Trrrilling Rrrs

aka: Trilling Rs
Enrrrique Mas: You can call me ... Enrrrique!
Rrrose: ... no, I don't think I can.

Forrr added emphasis in yourrr worrrds, speak with rrrolling R's to show yourrr contrrrol overrr yourrr dominion.

Usually the Hammy Evil Overlorrrd will constantly rrroll his tongue. Forrreign People will also speak like this. In some cases justified, as in severrral languages/dialects the R is always prrronounced like this (Rrrussian, Spanish, Dutch, Finnish, some Gerrrman and Trrrransylvanian dialects, and Scots), otherrr than in English. Also frrrequently employed when the speakerrr is rrrelated to felines in some way, imitating a cat's purrring.

In Japan, it's a marrrrrkerrrr of being rrrreaalllyyy angrrrrrry orrr intentionally rrrruude, orrrr of being a Japanese Delinquent such as a bosozoku or yankii, orrrr someone trrrying to imitate one.

Not to be confused with the way pirrrates constantly say "Arr!"note . Compare Sssssnake Talk.


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  • "Rrrruffles have rrridges". You prrrobably have to be of a certain age to rrrremember that ad campaign.
  • The Tim Horrrton's Donut/Coffee shop in Canada occasionaly has a contest called "Rrrrolll up the rrrim to win." Bonus points for those who can rrroll the R's.
  • There was a great Taco Bell commercial where these two lions were talking about the latest roast beef burrito. The one said to the other, "No, say it like Ricardo Montalban." So the other lion says, "Okay. Carrrrne asada." It was funny.
  • There's a Zaxby's commercial in which two ladies are engaging in increasingly over-the-top trilling in an effort to outdo one another. It culminates in "Have you met my friend, RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrRR... Ricardo?" note 

    Anime and Manga 

    Audio Books 

  • The Japanese comedy group Rahmens, in the Italian version of their language-class skit. "Tokyo... Osaka... Ibarrraki!"
  • Greg Behrendt once made a joke about how Jesus Christ is always depicted as having rock-hard abs, and he says that he wants to train every day so that he can be "rrrripped, like Jesus."

    Comic Books 
  • Catwoman tends to do this.
  • The villain Katastrophe from Empowered. (It's not an accent, rather him purring to fit in with the sabertooth theme. Although sabertooth tigers probably are unlikely to purr.)

    Fan Worrrks 

  • Braveheart: Scottish rebels have routed one of my garrisons and murdered the noble lord.
  • What arrr ye doin'?
  • Superman Returns: Krrryptonite!
  • Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. "You may fire when rrready..."
    • Extra ham/elocution points for also pronouncing the "h" in "when".
    • "We will deal with yourrr rrrebel frrriends soon enough."
  • Any character played by 1930's actor Herman Bing (who was usually typecast as a comic German foil).
  • Street Fighter's M. Bison does this so hammily that it becomes delicious! I darrre you to watch this.
  • Could be a drinking game in The Lord of the Rings. Sophisticated characters, like wizards and elves, will have a great go at this; more rustic folk like Hobbits just won't bother. "Morrrdorrr," "A Balrrog of Morrrgoth," "Isildurr's Heirr," etc.
    • Sylvester McCoy has been cast as Rrradagast the Brrrrown in The Hobbit. Good times ahead.
    • Justified in these examples (except for "heir" and "brown"), as the Elvish languages have rolled R's. (Then again, from what language is the name Radagast?)
  • The Golden Compass: I am queen of the witches of Lake Enarra."
  • In Cars 2, McQueen lampshades this trope when Sally pronounces Francesco Bernoulli's name:
    McQueen: [frustrated] And don't say it like that. It's three syllables, not ten.

  • The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland does this.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, gryphons both hissss their essess and trill their arrrs. Skandranon of the Mage Wars trilogy can and usually does speak carefully and deliberately to make his speech as articulate as any human's, but when he's tired or angry, or trying to convince someone that he's feeling that way, he reverts.
  • Outcast of Redwall gives us the spy Wrrrraith.
  • The Lady of the Green Kirtle in The Chronicles of Narnia gets as her introduction: "Good day, t-r-r-avellers," she cried out in a voice as sweet as the sweetest bird's song, trilling her R's delightfully.
  • The Grand High Witch from The Witches, along with Vampire Vords; it's said to be derived from a Norwegian accent as witches originated in Norway.
  • The Gonnagles of the Nac Mac Feegle tend to roll their Rs in their battle poetry, and even in casual converrrsation.
  • The maid at one of the families Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle helps speaks like this.
  • Cluny Morvish from Scrivener's Moon talks like this. Fever appreciates it.
  • The Dresden Files: Warden Ramirez rolls his R's through a tongue-twister to show off in White Night.

