The habit of certain characters to speak in Sublime Rhyme, for no apparent reason, all the time. This does not apply when the character is quoting/reciting, nor when they are rapping or their inner poet is deliberately igniting; only when they are speaking off the top of their head does this trope apply, that's what I said. I don't want to be rude, but must also exclude, literature written entirely in verse, like William Shakespeare or Homer or worse.
A character need not speak in rhymeall the time, but it should happen often enough that excusing it is tough. Also, poetry or rap can be included, if all other modes of expression are precluded.
More often than not, I tell you what, a character who Rhymes on a Dime is a supporting character or hovers in the background, safe and sound. Also they tend to follow the trend of Urban influence, young and unsung.
Bonus rewards if you end with words that are usually "unrhymable", like "orange" or "purple"... you nurple! (See?)
If a person's entire language is based on this trope, then he could be a Strange Syntax Speaking dope.
May lead to a Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion. Or Rhyming List, which well, you know...
Team Rocket speak almost entirely in rhymes and dated-but-still-catchy phrases. This is not to mention, of course, their Once an Episode recitation of the Team Rocket Motto, or their habit of stopping mid-action to sing songs based on popular tunes. This is likely meant as parody, however, as it seems to be an emphasis on how cool Team Rocket really isn't.
One segment in "2.B.A. Master":
So you've reached the Plateau, but not yet a hero.
Are you ready to meet and defeat...the Elite?
Can I expect survival...against your rival?
Rave Master has Rionette, one of King's Palace Guardians.
Superboy supporting character Roxy Leech had a friend with the appropriate name of The Poet.
The following exchange between two warriors occurred in Steve Rude's Nexus:
JACQUES THE ANVIL: I perceive that we are at a standoff. Feed me a line I cannot rhyme and we'll perform a hand-off!
JUDAH THE HAMMER: A line you cannot rhyme?
JACQUES: Make it quick and make it prime!
JUDAH: There's never any fruit in Clausius' loot. Won't you have — AN ORANGE?
JACQUES: (curses in unreadable symbols)
The Rhyming Man, one of Mickey Mouse's enemies from comics in the 40s and recent storyline "The World To Come".
In an odd comic book adaptation, the RoadRunner had three sons, and they all spoke in rhyme. One story, in fact, had him seeing through the Coyote's disguise (in a road runner suit) because he couldn't rhyme.
Dan Jurgens' run of Thor featured the Dark God Tokkots, who could split himself into two identical beings, so that on several occasions, one starts to speak, the other finishes.
Occurs in Shadowpact when Blue Devil is promoted to a Rhyming Class demon.
Subverted in Gotham Central. Driver and MacDonald are talking to a Doctor in Arkham about The Mad Hatter.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss... I think he likes to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He's really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhyming now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
This is expanded on in the book, where Fezzik's love of rhymes is discussed at length.
Some people may have missed it, but the first exchange when Fezzik and Inigo reunite is also entirely in rhyme:
Inigo: I am waiting for Vizzini. Fezzik: You surely are a meanie. Hello. Inigo: It's you. Fezzik: True!
The goblin Blix in Legend occasionally breaks into rhyme, presumably because fairy tale goblins are known for that.
Blix: Mortal world has turned to ice, 'tis a goblin paradise!
You jivin' motherfuckers would be spoilin' for a fight, if you forgot to mention a badass named Dolemite!
There's also Vince Fontaine, the jive-talking master of ceremonies at Rydell High's National Bandstand Dance-Off Contest in Grease.
Fontaine: Thank you fans and friends, and odds and ends! And now, all you gals and guys, a few words to the wise. You Jims and Sals are my best pals. And to look your best for the big contest, just be yourselves and have a ball; that's what it's all about, after all! So forget about the camera and think about the beat; we'll give the folks at home a real big treat. Don't worry about where the camera is. Just keep on dancing - that's show biz! If you're tapped on the shoulder, move to the side; let the others finish the ride. It doesn't matter if you win or lose; it's what you do with your dancing shoes! Hoo-hoo! Okay, cats - throw your mittens around your kittens and awa-ay we go!
This is Bullhorn's entire schtick in Black Dynamite. He's stopped later on though, when he can't think of one.
Bullhorn: You're an overweight corn-fed fool with a lot of muscle mass, but now it's time for Bullhorn to get up in that ass!!
The children's book The Wonderful O is full of this, since the premise is that the villains ban one rather vital letter of the English language. So, naturally, they must demonstrate the difficulties this creates in poetry and verse.
Not does the oracle Uyulala from The Neverending Story only speaks in rhymes, but she appears to not be able to hear any spoken speech that isn't rhymed, as well.
