"And when you lick a snozzberry, it tastes just exactly like a snozzberry..."
To say that a thing is shaped like itself is a tautology, a truthful phrase with no informational content, an unnecessary repetition of words meaning the same thing: "free gratis" or "I can see it with my own eyes" or "It is what it is".
Sometimes, this is just used as a joke, but it's often also used to describe something as boring.
Calling a sofa sofa-colored, for instance, implies that its color is generic and unremarkable
Usually the redundancy has a purpose though. Sometimes it's for intensification (e.g. "kills bugs dead"), for clarification (e.g. "pin" and "PIN" sound identical, so adding "number" makes it clearer), or for calling attention to the property of a thing, even if it's inherent (e.g. "he draws beautifully round circles"). Other times it's just a more concise and glib way of phrasing things (e.g. compare "the state of being of this object is permanent and any attempts to modify its state are futile" with "it is what it is", and "once you overcome your initial reluctance and complete this task, you will enjoy the benefits of its completion" with "if you do it, it will be done"). Furthermore, sometimes the concepts being used are not actually identical (e.g. "Not only am I very intelligent, I'm also very smart!"
. So, many apparent tautologies are worth thinking deeply about, as they often contain surprising insights.
The name comes from William Shakespeare
, who used tautologies a lot. In Antony and Cleopatra
during a drunk scene:
What manner o' thing is your crocodile? Antony:
It is shap'd, sir, like itself
, and it is as broad as it hath breadth; it is just as high as it is, and moves with its own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates. Lepidus:
What color is it of? Antony:
Of its own color too. Lepidus:
'Tis a strange serpent. Antony:
'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
This article was brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department
, the Department
that brought you this article. Since it is 100 percent true while imparting no new information, this is a subtrope of Mathematician's Answer
, which is a supertrope of this. Related to A Dog Named Dog
, Recursive Acronym
, Captain Obvious
, "El Niño" Is Spanish for "The Niño"
, Everyone Calls Him Barkeep
, and The Trope without a Title
, which are some articles to which this one is related.
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- The slogan for Raid insecticides has long been, "Kills bugs dead."
- "Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers taste fresh."
- A Dutch commercial for Heinz Pasta Sauce ended with the phrase "Heinz Pasta Sauce: sauce to put on pasta."
- A radio station in Chicago once advertised: "Of all the radio stations in Chicago... we're one of them."
- An advertisement for the City Rail 14 Day Rail Pass in Australia: "14 Day Rail Pass. Like the 7 Day Rail Pass, but lasts twice as long."
- Australian brewery Carlton & United's slogan for its flagship Carlton Draught: "Made from beer."
- Milo ad campaign : "That's not cool, but MILO with cold milk's cool, 'cause it's made, with cold milk."
- A new apartment block overlooking Slough railway station—on a major commuter route to/from London—carried a hoarding making the sensible observation: "If you lived here, you'd be home by now."
- "...And bored out of your mind."
- The same slogan was also used to advertise a new apartment block overlooking Ruislip Underground station, likewise on a major route into and out of London.
- Spoofed in a set of ads for Nationwide Insurance, featuring "The World's Greatest Spokesman in the World!"
- The You Don't Know Jack shop page (apparently no longer functioning) is called the STORE-Mart, and features the catchy slogan "We Sell Various Items To You".
- Local Liquor's slogan is "There's one near you". Which works great for TV ads. Emblazoned on the store that you're standing in front of? Notsomuch...
- A McDonald's ad. "This new Zesty Mango McMini is really zesty." This is then emphasized by a trio of women who sing the word "Zesty" in a motown style.
- A particularly bad example is the radio ad campaign for South African Airways Business Class. For some reason they thought it would be a good idea to end each ad with this: "So, fly South African Airways Business Class. Business Class: 'For Business'." You don't say!
- An oddly provincial advert for broadband Internet informs us that a Yorkshireman's word is "rock solid, like Yorkshire stone!" Well, maybe, but how solid is their rock? (And more to the point, what the hell has it got to do with broadband?)
- According to a TV advert for Donkey Kong Country Returns, DK "rampages through your living room like an ape rampaging through your living room."
- Apple's 2011 iPhone campaign stated that "If you don't have an iPhone.... well, then you don't have an iPhone."
- "Our bank's debit card gives you the security of a Personal PIN Number!"
- Nabisco was originally called National Biscuit Company before they shortened it to Nabisco. Much later, they decided that Nabisco now stands for Nabisco Biscuit Company. Which, when you think about it, stands for Nabisco Biscuit Company Biscuit Company. Which stands for Nabisco Biscuit Company Biscuit Company Biscuit Company... You eat the red Ritz, and I'll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
- Often in commercials we are told "If you are not completely satisfied, return it, but keep X as a free gift." Have you ever heard of a gift that wasn't free?
- Red Dog beer once got in trouble because consumers assumed it was red in color. They launched an advertising campaign to correct this misapprehension: "Is it red? No. It's regular colored."
- Likewise Red Rock Cider: "It's not red, and there's no rocks in it."
- There is a Dr. Pepper ad where the head of a biker gang asks some guy what Dr. Pepper tastes like. The guy can only describe it as, "It tastes like Dr. Pepper." The biker is not amused.
- According to the commercials, Jack in the Box's "Munchie Meals" each come with "a drink you can drink". As opposed to the ones you can't.
- Back when mail-order computer retailers were still a thing, magazine ads (instead of crediting all the various trademarks to their respective companies) would say "Trademarks are the property of their owners".
- "It's a pillow, it's a pet... It's a Pillow Pet."
- Chrysler Superbowl 2014 commercial: "Is there anything more American...than America?"
Japanese Anime Cartoons From the Far East
- Fate/stay night: "People die if they are killed." It was supposed to be something like "People who are killed are supposed to stay dead." Makes a bit more sense in the context of the next line, "That's the way it should be."
- In Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon finds himself slipping into this:
Kyon: What does Haruhi Suzumiya mean to me? Haruhi is Haruhi, and nothing but Haruhi... great, I'm using tautology to dodge the question.
- Also, in "Endless Eight":
Haruhi: Summer should be like summer, so we have to do summery activities.
- Kokoro Connect: The gang is being harassed by an alien who uses mind-control to make them do embarrassing things. In Iori's case, nobody notices a difference.
Inaban: They seemed to write it off as Iori being herself.
Iori: That was the worst part! If everyone thinks I'm being myself when I suddenly shout "Yahoo!" in the middle of class, what does that say?
Taichi: That you're the sort of person who likes to shout "Yahoo!" in the middle of class.
- Serial Experiments Lain: "Lain is Lain... but am I really myself?"
- From Neon Genesis Evangelion: "That which is, is.", "I am… myself." (though it's meant to be intentional mindscrew and symbolic.)
- Lucky Star;
Konata: What's a Blue Hawaii?
Kagami: It's... uh... Blue-Hawaii-Flavored, I guess...
- This◊ example from Shakugan no Shana.
Kazumi: It's called a school festival. It's a festival organized by the school.
- Pardonable since Japanese has a special word for "school festival" that can't be produced by saying either "school" or "festival."
- In Naruto, the legendary Sannin (lit. "three ninja") are often called "the Three Sannin" in translations.
- Something between this and I Am Not Shazam is referring to the nine-tailed demon fox as "The 9-Tailed Kyuubi" (or other tailed beasts in a similar manner) as if "kyuubi" was a proper name, but it just means "nine tails" and we don't learn the real name of it (Kurama) or any of the other tailed beasts' names but Shukaku until very late in the series.
- Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel becomes redundant when the title is translated — Thief Angel Twin Angel.
- Many anime subtitles will translate the sentence "hitori wa sabishii" as "being alone is lonely."
- As pointed out elsewhere on this wiki, "being alone is lonely" technically isn't a tautology, since you can be alone but not lonely.note Still awkward as hell.
- The Translation Notes in Vol 23 of Mahou Sensei Negima! has this wonderful bit where the Publishers explain a censored Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of XX-puta.
We won't tell you what it is but it starts with L and rhymes with "Laputa
Ako: No, no, no, that's not okay! That's just...not okay!
- A moment in the beginning of Xxx Holic encounters this:
Watanuki: What's a Mokona?
Yuko: A Mokona's a Mokona. You count them one Mokona, two Mokona then you stop because there's only two Mokona.
- It's a small running gag that, whenever Watanuki calls Mokona something (i.e., an animal), his reply will be "Mokona's not an [animal], Mokona's a Mokona!"
- K-On!: "Fun things are fun."
- Cowboy Bebop: The Cloudcuckoolander Edward's description of herself: "But... Edward IS Edward!" It Makes Sense in Context in that she's a Third-Person Person.
- In Dragon Ball, before the hotly contested translation of "Saiyan", the race that Goku et. al belong to were often referred by the English fandom as either "the Saiyajin peoples" or "the Saiyajin race" despite the fact that "-jin" means "people/race".
- Also in Dragon Ball, Goku's master is known as "Master Roshi" in the English dub of the anime. Quite a tautology if you have in mind that "Roshi" means "Master" or "Teacher" in Chinese; so his name would be "Master Master."
- The Crunchyroll sub of the first episode of Galaxy Express 999 includes the line "Let's just do all that we can. That's all we can do."
- The dub of Fist of the North Star has the line: "GOD'S ARMY IS THE ARMY OF GOD!"
- In the Sailor Moon Stars manga, Usagi asks Chibi Chibi who she truly is. Chibi Chibi responds with something among the lines of "I am I." Usagi contemplates it seriously for a moment before getting annoyed that Chibi Chibi completely dodged the question.
- In Mahoraba the six year old personality goes on a large tangent of this: "Nanako is Nanako. Nanako is Nanako so it's Nanako. If Nanako wasn't Nanako then Nanako wouldn't be Nanako but Nanako..."
- GaoGaiGar: "The power of The Power..." This is because the latter is Gratuitous English, so it originally went "ZA PAWAA no chikara..." (Still, who knows why didn't they use "strength" or something)
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei inverts this; the final episode's Suspiciously Specific Disclaimer states that any resemblance between this show and itself is purely coincidental. It's Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. They weren't lying.
- In Higurashi: When They Cry at the end of Onikakushi-hen, you get this:
Keiichi: "Manager"...who is that?
Mion: Kei-chan, you don't know? The Manager is the Manager.
Keiichi: I mean...who is the "Manager".
Rena: The Manager is Manager-san.
Keiichi: So, WHO IS IT?!
- In the Axis Powers Hetalia Paint it White movie, while having a picnic with Liechtenstein, Switzerland says of the sandwich he is eating "I think it taste like sandwich".
- A Gag Sub in Girlsund Panzer gave the fans this: "Panzer vor means Panzer vor."
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT had this precious line from Precia in Chapter 3, which shows why you shouldn't let Doting Parents commentate on their children's matches if you want any useful information:
- The Pokemon in Pokémon that don't have formal names are all technically examples of this. For instance, Ash has a Pikachu named Pikachu.
Graphical Sequential Comics
- Ask yourself, what does the DC in DC Comics stand for? It stands for Detective Comics, the name of their first and once bestselling series. Now think about that for a moment. Detective Comics Comics. A letters column once explained the logic behind the company still being DC Comics, stating that news of a new "DC launch" might upset some of our foreign friends. While the company is officially DC Entertainment now... one of its subsidiaries is DC Comics.
- The Runaways hideout is in the La Brea Tar Pits, where "La Brea" is Spanish for "the tar". These are found both in Real Life Los Angeles and in the comic book Runaways. The redundancy is also commented upon within the pages of Runaways, where the the tar tar pits appear.
- Also, while Molly is pushing against a giant monster's foot:
Molly: His foot smells like feet!
- The stupid, stupid rat creatures in Bone occasionally use this:
"Do something quick, small mammal, before we are all killed to death!"
- Countdown to Final Crisis, which counted down to Final Crisis, has Superboy-Prime treating the Monarch with the Buffy quote below.
- Buck Godot. Most of the reasons for the Winslow's importance. "The Winslow is the exact shape and size of the Perfect Lizard of Love, which, of course, is the Winslow."
- Hellboy (He's a boy from Hell): "When I do you, you're done!"
- From Villains United, a comic about a union of villains:
- In DR And Quinch stories, things are often described in this manner by whichever character is narrating. For example, the hatchway of a spacecraft is described in one story as opening "with a sound just like the sound of a hatchway opening."
- One issue of The Simpsons shows Bart, Milhouse, and Martin looking over all the new summer comics in the comic-book shop - and, of course, most of them feature snarling renegade "heroes" or impossibly buxom super-women on their covers. Two of the comics have the titles "Deathkill" and "Killdeath" - which qualifies as a double example.
- In The Sandman issue "The Hunt", a character tells a fairy story in which one of the strange objects the hero accumulates is a small bone carved into the shape of a small bone.
- Scott Pilgrim plays with this.
Fan-written Fan Works Made by Fans
- This Drawn Together fanfic contains the line "Sweetcakes believe in efficiency. You get more done that way."
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, (The Abridged Series of Yu-Gi-Oh!):
Marik: Foolish fools!
Yami: Only one duelist can be the star of this movie, and it's not the duelist that's not me!
Anubis: You're going to die! And then you'll be dead! Because I killed you!
- This fanfic for Death Note had this description:
The smoke was flying around his head and it shone in the sun like a shiny cloud of smoke.
- The infamous My Immortal had this:
He didn't have a nose (basically like Voldemort in the movie) and he was wearing all black but it was obvious he wasn't gothic. It was...... Voldemort!
- In another scene, Ebony asks for a four-letter word for dirt.
- Obviously the answer is soil...
- In Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, Blud enjoys eating "blood bananas" that are made out of blood.
- Also, many other examples. Including the "nuclear bom went off like a bom", though perhaps this could be saying that it went off like a bomb but not a nuclear one, since all it really does is scratch the paint on Soichiro's car.
- Dark Secrets has the following Narmful line before Coitus Ensues:
- Dialogue tags that reiterate the dialogue they're describing are infuriatingly common in fanfic, especially when Said Bookism is also in play.
- "Gay, Bejewelled, Nazi Bikers of Gor" frequently employs tautologies to mock the original author's redundant writing.
The meal consisted of busk meat, which is a manly meat taken from the busk, those large, shambling animals used by Goreans for meat. In addition I had eaten several vulo eggs, these being the eggs of the birds that the Goreans call the vulo, and which the Goreans keep so they can eat their eggs. This was as well in addition to the so-turgey bread I had eaten with my busk meat and vulo eggs, the flour for this bread being taken from the so-turgey plant, which is grown on Gor by the peasant caste.
- In Jeffrey Wells's Narbonic fanfic ''A Brief Moment of Culture", the killer yogurt proves beyond Artie's powers of simile:
We stood before the slucking mass of yellow-tinged white yogurt that draped and spilled over the gerbil pens like some kind of ... obscene mutant dairy product or something.
- Admiral Awesome's introductory line in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure:
“I’m Admiral Awesome Yonasomun Armageddon, leader of the U. S. Army Saijin Brigade.” said Awesome Yonasomun Armageddon, leader of the U. S. Army Saijin Brigade.
- The original dialog is paraphrased briefly in a Star Trek story here
- At one point in Magnetism! Fluttershy hands Rainbow Dash what is described as a peach colored peach.
- A total inversion of this trope occurs in this joke from classic Greek philosophy times: "This is the portrait of Menodotis...which resembles about any Crethi and Plethi...in fact, everyone except Menodotis." Shades of Null-A...
Motion Picture Films That Move
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:
- "A gig is a gig is a gig. Is a gig. Don't you think you can put your history to the side, for the band? For the band? For the band?"
