%% This list of examples has been alphabetized. Please add your example in the proper place. Thanks!

->'''Dilbert:''' Wally, would you like to be on my TTP project?\\
'''Wally:''' What does "TTP" stand for?\\
'''Dilbert:''' It's short for '''T'''he '''T'''TP '''P'''roject. I named it myself.
-->-- ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', May 18, 1994

An acronym in which one of the letters inside the acronym stands for the acronym itself. Because of the way English phrases such things, attempting to fully expand the acronym causes an infinite recursive loop.

Extraordinarily overused in computing culture for their giggle value, but absolutely straight-faced serious examples can be found in the business world and elsewhere.

See also FunWithAcronyms. Occasionally overlaps with ShapedLikeItself.


* BWIA -- BWIA West Indies Airways (formerly British West Indian Airways)
* SAAB -- Saab Automobile Aktiebolaget (Formerly Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget)
* Heil Environmental Industries Limited, founded by Julius P. Heil, makes garbage trucks.
* [=ThinkGeek=] sells compressed air under the brand [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/gear/7076/ NINJA]], which stands for "NINJA Is Not Just Air." They also carry a rear-view mirror for your computer called [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/accessories/2940/ CHIMP]], which stands for "CHIMP Has Invincible Monkey Powers".
* Visa (the card company) stands for "Visa International Service Association". This expansion actually came some time after the original name was devised.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* According to ''ComicBook/AtariForce'', "Atari" stands for the "Atari Technology and Research Institute".
* The Archie ''[[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]]'' comics had ADAM (ADAM Determines Anonymous' Movements).
* The second ComicBook/BlueBeetle's company, Kord Industries, is sometimes said to be an acronym for Kord Omniversal Research & Development.

