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[[quoteright:224:[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cwhapas_7551.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:224: When ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' rules became [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Game_License free for other publishers to use,]] some monsters remained trademarked, like the [[{{Cthulhumanoid}} mind flayer]].]]-]

->'''Groundskeeper Willie''': Boy, you read my thoughts! You've got "the shinning"!\\
'''Bart''': You mean "''shining.''"\\
'''Willie''': Shh... You wanna get sued?!
-->--''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons,'' "Treehouse of Horror V," "The Shinning"

Sometimes, a rather more direct ShoutOut or name dropping is attempted, but to do so would skirt dangerously close to trademark law. While there are plenty of ways to use substitutes or write around the trademarks, another way is to go ahead with the reference, but deliberately ''not'' go through with it, just far enough for the audience to know exactly who or what you're talking about.

There are many ways to get around this visually: Censor mosaic, a black bar over the eyes, or pull back and only make a strong resemblance. But with dialogue, a common way is to have a character obliquely reference the FourthWall by stopping the mention before it finishes, directly warning the speaker about getting their makers in trouble. In writing, especially for comics and manga, whatever word they want to say will be said by the character, but the text of the name itself will be partially blanked out or substituted with wingdings.

Subtrope of ThinkOfTheCensors. See also WritingAroundTrademarks, LawyerFriendlyCameo, CaptainErsatz, BlandNameProduct, DisneyOwnsThisTrope, OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope, NoCelebritiesWereHarmed.

!! Examples:


[[folder: Advertising]]

* Hilariously {{Invoked|Trope}} and {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Samsung to lampoon the NFL's over-enthusiastic defense of its trademarks in their preparations for a Supe--*censored*, ahem, ''BigGame'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzfAdmAtYIY ad.]]
* UK off-licence chain Oddbins invoked this trope in their ads in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, referencing the fact that only official licensed adverts could directly refer to them. This led to such Oddbins ads as "We're not allowed to use the name. We're not allowed to mention the location. We're not even allowed to mention the year. But celebrate them with us anyway" and "Celebrate the [CENSORED] with Oddbins" (yes, that's exactly how it was printed).
* EU law is such that the names "Parmesan" and "Feta" can no longer be used to refer generically to cheese varieties, but only to cheeses specifically from their original production regions. Hence there's a lot of "Greek-style salad cheese" and "Italian-style cheese" around. It is probably only a matter of time before we see "Canadian West-Country Style cheese".

