Two Words Added Emphasis

aka: Two Words Obvious Trope
Danae: Well? What are you waiting for?
Lucy: A good reason to do this...
Danae: Two words, Lucy...Risk Management.
Lucy: Oh, I think I'm gonna need a lot more words than that.

Two words: Spurious emphasis. Something so fundamental that it can be expressed in a snappy utterance, or just its mere existence. In fiction, if the reference is something the characters know about but never reveal to the audience, it can be an instance of "Two words: Noodle Incident".

For comedic effect, The Ditz or The Fool will sometimes miscount the words, or anyone may break a single word into two parts for additional emphasis.


Examples

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Accurate count of words:

    Advertising 
  • Denis Leary appeared in a number of MTV ads in the early 90s where he regularly invoked this trope, including this public service ad promoting tolerance and condemning racism:
    "One word folks, racism. One more word, Earth. If anyone gets any mail from outer space, that's gonna be the mailing address, okay?...I've got two words for you, David Duke. I got two more words, Nose Job, okay?"
  • A tin sign that adverts the Pontiac GTO says "Two Words... You Lose!"

    Comic Books 
  • To quote Jubilee from Generation X...
    "Three words, chump. Back and off."
  • In Issue 5 IDW's My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic comic, Rainbow Dash sums up one of her plans to rescue Rarity from the Nightmare spirits with "Two words: time machine!"

    Fan Works 
  • Turnabout Storm has an exaggeration, courtesy of Pinkie Pie.
    Pinkie: You know what this calls for? Two words: A PARTY!
    Phoenix: A party?
    Pinkie: Twenty one words: Yeah, a party! You should come celebrate, too! Because I love having parties with all my friends after something good happens!
    Phoenix: *Counting* "After... something... good... happens..." *beat* H-How did you...!?
  • In the Danny Phantom/Beetlejuice crossover Say It Thrice, Betelgeuse gets to deliver one to the poltergeist Sanduleak.
    Betelgeuse: "Two words. Sandworm bait."

    Film 
  • The trope may have originated in The Graduate, with one word: "Plastics."
  • Independence Day: "Two Words, Mr. President. Plausible Deniability."
  • Sister Act
    Sister Mary Clarence: I got two words for ya, Vince!
    Mary Roberts: Mary Clarence!
    Sister Mary Clarence: ...bless you.
  • In This Is Spinal Tap, one of the band's reviews for Shark Sandwich is "Just two words: 'Shit sandwich.'" This is one of the few times where the cast actually laughs.
  • Shrek tells Donkey at one point: "Two words: Shut up!"
  • In the film Beautiful Girls, Andera tells Tommy there are four words she needs to hear before going to sleep; "Good night sweet girl."
    • Later in the film, as Marty and Willie are discussing Willie's girlfriend Tracy, Marty says, "Two words not in her vocabulary; lunch money."
  • Ali G In Da House has two words: "Keep It Real!" Of course somebody else immediately points out that that's three words, and it's followed by a debate on whether "it" counts as a word because of how short it is.
  • A Running Gag in Hercules is that every time Philocetes does this he gets the count wrong.
    • When explaining why he won't train Hercules: "Two words: I am retired." A confused Herc is then seen counting it out.
    • After making fun of Herc's claim that Zeus is his father: "My answer is two words: (gets struck by lightning) Okay."
    • When the Hydra appears: "I've got two words for you: Am-scray!"
  • Toy Story 2: When Woody asks why his show was canceled so suddenly, Stinky Pete gives him this answer:
    Stinky Pete: Two words: Sput-nik. Once the astronauts went up, children only wanted to play with space toys.

    Live Action TV 
  • From a Whitest Kids U Know sketch:
    Executioner: Do you have any last words?
    Prisoner: YES, JUST THREE.
    *beat*
  • The West Wing episode "Stirred" has Bartlet explain that the reason he wants to keep Hoynes as his vice-president is "four words," which he writes down: "Because I could die."
  • The magician Rudy Coby, in one of his TV specials, invokes the "two words" thing with this exchange:
    Rudy Coby: Everything you've seen today can be explained with just one word:
    Offscreen Guy: Hairspray.
    Rudy Coby: No, hair spray is two words. One word: science.
  • In Married... with Children, when Kelly is rendered bald and bearded by the side effects of a pimple cure, the director of a beer commercial she was to star in cancels the shoot. Upon hearing this, the Straw Feminist group protesting the commercial threaten to sue.
    Director (to Al): Can they do that? Sue on behalf of the ugly?
    Al Bundy: Four words: Attorney General Janet Reno.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Ordered by Buffy to explain what he's doing in five words, Spike retorts "Out. For. A. Walk." Realizing he still has one left, he adds, "Bitch."
    • When Wesley sees Cordelia for the first time, Faith tells him "First word Jail, second word Bait."
    • Principal Snyder refuses to allow Buffy back into school, so Giles goes to have a quiet word.
    Snyder: If the word is Buffy, then I have two words. "Good" and "Riddance".
  • Supernatural. The jailbait gag is also used when Dean insists on being the one to interview a high-school cheerleader.
  • Gavin and Stacey, when Smithy goes to the stag party organiser:
    Jammy the Stag Party Organiser: One word:
    Overhead Projector: PRAGUE
    Jammy: Two words:
    Projector: PISS UP
    Jammy: One word:
    Projector: TITS
  • A variation has appeared twice in Doctor Who, in that it is crucial to the plot. In the episode The Christmas Invasion, The Doctor emphasizes to everyone present that with only six words he can bring down Harriet Jones' government. He says the words "Don't you think she looks tired?" and Harriet Jones' government collapses within the day. In the Series 3 finale, Martha Jones prepares everyone in the world to say "just one word.. Doctor" at the exact same instant and, with spectacular use of a Chekhov's Gun (somehow), brings the Doctor back to his original state and saves the entire planet.
  • Played with in 30 Rock:
    Donaghy: One word: Surge.
    Tracy: That's two words!
  • One Whose Line Is It Anyway? improv game starts by giving each player a number, and they had to act out a scene by speaking only lines consisting of that number of words. Hilarity Ensues.
    Stephen Fry, 6 words: Well I'm sorry, but it gets. *beat* My goat to hear her talk!
  • In the Grand Finale of Chuck, Chuck has a showdown with the Big Bad on the roof of a concert hall. The villain gloats about how he's set up a bomb that will go off once the music stops. (Chuck already knew about this.) He listens as the orchestra finishes its performance and waits for the bomb to go off. Suddenly, we hear the opening drumwork of "Take On Me".
    Big Bad: What's that? What is that?
    Chuck: One word: Jeffster.

