"Loquentia, Imbruglia, Precipitous, Saraleecheesecakea, Denouement!"
When a magical spell is invoked in a cartoon, comedy show or during a comedy sketch, the words needed to be spoken are often injokes, brand names, or famous surnames. Pig Latin
and Canis Latinicus
are also commonly used. They often sound weird enough to only be spotted on a second viewing.
- In Swedish children's comic Pellefant, all spells were nonsense rhymes of this kind. Interestingly, one spell was consistent: the one to undo other spells. Retura, reverta, bicka backa bick-back-buck!.
- In the Discworld books:
- The spell to summon Death (to ask him questions) is called the "Rite of Ashk Ente", pronounced similarly to "Ask Auntie".
- In Wyrd Sisters, an incantation is half wicked witch potion, half baking recipe: "Owl hoot and glowworm glimmer. Stir, and then allow to simmer."
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry threatens his Jerkass cousin Dudley with the words "Hocus pocus! Squiggly wiggly!".
- Bored of the Rings has quite a lot of these: "Hocus pocus, in loco parentis, Jackie Onassis, Dino Di Laurentis..." . Magic in that book is completely based on parlor tricks and funny incantations.
- In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden's candle-lighting spell is "Flickum Bicus."
- And in one of the short stories, when interrogating a thug, "Intimidatus dorkus maximus!"
- In Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures, all incantations are fake trappings meant to impress muggles. Quite a lot of them fall under the trope, including "Alakazam-shazam" and the perennial favourite "Walla Walla, Washington".
- Used in an Italian comedy, where at one point the main characters make a fake Satanic ritual, including gibberish incantations as "Satan... Satanasso... Tapioca!"
- In an episode of Doctor Who, Shakespeare, the Doctor, and Martha Jones perform a magic spell that's mostly sci-fi garble, with JK Rowling.
- On Wizards of Waverly Place, most of the spells are either the last name of one of the show's creators and a made up word that rhymes, or exactly what the spell does, with a Latin suffix such as "ius" tacked onto the end.
- In The Wizard of Id, the title character's signature all-purpose spell is "Frammin' on the jim-jam, frippin' at the krotz!" Cartoonists Parker and Hart derived this from the Chris Sharp jazz instrumental, "Frimmin' on the Jim-Jam."
- Ashley's theme in WarioWare includes the incantation "Pantalones Giganticus!"
- The invokation for the Create Gold spell in Dungeon Keeper 2 is "Esspressus Americanus".
- The Language of Magic in Arthur, King of Time and Space is English written with Greek letters. If you go to the trouble of translating them, the spells are famous quotes, often from children's literature (the chant to get more power for the Excalibur's engines is " I know I can, I know I can...")
- The Order of the Stick: the Harry Potter parody/Take That invokes "Stopus Badguyus!" when trying to repel Thog.
- Wizard School has "Bastardized Latinium," among a variety of others.
- These are rife in Erfworld; a cure spell is the names of the members of The Cure, a Dirtamancy spell is the same except with famously "dirty" athletes, Shockamancy spells are usually Shock Site names, with Hat Magic you say "Hoffa" to make something disappear and "Livingston" to make it appear again, "Trioxin" is used by Croakamancers to raise the dead, and so on...
- The Homestar Runner cartoon Halloween Potion-Ma-Jig has Homestar gathering ingredients for a Halloween potion, including one of three possible incantations:
- "Loquentia, Imbruglia, Precipitous, Saraleecheesecakea, Denouement!"
- "Bettah ask somebod-ay!"
- "Do you even have half a brain!"
- In "A Very Potter Musical", the spells are performed not by casting an actual spell, but by saying the name of the spell. "Jelly Legs Jinx!"
- Also subverted occasionally when characters will not even say a spell, but do a normal action such as leave a room and saying "Magic!"
- Potter Puppet Pals: "Ronicus Explodicus!"
- Bek D. Corbin of Whateleyverse fame did an epic one in her story "Joy to the World". The "spell" was simply an vulgar insult spoken backwards but with her rapid fire delivery, the plot and the imagery the reader can miss it.
- In a Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons, Bart reads a spell from a magic book that's basically a list of odd brand names and famous surnames.
- Done in a Robot Chicken parody of Harry Potter. Example: When Snape tries to seduce Hermione in his "magical jacuzzi", he calls it forth with the spell, "BarryWhiteus, candlelightus, girl-exciteus!" She dispells his lecherous advance with the counterspell, "Pedophilius repelus!"
- On Animaniacs, a Pinky and the Brain episode had "Charlie Sheen, Ben Vereen, Shrink to the size of a lima bean!"
Witches: Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Yakko: Loosely translated, "Abracadabra".
Dot: Fillet of a fenny snake, in the cauldron boil and bake.
Yakko: "Let's cook a snake." Start with my agent.
- There was a Bugs Bunny cartoon (Transylvania 6-5000) where Bugs meets a vampire. He starts reading a book about magic words that contain the words "Abracadabra" and "Hocus Pocus." Unknown to him (at first, anyway), "Abracadabra" turns the vampire into a bat, and "Hocus Pocus" turns him back into a person. He starts singing the words in a song, transforming the vampire back and forth (Hilarity Ensues)... then starts mixing them up in the song, "Abraca-Pocus" and "Hocus-cadabra", making half the vampire transform, i.e. a human body with a bat's head, then a bat's body and human head. Then he throws out, "Newport News!" which changes the vampire into an ugly witch, and finally, "Walla Walla Washington!" which turns him into a two-headed vulture.
- The episode of The Venture Brothers "Everybody come to Hank's" invoked this. When assisting Orpheus casting a spell, an incantation was apparently required, and The Alchemist decided to have a little fun with it.
- In The Spectacular Spider Man, viewers who take the time to translate Mysterio's spells from Latin will find that most of the longer ones are non sequiturs.
Denique diatem efficacem inveni! (Translation: I have finally found an effective diet!)
Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere! (Translation: I believe Elvis is alive!)
Nullae satisfactionis potiri non possum! (Translation: I can't get no satisfaction!)
Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas! (Translation: Thank you for not smoking!)
- Rocky and Bullwinkle: "Eenie-meanie, chilly beanie! The spirits are about to speak!"
- The Animated Adaptation of Soul Music gives words to the Rite of Ashk-Ente. These include Canis Latinicus descriptions of Death himself ("Wan Equestrus Chiv im Curlus. Homme Qui into Blotteau Hurlus"note ) and the ceremony ("Ovum Crackus, Totale Knackus"note ).
- The "magic words" Hocus Pocus were generated as a parody/modification of the Latin "Hoc Est Corpus" (This Is The Body), which was used to denote the Eucharist in Christian ceremony.
- In Scandinavia and Russia, there is a third word for this "magical" formula. It is "filiokus" or "filipokus", and is derived from "filioque" (a theological dispute between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, involving the Holy Spirit... it's a long story).