- "You cocky cock!"
- Plan 9 from Outer Space:
- "Inspector Clay is dead, murdered, and somebody's responsible". This might be justified considering something could have been responsible.
- "And remember my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future."
- "Visits? That would indicate visitors."
- Although nonsensically averted with "Modern women. They been that way all down through the ages."
- "A small town, I'll admit, but nevertheless a town of people." As opposed to the other types of town.
- Or Paula Trent's response to her husband seeing a flying saucer:
Paula Trent: ...A flying saucer? You mean the kind from up there?
Jeff Trent: Yeah, either that or its counterpart.
- Hot Shots! Part Deux: "I will kill you until you die from it!"
- The term "Murder-death-kill" from Demolition Man.
- The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, an Affectionate Parody of '50s B Movies uses this a lot for humorous effect:
Dr. Paul Armstrong: Seriously, Betty, you know what this meteor could mean to science. If we find it, and it's real, it could mean a lot. It could mean actual advances in the field of science.
- MirrorMask: "I shall slip unnoticed through the dark, like a dark unnoticeable slippy thing."
- The Happening: "Elliot's resilient."/"Yeah, he never gives up."
- The Show Within a Show CSI parody in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, starring Sarah Marshall, is called Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime.
- A Few Good Men: Colonel Jessup believes all danger is grave danger.
- Kung Fu Panda—
- The opening narration: "Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung-fu skills were the stuff of legend."
- The secret ingredient of the secret ingredient soup.
- The thousand demons of Demon Mountain.
- Master Shifu. "Shifu" means "master" in Chinese.
- Chor Ghom Prison. Guess what 'Chor Ghom' means?
- When Eric catches up to T-Bird in The Crow, it takes a while for T-Bird to realize who he is. This is doubtless partially due to the makeup Draven wore, but it might also have been denial, as when he realizes it, he's so confused and frightened he fires off five of these statements in a row.
T-Bird: ... I know you. I knew I knew you; I knew I knew you... But you can't be you. This is the really real world. We killed you dead! There ain't no comin' back..."
- The Continuum Transfunctioner from Dude, Where's My Car?. The Continuum Transfunctioner is a very mysterious and powerful device. Its power is exceeded only by its mystery, and its mystery is exceeded only by its power.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gives us this classic Lucasism: "Their treasure was knowledge; knowledge was their treasure."
- The 1976 mystery spoof Murder by Death (a title that itself qualifies) includes this exchange early on:
Dick: It sounded as though somebody snipped the wire.
Dora: What did it sound like?
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: "No matter where you go, there you are."
- The title of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters.
- A trailer for a Brazilian B-movie: "A killer assassin!"
- A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Blame that on Executive Meddling since they thought people would think the I was a 1. Yes, they thought we'd wonder if they'd made a movie about steak sauce...
- In the romantic comedy Intolerable Cruelty, the main character is a member of the National Organization of Marital Attorneys, Nationwide (in other words, he's a divorce lawyer). This is for no other reason than for the organization to have the acronym N.O.M.A.N. The organization's motto is "Let N.O.M.A.N. put asunder."
- The La Trattoria from Mickey Blue Eyes. Heavily lampshaded when they hang a lampshade on it.
- In Pootie Tang, Chris Rock's character has a friend who repeatedly ruins his rants by Explaining The Joke like this. For example, one rant ends with the line "And they won't let air in. [...] That's how exclusive a Biggie Shorty party is." His friend's response: "You know what else? It's hard to get in, too."
- The classic Mikey quote from The Goonies: "Because it's their time! Their time! Up there. Down here, it's our time — it's our time down here!" Martha Plimpton (Stef) even made fun of it in the cast commentary: "We reiterate that!"
- The movie title, Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo. Aren't all gigolos male by definition? Considering how much that movie does a weird gender inversion of anatomy-naming (e.g. shenis, man-gina,) this use of the trope was probably intentional.
- This exchange from Uwe Boll's House of the Dead:
Rudy: You created it all so you can be immortal. Why?
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "...so any help you could give us would be most... helpful"
- Also, "Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies."
"Three is the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four thou shalt not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out."
- Back to the Future: "You got a backdoor to this place?" "Yeah, it's in the back."
- Flowers for Algernon's film adaptation Charly had Charlie Gordon give Ms. Kinnean a phrase from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable to punctuate: "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."
- "Manos" The Hands of Fate. As manos is Spanish for "hands", the title when fully translated means, "Hands the hands of fate".
- In the test Spock is taking at the beginning of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Spock is asked to give Kiri-Kin-Tha's first law of metaphysics. "Nothing unreal exists" is the answer.
- Once in every Austin Powers movie.
- International Man Of Mystery: "Allow myself to introduce... myself."
- The Spy Who Shagged Me: "You're one groovy baby... baby."
- Goldmember: "What do you know... about... my father's where... about... s."
- From a deleted scene: "The plan will go ahead as... planned!"
- The contract scene in A Night At The Opera. ("The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part...")
- How Forrest Gump introduces himself to Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue: "My name's Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump."
- Shortly before the Inglourious Basterds attempt to meet a double agent in a bar in a cellar:
Aldo: Fighting in a basement presents several difficulties, the first of which being, you're fighting in a basement.
- From Snatch:
"Boris the Blade? As in, Boris the Bullet-Dodger?"
"Why do they call him the Bullet-Dodger?"
"Because he dodges bullets, Avi."
- California Carlson in the Hopalong Cassidy films insists that "El Camino Real" is Spanish for "The Real Camino", to hide the fact that he has no idea what a camino is. (Or "Real", for that matter, which means Royal.)
- From What's New Pussycat?
: Don't call me that again until I look it up! [He looks it up] Ah, a lascivious adulterer is a man who is a lascivious adulterer! What kind of book is this?
- From Attack the Block
Sam: "What's Ron's Weed Room?"
Brewis: "It's a big room full of weed and it belongs to Ron."
- Commodus, in Gladiator: "It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed."
- End Of Watch: When asked why a gangbanger is named "Big Evil," he replies, "Because my evil is big!"
- Sharknado 2: The Second One, which might have the most obvious subtitle ever.
- The Bobo, starring Peter Sellers in the title role (Spanish for 'fool') ends the opening captions with a quote "It is said in Barcelona 'A Bobo is a Bobo' - Gipsy proverb XCVIII"
Written Literature With Words
- Life The Universe And Everything
- This Arthur/Ford exchange:
Ford: I won't disturb you with the details because they would...
Ford: Disturb you.
- Not to mention the title of the book itself.
- The book presents a greatly abridged list of rules for Brockian Ultra-Cricket (since the full set of rules is literally too large to exist in print). The final rule is: "The winning team shall be the first team that wins."
- Arthur finds himself in a room carved out of the inside of a mountain that looks like it was carved out of the inside of a mountain.
- Mostly Harmless gives us this pearl of zen wisdom:
"Anything that happens, happens. Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen. Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again. It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though."
- A particularly egregious example is found, in all places, in a poem by Wordsworth titled "The Thorn" where he describes a mossy mound as, "like an infant's grave in size." Later, he tells you, "The little babe was buried there." Why yes, William, an infant's grave has very similar dimensions to an infant's grave.
- In the novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, there was a tunnel Mrs. Frisby was walking down described as "dank and damp".
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: "You must be a very intelligent man." "Not only am I very intelligent, I'm also very smart!"
- Though not commonly used in modern speech, there is a difference in meaning between intelligent (able to process information efficiently) and smart, which can mean either intelligent or wise (having acquired knowledge). But given who said that, it was unlikely he knew the difference either.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events does this a lot with its embedded definitions matching subsequent descriptions. "The restaurant, which was very 'gaudy' (a word here which means 'filled with ugly neon lights') was filled with ugly neon lights."
- James Bond
- Used with great effect in Thunderball. In it, to describe the room that Bond was given in the Shrublands health clinic, Ian Fleming worded it thusly: "It was a room-shaped room with furniture-shaped furniture and dainty curtains."
- Also used in Goldfinger. Bond is briefed on the intricacies of the global gold market by one Colonel Smithers, who is described thusly:
Colonel Smithers looked exactly like a man named Colonel Smithers.
- Subverted in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with "The Monster Book of Monsters", the title of which seems superfluous until you realize that the book, itself, is a monster. Though it could also have just been a Doorstopper.
- And don't get them started on The Invisible Book of Invisibility...which is invisible.
- Discworld has numerous examples, Terry Pratchett seems to love this trope.
- The novel The Phoenix Guards has a particularly egregious example in Bengloarafurd Ford, which due to a long history of changing hands in the endless Easterner/Dragaeran border skirmishes has a name that translates from several different dialects as "Ford ford ford ford". Finally a bridge was built, which was named Bengloarafurd Bridge.
- The Dufflepuds in The Chronicles of Narnia do this a lot.
Chief Duffer: You don't see us. And why not? Because we're invisible.
- The first line of The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore begins: "Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing..."
- Principia Discordia, in a section describing the organization of the Erisian church, notes that "A POEE Cabal is exactly what you think it is."
- Dave Barry Slept Here:
- "The Decline of Spain" is explained in a single sentence: "On October 8, 1565, Spain declined."
- Millard Fillmore's name "has become synonymous, in American history, with the term 'Millard Fillmore.'"
- According to another chapter, though Walter Mondale's campaign for President foundered, his running mate Geraldine A. Ferraro would become a footnote to history. This passage comes with a footnote: "Geraldine A. Ferraro."
- Dave Barry In Cyberspace: "OK, here it is, page 367: A "BIOS ROM AUTOCACHE FORMAT ERROR" message indicates that there is an error in the BIOS ROM autocache format. That clears THAT up!"
- The MacGuffin in Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocalypse is only referred to as the MacGuffin (until the very end), and it is only ever described as this.
- P.J. O'Rourke describes the events of the 1991 post-Soviet revolution in Georgia, concluding "If none of this makes sense it's because — believe me, I was there — none of this makes sense."
- Another one from O'Rourke, writing in Car and Driver magazine about Hawaiian cuisine: "Poi is a taro paste that tastes like paste made from taro."
- Many things in The Lord of the Rings have names in Elvish. Sometimes, translations were provided. They were often arranged so as to sound like part of the name; if you translate all the Elvish, you discover characters called Greenleaf Greenleaf (Legolas) and Shipwright the Shipwright (Círdan), as well as a place called the plain of Battle Plain (Dagorlad).
- Many of the Rohirrim have names like this, but in Anglo-Saxon. Théoden just means "king", for instance. So when other characters call him "Théoden King", they're calling him "King King".
- Actual last names of zaddiks in Martin Buber's Tales of the Hasidim often consist of a word in Hebrew and its equivalent in Yiddish (ex. Zwi-Hirsch)
- From The Fisherman and his Soul by Oscar Wilde: "They tempt me with temptations".
- By Gertrude Stein: Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose...
- Ernest Hemingway's reply: "A bitch is a bitch is a bitch is a bitch." Roddy Woomble adds, "Gertrude Stein says, 'That's enough.'" (from the song "Roseability", by Idlewild)
- "Let things have been as they have been, nonetheless they've been somehow; so far it has never been that things would be nohow." - that's only one of the many golden thoughts by Josef Švejk, the main character of Jaroslav Hašek's opus magnum The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War.
- The Bible: God identifies himself to Moses as such: "I am what I am" (or "I am that I am"; the passage has led to many translation and interpretation issues).
- Gerald Durrell's Three Singles To Adventure, one of his many autobiographical volumes, had this exchange during the purchase of a crab-eating raccoon in British Guyana:
: Sir, this boy says he has a crab-dog. Durrell
: What's a crab-dog? Ivan
: It's a sort of animal like a dog that eats crabs. Bob
: That's what I like about Ivan, he's so lucid.
- This trope was a standard literary device in the Roman literary repertoire. The best example is from The Aeneid, where Vergil writes sic ore locuta est - thus she spoke with her mouth.
- The title of Al Franken's book, "Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them)"
- In the novel Flora Segunda, the main character at one point describes "the monstrousness of [another character's] face in all its monstrousness".
- In the sixth book of the Captain Underpants series, it is discovered that "organic orange-flavored oranges" are effective weapons against robotic booger monsters, since the booger monsters are apparently held together with cold viruses which are destroyed by Vitamin C.
- The ending formula of German Fairy Tales goes: "If they haven't died, they're still alive today."
- The page quote is Willy Wonka describing his lickable wallpaper in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Granted, this isn't quite the same as other examples; he's saying that licking the image of a snozzberry — whatever that might be — on his wallpaper results in the taste of a real snozzberry. Still amusing, though.
- Dracula has quite the morbid Crowning Moment of Funny when Van Helsing opens Lucy's coffin, revealing it empty, to try to prove to Dr. Seward that she's now a vampire.
Dr. Seward: I am satisfied that Lucy's body is not in that coffin, but that only proves one thing.
Van Helsing: And what is that, friend John?
Dr. Seward: That it is not there.
Van Helsing: That is good logic, so far as it goes.
- Kim Stanley Robinson describing a Space Elevator in Green Mars: "Just to the south of them, the new Socket was like a titanic concrete bunker, the new elevator cable rising out of it like an elevator cable ..."
- There's a book about The Peter Principle in which one man tells this story:
"When I was a kid, I thought the Earth was flat. Then I learned in grade school, it was round. In high school I learned, it was a sphere. On college I learned, that it actually was a sphere flattened at the poles. On the university, I learned that it was a geoid. I looked up the word and found it meant 'Earth-shaped'."
- A character in Take a Thief is referred to as having a "face-shaped face." This time, the lack of information itself conveys useful information: the character has no particular identifying traits and is easily lost in crowds.
- In Gibson's Pattern Recognition, the protagonist is asked "So how was Tokyo?" and responds "It's more like it is now than it ever was."
- In The Lorax, the Once-ler describes knitting his first Thneed "with great skillful skill and with great speedy speed."
- A Georgian Poet wrote in his poem something like "And the Mother of god was coming... like the mother of god". As he later said in an interview, he couldn't find any suitable comparison for her.
- Confessions of a Mask:
Friend: Proust was a sodomite...
Narrator: What's a sodomite?...
Friend: A sodomite's a sodomite.
- Quoth Syl, in The Way of Kings: "They'll be fine. You worry like a worrier."
- In Count Zero, Bobby's condo in Barrytown has carpet-colored carpet and curtain-colored curtains.
- Grey Murphy from the Xanth novels is The Nondescript, so much so that his driver's license lists his hair as "hair-colored".
- How NOT to Write a Novel offers the following advice to writers unsure whether they know a word: "Ask yourself: 'do I know this word?' If the answer is no, then you do not know it."
- In Tina Fey's book Bossypants, she describes a cruise on a ship that had a fire and says the following about the next day:
The guys are back playing the steel drums by the pool bar, but now the music seems creepy, like when children sing in a horror movie or when guys play steel drums on a cruise ship that almost sank.
- From John Marsden's The Great Gattenby: "It's big for its size". It referred to a building.
- Book 4 of War of the Spider Queen has:
She pressed her lips against his, kissing him.
- During the coverage of the Boston bombing, one CNN anchor, Susan Candiotti, made the following astute observation on-air:
Susan Candiotti: It's as though a bomb had dropped somewhere.
- Murderous Maths: In the "gangster" section in Numbers: the Key to the Universe, Chainsaw Charlie opens his chainsaw-shaped suitcase and takes out a chainsaw-shaped chainsaw.
