"Our top story tonight: NASA sends probe to Uranus; people everywhere giggle."
This refers to the tendency for characters to crack*
jokes about the planet Uranus and its unfortunate name. Attempts to rectify*
this usually try to vary the pronunciation (It Is Pronounced YOO-ruh-nus
, although sometimes people get this wrong and say "urine-us", which is just as bad). Although there might be a case for OUR-ran-os, which may be closer to the original Greek.*
Needless to say, this trope is almost exclusive to the English language, since other languages use different words (or at least different pronunciations) for "Uranus", "anus", and "your". Despite being seldom used it's also applicable for the German language ("ur" being the prefix for something old
and "anus" being just the same as in English).
Compare Heh Heh, You Said X
. See also Pluto Is Expendable
for another (former) planet that gets no respect.
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- There was a short-lived parody of the original Mars Attacks! trading cards called Uranus Attacks; the Uranians were ugly, disgusting creatures who tried to invade Earth as the Martians did, but were at most Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains.
- JLA: One Million features Starman from the 853rd century in the present day, and he proclaims himself as the protector of Uranus. Flash chuckles, while Green Lantern chimes in saying "Uranus" stopped being a funny word after the fourth grade.
- In an issue of Legion of Super-Heroes, a frustrated Star Boy tells his two fighting companions, "You're both acting like Uranuses."
- In one MAD article, no longer finding Uranus jokes funny is listed as a mark of maturity.
- The ending for the first Austin Powers movie. "That looks like Uranus!"
- In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Elliot tells his friends about E.T., prompting the question,
- Just My Luck:
Ashley Albright: Dana, how's my 'scope?
Dana: Your moon is in Uranus.
Ashley Albright: Doesn't sound pretty.
- Lethal Weapon 3:
Leo Getz: I mean, where does it say that a gunshot wound requires a rectal exam? Yeah. With a telescope big enough to see Venus!
Martin Riggs: I guess all they saw was Uranus, huh?
Leo Getz: Oh, that's great, Riggs. Ha ha. That's great.
- Religulous does this in a deleted scene available on the DVD:
- In Spaceballs, a bumper sticker on the side of Lone Starr's Winnebago reads: "I ♥ Uranus".
- When the oil drillers from Armageddon are brought to NASA:
Bear: What's up, Harry? Did NASA find oil on Uranus, man?
- Invoked in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey while complimenting GOD.
- In Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, there's this funny exchange of dialogue.
Benji Dunn: Why am I Pluto? It's not even a planet anymore!
Brandt: Well, Uranus is still available.
Benji Dunn: That's funny, because you just said anus.
- The novel series The Day My Bum Went Psycho contains lots of Toilet Humour. Try and guess which planet is a central focus.
- The second book is called Zombie Bums From Uranus, and a running gag involves the planet's pronounciation.
- Ron Weasley of Harry Potter does this. In Goblet of Fire, at Divination class when they study astrology, he asks Lavender at one point, "Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?" It's not known whether the foreshadowing was intentional, but this being Harry Potter that's probably the way to bet. Next, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ron makes another such joke during a sort of Intoxication Ensues moment, saying "Harry, we saw Uranus up close!"
- In the children's Edutainment book The Gobsmacking Galaxy, a Rule of Three gag is made of this: after Johann Elert Bode succeeds in naming Uranus, he pops up and attempts to christen Neptune "Mibottom" and Pluto "Hizbum".
- Daniel Pinkwater's Young Adult Novel includes a Dadaist play titled "Chickens from Uranus."
- The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby ended with the Big Bad, Deputy Doo-Doo, deposited on Uranus. It even lampshaded the trope with a sign reading "Welcome to Uranus (Please don't make fun of our name)"
- Earth (The Book) describes Uranus as "the funniest planet by far," although any aliens would "have to spend about ten years learning idiomatic English to learn why." Lake Titicaca is also identified as "The 'Uranus' of Lakes."
- In Larklight, the narrator's sister Myrtle tells him that "Polite people refer to that planet by its original name, Georgium Sidus. It provides less opportunity for cheap jokes."
- Bart Simpson's Guide to Life can't resist making this joke three times.
