Playing With / Not Using the "Z" Word

Basic Trope: Characters are faced with a creature, but refuse to call said creature by its given name.
  • Straight: Bob sees a group of walking dead people who eat flesh and brains. Nobody says that they're zombies.
  • Exaggerated: Bob sees a black-and-white striped horse, but thinks of something other than "Zebra" to call it.
  • Downplayed: The characters gently get around referring to the zombies as anything specifically, or never even mention them, too concerned with their own survival.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Bob insists that the creatures be called "zombies", even though they're actually mutated alien werewolves.
  • Subverted: Bob explains how the creatures literally aren't zombies, but a similar mythical creature, but admits that it's easier to call them "zombies.".
  • Double Subverted: Alice then says that she'd rather call them by their given mythological name.
  • Parodied:
    • The name used instead of "Zombie" is incredibly long so as to encompass all of its qualities, eg "Shambling-Rotting-Walking-Corpses-That-Feed-On-Flesh-And-Turn-You-Into-Shambling-Rotting-Walking-Corpses-That-Feed-On-Flesh."
    • Everyone has their own name for the zombies and are constantly arguing over which name is correct.
    • "Zombie" is considered a derogatory term. The proper phrase is something along the lines of "reanimated corpse".
  • Zig Zagged: As it turns out, the word they used instead of Zombie just happens to be the literal translation of the word "Zombie" in an obscure language that none of the characters know anyway.
  • Averted: They're called Zombies from the get-go.
  • Enforced: They can get away with using a look-alike of a licensed monster, but they can't use the proper name, so the characters just never say what they are.
  • Lampshaded: "Why can't we just call them Zombies instead of Them?
  • Invoked: "Don't call them Zombies."
  • Exploited: Bob, secretly not very fond of humanity, convinces everyone to not say "Zombies" in order to confuse other survivors into carelessness or suicidal actions.
  • Defied: A character tries to correct Bob calling the creature a Zombie. Bob slaps him and says "They're Zombies."
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "So those new monsters that just showed up on The Adventures of Bob, when do you think Bob will start calling them zombies?"
  • Deconstructed: The refusal to say 'zombie' stems from the characters' disbelief that such a situation could occur. It progresses into outright psychotic denial that zombies even exist, and they walk out into the undead hordes as if heading out for a stroll, having convinced themselves that there's no such thing as zombies.
  • Reconstructed: Admitting the full level of danger they're in would demoralize the characters who aren't as strong-willed, so Bob avoids calling them zombies in order to allow them to rally together and get to safety; there's time enough to freak out and be scared once they get to the safe house.

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