- Children's book Alright Vegemite contains the following limerick:
There was a young man from Perth
Who was born on the day of his birth
He was married they say
On his wife's wedding day
And died on his last day on Earth
- According to an old Dave Barry column, the Jurassic period "gets its name from the fact that it was a fairly jurassic period."
- At one point in The Left Hand of God, Thomas Cale tells someone "Remember: revenge is the best revenge."
- In The Phantom Tollbooth, the package Milo gets containing the tollbooth is described in part by saying:
...for its size it was larger than almost any other big package of smaller dimension that he'd ever seen.
- Micromegas: "Nature is like nature. Why look for comparisons?"
Live Action TV with either Actors or Non-Actors in Television
- MythBusters After Jamie has driven Adam blindfolded to a secret location:
Adam: Where are we?
Jamie: We're right here.
- The narrator in "Thermite vs. Ice" says, when Adam expresses some doubt, "Adam thinks this myth is, well, a myth."
- Seinfeld In "The Keys", Jerry and George are in Elaine's apartment, looking for Jerry's spare keys. George asks what they look like, to which Jerry responds: "Keys George, they look like keys. They look exactly like keys. (Mockingly) What do they look like."
- In another episode we have Elaine's Big Salad, which is "like a salad... only bigger."
- Doctor Who:
- "The Deadly Assassin". All assassins are deadly, unless they are not good at their jobs (originally, it was titled "The Dangerous Assassin," which is not so much a tautology as a massive understatement). This was parodied with Doctor Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death. According to the DVD production notes, Robert Holmes, the story's author, didn't believe the title to be tautological as there were many incompetent assassins. The assassin in question actually manages to kill his target, never a sure bet when the person you're trying to kill may have 13 lives.
- A character assassin would actually be pretty bad at his/her/its job if he/she/it was deadly.
- Example from the new series ("The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky"):
The ATMOS System could make things worse. Rattigan:
Yeah, well, you see, that's a tautology, 'cause ATMOS stands for Atmospheric Omission System, so you're saying "Atmospheric Omission System System". Do you see, Mister "Conditional Clause"?
- "You're Mr. Thick Thick Thickety Thick-Face from Thicktown, Thickania. And so's your dad!"
- "That's the headphones for Channels 1 to 36; modem link for 3D vidgames; complimentary earplugs; complimentary slippers; complimentary juice pack; and complimentary peanuts. I must warn you some products may contain nuts."
- "The Time of Angels", Amy asks River what the Doctor is like in the future, and River says that "the Doctor... is the Doctor". Amy is unimpressed.
- In "The Unicorn and the Wasp", when Donna is asked what she meant by a giant wasp, she answered, "I mean a wasp, that's giant!" She then expands on that thought: "When I say giant, I don't mean big, I mean flipping enormous!"
- "Doctor Who and The Silurians":
Third Doctor: He's just frightened, that's all.
Liz Shaw : So was I. What's made him like this?
Third Doctor: Some kind of fear.
- From the Mockumentary Oh Mummy. Sutekh the Destroyer shows his varied interests, including entomology.
- Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta loves this trope. Examples from their first movie: "the Cup was conquered not only in definitive, but also forever", "women of the feminine sex" and "a just and filled with justice country".
- Another Brazilian group, "Melhores do Mundo", has "He auto-self-suicided himself!"
- Blackadder: "Disease and deprivation stalk our land like... two great stalking things."
- And, of course, Mrs. Miggins bakes a pie in the shape of an enormous pie.
- We can't also forget the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem that err jump!
- Two things must ye know about the Wise Woman!
- From a series 19 episode of Have I Got News for You
Angus Deayton: Well, elephants would be elephant-sized.
Paul Merton: Would a baby elephant be elephant sized?
Angus Deayton: Well, that would be the size of a baby elephant.
- Angus also mocked a national newspaper for describing a squirrel as being "the size of a small cat", by suggesting that it would in fact be the size of a squirrel.
- The title of the series Unsolved Mysteries — well, if they were solved, they wouldn't be mysteries. Although perhaps the adjective is to distinguish it from the more common detective stories, which are labeled "mysteries" even though they end up solved.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Harmony is worried that Buffy is coming for her, and cries to Spike, "She'll kill me to death!"
- One episode is actually called "Killed by Death".
- The first episode had this exchange:
Cordelia: Totally dead. Way dead.
Xander: Not just a little dead, then?
- The third episode has Buffy, all loopy from a spell, telling Xander "...you're my friend. You're my Xander-shaped friend!"
- The fifth episode has Buffy and Xander discussing her failed attempt to date her broody classmate Owen:
Xander: You're acting a little overly, aren't you? I mean, you could have any guy in school.
Buffy: He's not just any guy. He's more...Oweny.
Xander: Sure, he's got a certain Owenosity, but that's not hard to find.
- "Phases" has a bunch of them.
Willow: Well, last night was the night before the full moon, traditionally known as... 'the night before the full moon.'
Xander: You're Buffy. Eradicator of Evil. Defender of...things that need defending.
(Willow reporting that Oz is a werewolf)
He said he was going through all these changes. Then he went through all these... changes.
- In the pilot, Buffy tells Giles that she's taken an early retirement, and suggests that if he's so keen on slaying, why doesn't he go slay vampires instead? Giles protests that he's a Watcher and his duty is to... "Watch?" Buffy pipes up.
- After being inducted into the Scooby Gang ("The Harvest"), Xander and Willow are left discussing their new knowledge while the rest of the school parades around innocently. "It's like we got this big secret!"
Willow: [beat] We do. That's what a secret is, when you know something other guys don't.
- Jenny Calender had a similar reaction to Giles demanding to know details of their "secret" date. ("Lie to Me") Unluckily for him, it was a monster truck rally.
- To Willow's question about when the Reconstruction began, Buffy tries to focus and replies, " Um, Reconstruction...uh, Reconstruction began after the...construction, which was shoddy so they had to reconstruct." ("Angel")
- In the same episode, Giles sits at Joyce's sickbed and chats about Buffy. Giles confesses that Buffy is having trouble in history class because she "lives very much in the now. And, um... history, of course, is very much about the, uh... the then."
- In "School Hard", Buffy and Willow scurry around trying to keep Joyce and Snyder from exchanging words. Buffy, seeing Snyder coming, babbles that Joyce hasn't seen the boiler room yet.
Buffy: "The boiler room is really interesting! What with the boiler being in the room and all."
- Oz complimenting Cordy's Halloween costume, which consists of a black unitard with cat ears and drawn-on whiskers. "You're like a big cat."
- Ms. Calender apologizing to Giles for spying on him for over a year. ("Passion")
Jenny: I know you feel betrayed.
Giles: Yes, well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal.
- In "Anne", Cordelia seems to have a feeble grasp on what being "The Bait" entails.
Cordelia: What's the plan?
Xander: The vampire attacks you.
Cordelia: And then what?
Xander: The vampire kills you. We watch. We rejoice.
- In "Earshot", one of the headlines in the school newspaper reads, "APATHY ON THE RISE — NO-ONE CARES."
- One episode of Deadwood had this piece of dialogue as Merrick the newspaperman tries to write his newspaper:
"The vaccine will be distributed gratis." Al:
Free gratis. Merrick:
Free gratis is a redundancy. EB:
Does that mean "repeats itself
Then leave gratis out. Merrick:
What luck for me Al, that you have such a keen editorial sense. "Free. Distributed Free. Period."
- All Aussie Adventures' Russell Coight does this a lot:
"Australia. A land as ancient as it is old."
"The symbol of this land, the majestic wedge-tailed eagle, named for its wedge-shaped tail and the fact that it's an eagle."
- In the LazyTown episode "Rottenbeard", Robbie Rotten describes a treasure chest as "All locked up with locks".
- Radar on M*A*S*H does this all the time, a running gag the actor invented for himself.
Radar: I'm looking for Mrs. Henry Blake. She's pregnant... with a baby and everything.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured a parody of Narmy love songs titled "When Loving Lovers Love."
- 3rd Rock from the Sun: "Dick disappoints me. I find him... disappointing."
- Mr. Monk occasionally says these sorts of things: "She was your sex mistress."
- "Mr. Monk and the Psychic":
Monk: It's a small pebble — about the size of a... small pebble.
- "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service":
Monk: What are you talking about? I'm not going in there alone. That would be like... me, going in some place alone.
- In the episode where Adrian Monk discovers the joys of the internet:
Monk: It made me "L-O-L" out loud.
- "Mr. Monk and the Genius":
Monk: To me, quitting would be like giving up.
- Moss in The IT Crowd bursts out with one now and then.
Moss: You stole it?
Roy: Well... yes.
Moss: But that's STEALING!
- A sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus warning of the threat of penguins:
"Now, if we increase the size of the penguin so that it is the same size as the man, we see that the penguin's brain... is still smaller. But, and this is my point, it is LARGER than it WAS!"
- From Firefly:
Mal: Well, looks can be deceiving.
Jayne: Not as deceiving as a low down... dirty... deceiver.
- During its first season, NCIS was actually titled "Navy NCIS" until the producers realized that was redundant. Oops. (NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, so there's no need to tack "Navy" in front of it.)
- The subtitle for the first season was, egregiously, "Naval Criminal Investigative Service."
- Not so egregiously, at the time CSI was very popular and they wanted to distinguish themselves apart so viewers wouldn't mistake them for either the show itself or a spin-off.
- A running gag throughout the show is the number of people they have to explain this to, because they've never heard of it, so the subtitle could be allowed. "Navy"...no.
- Which itself became redundant after the show's popularity took off, which made the NCIS initialism so well known, it's now one of the best known government agencies, matching the FBI and CIA in identifiability.
- A few examples from Pushing Daisies:
- The town of Coeur d'Coeurs. It should be noted this is French for "Heart of Hearts". Still redundant, but also not an Ass Pull on the part of the creators.
- Heroine Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and her deceased father Charles Charles.
- Boutique Travel Travel Boutique.
- The Darling Mermaid Darlings.
- Uber-Life Life Insurance and the Wish-A-Wish Foundation.
- Sean Hannity once infamously claimed that America is "the single greatest best country that God has ever given man on the face of the Earth". This was given a complex Venn diagram on The Colbert Report to explain how it was neither Department of Redundancy Department nor this trope.
- The "Comedians of Comedy" tour.
- Stargate SG-1 looks on the surface to be an example, because "SG" does stand for "Stargate". However, SG-1 is the name of the Four Man Band that goes through the stargate itself (as distinct from the other teams, SG-2 through SG-25), so this is, while slightly confusing, at least a partial aversion.
- In Atlantis, there's a brief flash of a computer screen in the episode "McKay and Mrs. Miller" when we see the power levels of the ZPM Module. ZPM stands for Zero Point Module.
- Kamen Rider Decade turns his fellow Rider, Kamen Rider Blade, into a BFS called the Blade Blade.
- From Look Around You comes the following on the brain: "Think of it as a kind of modified heart, only with a mind, or brain."
- That '70s Show... Oh, that Kelso:
"Angie's so pretty. Looking at her is like looking at... something else pretty"
"25 years! Man, if you were dogs, that would be... 25 dog years"
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? has its fair share of this for laughs, an example in one of the most famous sketches, The Cat (Improbable Mission: The laundry), has this little conversation:
Ryan: What was it?
Colin: A burnoose!
Ryan: Any idea what it looks like?
Colin: It looks like... a burnoose!
- Northern Irish sit-com Give My Head Peace features two characters forming a loyalist pressure group called the "Protestant Loyalist Organisation for Protestants" after realising that the acronym of their first choice was already in use by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
- In The Young Ones episode "Summer Holiday" Neil asks Mike:
"Don't you think robbing a bank is, well, tantamount to stealing, really?"
- The Mentalist - in the first episode the mentalist Patrick Jane says of an over-enthusiastic crime scene person at the scene of the crime "He irks me. He's irksome."
- One of the segments on the sketch comedy show The Edge was entitled "What the really bad author is doing RIGHT THIS MINUTE," wherein we would watch a writer compose such similes as "The rat ate the cheese like a rodent devouring fermented cow's milk."
- In the ninth season premier of Scrubs Dr. Cox mentions that he can't stand when med students make him reiterate things "especially when I have already iterated them".
- Malcolm, when he made himself dumb: "I can't believe the awesomeness of how awesome this is!"
- From A Bit of Fry and Laurie (that show with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie):
"We may be stupid, but we're not clever!"
- While eulogizing Hugh, Stephen comes out with:
Hugh Laurie, whose real name was Hugh Laurie, was better known by his stage name, Hugh Laurie.
- A variant from The Dukes of Hazzard:
Bo: We'd better get there quick. Couldn't have been more than a gallon of gas in that can.
Luke: Really? In a one-gallon can?
Bo: Yeah, I can't believe I said that, either . . .
- The West Wing:
...and I think that making a big thing out of it is what makes it a big thing! Oliver Babish: Really?
- Also Leo when interviewing Ainsley:
- In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Defiant", Commander Sisko offers Gul Dukat his assistance in tracking down and neutralizing the USS Defiant, which has been hijacked by a terrorist and brought into Cardassian territory.
Sisko: I helped design it. I know its vulnerabilities, and its weaknesses.
- Although like the Intelligent/Smart comparison above, a vulnerability can be different than a weakness. For example, the battleship Yamato was one of the most heavily armored warships ever built. Had she ever engaged in a one-on-one fight with an American battleship, her heavy armor would have allowed her to withstand a substantial amount of fire from the 16" guns on the largest American battleships (the Iowa-class). She did possess a weakness however: Her larger 18" battery relied on manually acquiring a target, aiming, and range-finding, whereas her American counterparts possessed sophisticated radar-controlled target acquisition, range-finding and fire direction, providing them with much greater accuracy. This made Yamato no more vulnerable to enemy shell fire, but it was a glaring weakness in that her opponent would be able obtain a firing solution more quickly and could better evade return-fire from Yamato's more powerful battery (at the Battle of Surigao Strait the American battle line had the Japanese battleships targeted before they even knew they were there).
- Similarly, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, at one point, Picard refers to the Klingon Imperial Empire. As opposed to those non-imperial empires out there.
- Worse: there are empires in Star Trek that, in certain senses, are non-imperial. At the time, the Klingon Empire was one of them.
- Star Trek: Voyager. An alien inventor describes his graviton catapult as "a device that can catapult a vessel across space, in the time it takes to say 'catapult a vessel across space'."
- Seattle sketch comedy show Almost Live! had a skit where a man was sent to "Simile School" because he kept falling victim to this trope. "It's as great as... something that's really great!" "It's as slippery as... something that's really slippery!"
- Parks and Recreation:
- This line from Andy Dwyer:
Andy: In order to think like one of these guys, you have to think like them.
- Perd Hapley has these lines:
"We will begin the show by starting it."
"There is such a thing as journalistic integrity. And it is something I have as a journalist with integrity.
"For a female perspective on this scandal, we turn to a woman."
"Up next is my introduction to the next segment, and my introduction to the next segment is as follows: here's the next segment."
- In a 2005 segment on avian flu, The Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry described the disease thusly: "A fatal killer that, when lethal, can be deadly."
- One episode of Wheel of Fortune had a puzzle where the category was Place... and the answer was SECRET HIDING PLACE.
- In one episode of Friends, Chandler and Joey insist that Rachel and Monica follow through with the terms of a rashly made bet and swap apartments with them:
Rachel: Y'know what, you are mean boys who are just being mean!
- From Community:
Abed: "9/11 was pretty much the 9/11 of the falafel industry."