- John Varley’s Golden Globe: “‘Where you bound?’ ‘Where else? Uranus.’ He pronounced it your-anus. ‘What about you?’ ‘Uranus,’ I confirmed. I pronounced it Urine-us. Was there ever an orb so inelegantly named? Nobody's ever agreed on how to say it, and both ways stink.”
Live Action TV
- Crossing Jordan episode "Blue Moon":
Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh: The moon's in Uranus.
Detective Woody Hoyt: Excuse me?
- Just Shoot Me! episode "There's Something About Allison":
Burt.Brandi: You're the assface astronaut who rode a turd rocket to the third ring of Uranus.
- Veronica Mars episode "Welcome Wagon":
- The old joke about how toilet paper is just like the Starship Enterprise: "They circle Uranus and wipe out Klingons."
- The episode of MST3K featuring The Skydivers begins with Tom Servo trying to give a planetarium exhibition, but Crow ruins it by constantly cracking Uranus jokes, complete with the Star Trek joke above.
- Hercules and the Captive Women gives them even more opportunity, with Hercules fighting a cult worshipping the god Uranus. With lines like "This day is dedicated to Uranus" and references to "the blood of Uranus," though, they were really asking for it.
- Tony Kornheiser loves making this joke on Pardon The Interruption.
- Also, briefly used in My Name Is Earl, in one episode Randy was amused when he found out of this planet's existence.
- In the That '70s Show episode "Who Wants It More", Kelso has his UFO pictures developed, only for his friends to find out later that there were naked pictures of him on the same roll. Fez's response:
- In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Pants Alternative", Sheldon has to give a speech, and he gets drunk to gather courage. He ends up mooning the audience, while saying: "Get ready to see the dark side of the Moon... and here's Uranus!"
- As a side note, this was the episode that earned Jim Parsons his Emmy.
- From Never Mind the Buzzcocks:
: McFly's song contained the lyrics "There's nothing on Earth that could save us since I fell in love with Uranus." Which as it happens was a line removed from the pilot episode of Torchwood
! *shakes fist*
- In Jackass, they once went to a city called Mianus. Of course they made lots of my anus jokes such as "Can you see Uranus from Mianus?"
- Space Cases:
: I hate being from Uranus! I'm the butt
of every joke!
- Done on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson:
Self help books are pointless. Here's something for you... Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and self help books are from Uranus.
- In Pushing Daisies, young Emerson Cod is sent to the principal's office "for the crime of inappropriate intentional Double Entendre during the science fair" when he makes a poster reading "Rings Discovered Around Uranus: Scientists Send Probes".
- "Uranus has never been probed" is one of the facts that pop up on Pop Up Video during a Freddie Mercury video.
- One "News From Away", the Newfoundland-themed recurring segment on Royal Canadian Air Farce, had a news story went as follows.
Jimmy O'Toole: In science news, astronomers have discovered two new moons around Uranus. ...*puts the news sheet down* Not touchin' that one."
Seamus: Me neither.
- On one episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the contestant when asked which of the planets was named after a figure from Greek Mythology accidentally does this.
- Sonny With A Chance: Nico and Grady are going bowling with model plantets:
I'll take Neptune, and kick your butt! Grady:
URANUS is mine!
Sam: Cool, why don't you use it to beam yourself to Jupiter?"
Carly: Is that really necessary?"
Sam: I could've said Uranus...
- The subject of one America's Funniest Home Videos prize winner. Parent is doing planet names with kid. Gets to Uranus. Kid keeps replying "my anus".
- Another clip has a kid who can recite all the names of the planets, but points out that it's best not to mention Uranus, since everyone starts laughing when you do.
- Used in a game of "Dating Service Video" on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Greg Proops donned an astronaut's helmet and delivered the line "I want to explore Uranus".
- The page quote comes from a game of "Weird Newscasters", which Only Sane Man (in this game, anyway) Colin Mochrie leads with.
- In Project ALF, the humorously anticlimactic ending of the "The Reason You Suck" Speech that Gordon Shumway gives to the traitor Dexter Moyers is Moyers's insistently non-punny pronunciation of the name of the seventh planet.
- In one episode of The Drew Carey Show, Drew takes Kate on a date to the planetarium, the place they first met. They take a break from their small talk as they reach Drew's "favourite part" of the show, where the voiceover refers to "the seventh planet: Uranus". They both crack up along with the kids and everyone else around them, as Drew remarks "Ah, the classics..."
- Warehouse13: Myka insists on mispronouncing it for this reason. Pete does not co-operate.
- Vengaboys and Perez Hilton have a song called 'Rocket to Uranus', with very subtle lyrics like "Let's have a party on Uranus" and "If you haven't got a thing to wear, it doesn't really matter up there". The music video is... well, very appropriate for the lyrics. To rub it in further, the rocket ship is shaped like a cock and balls.
- KMFDM have a song called 'Up Uranus'. To make the joke less obvious, on the CD sleeve the song's title appears as a symbol that is a combination of the astrological sign for Uranus and an upward-pointing arrow.
- From the Eric Bogle song "Eric and the Informers":
She had deadpan eyes in a dead white face
I think she was vaguely famous
Though she looked like she came from outer space;
From Mars, or maybe Uranus.
- Near the end of the 1970s, a British band named either "The Chills" or Newman-Hahn released an album titled "It Only Hurts the First Rime." One of the songs on this album, which ended up getting played several times on the Dr Demento show, was "I Can See Uranus( Thru My Window Tonight)."
- Sloppy Seconds' "The Thing From Uranus", which compares flatulence to an alien invasion... or possibly the other way around. Either way, a lot of puerile puns are involved.
- Spaff did a parody of "Tomorrow" from Annie called "Uranus" that's just loaded with double entendres — most of which are astronomically accurate!
- Red Peters' "You Promised the Moon (But I Preferred Uranus)"
- Toshi has "Hoshizora No Neptune"/"Neptune of the Starlit Sky," a Silly Love Song with the following:
I send to you from my heart as a diamond's glare
The everlasting glow of the planet is the Neptune of the star lit sky
I foresaw in a dream engraved beyond the hours of Uranus
my one and only prayer held within my heart
- In one strip, Dogbert comes up with a program to randomly create new names for the company by combining words from astronomy and physics. The first suggestion is 'Uranus-Hertz'. The pointy-haired boss, of course, likes it. (The translators of Dilbert into other languages probably don't...)
- Similarly, in another strip, Alice recommends Asok get a space heater because "it keeps Uranus warm".
- In one of his wordy-books Scott Adams expressed irritation with all the astronomy jokes about Pluto, and insists that Uranus will forever be the comedy king of the solar system.
- The Far Side - an astronomer's assistant, a typical Larson beehive-hairdo, harlequin-glasses gal in a short skirt, is bending over a console and doing a take as the guy looking in his telescope says "I said I can clearly see Uranus tonight!"
- A running gag in Brewster Rockit Space Guy. It doesn't help that the Uranian representative is named O-Dor.
- The PS 1 game Blasto is set on Uranus for the express purpose of making these jokes.
Da Chief: Captain Blasto! Uranus is in big trouble!
Blasto: What did I do this time?
- Used in Fallout 3 DLC Mothership Zeta'', in one of the alien captive's recordings we hear a man that while being tortured by aliens he tells them "<laughter> Why don't you go back to Uranus? Eh?"
- In GTA San Andreas you can play a Space Invaders like shooter game on the VG console of Sweet's house. The game's name? They Crawled From Uranus!
- In Mass Effect 2 you can visit Uranus. If you launch a probe at it, EDI says, "Really, Commander?" If you do it again, she says, resigned, "Probing Uranus." None of your missions in the game take you to the Sol System, though, and Uranus is very poor in resources. If you probe Uranus, it is thus unlikely to be for practical reasons, and typically requires going out of your way to do so.note
- And from the codex: "Today, Uranus is the largest producer of He-3 in Alliance space." This is quite a common trope in near-future sci-fi, Uranus being considered the best gas giant to harvest fuel from because it's less windynote than Saturn and Neptune and less radioactive and with a much shallower gravity well than Jupiter.
- In Live A Live, the Medieval chapter has an advisor/party member named Uranus.
- Used more than once with Space Quest.
