaving thousands to drown at sea. (Awkward pause) Azula: Because...it's so sharp! Chan:: Ummm... Thaaaanks.
In a Robot Chicken sketch about G.I. Joe and the Weather Dominator, a retired Duke compares his experience being forced by Cobra to fight mute ninja Snake Eyes ("in a desperate attempt to raise concession sales") as "As if the Nazis put the war on hold to make Eisenhower fight a mute dude in a ninja outfit."
Homer: Son, a woman is a lot like a refrigerator. They're six feet tall, 300 pounds... they make ice... umm... (Spots his can of Duff) Actually, a woman is a lot like a beer! They look good, they smell good, and you'd step over your own mother to get one! (Chugs his can of Duff) But you can't stop at one. You wanna drink another woman! (Chugs another can. Cut ahead to several cans later, and Homer is finishing a drunken rant about moneylenders before passing out on the table)
And another time: "If horse racing is the sport of kings, then surely bowling is...a very good sport as well."
And yet another time: "Son, don't rock the boat. Don't even get in the boat. Just buy some ice cream and walk around the pier. But don't use their bathrooms; they are filthy.
Still another time:
Shelbyville resident: [to Homer] You must be stupider than you look!
Homer: Stupider like a fox!
When Lisa considers to disguise herself as a boy to do advanced math, and imagines being surrounded by numbers and math symbols:
≥ sign: Do it Lisa! You'll begreater than or equal toboys!
Number 8: Even though you're only eight (flips over to side to become infinity sign) your possibilities areinfinite!
Fry: Amy, you know how you like chocolate, but then you get tired of it because it wants to hang out all the time? Amy: Huh? You don't like chocolate? Fry: Could chocolate let me finish?
Also, from "The Beast with a Billion Backs", about Fry's girlfriend's other boyfriends:
Zoidberg: If there's a delicious cake, isn't it better to have one slice than none at all, even if four other guys eat the other four slices, and they're all thrusting their sweaty, naked bodies against the cake?
Later in the same movie:
Fry: I'm so madly in love with Yivo. I feel like a schoolgirl with a crush on Justin Timberlake, and then she moves into a giant house on his head.
Zapp Brannigan: In the game of chess, you can never let your opponent see your pawns.
Zapp: "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of those dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."
"Love and Rocket":
Fry: You can't date the ship, Bender! That would be like me dating a really fat woman, and living inside her, and she'd be all 'whoooosh!' (spaceship fight noises)"
When the Professor is being taken away by robots for being too old, he gives the classic "Goodbye, cruel world!" as they depart. Then says goodbye to his "cruel lamp", followed by his "cruel drapes" with their little velvet tassels, "cruel though they may be."
This example from "The Devils Hands Are Idle Playthings."
Bender: Though you may have to metaphorically make a Deal with the Devil. And by "Devil" I mean "Robot Devil", and by "metaphorically", I mean "get your coat."
Which is followed up later in the season by this joke:
Freakazoid: It's time to face my destiny! Hello, Destiny! I was just visiting your friend, Duty! He says very bad things about you!
The Tick ends practically every episode veering off into one of these. This is also the origin of his battle-cry, "Spoon!".
Tick: Thank you for teaching us all that love is thicker than most bodily membranes. But not quite as sticky. And that a heart full of love is better than a body full of people. Merrilly, the feet that carried us on the heart's path today will be the feet that soak in the steaming brew of happiness tomorrow. Tick: You know, when a tomato grows out of your forehead, it gets you thinking. What do we know about anything? Life is just a big, wild, crazy tossed salad, but you don't eat it. No sir. You live it!
Peter: Forget it Lois, your brother is toast! Warm, buttery toast. Fat Guys: mmmm....
In one episode, Peter wins a trip to a brewery and remarks "It's like I died and went to heaven. But then they realized that it wasn't my time, and so they sent me back to a brewery."
A metaphor slowly degrades when Peter goes on Blind Date in an early episode:
Girl: I'm an ice cream cone; how are you gonna eat me? Bachelor 1: I'd invite my friend Rudy over and we'd give you a double dip! Bachelor 2: I'd lick off all the cream and give you my special whipped topping! Peter: Well, I'd try to eat you really fast before I got flaccid.
Peter: "Theater is a living breathing creature! It has wants and needs and you're not man enough to satisfy her!"
In "Be Careful What You Fish For", Peter mentions that he's figured out how to kill two birds with one stone. He pulls out two baby birds and a rock and uses the rock to crush the birds simultaneously, then comments "The key to that, Lois, is big rock, small birds."
Phantom Limb: Revenge, like gazpacho soup, is best served cold, precise, and merciless. The Monarch: Yeah, you can never have too much precision in your soup.
Mr. Doe and Mr. Cardholder are also fond of using this trope, frequently rebounding the metaphor off each other until the original intent is unrecognizable.
Mr. Doe: That's a joke. Mr. Cardholder: Regular cut-up. Mr. Doe: Should give him a reality show. Mr. Cardholder: I'd watch it. Mr. Doe: I'd watch it twice. Mr. Cardholder: Even if Flava Flav was in it.