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''
** When some HumongousMecha emerge during the battle of Mahora: "Is that a [[Franchise/{{Gundam}} Gu_dam]]? It must be a Gun_am!" Elsewhere in the book, they're refered to as [[Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind Ky_sh_nhei]]
** Another one when Nodoka performs a MindProbe on Mei: "C-C-Could that be that that legendary [[Manga/DeathNote Death No-!?]] I mean that [[MindProbe artifact that reads]]..."
** Later in the story, [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Cthu_hu]] is mentioned.
** And now, [[Anime/DragonBallZ Super Sai__n]].
** [[TropeOverdosed And now]] [[Anime/CastleInTheSky La_uta.]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'', in a ShoutOut to the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' series. (There were Gundams shooting, but heavily censored!)
--> '''Haruhi:''' Bring out the [=*beep*dams=]!"
* ''Manga/LuckyStar''
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4d1kAqXURI "Don't you have any special talents?" "Talents, hmm... I can name every single Po__mon!"]]
** They actually took this to the point where it verged on parody in one scene: Konata and her dad were talking about Gundam... while avoiding any names, images blurred, and ''censor bars over their eyes.''
** Another episode censors ''LightNovel/CodeGeass'' and Lelouch's name. Ironically, Bandai would later get the rights to license both ''Code Geass'' and ''Lucky Star.''
** Also, the ImageSong "Yuuchou Sentai Dararenjaa" cut short a reference to ''Series/KamenRiderFaiz.'' Also ironically, Bandai has the license to produce ''Franchise/KamenRider'' merchandise.
** Thus they can make references to other properties they own. There's several references to ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' instead throughout, almost all of them being catchphrases of Momotaros. (And obviously ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' as a whole with the name, and a couple veiled referencess to ''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger'' thrown in.)
---> Saishuu KIIIIIIIIKKU!
** Also, they referenced ''Dragon Quest V'' like above. "A childhood friend? Or a rich lady? One has lots of money... And the ability to cast Boho_mi and I___zun." (Bohoimi = Midheal and Ionazun = Kaboom)
* The ''Hyper Dolls'' manga has this when the GratuitousEnglish naming scheme for the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters Of The Week]] runs into an [[Franchise/{{Spider Man}} arachnid]] creature.
* Variations would occasionally be lampshaded by Kawachi in ''Manga/YakitateJapan.''
* Happens every five minutes in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler;'' every single trademarked name is bleeped out, which leads to some pretty bleep-heavy sentences where {{otaku}} Nagi is involved.
** A particularly funny example shows up when Hayate is about to use a sword technique whose name starts with "[[Manga/RurouniKenshin Hiten--]]" His opponent cuts him off, saying they can't risk that kind of reference, [[NoFourthWall even with bleeps.]]
** In the manga, this is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the one instance it was actively avoided -- when the Creator/{{Sega}} game ''Mushiking'' was mentioned without editing, one character wondered aloud about whether it should be. It was pointed out that they got permission to use it, and thus [[ProductPlacement needed to repeat the game's name as much as possible.]]
---> [[superscript: Why don't you rich kids coax your parents to buy one!]]
** The anime's second season averts all this, with barely any lack of pop culture references.
* In ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' there's a [[ActorAllusion seiyuu joke]] where Excel is dressed similarly to Sailor Moon and does an InTheNameOfTheMoon speech, and the bad guy says, "Hey, that's that anime from awhile ago, Sailor ***, right? Nah, that one's already over..."
* The first few minutes of ''LightNovel/SeitokaiNoIchizon'' contain so many blatant [[ShoutOut Shout Outs]] the characters themselves start [[NoFourthWall warning each other over the legal trouble they might suffer]]. This continues throughout the series only less concentrated.
* In ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', during the Bentendo Owee arc, Katsura makes a showy entrance in a costume that's obviously based on that of certain plumber, which prompts an onlooker to ask if he's Mario, though they get cut off by him before they can say the "o"...only for him go ahead and say [[MadLibsCatchphrase "It's not Mario, it's Katsu-"]], which gets him a kick in the face from Shinpachi. Subverted when it turns out he just was annoyed at Katsura's stupidity for appearing directly in front of Shinsengumi when they intend to arrest him (Though Hijikata is stupid enough to think he's actually Mario).
* In ''Manga/RosarioToVampire: 2nd Year'', when Kokoa magically shrinks into a child's body after one of Yukari's inventions backfires, the girls try to find clothes that would suit her condition. One of them is an [[Manga/DoctorSlump Arale]] cosplay, which she at first takes in stride, but then tears the costume off while citing the trope.
* In one chapter of ''Anime/MagicalShoppingArcadeAbenobashi'', the characters are in a space opera setting and are being attacked by mechs that are [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam not Zakus]]. One of the characters warns that they're bordering on copyright infringement here, which is apparently a bigger concern than being killed.
* In ''Manga/{{Ratman}}'', Super Zero Fatman is given his own Thememobile -- A tumblar called the [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Fatmobile]]. An aside is asked to not tell Creator/WarnerBros...
* This is a RunningGag in the [[ReferenceOverdosed reference-happy]] ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan.'' In one of the ''Nyaruani'' shorts, [[OnlySaneMan Mahiro]] stops Nyarko from saying "VideoGame/LovePlus" by saying "Didn't I just recently tell you not to piss people off?", and in the OVA episode he prevents Cuuko from saying "LightNovel/AccelWorld" by [[SlapstickKnowsNoGender bopping her upside the head.]]
* In ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'' the monster heroines are at a hot spring resort trying to think up ways to attract customers. One suggests Yukio [[AnIcePerson the Yuki-onna]], who works there, star as a character who freezes things with her power. In the background is an ImagineSpot Yukio striking a pose ripped directly from [[Disney/{{Frozen}} a very, very, very popular piece of media about a character who does exactly that.]]