- You Don't Know Jack 2011 asks this question at the beginning of episode 1: "How many Earths could you stuff into the volume of Uranus before it just couldn't take any more?" Sounds innocent enough? The theme of the question, given before asking it, is Asstronomy, one of the comments for a wrong answer is "Are you kidding? You try that many and Uranus will never be the same again!" But the worst offender is the punchline...
Cookie Masterson: You could fit a little over sixty three Earths into the mass volume of Uranus... Sixty four if you're really relaxed.
- Dead Rising 2: Off the Record features a new theme park named "Uranus Zone". There's even a carnival game called Molemen from Uranus.
- Chef's Luv Shack is a Party Game with parodies of many famous games. The Asteroids spoof "Asses in Space" has Terrence and Philip firing at the titular objects with only one planet in the background.
- Mega Man V for the Game Boy features the Stardroid Uranus, which is a bull, of all things. Unintentionally related, the weapon you get from him is the Deep Digger. Possibly unintentional, since being a Japanese game, the developers maybe they didn't catch the innuendo.
- BuyLandOnUranus.com, which sells land on Uranus.
- Rathergood take it one further.
- Played straight by Spoony in his review of Ultima II, but then immediately lampshaded:
"I also probed Uranus
, which is big and swampy and full of craters, but is otherwise uninteresting. Actually, there's only one town there, called New Jester
, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out why
. But if I were to guess, I'd say it's where all the jesters of the world were exiled for making endless Uranus jokes."
- CGP Grey dedicates a whole video to the issue.
- in which he suggests the pronunciation "you-RAN-us" or something similar to avoid Accidental Innuendo.
- The Cracked article 5 Shockingly Crazy Ideas Behind Huge Scientific Discoveries included the discovery of Uranus. Naturally, this joke was referenced, calling it "Every middle schooler's favorite planet".
- Captain Larry Dart vs. the nasties from Uranus! This YouTube video of clips from the British Supermarionation show Space Patrol.
- Ultra Fast Pony: Derpy gains superpowers and immediately decides to abuse them, declaring "From this day forward, you might as well refer to me as the Ruler of Space, because now I own yer anus!"
- Fry of Futurama told the Professor that he didn't want to smell Uranus using the Smelloscope. The Professor replied the planet had been renamed to stop those childish jokes. In this more civilized age, it's known as "Urectum". ("Here, let me locate it for you...") The new name appears again on a chart of the Solar System, seven real-world years later, along with another immaturely named planet, "Poopiter."
There you go, that's our solar system. Wakko Warner:
You forgot Uranus. Yakko Warner: Good NIGHT, everybody.
- That's not the only time Wakko makes this particular joke, but in "Our Final Space Cartoon, We Promise" the others seem to consider it beneath even them:
You'll have to return to your sleeping chambers. Resuscitation isn't scheduled until we're close to Pluto. Yakko:
Sorry, if I sleep any more, I'll be close to goofy. Wakko:
As long as we don't get too close to Uranus. [rimshot] Dot:
I thought we discussed cutting
that line. Yakko:
We did. Wakko:
My fault! Yakko:
Try showing up for rehearsal. Wakko:
- Mentioned once on Freakazoid!.
- Clerks: The Animated Series:
Jay: We need an ambulance at 1611 Uranus Avenue. I said Uranus.
911 Operator: Sir, what's your name?
Jay: Uranus. I said it again, Randal.
- Kang and Kodos of The Simpsons once stated that they came from a certain ringed planet they preferred not to name. In the episode where Homer thinks he has seen an alien, Bart makes fun of him by dressing up as an alien and shouting: "I am the thing from Uranus!"
- Beavis And Butthead:
- And also
Beavis: Do you think a man will ever land on Uranus?
Butt-Head: Maybe on YOUR anus, huh, huh, huh.
- Schoolhouse Rock averts it by using "Ooo-rah-nuhs." Thus neither rude interpretation is possible. It's also closer to the original pronunciation in ancient Greek.
- In The Fairly Oddparents episode where they have to go through books to stop Tom Sawyer from changing them all, they didn't want him to get into the book of physics to change the law of physics. Wanda told them to stop him before he changes Uranus. Also a Running Gag in another episode: "I'm going to Uranus! I just got word that it is, in fact, a planet!"