Professor Frank, of Brad Neely's The Professor Brothers series, often delves into these. At a prospective TA interview:
"I don't know, little dawg. Maybe we'd better all start learning and loving martial arts, because after the bombs drop, and it's us against us, and we all wished with our terrible-smelling last breaths that we had those warm fur coats, and we're all going around hissing and kicking at each other and trying to trap rabbits so we can crack their heads, just like all the Lennies used to do that we used to protect them from! I mean, who's going to survive that shit, Gabe??
Darkwing Duck was a master of this. It was part of his introductory schpiel. "I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am the [silly metaphor taken too far and in too much detail relating to how he stops evil]! I am DARKWING DUCK!
Gorillaz interviews pull this card from time to time, like in this little exchange from "We are the Dury":
Murdoc: I mean, it can be very distracting to have six or seven decomposing zombies stuck up your chimney flue. 2D: We've got a chimney flue? Murdoc: I'm speaking metaphorically, 'D. I'm using the analogy of a chimney flue to describe the, uh, passages of our flowing creativity, and the zombies in this case are used as a metaphor, as in blockages to the airway. Figuratively speaking. 2D: Really? Murdoc: No. There really are about six or seven undead carcasses stuck up the studio chimney. 2D: Oh, well, uh... that explains the smell, wouldn't it?
Stan: Can't? We don't live in Ameri-can't, Steve, we live in Ameri-ca. No, no wait, we live in Ameri-can. No, wait, that's not right, we are Ameri-can. Where was I going with this? [...] If I Ameri-can't teach you about it, I have a friend who Ameri-will.
In the same episode:
Roger: Sorry pal, you're going to jail, where they're gonna take your cherry (beat) jello away... in the lunch line... after you're raped in the showers.
In "Meter Made";
Stan: Francine finally had what she wanted. She was married to a somebody, and she was enjoying a taste of the good life. Unfortunately, I didn't count on her having an appetite. The appetite of a good life elephant. ...does that make sense? It doesn't need to, I was a meter maid.
In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, the title-characters decide to act like they're in a film noir for the day, and many of the parody narration sequences drift into this territory.
Phineas: The sun beat down on the city like a hammer. A relentless, hot, beating hammer hammering down like a big metaphor that was....hot...for some reason.
Candace: Stop with the narration!
In "Misperceived Monotreme", Dr. Doofenshmirtz delivers this gem when confronting what he thinks is Perry but is really just an ordinary platypus:
Doofenshmirtz: Oh, I see what you're doing. You're messing with my head, trying to get into my mind, walk around in there, rearrange the furniture, maybe repaint the kitchen...
The PBS show WordGirl, an affectionate parody of its own genre, has this immortal line when the titular character catches one of the main villains robbing an ice-cream truck.
WordGirl: The only ice cream you'll be eating is the ice cream of JUSTICE! *beat* (just as heroically) ...That sounded better in my head!
One Monty Python's Flying Circus cartoon segment involves nested advertisements: A brand of toothpaste is symbolized as a car out-racing another car, which is of course why motorists recommend a certain brand of oil, whose superiority is in turn demonstrated with white and black cards moving around the screen...
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 PM traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 PM at a speed of 35 mph.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
Tim Schafer is really good at this. Since this is really long, just click here and read the first question and answer.
Coming back to the genre has been like finding an old jacket in a box in your garage that you haven’t worn in twenty years, but once you shake the dust off and put it on you realize it’s an amazing jacket and it still fits, and once you patch the holes in the pockets it could easily take a spot in your main jacket rotation.
Oh, and also, in one of the pockets was three and a half million dollars.
George W. Bush: "Fool me once, shame on...shame on...you? Fool me, ya can't get fooled again."
John McCain dropped his analogy right in the middle of saying it when asked if Bill Clinton was an appeaser towards North Korea:
McCain: If it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it's appeasement.
To quote a gem from a 2011 article on the bankruptcy of Borders Group Inc.:
“The superstores were viewed by the independent bookstores as dinosaurs that came to kill them — and they did,” said Al Greco, a book publishing expert and professor of marketing at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business Administration. “Today, it looks like the big bang has hit and now the dinosaurs are in peril.”
German Communist Thälmann (active during the Weimar Republic) was infamous for this. One of his (translatable) goofs: "The hour of the moment has arrived!"
Jon Stewart's tribute to Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors; "I believe that Bob Dylan and James Brown had a baby. Yes! And they abandoned this child...as you can imagine at the time...interracial same-sex relationships being what they were..."
"The girls, of course, have been trained to think that they can get away with just about anything as they possess the magic “V” which has a very high trading component as well as a social exchange rate, not unlike the Euro or an open ocean oil exploration license, but the magic “V” is more mobile and comes with its own carrier and operator, batteries not included, though."
Just about every news anchor seems to have had varying degrees of this in the wake of the Goldman-Sachs investigation. Every metaphor they use to describe the fraud seems to either break down fast, or not make sense from the start.