--> '''Miia:''' I think that'd be a copyright issue!
* ''Anime/CuteHighEarthDefenseClubLove:'' During episode 7 (the summer camp episode) the boys get to take a dip in an open air hot spring. Suddenly...
-->'''Io:''' There's been an incident.
-->'''Yumoto:''' A murder?!
-->'''Atsushi:''' Now, now. This isn't [[Manga/DetectiveConan Detective *bleep*nan]].
* ''Manga/{{Nanbaka}}'' does this a lot in the episode where Upa faces Nico. Nico being an anime fan, he has lots of things he wants to say that correspond to his hobby, such as how Upa did the [[Manga/DragonBall Kame*bleep*meha]]. Then again, he also wanted to do (and successfully pulled off) a [[Franchise/KamenRider R*bleep*der *bleep*ick.]] [[CrowningMomentOfFunny The other prisoners of cell 13 have to censor his references]], although they let more slippery ones like "[[Anime/CastleIntheSky Balse!]]" go scot-free.
* In the second OVA of ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', during a camping trip, the girls of Rabbit Team start [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail singing about "*pam"]], while their leader, Azua, repeatedly screams "Shut up!" until she runs out of breath.
* ''LightNovel/NoGameNoLife''
** When Sora and Shiro see the Flugels' castle, they try to bring it down with "[[Anime/CastleIntheSky Ba*se]]", but fail.
** Upon seeing that the video game in which they're fighting against the Warbeasts' representation looks like it's in Tokyo, Sora and Shiro are briefly thrown into a crippling HeroicBSOD, believing that it's their world, where they're {{NEET}}s unable to go outside. After snapping out of it, Sora tries to convince Shiro that it's a video game, like "[[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} Pers*na]] or [[VisualNovel/SteinsGate Stein's G*te]] or [[VideoGame/AkibasTrip Akiba Str*p]]", while characters from the games(Chie, Kurisu and Kati) appear with black strips over their eyes. More subtly, before the characters appear, there's a [[ColorMotifs mostly yellow background]] that's highly reminiscent of the menu screens in ''VideoGame/Persona4''.
* In one chapter of ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', the students of Class 1-A are tasked with coming up with their superhero names. Mina, whose power is generating HollywoodAcid, wants to call herself "Heroine of [[Creator/RidleyScott Ridley]]: [[Film/{{Aliens}} Alien Queen]]"[[note]]In his notes, the author notes that "Heroine of [[Creator/JamesCameron Cameron]]" would have been more appropriate[[/note]]. Professional heroine Midnight, who's rating the names, points out that using the name could get Mina in trouble and has her think of another one.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Adam Warren ran this joke into the ground for his ''Comicbook/{{Gen 13}}'' limited series ''Magical Drama Queen Roxy''. Usually said by the "fairy god critter" (who also apologizes for saying "bibbity boppity boo" and mentioning the Whitney Houston version of Cinderella). Toward the end he does the death scene from ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' with a large sign in front of "Jack's" face, saying "not really (a series of increasingly silly misspellings of Leo's name), really!!"
* From an old ComicBook/WonderMan one-shot that featured Simon Williams ending up in the Mojo verse. Mojo's lackey points out that Marvel owns the Wonder Man copyright:
--> '''Mojo''': No problem. A quick gender flip and we market him as ''[[WonderWoman Wonder Wo]]''...
--> '''Lackey''': Lawsuit city, dead ahead.
* A similar joke was used/expanded on in a one-panel gag in Marvel's ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' #34, which asked the musical question, [[StealthPun "What if Wonder Man was a woman, and Power Man was a girl?"]] The panel is partially covered up by a note from "Your '''[[Creator/DCComics D]]'''[[Creator/DCComics istinguished]] '''[[Creator/DCComics C]]'''[[Creator/DCComics ompetition]]" advising against printing the gag.
* From ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'', there is a comment from an employee that says she will be punished, and will end up working on Taco Bell. On a little footnote, it says '''Don't sue me, I'm funny!'''.
* ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' teases Superman's appearance with news stories of people being saved by a red/blue blur. The news anchor keeps trying to say lines from the opening of the Fleischer Brothers cartoons, but is warned against finishing them each time due to legal concerns.
** During the ''ComicBook/BatmanHush'' storyline, both Batman and Catwoman at one point say, "Faster than a speeding...you know."
* An issue of ''[[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueInternational Justice League America]]'' pointed out that Fire [[AlternateCompanyEquivalent resembled Marvel]]'s [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Human Torch]].
-->'''Citizen #1''' Look up in the sky!\\
'''Citizen #2''' It's a bird!\\
'''Citizen #3''' It's a plane!\\
'''Citizen #4''' It's the Human...\\
'''Citizen #5''' ...Don't say it!
* This exchange from ''ComicBook/HarleyQuinn & ComicBook/PowerGirl'' #3:
-->'''Groovicus:''' "[[Film/ANewHope Please help us, Power Girl. You're our only...]]"\\
'''Power Girl:''' "Shhh, I hear lawyers waiting for you to finish that sentence."
* Kyle Baker's run on ''ComicBook/PlasticMan'' includes a similar example:
-->'''Plastic Man''' Don't make me use force on you!\\
'''Luke''' That line would have been funnier if you'd turned into Darth Va--\\
'''Plastic Man''' Fine. You get sued.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' had an [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Owlbear]] appear, Luna briefly considering making it her pet before deciding that might be legally problematic. Ironically enough Luna was mistaken on that point, Hasbro own both properties and many other D&D monsters appear throughout the series.
* ''ComicBook/ArneAnka'', has an episode where the titular character, an anthropomorphic duck for the record, has been invited to a wedding but has a problem finding anything formal to wear for it. After digging through his wardrobe, all he is able to find is an old sailor suit, but after trying it on, Arne observes that he cannot not show himself in public wearing it as it makes him look highly reminiscent of [[WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck a certain other anthropomorphic duck]], and he would likely get sued. And indeed, Creator/{{Disney}} had previously [[DisneyOwnsThisTrope threatened the comic with a lawsuit]].


