Playing With / "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word

Basic Trope: A character prefers not to use a specific word, and instead prefers a softer alternative.
  • Straight: When Alice accuses Bob of blackmailing her, he insists she doesn't call it blackmailing.
  • Exagerated: Alice accuses Bob of blackmailing her. He threatens to tell everyone every single one of her secrets if she ever says that word again.
  • Downplayed: By the way Bob uses words such as "Influence" and "Leverage", it's clear he's referring to blackmail even though he avoids that specific word.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is a Knight Templar who does not view his actions as crimes.
    • Bob has always disliked the word blackmail, because he finds it offensive to people who send their mail in black paper.
    • Bob hates the word blackmail because he finds it phonetically unpleasant.
    • Bob is worried someone might overhear the conversation.
  • Inverted:
    • When Alice accuses Bob of blackmailing her, he asks her to say it again, because he likes the sound of the word.
    • Alice tries to dodge explicitly using the word "blackmail", but Bob tells her to just call it what it actually is.
    • Bob's "aggressive exchange of valuables" really IS just him desperately trying to trade his Action Comics #1 for Alice's large diamond, but he insists on calling it "blackmail."
  • Subverted: "Blackmail is such a dirty word. But yes, that is what I'm doing."
  • Double Subverted:..."But still, don't call it blackmail.
  • Parodied: Upon accusal, Bob pulls out a thesaurus and lists better words than blackmail.
  • Zig Zagged: When Alice accuses Bob of blackmailing her, he insists she doesn't call it blackmailing. Later she calls it blackmailing anyway and he doesn't notice.
  • Averted: Bob has no problems with the accusatory term.
  • Enforced: 'We need to show that our show is set in the 30s!'
  • Lampshaded: "Honestly? My word choice is the biggest issue here?"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Alice says 'blackmail' over and over again to annoy Bob.
  • Defied: 'Blackmail is such an ugly word. But for your sake, yes it's blackmail.'
  • Discussed: 'Some say that blackmail is an ugly word. I think it's just right for what I do.'
  • Conversed: 'Oh look, they said 'blackmail is an ugly word'. What other stock 30s phrases will they use, I wonder?
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob is on trial, and he insists the person suing him not use the word blackmail. They eventually sue him for something much worse and he gets a much worse punishment than if he had just been sued for blackmail.
    • Alice accuses Bob of blackmailing her. Bob sues Alice for libel.


The back button is just an ugly word. I'd rather you use previous.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord