Self Botched Catch Phrase

"Agent Washington... you just got Sar— *gunshot, explosion* God dammit, I messed up the one-liner!"
—Sarge, Red vs. Blue, trying to say "You just got Sarge'd."

It's become a staple of media that characters will have catch phrases. But sometimes, the character himself just can't get it right. It could be a combination of many things, such as they could get distracted mid-quote, or perhaps they're out of practice. Or if it's an origin story for a well-established character, you may expect them to stumble over it the first few times they try to say it.

Often will appear in Hilarious Outtakes, though whether or not it is intentional or just a flubbing of the line attempting to say it right varies, but this trope only deals when it happens In-Universe. In a work where the common tropes tend to get deconstructed, you can expect to see this more than in one where they are played straight. Usually Played for Laughs, though sometimes it could signal a serious Out-of-Character Moment.

Not to be confused with Mangled Catch Phrase for when an impostor is failing at it. Related to Borrowed Catch Phrase, when other characters take a turn at it (though only if they get it wrong). Compare to Subverted Catch-Phrase, when a character intentionally changes it up.


  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, it forms a Brick Joke, with Porky Pig complaining about the studio telling him to fix his stutter in the first few minutes of the movie. At the end, he stutters so much he can't even get his usual "That's all, folks!" out, even as the lights go off around him. He ends up just having to grimace and say "Go home, folks."
  • In Underdog, the titular canine is trying to come up with a catch-phrase but constantly screws them up or makes an awful rhyme, before he settles on the classic "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!"

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Western Animation
  • In the Futurama episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", Hermes is so shocked from seeing his office trashed on inspection day, he can only mutter "Sweet...something...of someplace" instead of his usual Mad Libs Catch Phrase.
  • The Simpsons featured an episode where Springfield Elementary got school uniforms, causing the school to become more obedient. This leads Nelson to flub his own Signature Laugh with "Haw... huh?"