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Seventh Doctor turns this into an art form as a means of underlining Sylvester McCoy's status as the first Scottish Doctor, which leads to extreme Narm when he has to face The Gods Of Rrrragnarrrok.
    • The number of r's he can put into a word such as "rrrrrule" is one of the hammier qualities of the Delgado incarnation of the Master. In The Daemons, the daemon he summons tries to do it too, but there's really no competition.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Gavin Millarrr.
  • The Two Fat Ladies frequently do this.
  • Batman:
    • King Tut.
    • The Joker, particularly when he enunciates "Batman and Robin."
    • Both Catwomen, especially Eartha Kitt.
  • Fez on That '70s Show: "You know how he rolls his Rs? He did that in my mouth!"
  • In Greetings From Tuscon, a whole episode focuses primarily on the fact that one of the daughters can't roll her r's despite being Hispanic.
  • Rico in Hannah Montana does this a lot. In one episode, he trills for so long that he actually passes out.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Dr. Chaotica in the holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton, as he's an Affectionate Parody of 1930's sci-fi Film Serial supervillains.
    Dr. Chaotica: I'm afrrraid your SEC-cretarrry has alrrready been prrromised to Queen ArrrrACK-nia as a SUPrrreeeeme sACKrrrrifice!
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace: Todd Rivers, the Large Ham actor playing Dr. Sanchez. "So, what happened between you and this Renwick customerrr?"
  • In El Chavo del ocho, Doña Clotilde ("La Bruja del 71") does this whenever she mentions "Don Rrrramón".
  • In the Granada TV Sherlock Holmes series, Jeremy Brett, as Holmes, occasionally trills his Rs for emphasis.
  • Square One: On their Dragnet parody, "Mathnet," one story has a character (played with an Orson Welles-like Large Hamminess), Mr. Stoutman, who once said, "If you had asked me yesterday, the answer would have been a rrresounding yes!"
  • Stephen Fry does this on occasion when presenting QI. Brrrilliant!
  • In The Office (US), Dwight does this when announcing the names of his garden party guests, ostensibly because he interprets this as a "fancy" way to say things:
    Dwight: Misterrr Rrrrrrrrobert Califorrrrrrnia!
  • Toei's Supaaaaaaa Heeeeeerrrrrrrroooooo Time prrrrograming block intros from Magirrrrrrrangerrrrrrr and Hibiki to Gekirrrrrrrrangerrrrrrrr and Kiva.
    Supaaaaaaa Heeeeeerrrrrrrroooooo Time! Starts now.
  • Castle: In "The Final Nail", Beckett interrogates a suspect with a thick Slavic accent (Beckett's response was unscripted; Stana Katic did it by accident, but the producers decided to Throw It In):
    Hasberg: Mrs. Westlake, she find ring. She call to me to come there. And then she say, "sorry to accuse." She crrry.


    Prrrofessional Wrrrestling 
  • Alberto Del Rio. Or, as he's introduced by his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, Albertooo del Rrrriooo.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The leaderrr of the Errrdman Gang in the Thunderrrbirrrds episode "Thirrrty Minutes Afterrr Noon".

  • On Car Talk, the hosts once had a caller they referred to as "Rrroberrrt Burrrns!" (Probably no relation to the famous poet, but they joked about it a lot.)

    Tabletop RRRPG 
  • Paranoia:
    • The Acute Paranoia adventure "Me and My Shadow (Mark IV)" has two encounters with Communists who trill their R's.
    • Clones in Space has the McShmegegus of Shmegego.
      "...the shimmerrring currrtains through which ye ha'e passed on yourrr explorrration of the ship."

  • When the Reduced Shakespeare Company assumes fake Scottish accents to perform Macbeth, they inevitably fall back to simply trilling their R's. A lot.
  • In the 1979 BBC productions of Richard II and Henry IV, Jon Finch did this all the time when playing a suprisingly hammy Bolingbroke/Henry IV.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: Subverted in Limozeen's hair metal cover of sloshy's emo hit song "We Don't Really Even Care About You." At one point, Larry Palaroncini sings "We don't rrreally even care," but a minute later changes it to the tongue-twisting "Rrre rrron't rrreally rrreven care!"
  • "Rrraquelle", being who she is, sometimes does this in Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.

    Web Comics 
  • Grim-Eyes in Digger used to do this, especially when dealing with that pesky Earrrrth Rrrrat.