The demon that gives the wizard Ebenezum his allergy to magic in A Malady of Magicks speaks in this manner, although his rhymes are pretty bad.
"Alas, you humans are out of luck,
For now you face the demon Guxx!"
Wow, that rhyming really suxx.
A good thing, as if he could rhyme well (or had the self-control to ignore comments to the contrary) he'd be unbeatable; each rhyme he gets out acts as a combination generic counterspell and powerful self-buff, and they stack. In context he's a lot more frightening, up until the end of the third book when the collected wizards manage to spread the allergy to magic to him, forcing him to only declaim in (rather decent) blank verse.
The 13 Clocks slips in and out of rhyme, but manages to make it work even at the most dramatic moments:
"I have no tears," said Hagga. "Once I wept when ships were overdue, or brooks ran dry, or tangerines were overripe, or sheep got something in their eye. I weep no more," said Hagga. Her eyes were dry as desert and her mouth seemed made of stone. "I have turned a thousand persons gemless from my door. Come in," she said. "I weep no more."
While the main character of Inside Out by Terry Trueman doesn't rhyme his speech, the voices in his head speak almost entirely in gibberish rhymes. They only speak in a straightforward fashion when they're giving him instructions.
There's a scene in the first Kingdom Keepers book where Finn's thoughts suddenly manifest themselves as such. Amanda tells him it's a sign of witches.
'The Prof' from the Burke novels by Andrew Vachss.
"Prof is short for prophet, my man. I never fall because I see it all!"
The game version of this is apparently how Marco from Animorphs bonds with his father when they're alone.
In David Brin's Uplift series the dolphin language Trinary is expressed in (often rather snarky) limericks. Though later generations of "fin" can speak Anglic and usually don't bother rhyming when they do so.
Tertius Fume does this in Septimus Heap to the point of being called out for this by Merrin Meredith.
In Scott Corbett's The Limerick Trick a formula produced by a mysterious boys' chemistry set with nearly-illegible labels made several of the main characters start talking like this.
In Robert Arthur's "Mr. Milton's Gift" one Homer Milton entered a mysterious curio shop in search of an anniversary present for his wife and, after making an offhand comment about the "gift of making money," was given it - along with the "gift of verse" as a bonus, because of his name. This resulted in exchanges like the following attempted explanation to his lawyer when he discovered that the "gift of making money" was somewhat more literal than he'd expected:
"I tried to buy my wife a present, something she'd consider pleasant. I didn't want her to be vexed, so I wound up getting hexed. A gift this Clarence fellow sold me, but the thing he never told me was I'd be a counterfeiter-"
Live Action TV, worth just a Fraction of Thee
Eulabelle the black maidservant, from Horror Of Party Beach (Mystery Science Theater 3000), uses occasional but ubiquitously pointless rhymes as homilies:
"You don't see me sittin' around moanin' and groanin' all day."
"What are y'all doin' sneekin' and peekin' in the dark for?"
3rd Rock from the Sun featured Laurie Metcalfe as a character who always rhymed her sentences with whatever someone else had just uttered. Dick found this charming at first but later discovered it was incredibly annoying and made it impossible to carry on a normal conversation with her.
A magic mirror in The 10th Kingdom speaks entirely in rhyme and will only answer questions that are put in verse as well. This leads to Tony and Virginia having to come up with...interesting questions on the spot.
"Our mirror's smashed, what can we do? Where the hell are the other two?"
This happened to Murdock in an episode of The A-Team where he had to give an injured B. A. some of his blood. Murdock uses this new tendency to try to convince B. A. that he will go insane after receiving the blood.
Murdock: You'll start hearin' thing you don't see, and rhymin' your words...just like me." *cheeky (and slightly maniacal) smile*
How could we possibly avoid mentioning Professional Wrestling great "Superstar" Billy Graham, the sensation of the nation and the number-one creation? He was filled with the desire to inspire, and took on all contenders and pretenders.
Alton Brown of Iron Chef America often delivers his closing address in poetic, or at least rhyming, style.
In an episode of Legend of the Seeker, all women are expected to do this in the presence of the Margrave. To do otherwise would be disrespecful. Cara, at first, has trouble doing this when pretending to be a princess whose skill at poetry is legendary. She does spout a few rhymes later (mostly about torture and murder) and another one later, while turning the Margrave into a punching bag. Zedd, dressed up as a duchess, has no trouble rhyming. Even more impressive, the Margrave's sister is able to rhyme while sobbing at the top of her lungs.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? had the Carnie from "The Tale of Laughing In The Dark", who played the trope for all the creepiness it was worth:
Carnie: It's the most fun in the park, when you're laughing in the dark.