- On Saturday Night Live, Chris Farley's "motivational" speaker character Matt Foley had the Catch Phrase "You'll have plenty of time for [fill in the blank] when you're LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!" In his first appearance, the character played by guest host Christina Applegate became Genre Savvy.
Matt: Young lady, what do you want to do with your life?
Stacy: [sarcastic] I want to live in a van down by the river.
Matt: Well, you'll have plenty of time to live in a van down by the river when you're... [dramatic pause] ...LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
- Molly Connell, in the Leverage episode "The Carnival Job," she doesn't really have anyone to talk to these days. Except "Daria... our eastern-European housekeeper. Talking to her is like... talking to an eastern-European housekeeper."
- In a flashback on the first season of LOST, Shannon is asked by Sayid to watch his bag and instead decides to report it as unattended. Leading to this:
Shannon: Some Arab guy left his bag downstairs.
Security Guard: Can you describe him?
- Young Blades: In the first episode, as the Musketeers are in the middle of dungeon cleaning duty:
D'Artagnan: You know what I hate about hard work?
Siroc: It's hard?
- From an episode of Frasier, after Frasier's father has suggested the city is like a woman:
Frasier: "A city is not like a woman—it's like a city!"
- The X-Files, paraphrasing Shakespeare (and speaking about senators), but to a different effect:
Cancer Man: They're all honorable, these honorable men.
- Engine Sentai Go-onger: "Why are pathetic people so pathetic?"
- In episode 2 of The Tudors Henry has received a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince from an Italian noble and is discussing it with Thomas More, and comes out with the rather...insightful comment "It is not like your book Utopia. It is less...utopian."
- In a Mr. Show sketch, after being forced to go see Coupon: The Movie, two patrons played by Mary Lynn Rajskub and Jack Black have this to say about it:
JB: We saw "Coupon!"
MLR: The woman totally used a coupon to buy some socks!
JB: Yeah, and it was a movie!
- Arrested Development has GOB Bluth (pronounced "Jobe"). His first name actually stands for "George Oscar Bluth", and he was named directly after his father.
- In "Shock and Aww," Maeby's failed retaliation to Steve for not allowing Annyong into their high school's Diversity Dance (the real reason was because he didn't attend the school):
Oh, so you're not letting him in because he doesn't share your perfectly shaped nose, your round eye-shaped eyes, your strong square jaw...
- Merlin has made at least one notable use of this trope.
- Red Dwarf: Holly's description of the Stasis Leak from the eponymous episode:
Holly: A stasis leak is a leak, right, in stasis. Hence the name 'a stasis leak'.
- Used in the second ever episode of the The Twilight Zone, 'One for the Angels'.
Lou Bookman: "Number one, I find you a very devious sort. Number two, I think that you're dishonest. Number three, why don't you say what you mean?"
- Game of Thrones with its less than subtle dialogue makes use of this trope from time to time.
Cersei Lannister: Power is power.
- On one episode of The Man Show, Adam and Jimmy ask several guys what they nicknamed their penises. Most names are rather creative, but one guy in the line-up gives his penis's name as "Penis."
Musical Songs with Lyrics You Can Sing
- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds' song "O'Mally's Bar"
Well Jerry Bellows, he hugged his stool
Closed his eyes and shrugged and laughed
And with an ashtray as big as a fucking big brick
I split his head in half
- They Might Be Giants' song "Whistling in the Dark":
There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you
Be what you're like
Be like yourself
- Another example from their song, "Yeah, The Deranged Millionaire": "And people from miles around were miles away."
- Sublime's "Foolish Fool".
- Cheech & Chong's "Basketball Jones". "That basketball was like a basketball to me!"
- Similarly, "Albuquerque" by "Weird Al" Yankovic: "That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!"
- The song "King of Spain" by Moxy Früvous has the line "a palatial palace, that was my home".
- The song "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" has a tautology in its title (as well as chorus), though it seems to be paraphrasing Shakespeare (see above).
- "The Future Soon" by Jonathan Coulton talks about "building inventions in my space lab in space". (The title line, "It's gonna be the future soon", may also be an example.)
- Another one by Coulton is "That Spells DNA," with it's chorus "And DNA, baby, that spells DNA."
- The song "Lady Aberlin's Muumuu" makes reference to being "shaped like a lady is shaped".
- "Betty and Me" refers to a procedure being "legal in the states where it wasn't banned."
- "Friends", by Ween. "A friend's a friend who knows what being a friend is!"
- "Dirge" from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum";
Miles Gloriosus: Light the pyre! Pseudolus: What kind of pyre? Miles Gloriosus: A pyre of fire! Pseudolus: Ohh, a fire-pyre!
- This is even more tautological once you remember that "pyre" is the Greek word for fire, meaning that Pseudolus essentially said: "Ohh, a fire-fire!"
- One line from the America song "Horse With No Name" goes "The heat was hot."
- P!nk's "Family Portrait" contains the lyric "Your pain is painful". An especially unfortunate case of Narm because it occurs very early on in a serious ballad about a child whose parents are getting divorced... although it is a childlike thing to say.
- "Epic" by Faith No More: "What is it? It's it!"
- Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs offered Paul McCartney a Certificate of Redundancy Certificate for the line "But if this ever-changing world in which we live in..." in "Live and Let Die" (it's argued to this date if the lyrics are that or "in which we're living")
- There's also the borderline-meaningless credit often found in the liner notes of 80s-era rock albums on the Geffen label — "John Kalodner: John Kalodner" (Kalodner was from Geffen's A&R, and explains the origins of this credit here)
- Weezer did something similar with their "fifth member" in the credits of Pinkerton: "Karl Koch: Karl Koch".
- Likewise, British band The Happy Mondays credited one of their line-up as follows on Pills and Thrills and Bellyaches: "Bez:Bez". For those not familiar with their oeuvre, the main musical contribution of Bez (Mark Berry) was comically inept dancing and a bit of tambourine.
- The intro to Queensrÿche's song 'Empire':
It hit me like an, uh...ten ton...heavy thing
- "Hat Shaped Hat" by Ani Difranco. "...in walked a man in the shape of a man holding a hat-shaped hat..."
- 'Paramore's "We Are Broken" gives us the gem: "Your arms, like towers, tower over me."
- Phil Collins expresses an idea this way in "Two Hearts":
But if you don't put faith in what you're believin', it's getting you nowhere
- Jet Airliner from Steve Miller Band has the catchphrase "keep on keeping on".
- "Killed By Death" by Motorhead.
- Arlo Guthrie begins his famous Shaggy Dog Story "Alices Restaurant" by informing the audience that "this song is called 'Alice's Restaurant.' It's about Alice, and the restaurant, but 'Alice's Restaurant' is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song. And that's why I call the song 'Alice's Restaurant.'"
- Flight of the Conchords' "Rambling Through The Avenues Of Time" includes the line "her eyes were reflections of eyes".
- Spamalot has 'The song that goes like this'.
- In the U2 song "Who's Going To Ride Your Wild Horses", Bono sings about someone who "left my heart as empty as a vacant lot".
- Mika's melancholic ballad "Any Other World" contains the Narm-worthy line, "I tried to live alone, but lonely is so lonely alone."
- The debut album from Strapping Young Lad is titled "Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing."
- David Bowie's "Changes" has the line "Strange fascination, fascinating me".
- In "Get With the Times", Cool Calm Pete (which is a pretty redundant name in and of itself) advises the listener to "pray for your fake phony facade."
- "All You Need Is Love"
There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung...
- Tenacious D's song "Tribute":
All of a sudden there shined a shiny demon
- An older version at least made it "shone a shiny demon", which is just as redundant, but shined was probably funnier, because it sounded more redundant.
- Spinal Tap's classic "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight":
Tonight I'm gonna rock you (tonight I'm gonna rock you)
Tonight I'm gonna rock you (tonight I'm gonna rock you)
- Van Halen had on "Why Can't This Be Love": "Only time will tell if we stand the test of time".
- All-4-One/Christina Aguilera, "I Turn To You": "For the strength to be strong".
- In one Tom Chapin song, two girls tell the other kids not to play with Bruno because he's "a dweeb". When pressed for the definition of "dweeb", they define it as "like Bruno".
- In Rebecca Black's "song" "Friday", we get gems like "Yesterday was Thursday/Today it is Friday", and "Gotta have my bowl/Gotta have my cereal"
- In the course of Da Vinci's Notebook's Uncle Buford Mega-Mix, "Uncle Buford" asks, "You ever eat worms? They taste like... worms."
- The B-52s: There's a moon in the sky... called the moon.
- "She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes."
- Clint Black's "Wherever You Go"..."there you are".
- Laibach: the songs "God is God" and "Life is Life (Leben Heist Leben)"
- "Flight" by Van Der Graaf Generator frontman Peter Hammill:
He say nothing is quite what it seems
I say nothing is nothing.
- "After the Fox", written by Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis, and performed by the Hollies: Who is the Fox? I am the Fox! Who are you? I am me! Who is me? Me is a thief!
- Blake Shelton's "The More I Drink" has the observation "The more I drink, the more I drink."
- The Songs To Wear Pants To song, "Captain Obvious Theme":
sung: Captain Obvious to the rescue! Captain Obvious: he will state the obvious!"
spoken: His power is that he will state the obvious!
spoken, different voice: My power is that I will state the obvious!
- The song title and chorus of Hüsker Dü's "Ice Cold Ice"
- The closing line of "No Rival" by Wolves At The Gate: "Lord, You have changed me, and I am not the same"
- The song "Sugar" by System of a Down has the lyric "Every time I try to go where I really want to be it's already where I am `cause I'm already there."
- Their song Lonely Day also includes "Such a lonely day. It's the most loneliest day of my life".
- Depeche Mode would like to let you know that "People Are People".
- Lee Brice's "Parking Lot Party" has the line "And after the party's the after-party."
- Mumford and Sons' "Timshel" has "you are the mother of your baby child, the one to whom you gave life." It fits the meter of the song best, but still sounds redundant, especially with "baby child".
- Judas Priest's 1978 song "White Heat, Red Hot" managed to have four of these in a row:
The heat's hot
Burns a lot
- Aerosmith's "F.I.N.E." has two terms for a Raging Stiffie in a row: "I get an EMHOnote woody"
- In Beastie Boys' "Hold It Now, Hit It", Adam Yauch states "I come from Brooklyn 'cause that's where I'm from".
- Among the alleged messages in "Stairway To Heaven" when it's played backwards is "Here's to my sweet Satan...whose power is Satan."
- The Dr Demento 80s favorite "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard" by Blotto:
I - I - I wanna be a lifeguard!
I - I - I wanna guard your life!
- German rappers Fettes Brot's "Crazy World" has the lines "Und an der Ecke steht ein Hochhaus, so groß wie ein Hochhaus/ Innen drin wohnt ein Elfjähriger, so groß wie ein Elfjähriger/ Und auf seinem Shirt steht 'Crazy World'", which roughly means: "And on the corner there's a skyscraper, as tall as a skyscraper / inside lives an 11-year-old, as tall as an 11-year-old / and his shirt says 'Crazy World'"
- "Spill the Wine" by Eric Burdon & War: "I could feel hot flames of fire ..."
Newspaper Comics Printed In The Comics Section Of Newspapers
- One Dilbert comic strip had the eponymous character mention "The TTP Project", where "TTP" stands for The TTP Project.
Lucy: You're not afraid of a little pain, are you?
Linus: Of course I am. PAIN HURTS!!
- One of the supporting characters in Popeye comics was George W. Geezil, a local cobbler. George hated Wimpy, often stating that Wimpy "should be killed to death". This carries over into the live-action film.
- Hägar the Horrible once asks Lucky Eddie how it feels to be so thin. The answer is that it feels about the same as being fat... only thinner.
- In one strip, Garfield and Jon and lying on their backs in a meadow looking at the sky:
Jon: I think that cloud looks just like a cloud.
Garfield: Which one?
- In another one, just Garfield is watching the sky:
Garfield: Clouds are fascinating. There's a cat cloud, there's a dog cloud...
(Starts to rain.)
Garfield: And I do believe that one's a rain cloud...
Relatively Recent Media Forms That Are New Rather Than Old
- Eroge (a Japanese abbreviation of "Erotic Game") are sometimes referred to as "Eroge games" in text.
- In Cracked:
Professional Wrestling and Grappling Done at a Professional Level
- WWE's Jack Swagger's Red Baron is "The All-American American". It has been parodied a couple of times. Most memorably when Shawn Michaels described Swagger as the "All-American American American American American". (Swagger, whether out of fondness for Michaels or amusement at the joke, has since adopted the term.)
- After turning on his brother Bret Hart, Owen Hart, as is custom, cut a promo explaining the motivations for his Face-Heel Turn. Which he ended with a now-famous botched line, "And that's why I kicked your leg out from under your leg."
- Back when ECW was an independent wrestling company, they had the website ecwwrestling.com. ECW wrestling. Extreme Championship Wrestling wrestling. That's been a rather common thing with many wrestling companies with the words in their acronyms. All WWE broadcasts end with the WWE logo and underneath it "WWE Entertainment", which comes out to "World Wrestling Entertainment Entertainment".
- CM Punk looks like a punk.
- When he was still Mr. Kennedy (before he left WWE and became Mr. Anderson in TNA), Mr. Kennedy once introduced himself, perhaps referencing Austin Powers, by saying "Please allow myself to introduce myself!"
- Ken Patera faced Bobby Heenan in a debate over his prison sentence and remarked, "I had a lot of time to think about the Bobby Heenan types of this world. Types like yourself!"
- Austin Aries would join with the All Night Express in Ring of Honor to form The Pantheon Of Gods!
Stand Up Comedy Performed on Stage to Make People Laugh
- British comedian Simon Munnery, in his stand up show Hello illustrates a point with a Venn diagram, consisting of two overlapping circles, one labelled Diagrams, one labelled Overlapping Circles and the overlap labelled Venn Diagrams.
- Aziz Ansari: "Could you imagine blowing a guy (for a half hour!) for sold-out concert tickets and then finding out they're selling them at the door? That'd be like blowing a guy for a half hour for sold-out concert tickets and then finding out they're selling them at the door. There's no other way to complete that analogy 'cause that's the shittiest thing that could ever happen to you."
- One of comedian Frank Caliendo's more famous routines is his John Madden impersonation routine, which uses Madden's own predilection for this and Captain Obvious combined with an impersonation both vocal and using body language to create comedy.
"You see, if the quarterback, if he catches the ball...in the other team's end zone, then that's gonna be a...that's gonna be a touchdown."
- David O'Doherty (and possibly other comedians): 'My mum has taken to text messaging like a duck to text messaging' (Also a Bait and Switch).
- Eddie Izzard in "Dressed to Kill" comments, "I'm very positive on the French. My family way back was French. I go with it but they are kind of fucking French at times."
Transmitted Wireless Radio
Playable Tabletop Games That Can Be Played On Top Of A Table
Staged Theatrical Plays Featuring Live Performers
- William Shakespeare wrote several examples:
Your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it, for to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.
- Redundant speeches were pretty much Polonius' shtick when he wasn't busy being self-contradictory.
- Also, in Act II, scene i, Hamlet and Polonius have this little exchange:
Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
- Romeo and Juliet, complete with Lampshade Hanging:
Juliet: What must be, shall be.
Priest: Well that's a certain text.
- Twelfth Night also has a bunch of these:
Sir Andrew: To be up late is to be up late!
Feste: For, as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, "That that is is;" so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for, what is "that" but "that", and "is" but "is"?
Olivia: What kind o' man is he?
Malvolio: Why, of mankind.