- A Once per Episode Running Gag in Stickin' Around.
- In an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Aquaman and Blue Beetle battle a supervillain named the Planetmaster, who has a superpower based on all eight planets (and Pluto). Blue Beetle wisecracks that he doesn't want to see the power of Uranus.
- In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Grim discovers that Morg, the Reaper of Mars, had something to do with the disappearances of the rest of the solar system's reapers. He doesn't get very far in his questioning, though...
Grim: I want to know what happened to all these other reapers! Venus, Mercury, Uranus...
Morg (snickering uncontrollably): He said Uranus!
- Also to be noted was that the Uranus Reaper was done away with for "failure to clean up after self", and his hologram had a very distinct look on his face...
- In Sym-Bionic Titan, after Lance, Ilana and Octus look through a telescope to see the new cosmic formation left by their pet, one of the employees of the museum snarkily asks them (being teenagers) if they were "Trying to see Uranus?" Until he realizes that they "discovered" this formation and allows them to name it.
- In one Duck Dodgers episode, the Martian Queen tried to convince Dodgers to marry her, and almost succeeded; but then Marvin told him that the Royal Consort's only official duty was overseeing the methane mines on Uranus, which he described as a very unpleasant job. (Naturally, Marvin was lying to get rid of him; Dodgers eventually found that out, but sadly, the Queen didn't, thinking he had jilted her.)
- In chemistry, any salt of Uranium in which the Uranium has a positive charge of four (for instance, UCl4) is called "Uranous (followed by the anion's name) so the above example would be Uranous chloride.
- And some of the Uranium Oxide anions are known as "uranate." So you can get compounds like Sodium Uranate, Curium Uranate, etc.
- A Live Science article about hemorrhoids says that "they sometimes stick out of that place with the same name as the 7th planet of the solar system."
- Have I Got News for You once featured a picture of a Somalian pirate ship named... Titan Uranus.
- Referenced in this◊ graph from Graph Jam.
- Any orchestral rehearsal for Gustav Holst's The Planets. People start sniggering as soon as they get to the sixth movement.
- This blog for copyeditors offered the following real news story from the Christian Science Monitor as a cautionary example that readers have a juvenile sense of humor:
Scientists Plan Mission To Probe Uranus. Proposed by British scientists as a joint effort of NASA and the European Space Agency, the mission would offer the first close-up view of Uranus in 25 years. This infrared image of Uranus taken by the Hubble telescope in 1997 shows three layers of the icy planet's atmosphere, which consists mostly of hydrogen with traces of methane. British scientists have proposed a mission investigating why Uranus gives off so little heat.
- On The Rush Limbaugh Show, in response to a sound-bite that had openly gay United States Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) angrily asking a vocal detractor with whom he was arguing what planet she was from, Limbaugh commented that Frank was from "Uranus".
- Among the general public in the United States, it was always pronounced "your-anus" until 1986, when NASA's Voyager 2 interplanetary probe encountered Uranus. At that point, with the planet being mentioned so often in the news, the newscasters on TV all began pronouncing it as "ur-in-nes".
- This is also preferred among astronomers, as Dr. Pamela Gay, an astronomer at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, noted on her podcast, to avoid "being made fun of by any small schoolchildren ... when in doubt, don't emphasize anything and just say ūr′·ə·nəs. And then run, quickly."
- Dr. Gay is probably an expert on this topic.
- Lauren Faust has a toy-line called Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls featuring dolls named after planets and other celestial objects. From Uranus's profile on the official website comes this gem.
"Uranus is very particular about the way you pronounce her name. She would like you to know that the proper, scientific pronunciation of her name is: YOOR-en-us. No other pronunciation is acceptable.
- An unintentionally hilarious example occurred in a newspaper horoscope, as pointed out on Criggo: "Uranus is asking you to be more adventurous, and consider someone who is not your usual type." Heh, heh...
- A pizza restaurant had the slogan "You Bet Uranus. It's good."
- The author of this piece ("Uranus takes a pounding more frequently than thought") obviously had way too much fun writing it.
- Who wants some Milk Chocolate from Uranus?