* In ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember'', the events during a chase scene set in Japan include a cart carrying a statue of a Franchise/{{Godzilla}}-like monster rolling through the streets. A random person in the street shouts "Run! It's Godzilla!" Another person[[note]]who would be [[{{Series.Heroes}} Masi Oka]][[/note]], standing next to him, mentions that it's clearly not Godzilla, because if it were, it would violate copyright laws. The first responds "Still, we should run like it ''is'' Godzilla! Though it isn't." before running away in panic. The very next shot has what is unmistakably a [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Charmander]] float.
* In ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack'', the title characters have a [[Franchise/StarWars Bongsaber]] [[CrowningMomentofAwesome Duel]] with [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries the]] [[Creator/MarkHamill Cocknocker]] in their Bluntcave.
--> ''"I think George Lucas gon' sue somebody"''
* In [[Film/KickAss Kick-Ass]] the superhero Big Daddy is described several times as looking like Franchise/{{Batman}}, almost always followed by a panicked ''"[[NotUsingTheZWord I never said he looked like]] Franchise/{{Batman}}!!!"''
* In ''Film/TheGamersDorknessRising'', after one character produces a lightsaber from "the trunk", he's informed that "he can't use a lightsaber, it's not even the right system!"
--> '''Brother Silence:''' I don't see a lightsaber. That would be copyright infringement. I see a psionic spirit blade. [[note]] This is an actual item in some editions of D&D making this a double example of this trope. [[/note]]
* Inverted in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'':
--> '''Mel Brooks''': Thank you, Hedy, thank you.
--> '''Hedley Lamarr''': It's not ''Hedy''; it's ''Hedley''. Hedley Lamarr.
--> '''Mel Brooks''': What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You'll be able to sue ''her''! [[note]]Funnily enough, Hedy Lamarr ''did'' end up suing the movie over the use of her name. [[/note]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Lampshaded when Alton Brown has an episode "busting" some food myths in ''Series/GoodEats''. Just as he starts to say "[[{{Series/MythBusters}} bust some my-]]", the telephone rings and he demands his lawyer on why he can't finish the phrase. The reason? "'COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT'?!" He reluctantly changes it to "Myth Smashers".
** [[HilariousInHindsight And then years later]], Alton guest-starred on an episode of ''Myth Busters''.
* ''Series/TheColbertReport'''s Vancouverage ([[SarcasmMode which is so not Olympic coverage]]).
* Done in-universe in ''Series/ICarly''. They start singing "Happy Birthday" on the webshow, only for Freddie to interrupt them and point out that it isn't public domain. They switch to "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".
* From the season 3 Christmas episode of ''Series/{{Glee}}'' :
--> '''Blaine:''' (To Finn and Puck) Say, are you dressed like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo?
--> '''Finn:''' No, that's copyright infringement! Any resemblance to Star Wars characters is purely coincidental!
* ''Series/TheMuppetShow'':
-->'''Scooter:''' The people that published the music from Camelot just called and they won't let you do it.\\
'''Kermit:''' What? I was willing to give them credit! I would've given them a big build up! I would have given anything to do the jousting scene!\\
'''Scooter:''' They want money.\\
'''Kermit:''' Cancel the jousting scene.
** ''Camelot'' must be a particularly good target because we get this gag in the ''Animaniacs'' episode "Sir Yaksalot":
--->"In the town of Camelot\\
"We love to sing all day,\\
"But we can't sing the movie score\\
"Or else they'll make us pay!"
* From ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', we get:
--> "[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory To infinity and...]]"\\
"Umm, Disney? Lawsuit?" \\
"And, um, other places!"
** The 10th volume of the DVD collections of the series was originally released with ''Film/GodzillaVsMegalon''; unfortunately, the rights fell through, and the future releases of volume "10.''2''" had an extra skit on the replacement ''Film/TheGiantGilaMonster'' disk where Dr. Forrester scolds TV's Frank for not getting the rights to the "Japanese Giant Monster Movie" (or as Frank and Joel put it, "(Mumble) vs. (Unintelligible)").
* Hilariously toyed with by James May on an episode of ''Series/TopGear'' where, while cooking during a camping episode, he spends about 2 minutes trying to describe a particular treat whose name can't be specifically used for legal reasons...but then finishes up with, "but of course ''you'' know they're Jaffa Cakes."
* ''Series/LazyTown'' once acknowledged that Robbie Rotten's disguise gallery looked a little too much like the suit gallery in ''Series/{{Power Rangers Zeo}}'''s Power Chamber.
-->'''Bill:''' Saban is gonna sue you for stealing his idea.
** [[TemptingFate Unfortunately,]] in real life, Creator/{{Saban Brands}} ''did'' sue [=LazyTown=] Entertainment for this. Thanks to this, Robbie's disguise gallery was altered so that each costume was projected one at a time instead of being shown in tubes all at once.
* ''Series/CelebrityNameGame'' cannot use the term *bleep* Bowl. But Craig [[Main/LoopholeAbuse manages to get around it.]]
-->'''Craig:''' "Just imagine putting pretzels in a bowl and that it would be super."