- As does Timon of Athens:
Timon: If there sit twelve women at this table, let a dozen of them be as they are.
Apemantus: Where liest o' nights, Timon?
Timon: Under that's above me.
Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus?
Apemantus: Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
- Dogberry's Disorganized Outline Speech from Much Ado About Nothing:
Don Pedro: Officers, what offence have these men done?
Dogberry: Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
- Also Don Pedro's reply: "First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge."
- Macbeth: What's done is done.
- Julius Caesar's assassins proclaim: "freedom, liberty and enfranchisement."
- "For Brutus is an honorable man; So are they all, all honorable men."
- Measure for Measure's Angelo helpfully declares: "Blood, thou art blood."
- The play Murdered to Death! by Peter Gordon, a parody of Agatha Christie murder mysteries.
- The musical Curtains has one character describe a song as "kinda lackluster. It lacks... luster."
- Along similar lines to the Josef Švejk example above, a quote by Jan Werich (possibly from one of his plays at the Liberated Theatre):
Once a man is, he should make sure he is. And once he makes sure he is, and is, he should be what he is, and shouldn't be what he's not, as is often the case.
- A Man for All Seasons includes the line "Holy writ is holy," bringing to mind a certain meme.
- If This Isn't Love, from Finians Rainbow, starts with a girl singing that she has "a secret kind of secret".
- "A mental mindfuck can be nice!"
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Justified in that Pseudolus was trying to conceal the fact that he couldn't read.
Soldier: You know what this is, of course?
Pseudolus: Of course I know what this is. This is... writing. And a pretty piece of work it is too.
Pseudolus: I know what it says here: Words!
- In the Last Supper scene of Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus expresses his contempt for Judas's treachery by exclaiming, "You liar! You Judas!"
- In Art by Yasmina Reza, Serge describes "a man of his time" as "a man who lives...in his own time."
- Later, Yvan shares an insight from his therapist:
Yvan: If I'm who I am because I'm who I am, and you're who you are because you're who you are, then I'm who I am and you're who you are. If on the other hand, I'm who I am because you're who you are, and if you're who you are because I'm who I am, then I'm not who I am and you're not who you are.
Marc: How much do you pay this man?
- The reprise of "It's Your Wedding Day" from The Wedding Singer The Musical Comedy includes the line, "People called him the wedding singer/He sang at weddings and so the name was apt."
- This one's from A Chorus Line's "One":
She walks into a room and you know she's uncommonly rare, very unique
Electronic Videogames Which Can Be Played Via Digital Apparatuses
- In Halo, the primary weapon on any human ship or station is the MAC Cannon. The C in MAC stands for cannon.
- In Bully when Jimmy falls off his bike he remarks that it's "just like ridin' a bike."
- A few from Final Fantasy Tactics—
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, after the mission The Cheetahs, one of the words that Montblanc says to help Marche is "Marche is Marche and Ritz is Ritz."
- Final Fantasy VII Cloud: "Who is Nanaki?" Cosmo Canyon settler: "Nanaki is Nanaki."
- Sazh from Final Fantasy XIII — "All this dampness is damp."
- In Sonic Adventure 2:
Knuckles: I'll punch this thing with my fist!
- Many characters throughout the Sonic the Hedgehog series are named after color schemes (Shadow, Silver, Rouge) or some obvious physical trait (Tails and Knuckles).
- Shadow the Hedgehog's theme song: Starts with "I am all I am I all I am." then goes to "I am, I am I'm all of me." and then on the last verse takes it Up to Eleven with "I am, I am everyone, everywhere, any how, any way, any will, any day..."
- In Chrono Cross, the Goldfish Poop Gang member Solt says things are "painfully painful", "obviously obvious", etc.
- The cake recipe in Portal involves "sediment-shaped sediment" and a whole series of fish-shaped things shaped like fish.
- After defeating two Antlion guardians in Half-Life 2 Episode 2, a Vortigaunt comments that you "Dispatched those guards with great dispatched!". Possibly justified, as the aliens already have a bizarre way of talking.
- A Boy and His Blob: COCONUT = COCONUT. It means that the blob will turn into a coconut (which you can throw) if you feed him coconut jellybeans. Just abbreviated.
- Divine Divinity.
- The Big Bad of Guild Wars Prophecies is referred to in-game as the "Undead Lich."
- The combat system of Heroes of Might and Magic allows for some... interesting occurrences, such as "The Stone gargoyles have been turned to stone!"
- The item description for a lemon in Kingdom of Loathing is "This is a lemon. It's shaped exactly like a lemon." A lime's description is "This is a lime. Like a lemon, it's shaped like a lemon. Unlike a lemon, it's a lime."
- One of the main locations in the game is the Mysterious Island of Mystery.
- Quoth one adventure, "You should not be here! You should really beat feet! / If those demons find you, you're dead as dead meat!"
- The Continuum Transfunctioner is a vital item. Its description is quoted straight from the film.
- The item description for the Staff of the Staff of Life states that while "if you think about it, a loaf of bread is like a staff"... even if you don't think about it, "a staff with a loaf of bread on it is even more like a staff."
- The consumption message on the Bottle of Wine: "You drink the bottle of wine. It tastes like wine, with subtle overtones of wine, and also a faint aftertaste of wine. "
- Fallout 1 includes a Cathedral of the Children of the Cathedral. They're not even sure why they say Cathedral twice.
- Ragnarok Online has an item called Earthen Bow. Its description is as such: "A bow that looks like it is made in a natural way, making it look like it looks quite natural."
- Unique monsters in Diablo II have random name generators. Results? Bloodcloud the Cloud, and such...
- Stone Skin. Modifiers: Undead, Stone Skin.
- It can also happen with the stock effect phrases for random loot names, such as a light leather belt that increases your light radius in dark places, or as the game calls it, a "Light Belt of Light." While this is not technically redundant since the item in question is a light(weight) belt that produces light(illumination), it still sounds funny.
- Then there are the skills that let you interact with corpses. While you've got one selected, mousing over a body will display its name as "<monster name> Corpse", which is sensible enough. However, due to the way some monsters are named, it occasionally throws up such gems as "Decayed Corpse Corpse" or "Corpse Axe the Dead Corpse".
- There is a videogame titled Killed Until Dead. (The notion of killing someone to death sure seems to be popular...)
- In the Polish translation of Neverwinter Nights, one of the soundsets has a line Zabiję cię! Zabiję na śmierć!, which means exactly I'll kill you! I'll kill you to death!!
- In Saints Row, one of your lieutenants points out that calling Los Carnales, a rival gang, "The Los Carnales" is redundant, since "Los" means "The." He gets upset later on when he accidentally calls them "The Los Carnales."
- It's very common to see users on World of Warcraft saying something along the lines of "Please PST me", not knowing that PST is an abbreviation for "Please Send Tell".
- Also, Looking For Group or Looking For More/Mate can mean the same thing in real life, but LFG and LFM mean you're alone or you have some other guys respectively.
- Enraged Crusher has become enraged!
- The Western title of the game Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven essentially translates to "Heaven's Wrath: Wrath of Heaven"
- Baldur's Gate:
: Minsc is, well, Minsc
- Anyone who has even a passing knowledge of Spanish will get hours of amusement out of Resident Evil 4's incessant referencing of "The Los Illuminados"—see "The El Niño" down in Real Life.
- In EarthBound, when the librarian in Onett gives you the map item, she helpfully informs you that "all the info is there, except the info that isn't there".
- Any time John Madden is in a football game, such as Madden NFL, he uses such sounds-like-itself phrases as, "You know, the receiver can't catch the ball if the quarterback doesn't throw it!" or "Usually, the team with the most points wins!"
- Anachronox's super-villain Rictus says one line, a slight variation of the main example.
- La-Mulana features the Hell Temple, which starts off with a tablet describing the place as one that none should enter and only for those with no sense of regret, before concluding, "Hell Temple is hell!"
- In Mass Effect 2, Mordin lampshades this while singing his own rendition of the Major General Song
I'm quite good at genetics (as a subset of biology)
Because I am an expert (which I know is a tautology)
- Also, this gem from Niftu Cal, biotic god: "I am a great wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind!" A great biotic wind, for he is, after all, a biotic god.
- In Mass Effect 3, if your FemShep is romancing Kaidan he will come to her room for a "quick drink" and upon realizing how depressed she is, tries to comfort her by saying "Look, it's gonna be... it's gonna be what it is."
- ''Colette is Colette." (However, the hot coffee that is actually iced coffee is, hot.)
- Actual Tomba! 2 dialogue: "It's a fire hammer. It's a hammer with the power of fire."
- In The Sims, the description for the Oval Glass Sconce reads, "It's Oval!!! It's Glass!!! It's a Sconce!!!"
- In The Sims Medieval, a bit of quest dialogue refers to an item your hero is carrying as a "mouse-filled bag of mice."
- In the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Brady Games player's guide, its explanation on the monsters in the game on page 41 has this as its first line, "The strange creatures you see are creatures."
- What about Franziska von Karma's foolery in the second Ace Attorney game? "Foolish fool who foolishly dreams of foolish dreams." Also, "A fool is a fool who will only listen to the foolish opinions of other foolish fools." The list goes on and on…
- And in case 3-5 we also have Gumshoe say this:
Gumshoe: Prosecutor Edgeworth is a prosecutor, and that's why he's Prosecutor Edgeworth!
- And yet again from the same case:
Edgeworth: ...Gumshoe indeed! Like gum on your shoe, he's impossible to get rid of!
- Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins, on Morrigan: "Beautiful just like...like something that's also dangerous. Like a...beautiful dangerous thing."
- Alistair's initial description of Morrigan as "some kind of sneaky... witch thief!".
- In Awakening, the description of Oghren's unique battle-axe;
Oghren called this axe the "Darkspawn Ravager"... because that's what it does.
- In Left 4 Dead 2's Dark Carnival campaign, there's a lot of posters for a Fake Band named the Midnight Riders. Each band member has their own title, like "The Lover", "The Drinker", or "The Brawler". Ox, the drummer, gets a title of "The Drummer".
- In BlazBlue, resident Cloud Cuckoo Lander Taokaka is Taokaka. Which is her answer to the question of who or what she is when asked "who/what are you?"
- In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, if you use the hand icon on the tinder box, you are told, "It feels exactly like a tinder box."
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night features a sword named Gram, the description of which reads "The sword named Gram." It also features a sword named Harper. The description for it reads "The sword named Harper."
- Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner revolves around the big "Race to the End of the Race". In Episode 2: Strong Badia The Free, all the characters create their own independent countries, including the eponymous Strong Badia, Marzistar/Homezipan, The Homsar Reservation, and Strong Mad's country of... Country.
- Super Mario RPG has these helpful descriptions:
- Shirt: "It's a shirt!"
- Pants: "It's a pair of pants!"
- Work Pants: "Sweaty work pants!"
- Finger Shot: "Fingers shoot bullets"
- ...and so on
- Near the beginning of Kingdom Hearts, Leon tells Sora, "The Heartless. Those without hearts." Really, Leon? Because I thought we were calling them the Heartless in a metaphorical sort of way that had nothing to do with them being creatures of pure darkness! Curiously enough, it's actually an aversion. The Heartless aren't beings without hearts, but rather hearts consumed by darkness.
- The title of puzzle game series Deadly Rooms of Death.
- If you smell the plants in Central Park in Frederik Pohl's Gateway (the text adventure based on the Heechee Saga), you are informed that they smell "very plant-like".
- In the original Metroid there's an item called the Maru Mari, which is commonly translated as "round ball."
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, characters will refer to your Phazon Enhancement Device as a "PED Device".
- The Interactive Fiction game Detective contains this infamous example:
You are now carrying the wooden wood.
- Averted with the voice command for calling someone a Spy in Team Fortress 2: using it with your cursor over any given player will result in saying "that [class] is a Spy", but if you use it on someone who already looks like a friendly Spy but may be an enemy Spy, the lines are along the lines of "that's Spy isn't on our side".
- The Cursed Shield in Final Fantasy VI (SNES version) has the item description of "Is cursed".
- In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, one of the Oho Jees of Oho Oasis tells you "I am me".
- In Max Payne 3, the Unidade de Forças Especiais are a special forces unit of military police. The name translates from Portuguese as "Special Forces Unit".
- In Mount & Blade, weapons and armour can come with random modifiers in their names such as "Balanced", "Rusted", "Bent", "Strong", "Ragged" etc. Two items in the game are the Ragged Outfit and the Strong Bow. It is consequently possible to find a Ragged Ragged Outfit and a Strong Strong Bow.
- Who hasn't said "RPG games" at some point?
- In "Final Fantasy IX" there is a weapon called "Mythril Dagger". Its description reads "Thief's dagger made of mythril."
- Atelier Meruru has this quote:
Meruru: But Miss Totori is Miss Totori, Miss Totori!
- One TV show in Grand Theft Auto V is called Jack Howitzer Is Jack Howitzer In Jack Howitzer.
- This immortal dialogue in the mission "Robbing Uncle Sam", with a whiff of subversion due to the double meaning of "shit":
Ryder: This shit was tight, man!
CJ: This shit was shit!
- When Desmond naively says they're the good guys in Assassins Creed II, Shaun replies, "We're Assassins. We assassinate people. I can look it up for you if you'd like."
- In the end credits of Borderlands 2: Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, Mister Torgue exclaims to Moxxi that he didn't know that illegal offworld deathmatches were illegal.
- In Terraria the Santa Claus NPC could—before a fix—spawn with the text 'Santa Claus the Santa Claus has arrived'.
- There are two Mario Kart courses that are this trope: Cheese Land and Yoshi Circuit.
- On of the items in Leather Goddesses from Mars is a T-remover. If you use it on, for example, a raft, you'll get a raf. If you examine it, you will be told that "It looks just like a raf, whatever that is."
- In Pixel Dungeon, after using a unidentified object for a while, you can get sentences such as "You have identified the sword. It is a sword." It actually means that your sword is just a boring normal sword and is not upgraded, downgraded, cursed, enchanted, or whatever.
- An early line in The Last Story crossing over with Buffy Speak:
Animated Internet Web Animation on the World Wide Web
- There are a few Homestar Runner examples:
The Cheat Theme Song: Who's the man that looks like The Cheat? The Cheat! The Cheat!
Strong Bad: My internet's crawling along like... something... funny... that crawls along.
Homestar Runner: If I had to pick one word to describe myself, it would probably be... Fluffy Puff Marshmallows. Or Homestar. Either one, really. They both fit.
- Zero Punctuation: "If you find the Japanese offensive, then you'll find this game offensively Japanese."
- To be fair, what he means is that the game in question is Japanese to a potentially offensive degree; it's like saying "If you like the colour red, you'll find this pleasantly red" to indicate that something is quite red indeed.
- "Clive Barker's 'Clive Barker's Jericho' by Clive Barker".
- Space Tree the space tree (in space)!
- Retarded Animal Babies:
Cat: 4 is for
... tha-that's what it is. Hamster:
Splunge is for Splunge.
- "Cat Face, he's got a big cat face, he's got the body of a cat and the face of a cat, and he flies through the air 'cause he's got a cat face, Cat Face!"
- From asdfmovie 2:
"I baked you a pie!"
"Oh boy, what flavor?"
- Brain POP's slogan: "The more you know, the more you know".
- This is how nearly all of Sarge from Red vs. Blue's secret words work. His password is "password", his code word is "code word", etc.
Illustrated Online Web Comics That Are On the Internet
- Scary Go Round does this a few times. "You are my loved friend whom I love!"