* Allegro ([[http://alleg.sf.net]]) -- "Allegro Low Level Game [=ROutines=]", formerly "Atari Low Level Game [=ROutines=]" (Allegro is a low-level game programming library that mostly just provides easy access to the hardware)
* AROS -- "AROS Research Operating System", formerly "Amiga Research Operating System", a free and Open-Source variation on AmigaOS, renamed in order to avoid legal action from the owners of the Amiga trademark.
* BABOON: BABOON Allows BABOON Objects Over Networks
* Early versions of the common emails one receives claiming that [[http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/billgate.asp Bill Gates will give one money for forwarding the email]] to all one's friends as a test of his newly developed email tracking application often contain a blatant clue that the email is a hoax. The text often refers to the alleged email tracking system as the "Beta Email Tracking Application", which (of course) recursively acronyms to "BETA".
* Inverting all the "X is not an Y." examples below is BIABI, which is a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck Brainfuck]] Interpreter.
* Cave - '''C'''ave '''a'''utomatic '''v'''irtual '''e'''nvironment
* EINE - "EINE Is Not Emacs" and its successor:
** ZWEI - "ZWEI Was EINE Initially"
* A joke from the days of 64k RAM is that Emacs stands for '''E'''macs '''m'''akes '''a c'''omputer '''s'''low. (It originally stood for Editor [=MACroS=].)
* The name of the object-oriented BASIC dialect Gambas stands for '''G'''ambas '''A'''lmost '''M'''eans '''BAS'''IC.
* The operating system GNU -- "GNU's Not UsefulNotes/{{Unix}}," named as such because it aims to be compatible with Unix without containing any code from it (with the replacement code being 100% free software).
** The GNU project's official kernel, Hurd, contains a mutually recursive acronym: "Hurd" stands for "Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons," and "Hird" stands for "Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth." (However, as Hurd isn't yet complete, most people using GNU software combine it with Linux, which doesn't stand for anything.)
* HIPI -- HIPI Is a Piet Interpreter
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JACK_Audio_Connection_Kit JACK -- Jack Audio Connection Kit]] (a sound system for pro-audio/MIDI work under Linux)
* LAME -- LAME Ain't an [=MP3=] Encoder. Even though it is.[[note]]Technically, the developers only release ''source code for'' an MP3 encoder, which they believe to make a difference in terms of patent law - any actual software use of LAME would have to use a (third-party) build of it, though, making this moot from an end-user perspective.[[/note]] The corresponding [=MP2=] encoder is [=TwoLAME=], originally [=TooLAME=] (presumably [=TOOLame=] Ain't an [=MP2=] Encoder) - which is fittingly even lamer.
* LISP -- LISP Is Stupid Parentheses. This one is actually a joke rather than the programming language's actual name ([=LISt=] Processor). All programs in LISP are structured as mathematical phrases, and tend to include phrases-within-phrases-within-phrases ''ad nauseum'', which often leaves a huge number of [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kakNmBjOGaA/TDX4fAOL9XI/AAAAAAAAAiM/zQq8qLTU7iQ/s400/stacked.png.scaled500.png trailing parentheses at the end.]] Making sure the right number of closing parentheses are in place is a major headache for LISP programmers.
* MINCE -- MINCE Is Not Complete Emacs (Emacs is a text editor)
* Mini -- Mini Is Not IOS (Mini is part of Bootmii, a method to execute a low-level bypass of the Wii System Menu and load homebrew.)
* NIL -- [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liero#NiL NIL]] Isn't VideoGame/{{Liero}}
* PHP -- PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
** It originally stood for "Personal Home Page", but they changed it.
* Popular text-based email program PINE -- Pine Is Not ELM. (ELM standing for ELectronic Mail). PINE's Apache-licensed successor, Alpine, [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] this by turning out to officially stand for "Alternatively Licensed Program for Internet News and Email"
* PNG -- PNG's Not GIF (as PNG was conceived as a replacement for static GIF images, [[SubvertedTrope though it also stands for Portable Network Graphics.]])
* RPM -- RPM Package Manager. Formerly Redhat Package Manager before it started to be used by OS other then redhat.
* [[http://www.synthesiagame.com Synthesia]], a game to learn how to play piano, was formerly known as Piano Hero. After they got [[ScrewedByTheLawyers C&D]] order from Activision, the developer opened a poll for the new name of the game and one of the name requests was as follows: "'''S'''INPHONY '''I'''s '''N'''ot '''P'''iano '''H'''ero '''O'''r '''N'''ew '''Y'''ork".
* SPARKS -- have the biggest collection of acronyms, including "Smart Programmers Are Required (to) Know SPARKS"
* The [=LaTeX=] package Tikz -- Tikz Ist Kein Zeichnungprogramm (Tikz is not a drawing program).
* UIRA -- UIRA Isn't a Recursive Acronym
* Wine --[[http://www.winehq.org/ Wine]] Is Not an Emulator (it isn't; it's a compatibility layer for the Windows UsefulNotes/{{API}} for non-Windows operating systems[[note]]Only on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architectures, however. When using another architecture, an actual emulator would be needed.[[/note]])
* XBMC -- used to stand for "Xbox Media Center", but now that the program has been ported to other platforms, it now stands for "XBMC Media Center".
* Xinu stands for '''X'''inu '''I'''s '''N'''ot '''U'''nix.
* XNA -- "XNA's Not Acronymed" (an engine made by Microsoft that make use of the .NET framework to make interactive media such as games. it's commonly used by indie developers to make games for the Xbox, although it can also be used on UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows and the Windows Phone 7).
** On the top of that, XNA's logo is also an acronym. The orange part of logo is actually written in morse code, "-..-" meaning "X" while "-." means "N" and ".-" means "A".
* YAML -- YAML Ain't a Markup Language. It isn't. SERIOUSLY.

* Dream, or Dream Reprise Emulating Action Machine from ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn''.

* ''Literature/GodelEscherBachAnEternalGoldenBraid'' contains several of these:
** {{GOD}} stands for "GOD Over Djinn." The acronym is recursive because it represents not an individual being but an infinite set.
** LampshadeHanging in the final dialogue, "Six-Part Ricercar":
--->'''Author''': Like Bach, I enjoy acronyms. Recursive Acronyms--Crablike "RACRECIR" Especially--Create Infinite Regress.\\
'''Crab''': Oh, really? Let's see...Reading Initials Clearly Exhibits "RACRECIR"'s Concealed Auto-Reference. Yes, I guess so...
** "Six-Part Ricercar" has another one at its very end:
--->'''Tortoise''': Reentering Introduction Creates Endlessly Rising Canon, After RICERCAR.
* Chapter 18 of Douglas Hofstadter's ''Metamagical Themas'' includes a menu of mutually-recursive food acronyms, such as "TOMATOES on MACARONI (and TOMATOES only), exquisitely SPICED".
* In ''Literature/MoreInformationThanYouRequire'', John Hodgman advises memorizing names through mnemonics. For example, the name "John" becomes "John Or Hodgman Name".
* ''Literature/{{Wyrm}}'' features a computer program called TRAP that writes recursive acronyms. Naturally, TRAP stands for TRAP Recursive Acronym Program.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In one episode of ''Acorn the Nature Nut'' (a nature show for kids), he received a letter where a kid called their beetle "Black B.B." and the "B.B." stood for "Black B.B."
* The occasional ''[[Series/TheColbertReport Colbert Report]]'' segment ''Stephen'' '''''R.A.P.S.''''', which stands for '''RAPS''' '''A'''nd '''P'''ositive '''S'''peaking.
* In series four of ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E4TheSontaranStratagem "The Sontaran Stratagem"]] takes the "use letters from within the words" cheat to its logical conclusion with ATMOS, which stands for "[=ATMOSpheric=] Omissions System". Yes, we know you don't spell "emissions" like that, but it's written on all the stickers on the car windows... and the final S has to come from System, or Rattigan's whining makes no sense. Considering what the device is supposed to do (disregarding the Sontarans' plans), "Omissions" does make sense, as it does omit the emissions on the vehicle the device is installed on.
* ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'' has the B.O.A.R.D. Organization, which stands for '''B'''oard '''O'''f '''A'''rchaeological '''R'''esearch '''D'''epartment.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Radar defines "AWOL" as "A.W.O.L. without leave".
* In ''Series/TwinPeaks,'' BigBad BOB's name was a recursive acronym standing for "Beware of BOB".


