[[quoteright:250:[[ComicStrip/WhatsNewWithPhilAndDixie http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weapons_grade_vocabulary.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:''[[http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growfcomic.php?date=20071014 What's New? with Phil and Dixie]]'' ]]

->'''Jeeve Ceeta:''' I've been in the military for twenty five years, Ennesby. There's nothing you can teach me about nasty messages.\\
'''Captain Tagon:''' I see you've just been exposed to Ennesby's weapons-grade vocabulary.\\
'''Jevee Ceeta:''' My stomach is in my throat right now. It's trying to spit acid on the parts of my brain that remember reading his message.
-->-- ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2003-05-20 20 May, 2003]]

There's talking, insults, fighting words... and then there's weapons-grade vocabulary.

There's a saying that sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, with a weapons-grade vocabulary, words actually can physically hurt people. The words do not have to be spoken aloud, but can be read. Hurtful knowledge, like a long-held secret, can apply as long as the recipient is physically hurt by the literal spoken or written words. Words delivering harm via magic, or through [[MakeMeWannaShout sheer volume]], do not apply.

If the damage is done by magic, it's WordsCanBreakMyBones. If it's convincing another character or monster to hurt/kill themselves it's TalkingTheMonsterToDeath. Compare with BrownNote which is merely sound or image, not content. If it's a visual metaphor for the words hurting people (usually psychologically), then it's closer to HarshWordImpact.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/DoctorSlump'': Arale's boisterous greetings create a WrittenSoundEffect that can knock people over.
* Same goes in ''{{Manga/Doraemon}}'', with one of the gadgets that can harden a WrittenSoundEffect. In the anime, it creates literal voice blocks.

[[folder:Audio Plays]]
* There is a ''Series/DoctorWho'' audio Drama where Donna defeats a blob monster with nothing but pure indignation.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* There was an issue of ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'' where Apollo and Midnighter were trying to stop the deaths caused by a killer word: anyone who heard it would kill themselves, but not before whispering the word to someone else, repeating the process.
* Creator/GrantMorrison has pretty much built his career on comics involving "words that kill" (''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'') and "words that are things rather than describe things" (''Comicbook/TheInvisibles''). One ''letter'' from the "invisible alphabet" can make some people throw up. (The letter tripleyou.)
* An issue of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' comic book had a plant-like alien race that, after copying nearby Earthlings, proceed to drone endlessly on and on about inane subjects until their victims quite literally die of boredom. Leela eventually figures out that the plants have to be defeated at their own game, and has ''Fry'' babble about his own trivial interests until the aliens themselves wither away.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'': Alice has foul language that actually affects people. She then accidentally did it to her boss at meeting about it. [[http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-04-09 This]], then at [[http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-04-10 meeting]]. Perhaps she learned it from [[http://dilbert.com/strip/1998-11-02 one of her coworkers.]] - though her own story is that it came from [[http://dilbert.com/strip/2001-09-02 one of her exes.]]
* The ''ComicStrip/WhatsNewWithPhilAndDixie'' strip in ''Dragon'' magazine #72 (April 1983) is about jesters. The middle of [[http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growfcomic.php?date=20071014 the page]] has a jester killing a monster with bad puns. The next panel shows the danger of collateral damage.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', Cartman has a chip placed inside him that shocks him with electricity every time he swears. When he's hit with electricity in the final battle, the V-chip "malfunctions", giving him the ability to shock other people when he uses profanity. Which he immediately uses against Saddam Hussein. (Hilariously, the words "Barbra Streisand" are the cherry-on-top.)

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'': Ni! Turned around on the knights, later. [[spoiler:They are drained of their will by the word "it".]] Oddly enough, the knight says it at the top of the scene with no harm done, but then hits himself with it for damage during the fade-out.
* ''Film/{{Pi}}'': Knowing THE number, among other things, is a true name of God, so knowing it has bad effects on body and sanity. Heck, a computer calculating it created slime and ants as side-effect. Pretty large effect for a mere 216 digit number.

* ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'':
-->''Goddam looked mournful. "I know how it is," he said. "I was in the war. Pinned down in a deadly hail of Jap fire..."\\
Spam gagged, and his arm went limp.''
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'':
** Vogon poetry, which makes the listeners seriously ill or worse. It is advised to take some other option than that.
** There's the recalcitrant witness who was given too much truth serum and ended up telling ''[[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.]]'' They had to evacuate the courtroom and seal him up inside. When Arthur and company find him later, he's no longer a danger -- apparently, there's less truth in the universe than most people would believe -- but he ultimately dies of laughter after realizing he's talking to ''the'' Arthur Dent, who is apparently [[CosmicPlaything the victim of the universe's funniest practical joke.]]
* The late Alderman Foodbotham, one-time Lord Mayor of Bradford in the ''Literature/PeterSimple'' newspaper columns, has many legends told of him. [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3610930/End-column.html One such]] relates how he delivered a speech that literally annihilated his opponent -- "at least to the extent that he disappeared from view and all that was ever seen of him again was a single trouser button picked up months later on Cleckheaton Moor."
* Terry Pratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Lord Vetinari, a product of the Assassins' Guild School where every graduate is expected to demonstrate lethal proficiency in at least one weapon, uses language to deadly effect.
--->"Do not let me detain you."\\
"No great rush!"
** Also, witch Petulia Gristle has the secret of pig-boring. She can slaughter a pig humanely by talking to it in such a low, monotone, voice about such tediously trivial things that it loses the will to live. She weaponises this skill in ''Discworld/TheShepherdsCrown'' by applying it to Elves.
* Since Literature/{{Xanth}} runs on puns, curse words function as actual curses, most often of the concussive or pyrotechnic type. Part of the reason the Adult Conspiracy (To Keep Interesting Things From Children) exists is that children knowing these words [[FridgeBrilliance actually]] makes them ''dangerous''.
* The Deplorable Word in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' is one of the most dangerous weapons in existence--the instant it is spoken, all life in a world, except that of the speaker, is instantly and irreversibly annihilated. It's not known whether or not this was limited to Charn (Jadis's home world); thankfully, no one in the series ever tries it again.
** BigGood Aslan uses an inverted example--his singing ''creates'' Narnia.
* ''Literature/{{Orthogonal}}'': There is a myth that the poem, if written on a being's body then pressed against that of another, would in a short time be deadly. They are [[StarfishAliens very different from humans]], so they form writing with their bodies, then dye their skin and press paper on it. Basically, it's a weapons-grade poem.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The "Funniest Joke in the World" sketch from ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gpjk_MaCGM People died by hearing a JOKE.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'', "The Shakespeare Code": A group of witches who specialize in WordPower (words are sort of the formula for certain effects, which is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not at all like magic spells being a real thing because that would be silly]]) are destroyed by William Shakespeare crafting a sonnet to banish them back to their prison. At the end, he finds himself at a lost to what would rhyme with "harm us" and still work with the other Words of Power he sewed together. Martha provides him with "[[Literature/HarryPotter Expelliarmus!]]" The Doctor reacts to the destruction by shouting, "Good old [[Creator/JKRowling JK]]!"
* An episode of ''Series/TheTwilightZone1985'' called "Need to Know" featured a phrase that encapsulated the whole meaning of existence in a few words. Anyone who hears the phrase goes completely insane.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* On ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', guest star Avery Schreiber plays a gladiator who engages in a duel with Sweetums. The weapon of choice: insults.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}'' expansion ''Toon Tales'' (in the Way-Out West section) includes an optional rule for Punslingers, whose puns actually do damage.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'' card "Cutting Remark".
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Magazine/DragonMagazine #291 gives us the feat "Scathing Wit" which insults your opponent. If you win an intimidate check against him, he suffers penalties.
** The unusual example of hurting yourself by speaking the' supplement "Book of Vile Darkness" also contains "dark speech" -- a language so vile, it is almost impossible to actually communicate with it; with proper preparation you can tie it into magical effects but trying to just straight utter the words would make your mouth bleed.
** In the "Book of Vile Darkness" is a quiver that creates arrows for you every time you lies.
** This trope played straight: The 3rd edition ''Dungeons & Dragons'' supplement "Tome of Magic" contains rulesets for "truespeak" magics. Truenamers use the "Language of the universe" to reshape reality in ever-increasingly powerful ways.
** In the Fourth Edition of ''D&D'', bards have an at-will "spell" called Vicious Mockery, which inflicts damage and status effects. Some bard players will use insult generators every time they use this attack.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' has the "Blistering Invective" spell, with which your rants can actually ''set people on fire!''
* There are charms in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' that let you harm or control others through written or spoken words.
* ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'':
** ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' features the Spina [[PrestigeClass bloodline]], a line of courtly and refined duelists and knights. One power of their bloodline Discipline, Courtoise, allows them to insult their target so badly they take damage.
** ''TabletopGame/DemonTheDescent'' has an "Exploit" supernatural ability called "Play On Words" that allows a character to weaponize ''puns'', as long as the target is speaking something that is a homophone or slight mispronunciation. For example, someone saying "I will shed tears" would cut apart a small building instead of crying.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga'', Peach's [[spoiler:actually Birdo's]] voice is stolen and replaced with Cackletta's [[StuffBlowingUp explosive vocabulary.]] The characters keep having to scurry out of harms way whenever she speaks. Then she attempts a full paragraph, and blows out every window in the palace.
* In the UsefulNotes/{{NES}} [[VideoGame/FelixTheCat Felix the Cat video game]], Felix's car power-up uses its horn honks (symbolized by the word "BO") as its attack. And during the Gulpo boss fight, he sometimes shouts the word BLOB! at you, which can hurt if it connects.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', after Mettaton's news report, he says that not only is [[MadeOfExplodium everything you can report on a bomb]], but even his WORDS are bombs! They also use a very ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2''-esque "BOM" when they explode.
** One of the bosses, [[spoiler: Flowey]] also attacks you by literally throwing words at you. [[spoiler: Subverted when you ask for help and they turn into healing items.]]
* There is a Megaphone weapon in ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}'', where the attack is nonsense phrases such as "SHAVING IS BORING" coming out of your spaceship.
* The Megaphone from ''Parodius'' lives on as Tita Nium's DLC weapon in ''[[VideoGame/{{Otomedius}} Otomedius Excellent]]''
* There's several sound-based attacks in the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' series, varying in type between MakeMeWannaShout, BrownNote and this trope. An example of this type is 'Snarl', a dark-type attack that seemingly involves the Pokémon ranting and shouting at the target for a while, inflicting damage and lowering their attack-power.
* ''VideoGame/UltimateMarvelVsCapcom3'' made Phoenix Wright playable, along with the possibility of [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu knocking out universe-shattering entities]] with ''cross-examination''!
* Mediators in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' usually [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talk the monster to death]] or manipulate their stats with speech skills, but they can also equip dictionaries which they read from; reading from them (somehow) hurts enemies. The in-game animation shows them simply opening the book to inflict pain, so it could be a case of literally weapons-grade words.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland'' (and other games in the series), "[[YouFightLikeACow insult swordfighting]]" involves providing snappy comebacks to your opponent's insults in order to win duels.
-->"You fight like a dairy farmer!"\\
"How appropriate, you fight like a cow!"
* ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'' features insult arm-wrestling, and reveals that the paradigm has also been applied to loads of other competitive games and activities, such as darts.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 1}}'', enemies can "attack" with Threatening Words and Swear Words, both of which decrease someone's Fight stat. Your party can get some words of their own to "attack" with, but they do nothing.
* Kliff Undersn's taunt in ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' creates physical letters, which bounce across the screen and inflict some damage. Knockouts with this in tournament play have become a particularly humiliating form of CherryTapping.
* The magic system in ''VideoGame/TreasureOfTheRudra'' is set up so that you can actually create spells with words ("FIRE" becomes a fireball, "HEAL" becomes a healing spell, etc.). However, if you create a spell with a word that isn't in the game's magic dictionary, you'll instead attack your enemy with the word you created.
* In ''VideoGame/{{OFF}}'', all of the Queen's attacks are just phrases berating the Batter. They hurt quite a bit.
* In the original ''VideoGame/GalaxyFrauleinYuna'' adventure game, Yuna could insult her opponent to cause damage as an alternative to physical attacks; enemies could generally attack her the same way. In the second game, this was changed from directly damaging HP to a significant debuff, which would gradually taper off but could turn the tide of a fight while it lasted.
* In ''VideoGame/LollipopChainsaw'', the boss of the junkyard is a goth with this as one of his attacks; the letters actually home in on Juliet and deal damage on impact.
* In ''VideoGame/SpongeBobSquarePantsBattleForBikiniBottom'', The [[Main/MirrorBoss SpongeBot SteelPants]] boss literally sends the words "Kah-RAH-tae" at [=SpongeBob=] after three of its lights are destroyed.
* One of Scott's moves in ''Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game'' is to have Knives create a giant "LOVE" that hits all enemies on screen, a reference to a HarshWordImpact scene in one of the books.