- Gunnerkrigg Court Chapter 10 is titled: "Doctor Disaster Versus the Creepy Space Aliens from Outer Space". Doctor Disaster himself feels the need to specify:
Dr. Disaster: Spacemonauts! The evil Enigmarons are threatening the Earth from their moon base on the moon!
- 8-Bit Theater had The Elven Royal Crown Of Royalty and the Picturesque Forest of Trees. And many of the main characters.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Certain place names, such as Wooden Forest or Sunken Valley. In fact, most place names in the comic are either this trope or Exactly What It Says on the Tin. If not both.
- Elan tells Haley he would like to see her come back from a dangerous fight "in one big Haley-shaped piece."
- Xykon gives us this: "You know what does equal power? Power. Power equals power. Crazy, huh?" Given the situation and that he is using it to make a point about the difference between having real power and only pretending to (going on to say "But the type of power? Doesn't matter as much as you'd think."), it's justified.
- A line from the mentally unstable Crystal:
Crystal: Our thieves are only allowed to steal from the people that our thieves are allowed to steal from!
Bozzok: My employee's circular logic notwithstanding, she is correct.
- Dinosaur Comics devotes an entire comic to defining and demonstrating pleonasms: "Hey, T-Rex, do you want to drink some cola-flavored Coca-Cola brand carbonated cola beverages? Perhaps afterwards we'll take the public transport large road vehicle bus and buy with money or credit some submarine sub sandwiches?" Also, in T-Rex's book for children: "Happy Dog the happy dog is the happiest dog on his street!"
- From Absurd Notions: The cloud-shaped cloud.
- Poked at in Real Life Comics, with a truck.
- Raven from Questionable Content seems to be prone to this.
Raven: Faye, you're my friend but if you steal Sven away from me I'll murder you so hard you'll die from it.
- And this marvelous gem from VG Cats.
Padme: MY LOVE FOR YOU IS LIKE A LOVELY RIVER OF LOVING, LOVE.
Anakin: Ooookay, gettin' creepy.
- From the Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name cast page:
Primarily known as the guy who looks great in suspenders and ticks an awful lot, Ples is the guy who [unsurprisingly] looks great in suspenders and ticks an awful lot.
- From the comic itself we have the fantastic "If you're dead, I'M GONNA KILL YOU!"
- The eponymous Kyra from Full Time Ink's "Uh-oh, it's a Dinosaur" often speaks in this manner, such as "MEEP MWOP! It's big like a big room!" and "I haven't eaten since the last time I did."
- This crap tastes like crap.
- Schlock Mercenary got a mysterious murder case:
: Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, the killer committed the crime and made it look like a shark attack because the killer was hungry
, and happened to be a shark
: You obviously know nothing about police work.
- For this, Massey hit the local police with what he calls "the 'impersonating a police force' suit". In other news, Serge failed to realize why "the crew-mullet" is called so (and is still here).
- Bug once explored Hitler's immunity to Godwin's Law.
- Aerith of Ansem Retort gave us this gem:
I feel like I'm on a bad reality show, which is ironic because I am
on a bad reality show
- Chaos Pet is "updated every day that it is updated."
Web Original Stories on the Internet
- The Evil League of Evil, in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
- In Commentary! The Musical, Felicia Day describes art as "magic as a magic thing" and "lovely as love."
- Atop the Fourth Wall
- Linkara's Top 15 Worst Moments of Countdown to Final Crisis declares the number 1 moment to be Countdown itself, justified by saying that Countdown will undoubtedly go down in comics history as nothing more than a moment.
- In Silent Hill: The Grinning Man, he responds to a character claiming to be happier than a pig in shit by stating himself to be as bored as a person that's bored.
- In Red vs. Blue, the evil AI O'Malley gives this speech:
O'Malley: "You fools have fallen right into my hands! Only now do you realize the folly of your follies! Prepare for and oblivion for which there is no preparation!"
- DrudgeReport logo: leans slightly right; DrudgeRetort logo: leans slightly left.
- From Dad Cop 2;
Dad Cop2: "Mr. Kill would always murder his victims... until they died."
- Happy Floppy Bunny was the happiest and floppiest bunny in Happy Floppy Bunny Land.
- Autotune the News #10 contains the gem: "Nepotism is strictly prohibited, except for family members.note "
- One Retsupurae of a Navgtr review of Xenogears makes sarcastic comments like "The problem with this RPG is that it has RPG elements!" and "This video game is too much like a video game!"
- Doctor Who and the CURSE OF FATAL DEATH!
- National National Awareness Month Awareness Month is held in February, and is dedicated to being aware of our awareness observations.
- This parody of Rebecca Black's "song" Friday, mocking the repetition of the original.
- "Alarm goes off cause it's an alarm"
- "When i wake up I open my eyes/Keeping them closed makes it dark inside/so I need to open them cause that's what I do/When I wake up I need to do that"
- "[Death is] responsible for 100 percent of all recorded fatalities worldwide..."
- When The Nostalgia Critic reviewed The Thief and the Cobbler, he parodied the extremely generic studio-mandated songs with his own song, that went something like this:
- "My heart will love a loving love love, but only in my dreams. But because I sing with singiness, the dreams I'll dream I'll dream!"
- Z! True Long Island Story presents: Broskis on Broadway The Musical, "a show so inspiring, Newsweek magazine calls it so inspiring."
- Many, many pages on Uncyclopedia.
- 27b/6: "The product, misrepresented as 'Natural Black' instead of 'Astro Boy black', turned my hair as dark as an adequate simile describing just how black it actually was and stained my forehead and ears purple."
- Yo dawg, I heard you like shapes...
- How To Basic delves into this sometimes. For example, the instructions on how to make beef jerky included dropping a generous ammount of pre-packaged beef jerky into the mess.
- Shadow of the Let's Play show Super Playify said, of Arnval in Otomedius Excellent, "Seriously, she looks like Ann from Busou Shinki". To be fair to him, the conversation (including the name he used for her) showed that he was only familiar with the anime, not the toy line, and the whole point of Super Playify is that the players go in canonblind, so he couldn't have known that Konami stuffed a lot of characters from their other properties into it.
Western Animation Cartoons from the Occidental World
- From the aborted Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series. "There are things in the dark. Dark things."
- Popeye. "That's all I can stands, and I can't stands no more!"
- "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam."
- In one of the Paramount shorts, when Bluto is carrying off Olive, she yells, "Let go of me you... you you, you!"
- In the Fleischer short, Lost and Foundry:
Olive: AAAH!! Swee'Pea went into the factory! He'll be killed to death!!
- A good example of a pleonasm is He-Man. Of course, they couldn't just call him Man.
- Of course, "he-man" did have the advantage of being a real word.
- Dr Zoidberg pulled a truly spectacular five-hit combo on Futurama: "My next clue came at 4:15, when the clock stopped. And another came two hours later at 4:15, when I discovered the murdered body of Amy's dead, deceased corpse."
- And in another episode:
Fry: I'm literally angry with rage!
- And another:
Fry: There, on the screen! It's that guy you are!
- Subverted in the episode "Crimes of the Hot", where Professor Farnsworth receives a Polluting Medal of Pollution, whose name appears to be redundant but actually refers to the fact that it's a pollution-related medal that releases pollution itself.
- The New Justice Team from "Less Than Hero"
Go, go, go New Justice Team
Go team, go team, team team team
Who's that newest Justice Team?
The New Justice Team
Captain Yesterday is fast
Also he is from the past
Not just fast but from the past
Super King has all the powers of a King
Plus all the power of Superman,
Also he's a robot
Ain't it cool? Super King you rule!
Cloberella beats you up
Cloberella beats you up
Who does she beat up? You!!
Citizens, never fear
Crazy do-good freaks are here
Until they run out of steam...
Miracle cream, miracle cream
Gives the power to the team
Its effects wear off for sure
So they just slop on some more.
The New Justice Team!
- Also, in the first "Anthology of Interest" episode, when Fry causes a rift in the time space continuum after not falling into the cryogenic freezer:
Al Gore: You fool! You foolish fool!
- "The Deep South" has:
Farnsworth: Fry, you half-mad, half-insane maniac! Be reasonable!
- In "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings," after Bender protests to the Robot Devil that he is unwilling to make a deal:
Robot Devil: Really? There's nothing you want?
Bender: Hmmm. I forgot you could tempt me with things I want...
- Ranger Park, The Park Ranger from "Spanish Fry"
Ranger Park: I'm Ranger Park, the Park Ranger.
Fry: I get it!
- Mojo Jojo's elliptical and recursive dialogue in The Powerpuff Girls frequently visits this territory, sometimes with an overnight bag in hand.
- See also this little speech from Bubbles:
"Yeah. We were flying to Mojo Jojo's house. I like flying. Oh, and then there were these really pretty clouds. And there was one that was shaped like a heart, and there was this one that looked like a pretty pony, and there was one that looked like a cloud..."
- Spongebob Squarepants
- From the pilot "Help Wanted":
Mr. Krabs: Do you smell it? That smell. A kind of smelly smell. The smelly smell that smells... smelly.
- In the same episode, SpongeBob calls the Krusty Krab "the finest eating establishment ever established for eating".
- From the episode, "The Bully":
SpongeBob: Do not cheer me, fellow adult students. Flatts is the real victim here. A victim of a society that's going down a violent road to nowhere... a road I call... Violence Road.
- From "Big Pink Loser":'
Patrick: Hey SpongeBob, guess what? I got an award!
SpongeBob: That's great, Patrick. What's it for?
Patrick: See for yourself.
SpongeBob: "For outstanding achievement in achievement."
- From "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III":
Mermaid Man: Prolonged exposure to the orb of confusion will give you... confusion!"
- Thinking of Mrs. Puff alone and afraid in jail makes SpongeBob think of...Mrs. Puff being alone and afraid in jail.
- Thumbtanic: "She's neekid... and she ain't got no clothes on neither!"
- American Dad!: "I am a sex offender. I like offensive sex. I offend people with the sex I have," said by a sex offender. In American Dad.
- Invader Zim: In one episode, Gir dons a human-like robot disguise to save Zim, uttering the words: "I am government man, come from the government. The government has sent me."
- "It's a government android!"
- "They locked up their fortress...with LOCKS!" line by Zim.
- Dib says at one point: "I know. The Philosophical implications are quite Philosophical"
- The Venture Bros.:
- "You have a picture of a shrink ray ON the shrink ray gun. That is totally retarded."
- "It's a walking eye. It does walking eye stuff."
- The Tick featured a villain who called himself the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight (yeah, baby!).
- With the immortal line "An object at rest cannot be stopped!"
- Minoriteam... "BALACTUS DEVOURER OF WORLDS IS READY TO DEVOUR WORLDS!"
- Doug has "Man-O-Steel Man", a Captain Ersatz of Superman.
- Dr. Director, Director of Global Justice in Kim Possible.
- South Park:
Randy: If we're still alive in the morning, then we'll know we're not dead.
- King of the Hill has Dale Gribble yelling about his father, who kissed Dale's wife on their wedding day:
Dale: "I loved my Dad like a father, and he betrayed me like a betrayer!"
- Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons firmly believes that "Fun toys are fun!"
- Did you know that his cat's breath smells like cat food?
- His father once ran a booth in a renaissance fair that featured amazing mythical creatures.
Chief Wiggum: Behold, the two headed dog, born with only one head! And behold, out of the mists of time, the legendary Esquilax, a horse with the head of a rabbit, and the body...of a rabbit.
Air hostess: Due to our policy of overselling flights, this flight has been oversold.
—>Homer: "This bar is like a Tavern to me."
- From "Dumbbell Indemnity":
Moe: "I'm just gonna die lonely and ugly and dead."
Homer: "You see, fame is like a drug. But what was really like a drug were the drugs."
- Phineas and Ferb
- In the Disney version of Robin Hood, a group of two boys and two girlsnote has this chant:
Spider, snakes and a lizard's head
If I tattletale, I'll die till I'm dead.
- Carmine, a parasitic talent agent who lived in Zorak's throat on The Brak Show did this a lot.
Carmine: That voice of yours is a goldmine. That's right, a mine fulla gold!
Carmine: Mansionland, that's right, a land fulla mansions!
- Early Cuyler and most of the other characters on Squidbillies are prone to this from time to time. With such lines as "Worky jobs" and "money checks".
- "TV lookity-box"
- "Thirty five dollars a month?! Monthly?! Every month?!"
: And I was gonna ventilate yo head brain with this here gun bullet. Lerm
: Gun bullet, heh, that's redundant
- From El Tigre, "We got you a present, for you to have."
- From The Emperor's New School, "His nose is as plain as the nose on his face."
- Finding Nemo:
Bloat: You're from the Big Blue? What's it like?
Nemo: Well, it's, uh, big, and it's blue.
Bloat: I knew it!
- The Latin-American translation is funnier because Bloat instead of replying "knew it" He says "that's weird."
- Clone High: JFK's attempt at being threatening to Abe and Gandhi in the bathroom.
I will see you there! And by will, I mean won't! (Laughs and leaves)
(Returning) Cos you're not invited. I, er, wasn't sure if I was clear earlier. So... you're not. Invited, that is. (Leaves)
(Returns) To my party! (Leaves) (Returns) Forgot to wash my hands!
- Twelve Ounce Mouse: "Then aspirin was invented, the common cure for things that aspirin cures."
- The wonderful thing about tiggers, is tiggers are wonderful things. And Tigger is the only one.
- When introduced to "The Black Raven" in Wakfu, Yugo immediately points out that all ravens are black, and he and his friends attempt to find him a better name.
- In The Lion King, "Simba" translates to "lion" in Swahili. So they effectively named the lion in The Lion King "lion".
- One of the best-named cartoon villains ever is WordGirl's Lady Redundant Woman.
- Mr. Big claims The Thing is "scientifically designed by scientists."
- Justice League Unlimited
- Invoked by The Question in episode "Question Authority", to prove the whole conspiracy behind Lex Luthor's presidential campaign (harkening back to the parallel universe from "A Better World", in which Luthor had become President and killed Flash as part of his plans):
Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and has certain characteristics that are part of what it is. "A" is "A"... And, no matter what reality he calls home, Luthor is Luthor.
- This makes more sense if you realize that "A is A" is the Objectivist law of identity (and the rest of it is basically just an expansion on that). The character in question (sorry) was created by an Objectivist and, in the original comics, would usually say it at least once a story, so it's more of a Shout-Out.
- And Galatea.
- In the Maryoku Yummy episode "The Ninth Wish," when Shika confiscates the eponymous wish (as wishsitters are only allowed to watch eight wishes at a time), Fij Fij worries that Shika won't let it have any fun, and Ooka adds, "Or give it any hugs!" This prompts Maryoku to say, "Without fun and hugs, that poor little wish will be... without fun and hugs!"
- In "Scatterday," Shika reads the rules for Scatterday, the second of which is "The first one to find the Scatter Crown is the first one to find the Scatter Crown."
- If you were to cook any slower... why you wouldn't be cooking very fast, now would you?
- The quirky speech pattern that is the Verbal Tic of Angela Anaconda
- The Point "And needless to say, business was brisk, and the competition was...competitive."
- "He's a very industrious industrialist."
- A common feature of Julien's dialogue in The Penguins of Madagascar, e.g. "It is I, who is me!" and "What is up with the un-big tiny littleness of my royal estate?"
- Teen Titans
Starfire: I came here to notify you about the Brotherhood of Evil. They mean to harm us all. They are quite evil.
Argent: Hence the name.
- The Hobbit: "Enough! I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means... ME!"