* [[Music/TheBlackEyedPeas will.i.am]] released a single featuring Music/JenniferLopez and [[Music/TheRollingStones Mick Jagger]] called '''''T.H.E.''''' ('''The''' '''H'''ardest '''E'''ver).

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' takes this to its logical extreme with [[http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1994-05-18/ the TTP project]], where TTP stands for "The TTP Project". It might also be an example of Redundant RAS Syndrome.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* MagicTheGathering features a Planeswalker who was originally known as K.O.T.H until his real name was made known. His name? [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=212238 Koth of the Hammer]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In VideoGame/SecondLife, the Raglin Shire sim is home to a pub called the '''P'''aw '''A'''nd '''W'''hisker.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'', RobotGirl KOS-MOS's name stands for "Kosmos Obey Strategical Multiple Operation Systems."
* The '''XB'''ox '''O'''ne '''X'''.
* Possibly the ''VideoGame/{{Webkinz}}'' minigame, the '''W'''heel '''o'''f '''W'''OW, which also has "WOW" written on the center on it.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[Webcomic/DinosaurComics T-Rex]] [[http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1923 sees right through]] Creator/WilliamShakespeare's clever [[AuthorAvatar self-insert]]:
--> "Or have you forgotten how '{{Hamlet}}' stands for 'H.A.M.L.E.T.'s Actually Me: Lshak Espeare Thrustbottoms'?"
* ''Nukee'''s M.I.N.O.S -- M.I.N.O.S Issues No Office Supplies
* WebComic/NotAVillain's [=LiFe=] -- [=LiFe=] is For everyone

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IiIcAr-8kw Let's Play Resident Evil 5: The Demo!]], the video is done by a group called E.P.I.C., which stands for '''E'''pic '''P'''wnage '''I'''n '''C'''olor.
-->'''[[WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}} Diabetus]]''': What does E.P.I.C. stand for again?\\
'''[[WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}} Proteus]]''': Epic... something, something, something.\\
'''[[WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}} Slowbeef]]''': It's a recursive acronym.
* Internet slang phrase: '''R'''IP '''i'''n '''p'''eace.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'', the names of the fraternity of RΩR and the sorority of HSS respectively stand for Roar Omega Roar and Eta Hiss Hiss.
* [[WesternAnimation/{{StevenUniverse}} Steven Universe]]: Steven has collectable action figures called G.U.Y.S. - Guys Under Your Supervision.
* In [[WesternAnimation/{{TheSimpsons}} The Simpsons]] Homer creates the musical genre [[Main/{{Grunge}} Guitar Rock Utilizing Nihilist Grunge Energy]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
%%Any and all computer acronyms should go into the Computing folder above.
* Liberal activist and former CIA officer Ray [=McGovern=] described the foreign policy motives of so-called "neocons" with the acronym '''OIL''': '''O''' for oil, '''I''' for Israel, and '''L''' for logistics (military bases in Iraq).
-->'''[[Series/TheDailyShowWithJonStewart Jon Stewart]]:''' ''You can't use the word "oil" in an acronym for "oil"! That's against the acronym rules!''
* '''RED Corp.''', one of the casting agencies that provide the stuntmen for ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/KamenRider'', stands for "Red Entertainment Deliver".
* [[http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425102/april-04-2013/obama-s-brain-initiative Stephen Colbert on the BRAIN Initiative.]]