EvilerThanThou on Mar 14th 2019 at 1:33:26 PM
Last Edited By:
EvilerThanThou on 17 hours ago
Page Type: trope
They are not devoid of a capacity to speak entirely. They just speak only when spoken too. When spoken too, they merely repeat what you told them. You tell them "jump", they do not ask "how high?" They just say "jump."
In some circumstances, they are not just limited to repeating any word that is spoken to them at that given time. They could repeat a sentence said to them hours after they hear it when they believe it to be the perfect response to something. They might even be able to pick and choose specific parts of a sentence, constructing their own consonance like auditory Stock Footage.
Whether or not they are fully sentient and are cursed without the capacity to speak for themselves or if they are automatons with no actual wills of their own, programmed to copy whatever they hear, depends on who this trope applies to. When Played for Laughs, then it will devolve into a series of consecutive Stop Copying Mes. Evil examples may be used as a Mouth of Sauron, repeating word-for-word the orders of their masters and relaying the exact words of the responders back to the Big Bad.
Compare Not in Front of the Parrot, Parrot Exposition, Repeat to Confirm and Repeat What You Just Said. See also The Unintelligible, Voice for the Voiceless and The Voiceless. Not to be confused with Power Echoes, when someone's voice has an echo effect.
- Calvin and Hobbes: In the April 9, 1995 comic, a shapeshifting alien copies Calvin's appearance. Since it doesn't know English, it just copies the few phrases it heard Calvin say: "Grittings. Ma nam is Kahlfin. Heeryor lunboks. Hoffa gud tay askool." But by the end of the day, it's learned enough English to form new sentences.
- In the Doctor Who Series 4 (the Tenth Doctor) episode "Midnight", the Doctor decide to take a sight-seeing tour alongside a bunch of other tourists. This being a Doctor Who episode, a mysterious alien entity takes possession of one of the tour-guides. The creature does not seem to have a comprehension of human speech and repeat all words that it hears around it with perfect accuracy. After stoking madness and paranoia amongst the passengers, it starts to affect the Doctor, the Doctor becoming the one that is repeating its words.
- Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Mega Max: Nadeshiko used to only be able to repeat the words being said to her by Gentaro and other people (when she's not being quiet altogether) because she's a SOLU (Seeds Of Life from the Universe), an alien liquid that is not naturally sentient and replication is just its reflex. Gentaro's love for Nadeshiko became a catalyst to have humanity ensue in her, becoming fully sentient and displaying a full range of human emotions and understanding, including non-echo responses.
- The Trope Namer is a mountain nymph from Classical Mythology named Echo. Being one of Zeus's many, many consorts, Hera comes to find her with him and after she tries to protect him (on his orders), Hera curses her so that she can only speak words that have been spoken to her. Later on, she becomes infatuated with the vain and cruel Narcissus. The exact details of what happens after differ depending on interpretations (he ends up killing her and Aphrodite curses him to fall in-love with his reflection, he falls in love with his reflection and they both die of a broken heart, etc), but all versions end with both dying, Echo's voice living on after her death as the origin of the acoustical phenomena of the same name.
- In Undertale, Echo Flowers are bioluminescent plants that repeat the last sounds they were exposed to, always speech. The protagonist can hear conversations by other people through the flowers.
- In Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything, White Pearl is only able to speak words that Steven has spoken in her vicinity. She is later able to carefully edit her speech and construct sentences all her own. By the end of Season Two, Rose Quartz reveal that this is because White Pearl is acting as an extension of Steven's will.
- In the Steven Universe episode "Mirror Gem", Lapis Lazuli, trapped within a mirror Pearl found at the Galaxy Warp, is unable to properly communicate. As Steven spends the day with it, she is able to communicate with Steven by repeating everything she sees, eventually being able to edit the "footage" to construct her own sentences.
- Zigzagged with a Monster of the Week in Bunnicula when the titular character and his fellow pets accidentally released a bird that can steal sounds. Among other kinds of sounds, it can steal people's voices and repeat the last words they said in a Stupid Statement Dance Mix of all the sounds it acquired until that point.
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