* Used in the classic ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' parody "Bat Boy and Rubin!"
-->'''Bat Boy''': Now! Onto the window sill! Faster than a speeding bullet, ''Kapweeng!'' Up... up... up and away!\\
'''Rubin''': Wait a minute, Bat Boy! That 'faster than a speeding bullet' is [[{{Superman}} another character's]] routine!... It may be copyrighted! Want to get us sued?
** This and many other references to the fact that these characters are ''not'' those other comic book characters are payback for legal threats from DC concerning their previous parody, "Superduperman". Ironically, ''MAD'' had predicted they ''would'' get sued for their still earlier ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}'' parody, whose opening caption said, "Only the names haven't been changed so as not to protect the writer of this story!"

* In ''AudioPlay/StanFrebergPresentsTheUnitedStatesOfAmerica'', the Indian chief sweetens his offer to sell New York to the Dutch by adding Staten Island to the package, and the real estate agents exclaims, "Is that a generous Indian? You'll have Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island too!" He then gets a phone call (presumably from Richard Rodgers's lawyer) with the message that they'll have to pay royalties if they quote any more. The Indian threatens to bring on another phone call by mentioning his wife's preference for [[Theatre/{{Kismet}} "baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads."]]
* In Music/TheBeatles' 1965 Christmas message to their fan club, John starts singing a song by The Four Tops:
-->'''John''': It's the same old song, but a different meaning since...\\
'''George''': Copyright, Johnny!
* The Barron Knights made an entire career of parodying current pop songs. They sometimes got into trouble for this; and they once lampshaded this with one of their medleys, appropriately called "Trouble".

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/CurtHennig, at the time formerly Mr. Perfect in the [=WWF=] (now WWE), cut off frequent associate Wrestling/RickRude from calling him perfect on Wrestling/{{WCW}} television so they wouldn't get sued.
** Wrestling/{{TNA}} had another example, when the Planet Jarrett stable had a mock-funeral for Team 3D's career. Wrestling/JamesStorm started to mock one of the [=catchphrase=]s they used in Wrestling/{{WWE}} as Wrestling/TheDudleyBoys, only for Wrestling/JeffJarrett to cut him off:
--->'''Jarrett''': James! Be serious for a moment! Their careers are already dead, they don't need another lawsuit!
** Jarrett has had a moment like that of his own. He defeated Mark Starr on the August 17, 1997 ''WCW Saturday Night.'' After the match, "Mean" Gene Okerlund called him "Double..uh, Jeff Jarrett", a reference to Jarrett's WWE RedBaron "Double J."
* During the Midwest Militia (Sassy Stephie[=/=]Allysin Kay)-[=KOA=] (Sugar Dunkerton[=/=]Aaron Epic) match at ''Wrestling/{{WSU}} vs. Beyond Wrestling'', October 13, 2012, while Stephie had Dunkerton in a hammerlock, Epic tried starting a [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson "YES! YES! YES!"]] chant, and Stephie said, "That's trademarked."
* The Wrestling/RandySavage[=\=]Wrestling/UltimateWarrior tribute match between Machismo King Jay Lethal and [[Wrestling/HunterJohnston Delirious]] got [[CrowdChant chants]] of "This Is Familiar!" and "Pure Infringement!" from the Wrestling/RingOfHonor fans in attendance. [[HypocriticalHumor Then they booed when Lethal did an elbow drop and demanded he do it again with a "Finger Point!" and do it "Eight More Times!"]]

* This is a frequent joke on ''Radio/CarTalk'' due to Tom and Ray's unabashed negative opinions of certain companies [[CoughSnarkCough *cough[=GMChryslerFord=]cough*]], though there have been several occasions when they've actually gotten in trouble.
* Faye Jackson got a joking chastisement on ''Reality Check Radio'' when she announced Wrestling/CodyRhodes would be making his ROH debut at ''Final Battle'', being told they can't say "[[DisneyOwnsThisTrope Rhodes]]".