Carnie: Pick the right door and you'll go free, pick the wrong door and there he'll be.
Hate Master: "Would you give in already?! Doing this is no snap! It really isn't easy talking all the time in rap!"
The Rangers also had an ally who did this, Quagmire from the "Isle of Illusions" two-part episode. (Although, not all his rhymes made complete sense. For example, he referred to Madame Woe (a Monster of the Week who appeared in a previous episode) as a "nightmare queen" who Billy fought in a "realm of dreams", which really didn't describe Madame Woe or the actual battle at all.
The following exchange from the Friends episode "The One Where No-One's Ready":
Ross: We can't be late. It starts at eight.
Phoebe: He could not, would not, want to wait.
Alvie roomed with House in the loony bin, busted rhymes so basic and thin, needed Heezy's help in the talent show, and when Heezy walked out that do', he decided he didn't want to be crazy no mo'.
The basic objective of the 1975 ABC game show Rhyme And Reason. A couplet is presented, and two contestants secretly write down a word that rhymes with the last word of the couplet. They select a celebrity on a panel (of six) and the celebrity completes the couplet. Matching the contestant's word scores points.
Queen Mab from Merlin (the TV show, not the mini-series).
On The West Wing, one of the signs that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is getting senile is that he tends to write opinions in verse. This is Played for Laughs the first few times it comes up:
President Bartlet: (reading) "Fear of cancer from asbestos ... fuzzy science manifestos ..."
Muffy The Mouse from Today's Special.
Due to the improvisational nature of a show like Whose Line Is It Anyway?, any game that involves singing ends up becoming this. It's most obvious in Hoedown, where you can tell that the guys are struggling to come up with rhymes as they're singing.
Haunted Mansion Holiday uses rhyme for the entire naration, though this is done to follow the style of Tim Burton's original poem, which was in turn based on The Night Before Christmas
Video Games, With Their Pretty "Whoa" Names
Gruntilda, the villain of Banjo-Kazooie. She stopped talking like this in the sequel, at the insistence of her sisters, but returned to full form in Nuts & Bolts. Probably because her sisters weren't around to nag her anymore.
The Red Caps in City of Heroes speak like this. At one point their leader Snaptooth can be seen shouting at one of them to stop.
The song "A Pirate I Was Meant To Be," from The Curse of Monkey Island, is sung by pirates who Rhyme On A Dime. The only way to end the song and escape the puzzle is to end a line with the unrhymable word "orange."
To be fair, one of them does rhyme it with "door hinge", but the others realize it wouldn't fit in with the song, so it ends anyway.
There is also an extended swordplay puzzle (Insult Swordfighting) where combat is mostly verbal and the pirate who comes up with the better insult wins. When swordfighting at sea, the insult and counterinsult have to rhyme. ("When your father first saw you, he must have been mortified."/"You're a disgrace to your species, you're so undignified!" "At least mine can be identified.") Even Guybrush and Captain René Rottingham get this rhyming exchange after the former's victory over the latter.
Professor Shantotto of Final Fantasy XI. Rather odd, considering she serves as her nation's ambassador to conferences with major world leaders, and no one seems to call her out on her odd speech patterns.
Probably because they're terrified of her.
I am not sure which is more of an understatement in the above sentence, "probably" or "terrified".
It's not really-weally thataru odd when you considery that the vastaru majority of Windurstian Tarutaru spin-sparingly-speak with some form of Verbal Tic. Shantotto honestly has one of the less irritating manners of speech-ethy.
Naturally, Shantotto's appearances in the Dissidia: Final Fantasy games have her retain her habit of rhyming, though she rarely sticks to any sort of meter.
Shantotto: I don't make threats! If there's no result by the time I'm done researching the ultimate spell, it's too late for regrets!
Halaster Blackcloak in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark. Admittedly, he is described as completely insane. One line from before you meet him, on a note in an otherwise-empty treasure chest:
Note: "Much to your displeasure, here there is no treasure! -H"
And one of his lines from before you free him from the drow holding him captive:
Halaster:"If the portal is opened, more drow will come through. I don't want that; I can barely stand you."
Micheal Tillotson from Deadly Premonition. Especially exceptional because he's not only creating a rhyme at the drop of a dime, but he's also repeating what Mr. Stewart whispers to him. Who does not speak in rhyme.
Now the gate has been unlatched, headstones pushed aside
Corpses shift and offer room, a fate you must abide
In Divinity 2, we have Bellegar, a crazy mage whose lines are all rhymed. Some of them are really funny. Taken up to eleven in the expansion where his couplets turn into verses with more intricate rhyme schemes to match with his more important role.