* One of the heroes in ''VideoGame/DragonSoul'' is the Electroyeti, whose creative swearing attacks his enemies as bursts of electricity. In quest cutscenes, he uses a lot of grawlixes. His victory pose has his hand in the air with the middle finger a little bit higher, but subtly enough not to be too offensive.
* Jasper, the annoying and quite evil critic found in [[WhiteDwarfStarlet Gloria van Gouten's]] mind in ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', fires bolts of energy at you (from a pair of giant pens on his hovering theatre box, no less) that, upon impact, turn into cruel, critical words like "Awful!" It's a bit of FridgeBrilliance: since Jasper is the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Gloria's destructive self-criticism, it makes sense that his words would be able to cause physical harm to her mindscape.
* In ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', there's a statue in an art gallery that's actually a mage who was [[TakenForGranite turned to stone]] just before he could utter the worst curse in the entire Planes. If you should use an item to unpetrify him, he'll use the curse on you, causing you to die horribly (you get better) and massively upgrading Morte's [[IShallTauntYou Litany of Curses]].
* For ''VideoGame/OhSirTheInsultSimulator'' and its sequel ''Oh... Sir! The Hollywood Roast'', this is the method of dueling. Both combatants are in a disagreement, and settle their argument with [[MadLibsDialogue a selection of nonsense that players have to string into]] [[VolleyingInsults a semi-coherent insult]]. It's possible to [[AttackItsWeakPoint hurt one's opponent deeper by hitting closer to home]]: [[FormerlyFit Nigel Hogg]], for example, is sensitive about the topic of weight and appearance ("'''[Your face] [is fat]''' [and] [your mother] '''[is dull and ugly]'''!"), while [[QuintessentialBritishGentleman John Shufflebottom]] doesn't like his fashion sense being mocked ("'''[Your hat]''' [looks like] [a dead parrot] [and] '''[your suit]''' [smells of] [your cousin's car], [you numpty!]")
* ''VideoGame/TheUrQuanMasters'': The Eternal Ones' full name is this to Daktaklakpak, as their names are a full summary of what an Eternal One is, starting with name, genetic make-up, and so on. There is no computing system that can calculate its full name, which doesn't stop the Daktaklakpak from trying ([[LogicBomb and self-destructing in the process]]).
* In ''VideoGame/EnterTheGungeon'' exists a gun in a shape of a letter "r". Upon pulling the trigger, it shoots the letters B-U-L-L-E-T-! in a burst and utters this word out loud.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''Franchise/AceAttorney'', particularly clever counterpoints apparently have the ability to hit opposing attorneys like a gale-force wind, throwing them back, making them flinch, shattering their glasses, and, in one particularly devastating case, tearing all the hair off a person's head, leaving him mostly bald. Witnesses who've had their contradictions pointed out tend to react as though they'd been physically struck.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2003-05-20 This]] strip shows Ennesby using his extensive obscenity vocabulary in a nastygram sent to [[FatBastard General Xinchub]].
** It has also been revealed that [[MsFanservice Dr. Bunnigus]] has an [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2010-01-27 "in case of emergencies" vocabulary,]] although she hasn't gotten a chance to demonstrate it.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' had bad puns being just as lethal against Astos.
-->'''Black Mage:''' Astos? Mo' like your ''ass'' is ''toast''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Vexxarr}}'': [[http://www.vexxarr.com/archive.php?seldate=071906 Weapons grade pleading?]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}'': One guest comic depicts a "Grwfl-grwfl" joke so hilarious that it [[YourHeadASplode causes its hearer's head to explode]]. An entire [[PlanetOfHats joke-obsessed species]] is listening via radio, eagerly anticipating the funniest joke ever--and they're completely wiped out in seconds. (Fortunately for the rest of the galaxy, the punchline relies on terminology that died with that species, so it has no effect on anyone else.)
* ''Webcomic/DragonTails'': Corlis typically makes a cutting remark, witty retort or sarcasm in whatever events that's happened, but his attempt to use his jokes as this in [[http://www.dragon-tails.com/comics/archive.php?date=010511 this strip]] resulted in a failure, as robots simply removed their speech recognition modules.
* ''ComicStrip/NonSequitur'': [[http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2004/02/16 Weapon-grade FACTS.]] Bomb squad went in to catch a [[http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/1992/05/01 weapons-grade speech]].
* ''Webcomic/SoapOnARope'': The Centaurian homeworld was wiped out by Festus with SOS that was done in song.
* ''Webcomic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella'': When [[http://nonadventures.com/2012/03/24/while-my-guitar-gently-weaponizes/ massed guitars]] tried to destroy the city using song, it didn't work. Then those guitars decided to use some experimental songs from Pete (a garage band); it resulted in a BigNo from Wonderella and sidekick.
* ''Webcomic/{{Fortuna}}'': Athena, which has one of requirements is control of creation of Captain of ship, created a character that could kill with puns. [[http://mspfanventures.com/?s=3646&p=4441 here]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Elan's "Dashing Swordsman" prestige class adds a bonus to his attack damage by making puns.