    Music 
  • Kanye West's album College Dropout has a song called "Two Words".

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A few from Garfield:
    Jon: Do you know why you need me, Garfield? I can sum it up in two words. Quality companionship.
    Garfield: Body heat.
    Garfield: Sigh. Christmas is over, and New Year's is almost here. Sigh. So it seems appropriate at this time to stop and reflect. To reflect on those three words which represent the true meaning and spirit of the holiday season... Boogie! Boogie! Boogie!
    Jon: It's the weekend, and you know what that means... Two words, Garfield... “Board games”.
    Garfield: Whoa! My fun meter is a-jumpin' off the scale!
    • In the book Garfield's Book Of Super School Excuses, one of the excuses for "Why I didn't go to gym class" is "Two words: Towel snapping.", and one of the ones for "Why my library books are late" is "Two words: Hungry termites".

    Pro Wrestling 

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • A Steve Martin stand-up comedy routine from the 1970s. "You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes. Yes, you can have one million dollars and never pay taxes! How? First, get a million dollars. Now, you might ask, Steve, what do I do when the tax man comes by and says, 'You have never paid taxes'? Two words: 'I forgot.' How often do we get in trouble because we don't say 'I forgot'? Armed robbery? Just say, 'I forgot armed robbery was illegal.'" The bit predictably ends with, "Two words: 'Excuuuuse me!'"

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, Crypto tries to convince British hippies that Arkvoodle has the best collection of music in the galaxy. When they ask what Arkvoodle listens to, Crypto says "Three words. And one of them's a disease. Blind Willie Syphilis."
  • There was a Spider-Man text adventure for the Commodore 64 whose parser only understood two word commands ("go north", "take mcguffin", etc). So when you wanted to web something up, you had to use the command "shoot web", to which the game would reply: "In two words: AT WHAT?" after which you then had to enter another two word command like "at sandman".
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, if Guybrush asks Hemlock McGee what happened to his legs in Chapter 1:
    Hemlock: Four words - The. Marquis. De. Singe.

     Web Original 
  • According to Chuck Sonnenburg in part 1 of his Nightsisters review, there was a two word review for the Clone Wars animated movie: "Shit sandwich."
    • Which he then reuses more than half a minute later to describe his opinion on the first episode of the cartoon based off of said movie.
  • In Ten Little Roosters, Ryan has to play Charades with Miles to get him to put on the headset in the soundbooth.
    Miles: [Ryan holds up two fingers] Two words. [Ryan does gesture for sound] Sounds like... [Ryan flips off Miles] Go fuck yourse— Oh, you want me to put on the headset.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick
    • After Haley had her voice scrambled for months, an attack on the thieves guild was a chance for the three words Haley'd been longing to say: "Sneak attack—bitch!" Later lampshaded when Bozzok tries to pull the same "two words: sneak attack!" gag:
    Haley: Oh my gods, I've done that "two words" gag like nine times already! You're going to need some fresher material if you want to be a villain in this story. Not that much fresher, but still.
    • Shojo reminds Roy that Roy's in as deep as he is with all these deceptions with Two Words: "your trial," then elaborates about the extent he went to rig things so they would be found not guilt of weakening the fabric of reality (as opposed to having mitigating circumstances).
    • When Xykon is warned about dissension in the ranks:
    Xykon Well, I've got two words for goblin morale: Goblin zombies.
    • And again in strip 252:
    Nale: Oh really? Please explain why we're suddenly in such a hurry.
    Sabine: Four words: Out of fudge ripple.
    Thog:oh, little ice cream friends! thog delays boredom-driven rampage only for you!
  • In Schlock Mercenary, Tagon is trying to recruit Massey into joining the Toughs as their attorney. Massey refuses, as ever since meeting the Toughs he's been put in numerous life and death situations. And now that the Partnership Collective wants to assassinate him, all Massey really wants is some bodyguards. Tagon response; "Two words. Armed. Mercenaries." Cut to Massey signing the recruitment forms.

    Western Animation 
  • In the "Late Show" episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, the #1 line on the "Big Ten list" is "'Two words.' * beat* That's it, just... 'two words.'"
  • In The Spectacular Spiderman, J. Jonah Jameson gives a Seventeen Words response to one of Peter's protests, followed by him giving a 17-word suggestion. Humor ensues when Peter questions how fast talking J.J. Jameson could count the amount of words he would use in his next sentence in the split second it took him to say the words.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons episode "I Married Marge" when Patty says, "Marge, I've got two-and-a-half words for you. Gulp. 'N'. Blow."
    • When Lisa asks for advice on how to gently let down Ralph Wiggum, Homer suggests, "Six simple words: I'm not gay, but I'll learn."
  • Darkwing Duck after facing a huge fire-breathing monster; "Two words, breath mint."

    Real Life 


Alternative Title(s):

One Word, Two Words, Two Words Obvious Trope
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