    Web Orrriginal 

    Westerrrn Animation 
  • Dr. Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog does this all the time:
    Robotnik: I'll have to give myself a PRRROMOTION!
  • In Disney's Lady and the Tramp, Jock the Scottish terrier does this (among other times) while he's singing a song: "forrr me own", "back yarrrd".
  • Scrooge McDuck, another Scottish character, often does this on DuckTales.
  • In an effort to show how perfect her Spanish is, Peggy Hill does this way too much.
  • Principal Luna from Class of 3000 does this, but then again, he's Latino.
  • The early Looney Tunes short Daffy Duck in Hollywood features a pig movie director with a thick German accent named von Hemberger, a parody of Josef von Sternberg voiced by Herman Bing (see "Film" above), who keeps doing this.
    • Bugs Bunny imitates an elderly Scotsman: "Poachin' rrrrrabbits on m' prrrroperty! I'm displeased, Mac Rrrrrrrary!"
  • Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons:
    Willie: Bonjourrr ... ya cheese eatin' surrender monkeys!
    • Sideshow Mel fits this trope to a tee.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan, in his Villain Song.
  • The old goosenote  in Charlotte's Web (the animated 1973 film), especially noticable in her part during the "Veritable Smorgasbord" number.
  • The "Grrreat and Powerful Trrrixie" from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law has a trilling R and a trilling M:
    Phil Ken Sebben: And as a reward for hard work people get-
    Harvey Birdman: Promotions!
    Phil Ken Sebben: Prrrromotions!
    Harvey Birdman: And raises!
    [awkward pause]
    Harvey Birdman: Uh, promotions!
    Phil Ken Sebben: Prommmmotions!
  • This is all Phineas and Ferb's pet platypus Perry can do.

    Rrreal Life 
  • The weak English "r" sound is actually quite rare among languages. The "r" is trilled in Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Polish, Greek, Swedish and Norwegian. Spanish and Italian have both a tapped "r" and a trilled "rr". The trilled "r" appears in dialects of other languages, such as Scottish English. French and German speakers don't normally trill the "r", but instead pronounce it at the back of the throat.
  • Esperanto, the Universal Language is meant to be pronounced with trilled R's, but native English speakers usually omit them.
  • Norio Wakamoto really loves doing this when he's voice acting ... and even when he's not voice acting.
  • Adolf Hitler often did it. And as the Reichstropen page points out, you can't roll Rrrrs while speaking German anymore without immediately reminding everyone of him.
  • Jon Gaunt.
  • Patrrrrick Stewart.
  • Brazilian sportscaster Galvão Bueno (yeah, that Galvão) is a great fan of Ronaldo, I mean, RRRONALDINHO! (Anyone who parodies him turns his "Rs" Up to Eleven).
  • Mexican sportscaster José Ramón Jiménez also used to signal the beginning of a match with "¡ARRRRRANCA la primera mitad!"
  • This is reflected in the Spanish language alphabet, which has a few consonants alien to English. "R" is almost always read like "tidal", in most (all?) American accents. Nobody feverr errs in rreading "Rr".
    • The rules are actually pretty simple: If it's a single "r" in the middle of a word, it's the weak pronunciation. If it's a double r ("rr"), or a single r at the beginning of the word, then it's the trilled one.
      • Not so fast, buddy! It's actually not so simple. A "r" letter immediately after a "l", "n", "s" letter or a "sub-" prefix, has a triggered pronunciation too. For instance: the words "alrededor" ("around"), "honrar" ("to honor"), "Israel" and "subrayar" ("to underline").
  • One possible way to identify someone from El Salvador is whether or not they roll their "r"s exaggeratedly at the end of sentences that end with words that end in an r. A longer trill correlates with high Salvadoran-ness.
  • Jack Black. Through the skies, he flies, he doesn't know the RRREASON why, but he flies... so high... you'll know that it's TRUE!
  • Everyone's favorite dirty old little lady, Dr. Rrrrruth Westheimer is known particularly well for this.
  • Christopher Lee was famous for this, along with his baritone and cool British accent.
  • Björk.
  • Mixed Martial Arts announcer Lenne Hardt's signature announcing style involves rolling every R in each fighter's name, often holding them for several seconds. They didn't call her "PRIDE Crazy Lady" for nothing.
  • Cats have these in almost all of their extended vocalizations.
  • Averted with people who are tongue tied. Their frenulum linguae (the thing connecting your tongue to the floor of your mouth) is too short to vibrate that quickly.

  • Megatron as voiced by Earl Hammond in the Transformers book and record sets by Kid Stuff Records.

Alternative Title(s):

Roll Your Rs, Trilling R, Trilling Rs