- Beavis and Butt-Head:
Butt-Head: It's me, you bunghole.
Beavis: Um, what's a bunghole?
Butt-Head: You're a bunghole, bunghole!
Stuart: Hey, cro-magnon, you can't use a word to define itself.
Beavis: Yeah. Cro-magnon.
Butt-Head: I can too, bunghole.
- When the boys are watching Journey's "Separate Ways" video, Butt-Head says "This video, like, like, if it was a turd, it would, like, be, like, the same thing."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- "May the Best Pet Win":
Rainbow Dash: "This can't be happening! Forever is way too long to be trapped in Ghastly Gorge. I mean, it's like... forever!"
- "Too Many Pinkie Pies":
Pinkie Pie: "The water's great, it's totally wet and everything!"
- According to its theme song, the plot of Ben 10 started when an alien device "did what it did".
- From The Batman, we get the line, "Only Alfred sounds that much like Alfred."
- In Sanjay And Craig: "Doors are for people who use doors."
- Two words: Overgrown man-child.
- Peter Pan offers this bit of Indian language:
Hana Mana Ganda
Hana Mana Ganda
We translate for you.
"Hana" means what "mana" means
And "ganda" means that too!
- The Steven Universe episode "Giant Woman" has a somewhat subtler example:
Steven: If you give it a chance/You could do a huge dance/Because you are a giant woman!
- The nonsense quote at the beginning of the Clarence episode "Rise and Shine", which ends with the line "Also breakfast is an important part of a nutritious breakfast."
The Non-Fictitious Real World That is Real
- One of the definitions and goals of Metaphysics—the Philosophy not the other stuff—is this. Namely "how to say something and have meaning." E.g. a circle is red vs. a circle is a circle. This happens because if you want pure knowledge you strip the things that can vary, namely empirical observation. (It's a bird, no it's a plane.) With those gone the only 100% sure things are tautologies. Getting beyond that is the metaphysicist's job.
- In mathematics, the Identity Postulate is X = X.
- Some people write the word that a symbol represents afterwards, e.g. "10% percent" or "".
- This can be used in SQL Injection attacks against authentication forms. When the input isn't treated separately from the code you can 'OR' the check with a tautology in an input field, such that the result is always true. In badly designed systems this means you'll automatically get access. For example, enter the username and password: ' OR 'A' = 'A (with exactly those quotes).
- The El Niño current is practically saying "The The Boy Current"; the male and female articles "El" and "La" from Spanish are treated in this way a lot, hey, even Spanish has words (of Arabic origin) through that process, and they got to English... Alchemy (from Alquimia from, according to most sources, "Al Khmi", "the black earth", as opposed to barren sand, made right with the words "Quimica" and "Alquimia"), Alfajor ("Al Fasur"; The Nectar, The Fancy/Great Sweets) and Alligator (El lagarto; The Lizard)
- Many American Beverages read "Naturally flavored with other natural flavors."
- The Alhambra. It was originally al-Qasr al-Hamra ("The Red Fortress") in Arabic, then passed into Spanish as "la Alhambra." So basically its current name is not from what it is, but what color it is, and has too many definite articles to boot.
- The Alicorn (the horn of a unicorn or the material of which it is made, now often used as the term for winged unicorns) has it worse. The name began in Latin, passed into Arabic, and then into English. The definite article in Arabic (al) was added to the word when it cam into English, and the definite article in Latin (li) was added when it came into Arabic, so it can be translated as "The The The Horn".
- Similarly, The El Alamein battle, translated from the various languages it's passed through (Arabic->Spanish->English), means "the the the two flags battle."
- "Ramen Noodles". The "men" or "mein" in the word is the Japanese and Chinese word for noodles (probably).
- RAS (Redundant Acronym Syndrome) syndrome, the condition afflicting such common phrases as "PIN (Personal Identification Number) number," "ATM (automatic teller machine) machine," "MLB (major league baseball) baseball," "RAS (redundant acronym syndrome) syndrome," and many others. PIN Number, when spoken (rather than typed), however, is apparently not redundancy but instead serves as clarification. In case someone thought you were asking for the other type of pin, presumably.
- The English (possibly Welsh) placename 'Torfell Hill' contains three different versions of the English language, each of which says 'hill' in their own way. At some time, of course, the place was 'the tor' (simply the local hill above the village); then, most likely, it became, after the language moved on; 'tor fell' (which means 'hill hill'); and to cap the redundancy level, it later became, after another local language upgrade, 'Torfell Hill!'. Pendle Hill has a similar issue in Lancashire.
- They had some fun on QI with that sort of thing. Torpenhow though is a compound word of Tor (meaning hill), Pen (meaning hill), and how (meaning hill), so Torpenhow Hill means Hill Hill Hill Hill. They mentioned more examples.
- Similarly, Bredon Hill, which is now officially a mountain; making it Hillhill hill mountain.
- Also in the UK, the River Avon (with several towns including Shakespeare's birthplace named after their being built alongside it) is named from the Welsh word for River.
- There are multiple rivers named Avon, and multiple towns named Stratford, though apparently only one is on an Avon (that being Stratford-upon-Avon, Will's aforementioned home town).
- And the same applies to several rivers called Ouse, into one of which Virginia Woolf walked with her pockets full of stones. In fact, many British rivers turn out to have names that were pre-Celtic tribal words for 'river'. In much the same way that Londoners tend to speak of 'The River' meaning the Thames.
- This happens, it seems, because the Romans drew maps giving rivers names to tell them apart, and were slow to catch on that cultures which didn't draw maps didn't- a river to an ancient Celt was just 'river'- or, indeed, 'avon'. It was a real-life version of the'Terry Pratchett Surly Native School of Place Naming' (see 'Discworld' above.)
- Some Republican candidates would rather ballots list their party affiliation as "GOP Party". "GOP" stands for "Grand Old Party."
- Very common in the US sports media, particularly when they refer to acronyms of college sports conference names and forget that the C at the end always stands for "Conference": ACC conference, SEC conference, WAC conference, MAC conference, etc.
- Inverted in the case of a [NIC Card], which is used for networking. Most people think it stands for Network Interface Card, when the C is actually Controller and not redundant at all.
- Similarly "PDF file" is perfectly well-formed, expanding to "portable document format file".
- Plato is fond of philosophizing about how "beauty is a thing that possesses beauty," in his dialogs. He also devotes passages to explain how even numbers can never be odd, which should be apparent by definition.
- People who order "chai tea". Cause chai means... yeah. "Chai" in the "chai tea" sense is properly "masala chai", spiced tea with steamed milk and sugar. A Chai latte is thus spiced (tea/coffee) with steamed milk and sugar with steamed milk and sugar.
- Some restaurants have Soup of the Day. Some restaurants Soupe du Jour. And then some restaurants sell Soupe du Jour of the Day — Soup of the Day of the Day.
- Many restaurants that sell French dip sandwiches offer them "with au jus sauce". "Au jus" is French for "with juice".
- Another example is the dish lobster scampi. "Scampi" being Italian for "lobster from the Adria," you're eating Mediterranean lobster lobster.
- The Los Angeles Angels baseball team. When translated, it comes out to "The The Angels Angels." You could be pedantic and translate it as "The Angels of 'The Angels'". Yes, a team called "The Angels" from a place also called "The Angels". Makes more sense. Officially, they're the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Or you could be even more pedantic, and say that it's really "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula" Angels, which translates to "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Piglet River" Angels, which, while it sounds weird, isn't actually an example of this trope.
- Similarly, "The LaBrea Tar Pits" are actually "The The Tar Tar Pits".
- Often seen on packets of cigarettes and/or tobacco:
- "WARNING! Smoking may lead to life-threatening cancer." As opposed to the slightly annoying, non-life-threatening variety. It's also known as Basal-cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer which is very rarely life-threatening.
- This was "predicted" by Yes, Minister, which had Bernard suggesting a warning label along the lines of "Dying of lung cancer can be hazardous to your health."
- Similar to how some side effects of certain drugs can lead to "heart attacks, stroke, sudden loss of consciousness, and death." As if the previous symptoms couldn't lead to death. This is actually an aversion though since side effects of side effects aren't usually listed.
- Averted in the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System). While it seems that them always reminding you that "cheating is strictly forbidden" means "breaking the rules is against the rules", it actually states that breaking the rules is not allowed, turning the rules into laws (in this context).
- The Connecticut River translates into the "Beside The Long Tidal River River".
- The Ohio River translates into the "Large River River".
- The Mississippi River translates as "Great River River".
- Many who insist on using the indigenous name will put it between "the" and "people". Many names for ethnic groups are simply ''their word'' for "people". As a result, we have "the people people"
- Many foreign phrases are used wrong, like "the hoi polloi" (the the masses).
- Jeb Bush's first name stands for John Ellis Bush.
- Similarly, there is a local thrift store / charity / volunteer organization called "The LISTEN Center". LISTEN stands for "LISTEN In Service To Every Neighbor". So, The L(((isten In Service To Every Neighbor)isten In Service To Every Neighbor )isten In Service To Every Neighbor)... Center.
- Two major users and/or abusers of tautologies in real life are Yogi Berra and David Coleman.
- Some Yogi tautologies (there's so many they have their own name, Yogisms) are:
"Ninety percent of putts that fall short don't go in."
"It ain't over till it's over."
"It's like déjà vu all over again."
"Half the lies they tell me aren't true."
"If I didn't wake up, I'd still be sleeping."
"You can observe a lot by watching."
(after watching a Steve McQueen movie) "He must have made that when he was alive."
- Of course, Yogi Berra collected all the things he said — and that other people said that he said — in the book "I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said". So he may have said everything listed here, except for the ones he didn't say.
- Some Coleman tautologies ("Colemanballs") are:
"If that had gone in, it would have been a goal."
"The Italians are hoping for an Italian victory."
"Forest have now lost six matches without winning."
- A startling number of the coaches' comments on pregame sports programs boil down to, "The key to winning tonight is to score more points than the other guys and stop them from doing the same."
- Football commentator John Madden is either infamous or popular (depending on whether you like his commentary or not) for this kind of commentary. People either love or hate him for it depending on what they think of it.
- Brazilian commentator Galvão Bueno is a Captain Obvious with a tendency for this as well - "Argentina is Argentina!", "If the ball doesn't enter, it isn't goal!", "The game only finishes when it ends"...
- Bjorn Borg, on How to Win in Tennis: I have to hit the ball over the net one more time than the other guy.
- Also stemming from the world of sports (probably): [Person] being [Person]. "Manny being Manny" may not have actually been the first one, but it was the one that started the craze of referring to everyone who's a little bit quirky in this fashion. Then again, maybe it was the first: It was shown that this line was first quoted in print way back in 1995, Manny's second, strike-shortened, full year in the big leagues.
- It had existed in some form at least a decade-and-a-half earlier with "Let Reagan be Reagan."
- And let us not forget Brooke Shields' immortal testimony before Congress: "Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
- Not to mention the various misstatements made by Dan Quayle. Including the following (probably apocryphal) one:
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
"The future will be better tomorrow."
- "If we played like that every week we wouldn't be so inconsistent" — Bryan Robson.
- Six words: "Wherever you go, there you are."
- For that matter, "You are here."
- According to email legend, there is a train station somewhere in Japan which has a large sign stating "YOU ARE HERE" on the wall. And no map.
- Around the student campus of a Finnish university, there's a sign with only the words "you are here" (in Finnish) and a large red dot. There is also a corresponding half-a-meter diameter red circle painted on the ground next to the sign.
- In the US military, unclassified computer systems are logged into with a "Common Access Card", which true to its name, is the same basic ID card used for everything else. This is shortened to CAC (pronounced "cack"). Many people insist on the phrase "CAC card". Unfortunately, said individuals tend to be your commanding officer.
- Also, the computers are set to audibly remind you to remove your ID after a few minutes of inactivity. The phrase? "Please remove your CAC from the CAC reader".
- Similarly, Disneyland gives guests with disabilities that aren't necessarily visible a Guest Assistance Card, also known as a GAC, or "GAC card."
- "No Unauthorised Access" is the same as "No Trespassing", only worse. If you think about it, what it says is that if you're not allowed to enter, then you're not allowed to enter.
- Possibly more egregious is "Unauthorized Access is Prohibited"
- This Joke:
A: A stick.
- Abraham Lincoln said once: "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
- The legal phrase "children under eighteen," although the distinction here is that anyone under eighteen is to be treated as a child.
- John Kerry on hiring illegal immigrants: "It's against the law to hire someone illegally."
- Bush gave us the very similar "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."
- The Justice Society of Justice — offering twice the Justice of the leading competitors!
- Ayn Rand: "Existence exists". Duh.
- Since a lot of modern philosophy claims existence doesn't existence is sadly not as duh as it sounds.
- And "A is A" (which can be found at a Springfield preschool named in her honor in The Simpsons episode "A Streetcar Named Marge") is quite literally the statement "shaped like itself".
- Jon Stewart can only take so much of this from President Bush. See this legendary clip for what happens when he cracks.
Jon: Yes, A equals A... it's what's known in math as the retarded-ive property!
- Overheard: You know that saying about how if you teach a man to fish, he can fish?
- "Drugs and alcohol," even though alcohol is a drug.
- Even worse is "alcohol and substance abuse," since the term "substance abuse" was coined specifically to include both alcohol and illegal drugs.
- Several anti-drug campaigns now feature the term "alcohol and illegal drugs..." However, this is just as bad: these ads are targeted towards minors, to whom alcohol is an illegal drug... Largely this can be said to be a form of Stealth Cigarette Commercial: the term "drugs" has been so linked, morally to "illegal drugs" that even anti-drug groups are shy about associating things like Alcohol and Tobacco with the phrase, even though they both meet the technical requirements.
- Ah, so 'legal' drugs are ok. Pass me that benzadrine.
- In Mathematics, there is the Reflexive Property. It states that any value is equal to itself.
- "I don't know. A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." Thank you, Jean Chretien.
- "We'll be okay unless something unforeseen happens, but quite frankly, I can't foresee that happening."
- RSVP is an abbreviation for Répondez, s'il vous plaît, which is French for "Respond, please". So any party invitation that requests that you "please RSVP" is being unintentionally needy: "please respond, please."
- A particularly stupid example: in rebranding, the Federal Express corporation named one of their subsidiaries FedEx Express.
- There is a well-known vendor of graphics processor chips formerly known by the name "ATI Technologies Inc.". "ATI" originally stood for "Array Technologies Incorporated".
- There is a WWI Era song to the tune of auld lang syne where the lyrics are "We're here because we're here because we're here because...". No, really. It's in Horrible Histories and everything.
- This was a bit of gallows humour over the fact that most of the troops had no idea why they were there due to the incredibly complex arrangement of alliances and pacts that led to WWI.
- From Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy's "I'm a man! I'm forty!" press conference rant: "This was brought to me by a mother. Of children."
- The denizens of 4chan et al. have a catchphrase that goes "<Adjective> <Noun> is <Adjective>". Examples include "HUEG XBOX IS HUEG", and the Chanology's opinion on Mark Bunker: "Wise Beard Man is Wise, and his face is full of Beard".
- The exact phrasing on the latter is closer to: "Wise Beard Man. His words are wise. His face is beard."
- It originated with "Long Cat is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG."
- Obvious troll is obvious.
- So, so much from the legendary F1 commentator Murray Walker, such as "With half the race gone, there is half the race still to go" and "It's raining and the track is wet".
- '-of course, being out in front means you you have the whole track in front of you'; instantly, the car described went off the track and crashed.
- There is a subdivision named The Shire of Hamlet Village.