* ''Louisiana Purchase'' begins with a lawyer warning the musical's authors that they'll get sued unless they make it clear that everything in the show, including the state of Louisiana, is [[ThisIsAWorkOfFiction fictional]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW'' when Lowe from ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSeedAstray Gundam SEED Astray]]'' accidentally re-routes all the Red Frame's power to one of its hand plugs, and attacks an enemy with it. While this attack is known in its original series as the "Thunder Ball", [[Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico Gai Daigoji]] is cut off before he can suggest calling it the [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam "Shining Finger"]] - by a character who shares the same voice actor as [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars Ryusei Date]], in a bit of creative irony (Ryusei's own R-1 has the [[SarcasmMode completely original]] T-Link Knuckle).
** In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration 2'', Sleigh Presty pilots a red mech that goes very fast. When one character suggests calling her the "[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Red Comet]]", his familiars break out this line.
* In the Japanese version of ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', Mega Man will sometimes converse with Roll or Auto instead of Dr. Light after acquiring a new weapon (screenshots with translations [[http://www.rockmanpm.com/?p=original/rockman7/labtalk here]]). One of these is likely meant as a parody of the trope since it references a property jointly-owned by Creator/{{Capcom}}:
--> '''Mega Man''': "With this Slash Claw, I can slice through anything."\\
'''Auto''': "Incredible! It's like [[VideoGame/{{Strider}} SXrXder HiXyuu]]!"\\
'''Mega Man''': "Promise you won't say that again."
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', one episode of "Teach Me, Miss Litchi!" has Litchi comparing [[GlassCannon Ragna]] to [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Chipp Zanuff]], prompting the former to yell "Gauntlet Hades!" to "obscure" the meaning. (In the English dub of that episode, she's just interrupted while mentioning Chipp's name by [[CatGirl Taokaka]] loudly entering Litchi's clinic.)
* ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'', when asked about the birds pulling a wagon. "These? They're [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Choc]]... uh... Chuckaboos!"
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', after the chapter's end, you can still go hide by the birds in Twilight Town and listen to them talk. One of the birds wants to open a pay site for real estate called "[[VideoGame/LuigisMansion Luigi's Mansion]]". The other bird thinks he's heard the name somewhere before, and warns him against using it, lest he get sued. (They go ahead and say the name, because both are by Creator/{{Nintendo}}.)
* In ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'', Pit comments that the Komaytos look a lot like Metroids. Viridi is not pleased and insists that "this game universe and [[VideoGame/{{Metroid}} that game universe]] have ''nothing'' to do with each other!" Again, both are owned by Nintendo.
* This exchange from ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'':
-->'''Nathan''': I'll go down there and create a distraction, while you take one of those nice-looking Jee--\\
'''Elena''': [=4x4s=].\\
'''Nathan''': --[=4x4s=].
* The InteractiveFiction game ''Toonesia'', [[BlatantLies so not set in the]] ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' world (and starring many [[WritingAroundTrademarks familiar-looking characters]]). Should you examine the [[Characters/LooneyTunes Tasmanian Devil]]:
-->''The Tazmanian Devil is a real animal, not a copyright of [[Creator/WarnerBros a certain large corporation with lots of legal muscle]]. I can therefore mention it by name in this game. Unfortunately, if I were to describe a real-life Tazmanian Devil, you'd only be disappointed--they don't look like much. So, I won't describe the slavering beast before you. And if you assume that it has a boxy body attached to short thin legs, two large maniacal eyes set above a wide, drooling, sharp-fanged mouth, and brown fur all over, then YOU'RE violating copyright, not me.''
* In ''VideoGame/GemsOfWar'', the fact that the elven Glade Warden troop is pretty clearly [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Orlando Bloom's Legolas]] is lampshaded by the card text this way.
* ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'':
** Nezumi Castle in the amusement park on the Fourth Island is [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks a large, mouse-themed castle]]. Hajime says, "There's a lot of things I could say about this building, but it's probably better if I say nothing at all", and Monokuma and Monomi reveal that they're both terrified of mice.
** In the final trial, Monokuma threatens to [[OneWingedAngel reveal his true form]] to the remaining survivors:
--->'''Monokuma:''' A transformation is customary in a final boss battle, right? You know, like that one role-playing game? You know what game I'm talking about. [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Final]]--
--->'''Kazuichi Soda:''' Don't say it!

* ''Webcomic/CogaSuro'' has Steve announcing that he's found a name for his RidiculouslyHumanRobot -as it changes into a costume resembling that of Marvel's The Vision, Steve has enough time to announce it as 'The Vis-' before Jerry interrupts him by smiting him with an object.
* In ''Webcomic/TheWotch'', Anne attempts to make Jason's comics into moving pictures, but instead [[http://www.thewotch.com/?comic=comic-relief-5 brings them to life]]... as obvious {{Expy}} clones. When Jason suggests that magic has to obey copyright laws, Robin points out that even he, a non-comic fan, can tell which character is which, and starts to name them, to be quickly interrupted with:
--> '''Jason:''' Shut up! Do you want to invoke the wrath of the Lawsuit Gods?!
* [[Webcomic/EverydayHeroes Mister Mighty's]] battle cry has to be [[https://web.archive.org/web/20090726010559/http://www.webcomicsnation.com/eddurd/everydayheroes/character.php?character_ID=1296 approved by his team's lawyers]].
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Lawyers from Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0032.html intervene in a battle to remove their intellectual property]]. The printed version of those comics actually [[OrwellianRetcon removed]] the names "mind flayer" and "illithid" from the earlier strips featuring the Squid Thingy, replacing them with "brain eater" and "[[BlandNameProduct illithoid]]".
** This is later used to Vaarsuvius's advantage when he ends up in a fight with a [[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Drizzt knock-off]]. Later we discover that [[spoiler: he's protected by parody clause and allowed to return.]]
** The print version of Book 1 features a new, print-exclusive prologue, explaining that the story takes place in the world of a popular roleplaying game -- though they can't say which one because it would be a trademark violation. Cut to a panel with players at a table suggesting they play three BlandNameProduct knockoffs of the [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons actual name of the game]].
* Despite Secret's first impression, the {{Plot Coupon}}s from ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation'' are definitely ''not'' [[VideoGame/KingdomHearts Keyblades]].
-->'''Secret:''' It's a keybla-\\
'''Misho:''' ''No, it's not.''\\
'''Secret:''' But...\\
'''Misho:''' '''''Shut up.'''''
* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' uses this quite a bit with characters like "[[TheIncredibleHulk The Sulk]]" or "[[ComicBook/FantasticFour the Mediocre Four]]" and a few others throughout.
* ''Webcomic/TimesLikeThis'': This trope is invoked while [[http://www.timeslikethis.com/index.php?id=327 Cassie's trying to name her newly-hatched dinosaur.]]
-->'''Matt:''' What about Walky? You know that song [[Music/WasNotWas "Walk The Dinosaur"]], right? WALKY the Dinosaur!"
-->'''Cassie:''' Well, ''that's'' fine, if you want to get sued by [[Webcomic/WalkyVerse David Willis]]...
* One character in ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' is named "[[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Drasst Don'tsue]]"
* ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'' had a harpy who looked like Medli from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''. She is killed after a couple of pages, and Rocky points out that if she stayed around any longer they'd have to [[http://danielscreations.com/ola/comics/ep0149.html pay a royalty to Nintendo]].