The supervillain Deja Vu can't speak without rhyming in Freedom Force.
The court jester in The Excellent Dizzy Adventure speaks exactly in this way.
In Primordia, Primer aka137th Legionbuilt constantly speaks in rhyme, much to Crispin's annoyance. It is explained that he went crazy due to locking away most of his memory in order not to think about his defeat during the War of the Four Cities.
Web Animation, A Net-Wide Sensation
Crackotage of the Cheat Commandos. Granted, he's a parody of this kind of character and as such, he's not very good at it
CRACKOTAGE: Movie night is my favorite night. I think it is my favorite night. Hee hee hoo hoo! SILENT RIP: Are you even trying anymore?
In an Easter egg at the end of the toon in question where the above dialog takes place, this little exchange is heard:
SILENT RIP: Aw, you can do it. Try another one. CRACKOTAGE: I think my rhymes are truly broke. Broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke! Hoo-hoo, hweh-hweh!
Strong Bad also delves into this in one Strong Bad Email, "ghosts", after scanning Strong Badia to see if it's haunted but finding nothing, he says, "Looks like Strong Badia is ghost-free, proud to be." But then, he discovers an actual ghost, that of his old computer.
Web Comics, Increasingly a Part of the Publishing Economics
A bard in Chasing The Sunset speaks only in rhyme. In one panel she is interrupted mid-sentence (twice) and is 'stuck' until she finds a way to rhyme her two previous utterances. And her name? Rhyme, of course.
A Penny Arcade strip once featured Gabe trying his hand at this. Of course, Tycho's vocabulary is far too extensive to merely throw in a 'Purple' or 'Orange'... instead, he works 'acquiesce' into the end of a sentence, with dire consequence.
In episodes 12 and 13 of Chuggaaconroy's Let's Play of Super Paper Mario, he starts accidentally taking in rhyme (due to reading Merlee's speech), and then keeps on accidentally rhyming thoughout those two episodes
In The Fairly OddParents, there are the employees of "Flappy Bob's Happy Peppy Camp and Learn-a-torium", Happy Peppy Betty and Gary. They not only rhyme almost all their sentences, they also sing them, and tend to complete each other's sentences!
Betty: And, umm... Gary! I'm all out of rhimy-whimies!
Gary:That was a rhimy-whimy!
Subverted by the Gigglepies, who start out talking like this, until Timmy asks what they do once they've extracted all the resources from a planet:
The wicked sorcerer Zig Zag from The Thief and the Cobbler rhymes whenever he speaks, often rather elaborately. He actually manages to be both amusing and menacing in this way. For example, when he said "One mistake will suffice! Don't treat me lightly twice!" after taming the alligators he had been thrown to by the ungrateful Big Bad One Eye.
Lampshaded in the infamous Miramax cut when the thief, overhearing one of Zig Zag's private rants, comments to himself, "It must be tough to always speak in rhyme."
While his isn't usually an example, the Green Goblin of the The Spectacular Spider-Man does this in one episode. Not only is it lampshaded, but it's also partially justified: several of his lines are quotes from Shakespeare's verse. It also acts as a clue to the Goblin's identity: Harry Osborn, the prime suspect behind the mask, was supposed to be playing Puck in a school play, and all of the Shakespeare lines are Puck quotes. Turned out to be a Red Herring, but nice touch...
Rollerbear in the Bitsy Bears pilot cartoon. She even wears headphones and rollerskates.
Home Movies - Brendon makes a video PSA to keep kids from putting marbles in their noses, but his puppet Spiky Mc Marbles, with his rhyming speech and his snarky attitude, makes kids want to put marbles in their noses.
Jake from Adventure Time has a habit of doing this. And sometimes makes Finn do it as well.
"Promise me you'll speak in rhymes. Speak in rhymes all the times."
Choose Goose, a minor chracter, only speaks in rhymes. His Alternate Universe counterpart does so as well.
What's with Andy had an episode where Andy was dared to speak in rhyme for an entire day. He mastered it pretty well, up until he was challenged to rhyme the word 'orange'. Which he succeeded; it rhymes with 'door hinge'.
A one-off villain from the Osmosis Jones cartoon, who continued to vow revenge in rhymes even as he was being led away.
Hermes from Futurama has a modular catchphrase - "Sweet X of Y!" - that's always spoken in rhyme. e.g. "Sweet guinea pig of Winnipeg!"
Several locomotives actually started to speak in rhyme at times in the more recent episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine. It is getting mercifully downplayed however.