- The GCC error "'long long long' is too long". (Though strictly speaking it's really three long.)
- Python's Zero Division Error: integer division or modulo by zero.
- Every object in Java has a toString() method, which converts the object to a String.note Every object, including String itself. It's even lampshaded in the Java API.
- The English word "sacrosanct" is itself an subversion of this trope. The root "sacro" comes from the Latin word "sacrum", meaning sacred, and the root "sanctus" (the past participle of the Latin word "sanctire") means holy. Three guesses on what this adjective means in English. It's usually inviolable, although "highly holy" is the original meaning.
- Any street named El Camino Road
- Similarly, Table Mesa and Pinnacle Peak.
- East Timor (an island country in Southeast Asia). Timor is a variant of "timur" Malay for "east". Timor is the island's name. The western half of the island belongs to Indonesia. East Timor is located... in the east.
- The YAL-1, a terrifying aircraft equipped with a terrifying laser of terror, is being developed by Kirkland AFB's Directed Energy Directorate. Susan J. Thornton is the Director of the Directed Energy Directorate. It's all very direct. Yet this is actually an aversion since the DED is a Directorate, an agency headed by a director, which deals with Directed Energy, such as lasers, particle beams, and occasionally sonic weapons, and Mrs. Thornton is its director.
- People who say things like "4 a.m. in the morning."
- French singer Johnny Halliday during an interview at the Paris-Dakar rally said a very profound thing: "If we hadn't wasted an hour and fifteen minutes, we'd be here an hour and fifteen minutes earlier".
- The phrase "rate of speed", when used to mean simply "speed". "Speed" means "rate of motion", so "rate of speed" means "rate of rate of motion", which is acceleration rather than speed but which is seldom used to mean acceleration. Like "from whence" below, this does not stop people from using such phrases as "The car took off at a high rate of speed" instead of simply "a high speed".
- Well, if it's taking off and gets fast quickly, clearly it does have a large acceleration.
- The phrase "Whys and wherefores"—"wherefore" means why.
- Similarly: "For all intents and purposes".
- Duplicate words are extremely common in law. One book on legal writing said that the practice originated in the days of Old English, when two words were used — one Anglo-Saxon, and one Latin.
- The River Annan is named for a word in a now extinct Celtic language meaning "water", and "the River Water" is tautological enough. However, in culture (such as in songs by Kate Rusby and The Decemberists, and the webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court), the river is usually named "the Annan Waters", which of course means "the Water Waters".
- Mae West: "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."
- Similarly, from Oscar Wilde, "I can resist anything except temptation."
- Back on the 8th of May 1945, newspapers were awfully excited about how it was VE Day in Europe. Victory in Europe Day in Europe.
- "Assless chaps." All chaps are assless. Otherwise they'd just be leather pants.
- If anything, the phrase simply refers to when chaps are worn with nothing underneath them, which is kind of like calling a beanie not worn with a visor a "bill-less hat".
- The fail there must be extended to the Spanish translation that has been given, the word is "campanillas" not "companillas".
- DSW Shoe Warehouse = Designer Shoe Warehouse Shoe Warehouse
- Actual for real restaurant where you can eat: "Roy's Place: A Restaurant"
- SO, anyplace where you can purchase and eat food that uses the word "restaurant" in its name or signage shaped like itself? ( Note, this is "shaped like itself" not department of redundancy department.)
- An Australian economic guru once said "The Market was 50% from its high which means it's 50% from its low" although this could go in Department of Redundancy Department
- Many Fractals are literally shaped like themselves, infinitely. It's easy to find a fractal zoom video on YouTube.
- The Earth used to be considered a sphere, then an ellipsoid. Now it's called a geoid, "uniquely Earth-shaped"... so the Earth is quite literally shaped like itself.
- Recursive functions are defined in terms of themselves. Computer Science folk love to joke about this.
If you don't get it, see recursion.
- Google jokes about it, too. Search for recursion and see for yourself.
Did you mean: recursion
- If you already understand recursion, fine. If you don't, ask someone who's closer to Donald Knuth than you are.
- People often refer to the NATO alliance, or, even worse, the NATO treaty. Yes, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaty.
- The first one is acceptable, and could be considered more of a style issue or redundancy. The second one can refer to the actual document that created the Treaty Organization.
- … which is called the North Atlantic Treaty.
- Common parodies of conspiracy theories call NBC News et al. the "Mainstream MSM Media." Guess what MSM stands for?
- This happens way too often in the computer world. Programmers are supposed to document their code's behavior, but all too often you see "widget.calculateFrob()" described as "This function calculates the frob value of the widget object."
- Often these are the result of a programmer being told he has to document everything, despite the fact that he deliberately named it to be self-documenting. I mean, if you need documentation to figure out what ConvertToString() does, either you really shouldn't be programming, or the original programmer shouldn't.
- It doesn't help that there are comment generators to produce exactly this type of useless comment.
- Sensory Integration Disorder is sometimes called SID disorder to distinguish it from Sudden Infant Death, which is referred to as SID. This could be avoided if people used the more complete SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) - of course, they're rarely likely to be confused in context anyhow.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also gets this treatment quite often, being referred to as OCD Disorder.
- University College Dublin runs afoul of this. Their logo◊ proclaims them to be University College Dublin Dublin.
- Similarly, University College in Oxford is a constituent college of the University of Oxford.
- And University College London is a university (in London) which is a constituent college of the University of London.
- When translating Finnish lakes and rivers into English, it's usually done by adding the word "lake" or "river" before or after the name. Thus we have "Lake Pyhäjärvi" (Lake Holy Lake) and "Kemijoki River" (Kemi river River) and countless others.
- A People's Democratic Republic translates from Greek and Latin as a "People's people's rule of people's affairs."
- This exchange in an interview with the pop duo Tears for Fears:
Roland Orzobal: See, if I weren't married...
Curt Smith (interrupting): You'd be single.
Roland Orzobal: ....Yeah.
- Tons of food with foreign origins are like this, due to no one knowing the translation for the food's name. For example:
- Pizza pie (pizza coming from either piede or pitza, meaning... pie)
- Not food, but the Head Chef of a restaurant... (Chef meaning Chief, the title actually being Chef de Cuisine, not Head Chief, which is like saying the Chief Chief)
- Even funnier: 'chef' used to mean 'head' in Old French. So the Head Chef is the Head that is at the Head of the cuisine.
- In propositional logic, a statement is a tautology if it evaluates to true for all possible Boolean inputs. The simplest form of this is "A or ¬A". In layman's terms, when there are only two options, everything is either one or the other.
- Wittgenstein is a master of this even while he criticizes it. In the Investigations, he comments, "We might also say: 'Every thing fits into itself.' —Or again: 'Every thing fits into its own shape.' While saying this, one looks at a thing and imagines that there was a space left for it and that now it fits into it exactly." He goes so far as to smear a blob of ink on the page, saying, "Does this spot 'fit' into its white surrounding? —But that is just how it would look if there had at first been a hole in its place and it then fitted into the hole."
- Several Bushisms fall into this, such as "More and more of our imports are coming from overseas", and "Its against the law to hire somebody illegally."
- In the case of "imports" he was actually making a meaningful statement; the US is not, geographically speaking, Britain (which if you count Northern Ireland can import things from overseas within the domain of Great Britain). The States receive imports from Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America, none of which are overseas. Compare the growing industrial might of China. That's right. George W. Bush made a statement that was perfectly correct and in fact rather observant...and people called him dumb for it. That's practically Zen.
- It is what it is.
- In South Africa, a certain football commentator (whose name escapes me) is known for his stupid comments during matches. At the beginning of the final match of the 2008 PSL (a South African Football League) season, for example: "What a great season this has been, 43 goals scored, and would-you-believe-it, 43 conceded", and (in reference to Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Manchester United a few years ago "[Unremembered sum of money]! For that kind of money, I'd play for free!".
- A World War II era German map labeled a lake in Finnish Lapland as "Jaurijärviozero-See". The joke here is that "See" means "lake" in German, "ozero" means "lake" in Russian, "järvi" means "lake" in Finnish, and "jauri" means "lake" in Sami, the language of the indigenous peoples of that area. In other words, on the map, it's titled "Lakelakelake-lake".
- Most U.S. coins list their value in cents, but the dime's value is said to be "one dime."
- Pluto is now classified as a "Plutoid" and a "Plutino."
- In the same vein, an Egg's shape is defined as being ovoid - that is, its shape is similar to, but not actually, an oval. Oval literally means egg-shaped. So eggs have shapes similar to, but not exactly like, eggs.
- Oddly, the Darwin-inspired platitude Survival Of The Fittest (coined by Herbert Spencer rather than Charles Darwin) is an example. "Fittest" simply means "most likely to survive".
- In biology, fitness is more commonly measured not by how long an individual organism lives, but by how many offspring it's able to pass its genes on to.
- The common programming idiom "Trope trope = new Trope();" This roughly translates to "Create an object using the Trope constructor. We will treat it as a Trope and call it 'trope'." (The first instance is not just idiomatic but necessary in most languages (those without type inference). The second can be avoided through better variable naming, but is often required by simple-minded workplace policies.
- Happens all the time in the Canadian Arctic when terrain features are officially designated by their traditional local Inuit name, but mapmakers sometimes then append the English term for the feature to the Inuktitut. Leading, inevitably, to things that come out as "Big Hill Hill", "Small Island Island", "Big Island in the Lake Island", and "Small River River".
- Ever hear of UMUC? It's the University of Maryland University College, a distance-learning university...college...place.
- The word "almond" is derived from the ancient Greek world amygdala, which means "almond-shaped."
- And then in the brain there are almond-shaped sections involved in processing and memory recall of emotional moments called...the amygdalae (singular amygdala)
- In the United States at least, companies are required to put allergy warnings on products for the most common allergens. This happens even if the allergen is the only item in the product. For example, on a can of nuts, it's still necessary to put the warning "May Contain Nuts" on it. To doubtless paraphrase many a comedian, we sure hope so.
- Redundant allergy warnings are in place for a reason. They protect the manufacturers from litigation because even though it should be obvious what the main ingredient in, say, peanut butter is, some enterprising smartass who's allergic to peanuts realized they could sue peanut butter companies because the packaging contained no such warnings.
- The Fumble Rule "Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation." is redundant (as well as breaking itself). This rule has been around for a long time and is quite old.
- Some place names in Japan when subtitled in English can become this, like for instance, Kandagawa River (-(k)gawa itself meaning river), or Dogen-zaka slope (take a guess what the -zaka means).
- "It tastes like itself" is justified in the cases of some foods that really don't have a flavor that can be compared to anything else. Ask someone what an avocado tastes like, and you'll probably get "It tastes like an avocado." (The rest will tell you that it's a creamy, buttery taste, since it can be used as a healthier substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches.) Especially noticeable with bubble gum that comes in "bubble gum flavor".
- In a May 2011 Issue of the Newspaper called The Metro, the subtitle of an article reads, "Larger earthquake 250km from Madrid preceded by smaller one".
- Saying "Hi, it's me" over the phone.
- A literal and graphic example: a flock of flamingos get together and form a ...guess what.◊
- Some people hear the Japanese refer to Mt. Fuji as "Fujisan", and decide to call it "Mt. Fujisan". "San" is the Sino-Japanese (on'yomi) reading for "Mountain". The main reading is "yama", which gets its own share of this: in the English commentary dub of TV show Ninja Warrior, they refer to "midoriyama" as "Mt. Midoriyama" which would mean "Mount Green Mountain".
- And here's comedian Andy Dick◊ demonstrating this trope in more ways than one.
- A linguistic example is "the gostak distims the doshes," used to demonstrate how meaning can be arrived at using the syntax of a sentence. The words are nonsense, but logic goes that a gostak must be something that distims the doshes, while distimming is what the gostak does to the doshes and the doshes are what the gostak distims.
- The word "lagomorph" is a classification that includes rabbits, hares and pikas. The Greek root words for this term essentially mean "hare-shaped".
- If we include this then we can include possibly hundreds of scientific/literary words of greek origin such as anthropology, biology, cardiology, geology, ophthalmology, paleontology, pathology, theology, zoology, and of course homomorph, which could be translated as "shaped like itself"
- In Nevada, there is a big mountain named Big Mountain.
- The U.S. Army has developed the "Army Values": 7 ideals each soldier is supposed to live up to. Each ideal is embodied by a word with a specific definition. For example, Respect: Treat others as they should be treated; Loyalty: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. For the value of Honor, its definition is... to live up to the Army Values. Typical attempts to explain further tend to devolve into "Honor means to act honorably at all times."
- The URL website ifpapinball.com is a subversion. While the URL expands to "International Flipper Pinball Association Pinball", a quick Google search shows that IFPA is highly ambiguous and many organizations share that acronym so the superfluous "pinball" is necessary for disambiguation.
- The Milky Way Galaxy, since the word Galaxy derives from the greek galaxías kýklos, meaning "Milky Way".
- A lot of those fancy swords that have lovely, exotic sounding names are often simply the word "sword" in the language from which it originates. For example, the "kilij", a curved Ottoman sword, has a name that literally translates to "a sword". This is lost on people who often call them "a (example) sword". So calling it "a kilij sword" would be literally calling it a a sword sword.
- People often compare pains to swear words. "My knee hurts like a son-of-a-bitch," "My backache feels like a bastard," "my head hurts like a motherfucker." Can anyone tell me what a son-of-a-bitch, a bastard or a motherfucker hurts like? Probably hurts like itself, wouldn't you think?
- The word "bed" when printed in lowercase letters in English, resembles a bed.
- There's an organization known as "The National Association of Realtors." In case you're wondering what a "Realtor" is, the word's official definitionnote is, "A member of the National Association of Realtors."
- Gaskets known as O-Rings.
- Not all rings or even ring shaped gaskets are O shaped. Not all O's are circular, some, such as the ones seen here are oval.
- Cookies n' Creme Oreos.
- Some people state that they toast toast.
- Black and Ethnic Minority. In almost all countries this phrase is used, black people are an ethnic minority. The phrase only makes any sense if black people aren't an ethnic minority in the area concerned.
- Much like 'PIN number' and 'ATM machine', high-class universities like Oxford have extra tests in their admissions process known as '(Subject e.g. Physics) Aptitude Test', and admissions tutors have been known to refer to the 'PAT test' without realising.
Wikis That Everybody Can Edit
- TV Tropes, when a pothole is found in a page and leads to the same page.
- There are also several times where a pothole is just the trope name, except with the caps removed, ex: Suspect Is Hatless as "suspect is hatless". Some tropers work on cleaning those up.
- YKTTW entries as well, such as "Gesturing with a Weapon: Somebody gestures at people with a weapon".
- That Other Wiki's disambiguation page for "Japanese" helpfully provides a link to "Japanese language, a Japonic language spoken mainly in Japan." The same template probably appears for many multi-purpose demonym-national adjective-language name words, but would be at least marginally more informative when not concerning a language isolate.
- Japanese is considered to be a language isolate, because we're told it is... by the Japanese. The fact is, many linguists find convincing evidence that the Japanese language is related to Korean. There is genetic and archeological evidence also consistent with an ancient link between the Japanese and ancestors of the Koreans. In addition, outside Japan, the languages of the Ryukyu Islands are considered separate from but related to Japanese, although at times the government has called them dialects for political reasons.
- Classifying Japonic is complex. The Altaic languages are a controversial proposed family containing Mongolian, Tungusic, Turkic, and sometimes Japonic and Korean.
- That Other Wiki also features a List of tautological place names