[[folder: Web Original]]

* Nearly every episode of ''WebVideo/TheAllenAndCraigShow'' involves a scheme that revolves around Allen copying a popular television show, movie, or internet meme/trend in his attempts to gain notoriety, including but not limited to ''Series/{{House}},'' ''Series/HellsKitchen,'' and the popular [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKoB0MHVBvM Diet Coke and Mentos]] Website/YouTube video.
* In ''[[WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries Yu-Gi-Oh Cr@psule Monsters]]'' when Tristan finds a [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Pikachu]]-like [[{{Mons}} mon]]:
--> '''Tristan:''' That one looks like the mascot of a popular anime series based on the concept of catching animals. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint I think it's called]] ''VideoGame/DinosaurKing''.
** Another Yugioh Abridged Example was, strangely enough, a retroactive instance of this trope. Tea said "It is on in a matter similar to that of Donkey Kong." Shortly after the episode was released, by complete coincidence, Nintendo filed a trademark on the real phrase, "It's on like Donkey Kong."
* ''WebVideo/HoganVsFlair'' bills a number of Wrestling/{{WWE}} and Wrestling/{{TNA}} wrestlers under other names, ostensibly for just this reason. . For example The Dudley Boyz/Team 3D are called "Team 3rd Dimension", with Bubba Ray billed as "Bowling Shirt" and D-Von called "Camo Pants".
* In ''WebAnimation/{{Arfenhouse}} Teh Movie Too'', "LAWSUIT" stamps are displayed after segments ripping off ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' and ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/64728 Boxer Man]]''.
* [[http://charges.uol.com.br/2013/05/10/cotidiano-passadinha-la-no-lula This story]] started with a song by Roberto Carlos until a character ordered it to stop out of fear Carlos would sue them.
* [[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Dr. Doofenshmirtz]] in one of his [[CharacterBlog Vlogs]] said that he can't legally say [[spoiler:i]]Phone on the show, so he called it an [[BlandNameProduct iDoo-hickey]].
* ''WebVideo/GradeAUnderA'' once made a video exposing pranksters on Website/YouTube, but to avoid his video being taken down, he also made alternate explanations for every piece of proof that a video was staged using actors.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** The TropeNamer is a line from one of "[[HalloweenEpisode Treehouse of Horror]]" segments. Specifically, [[Film/TheShining The Shinning]].
** In-universe in "Lisa the Beauty Queen." The school fair includes the tagline "The Happiest Place on Earth," which the blue-haired lawyer says is a Disneyland trademark and threatens to sue Skinner. However, Skinner then uses his Green Beret training to beat up the lawyer and his goons with frightening efficiency.
-->'''Skinner:''' [[BondOneLiner Copyright expired.]]
** In another episode, Lisa tells the story of Snow White. The blue-haired lawyer guy tells her she can't because the tale belongs to Disney, but Lisa counters this by claiming the tale has been out forever and isn't owned by anyone. Plus the dwarves were her own creation.
--->"Ho hi, ho hi, it's time to say goodbye. If Disney sues, we'll claim fair use, ho hi ho hi!"
** In one episode, "Sherri Bobbins" is immediately recognized to be an obvious {{Expy}} of Film/MaryPoppins, but she explains that she's a wholly original character, like "Ricky Rouse" or "Monald Muck".
** Also, in the [[Comicbook/TheSimpsons comic]], everyone is about to sing HappyBirthdayToYou, until the blue-haired lawyer advises them against it.
** Another "Treehouse of Horror" opens with the Simpson family cast as Series/TheMunsters. Lisa/Marilyn is carrying a book of copyright law.
** The episode "Children of a Lesser Clod" has an in-universe example: Krusty is singing to open an awards ceremony -- only to yell for the music to stop after the first line, saying "one more line and we have to pay for the song."
** "The President Wore Pearls" is a spoof of ''{{Music/Evita}}'' (with Lisa as Eva Peron), but the end credits include the statement "On the advice of our lawyers, we have never heard of any musical about the life of Eva Peron".
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''
** Notably averted in the Creator/StephenKing parody, which ends with this incredibly and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny hilariously]] nonchalant line:
--> '''Peter''': Thank you, Creator/StephenKing; we'll see you in court.
** In another episode, the characters refer a few times to [=McDaniels=] and various generic-sounding Expys of [[UsefulNotes/{{McDonalds}} [=McDonald's=]]] products, followed each time by a frustrated Lampshade by Quagmire.
-->'''Quagmire''': So frustrating. We all KNOW what we're talking about!
** Yet another episode has Brian and Stewie sharing candy they got for Halloween over the ending credits, but as Stewie says, they're not allowed to use real-world candy names and instead come up with various names that are almost but not quite the same. It ends with Stewie muttering, "God I hate television."
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce''
** In one episode the Plutonians use a device called a [[Franchise/StargateVerse Fargate]] to cross time and space.
-->'''Emory''': "I think he went through the Starg-"\\
'''Oglethorpe''': "IT IS A FARGATE! F! Goes far, get it? From the makers of ''[[Film/IndependenceDay Findependence Day]]''! We're NOT getting sued!"
** And [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls the not-Powerpuff Girl]] (honest!) with a mohawk and in a wheelchair on their T-shirt.
** This from "2-and-a-Half-Star Wars Out Of Five".
--->'''Master Shake:''' Whoa! Where in the hell did you get a lightsa...\\
'''Frylock:''' Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Waver, lightwaver! Very different from what you are about to say.
*** Hilariously this is the only moment in the episode that invokes this trope while for most the episode and a few moments after this scene the trope is averted.
* On ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'', Tobey Maguire battles Jake Gyllenhaal with a box from which spring forth giant metal tentacles which are clearly NOT Doctor Octopus's arms from ''Spider-Man 2'' because that, points out the announcer, would be copyright infringement.
* In ''WesternAnimation/YinYangYo'', there's a minor villain named The Puffin. Like [[Franchise/{{Batman}} The Penguin]], he has an umbrella and a top hat, but as Yang points out: As long as they specify that he ''is'' a ''puffin'', they can't be sued.
* ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' has done this quite a few times. In "Best O' Plucky Duck Day":
-->'''Buster:''' Today we're presenting three hysterical [[WesternAnimation/DuckTales duck tales]]...
-->'''Plucky:''' ''Don't use that word!''
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic once made an appearance in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat.'' When Eek starts gushing about Al's music, Al shushes him with "You sing ''one'' note, and you'll be paying some goofball's publishing company from now 'til the end of forever. Do you want that? Huh? ''Do you?!''"
* One ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' ends with a fourth-wall lean about how the characters (i.e. creators) are free to exercise their freedom of speech regarding Scientology being a scam and are not afraid of being sued. Cue a credits roll entirely consisting of John and Jane Smiths.
* ''WesternAnimation/ClerksTheAnimatedSeries'' dealt with this a few times.
** During Episode 3's spoof of ''Film/{{Outbreak}}'', the show stops to explain that all references to Creator/DustinHoffman will be replaced with Creator/AlPacino (due to a recent lawsuit by Hoffman).
** In Episode 4's "animated by a Korean studio" sequence, the appearance of [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} a small mouse-like creature that shoots lightning]] is soon advised by the narrator as [="NOT PIKACHU PLEASE DON'T SUE!"=]
** In Episode 5, Randall's high school yearbook photo has his head placed over the famous photo of General Nguyen. For reasons that eluded the writers, adding a fictional character to a cartoon version of a copyrighted photo ''didn't'' legally constitute parody - until they added [[http://heartofthetiger.homestead.com/TV/CLERKS/Files/Clerks0501.JPG a caption.]].
* ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'': When a cricket volunteered himself to be Garfield's conscience, he offered a [[Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio Pinocchio]] book and Garfield started reading it until the cricket warned him about being [[Disney/{{Pinocchio}} sued by Disney]].
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'': Brain once tried to raise money in the theater world. The producer he tried to pitch his play said he wanted something different from the works of Creator/AndrewLloydWebber {{Expy}} Albert Floyd Webster, but only different enough to avoid being sued.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''. When Literature/TheThreeMusketeers were given mice-like features, Wanda said they became the three Mous... Timmy interrupted her. While "Mouseketeer" was a word used in some ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' cartoons, a different group of Mouseketeers were a Disney property, and perhaps a bit more likely to get someone sued.
* One of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'''s "Tales of Interest" episodes featured a group of people who "resemble but are legally distinct from the [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Lollipop Guild]]".
* In the ''Walter Melon'' episode parodying ''Film/JurassicPark'', the heroine suggests the park may have been sabotaged by a rival theme park. Not wanting to get sued, the John Hammond {{Expy}} cuts her off before she can name whatever one she was thinking of.
-->TheStinger [[Website/YouTube has been removed due to a copyright claim by]] [[VideoGame/RustysRealDealBaseball Nontendo]].