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  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    Bruce Banner: ...thanks.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron's big speech about people creating the things they fear most gets a trademark Whedon mood-breaking moment when he forgets the word "children", instead calling them "smaller people" until he recalls the right word.
  • Forrest Gump's general Verbal Tic. This leads to a nice Historical In-Joke when he ends up being a shareholder in "some sort of fruit company" (Apple Computers).
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  • Valentine from MirrorMask: "I will slip unnoticeable through the darkness like a dark, unnoticeable slippy thing." Notice that he doesn't hesitate at any point in the sentence. That's what he meant to say.
    "We will do what rich people do! We will bathe in... fish! Eat our weight in... chocolate buttons! Learn to play the concertina!"
  • Men in Black also had this little exchange.
    Jay: Hey, Kay. When do I get one of those... flashy-thingy-memory-messer-uppers?
    Kay: When you grow up.
    • or:
      Jay: "Have you ever flashy-thinged me?"
      Kay: "No."
      Jay: "I ain't playing with you, Kay! Have you ever flashy-thinged me?!"
      Kay: "No."
  • A Cinderella Story has this as Brianna makes Sam write her papers for her.
    Brianna: Can you make it sound more like ME this time?, I'm so sick and tired of having to explain why I sound so smart on paper and so... not smart... not on paper
  • In Bad Boys II, Det. Marcus Burnett is accidentally high on ecstasy when he and his partner go to ask their captain for a warrant. He is so out of it that his partner tries to send him on a fool's errand—call another detective and tell him... something...
    Mike Lowrey: Tell Vargas... tell him... that thing we said to tell him...
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  • The titular character of Juno has a most idiosyncratic syntax. "Prom is for weenises."
  • The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good. note 
  • In Help!, George Harrison realizes that the curling stone he just threw is actually a bomb, and exclaims, "Hey, it's a thingy! A fiendish thingy!"
  • Jurassic Park
    Nedry: First I'm going to get this thing and then I'm going to hook it up to that thing over there...
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Roland Tembo has quite a bit of trouble with the pronunciation of the dinosaurs' names.
    (chasing dinosaurs on the game trail)
    Tembo: You're coming up on a...
    (flips through his dinosaur guide)
    Tembo: A Pachy... a pachy... oh, hell. Uh, the fathead with the bald spot. Friar Tuck!
    • And later it seems like his team is having fun with his explanations:
    Hunter: Say again, Roland, a what?
    Tembo: The one with the big red horn. Pompadour. Elvis!
  • The Princess Bride: Vizzini gives this gem of a line when trying to outrun the man in black.
    Vizzini: Move the thing! And... that other thing! Move it!
  • "Safety Not Guaranteed": Darius describing her weapon of choice, the morning star, to Kenneth at the grocery store.
  • Galaxy Quest: Red... thingy... moving toward the green... thingy. I think we're the green thingy.
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  • The Commander in Sky High (2005): "Whatever you're teaching them, keep teaching them... it."
  • At the climax of an "insult contest" against Peter Pan in Hook, Rufio is reduced to spluttering "You... man! You... stupid... stupid... man!"
  • Night at the Museum: Ricky Gervais' character (the curator) has this as his main defining characteristic.
    "Do you think I'm here just to be a... a... (trails off into nothing)"
    • The protagonist is guilty of this too, at one point referring to dummies in a diorama as "weird, faceless puppet people."
  • In Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls:
    Ace: I will be as a fly on the wall. A grain of salt in the ocean. I shall slip amongst them like a transparent... thing.
  • Characters in Burn After Reading do this constantly, especially Linda and Chad as they attempt to act like real spies. Some of the best moments are sentences of Chad's that he loses control of ("Looks can be... deceptive"), sometimes resorting to his go-to word ("I thought you might be worried... about the security... of your shit.")
  • From the McHale's Navy movie:
    Vladikov: "What do you think of my stealth boat, David?"
    David: "Very stealthy, sir."
  • From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:
    Pippin: You need people of intelligence on this sort of mission... quest... thing.
    Merry: Well, that rules you out, Pip.
  • In She's the Man, when Olivia's mere presence renders Duke practically speechless:
    Viola as Sebastian: What about the thing that we talked about that you were gonna do later?
    Duke: What thing? I'm... I'm thingless.
  • This is a Running Gag with the mayor in the sixth Police Academy movie. The first example.
    Mayor: These folks are making us look like a bunch of... Oh, the ones who are very funny, kings have them... Send in my... Fool! They're making us look like a bunch of fools!
    • And he does something similar to this several times over the course of the movie.
  • In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter says to Alice, "You used to be much more... muchier. You've lost your muchness." Which is a reference to the book, where the Dormouse asks if Alice has ever seen a drawing of a muchness.
  • Boogie Nights. "Gimme one of those sprinkly Christmas things".
  • In The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard stumbles over the word "philanthropists", eventually calling them "good-deed doers".
  • A character in Hackers tells another that the MacGuffin has been put "in that place where I put that thing that time". Subverted because it was intentionally done by an intelligent character to sound vague. He was in jail at the time accused of federal hacking breaches, telling his friend where the evidence is over the phone.
  • In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, when Diz asks Saunders where a particular drink is, she says, "It's in the thing... behind the thing."
  • In Spider-Man, when the "Human Spider" finds out he'll be in an impromptu cage match with "Bonesaw McGraw" (alerted by said cage lowering around the ring, the crowd chanting "CAGE!" repeatedly, and the guards complying with the announcer's request to "PLEEEASE LOCK THE CAGE DOOOOOOOOOOOOORS AT THIS TIIIIIIIME..."
    Spidey: Hey! Unlock the thing! Take the chain off!!!
  • The Thing (1982): Unable to come up with a better term for them, the characters refer to the alien species as "Things". The subtitles capitalize this as the proper name for the creatures.
    • 29 years later, most fans of the film still refer to them as "Things".
  • The Alien movies. Both "Alien" and "Xenomorph" are terms applied to the species, but it seems that no one in-universe has come up with a proper name for them over the course of a few hundred years since their discovery.
    • In Alien: Resurrection, Call actually refers to the Aliens as "Aliens", over the PA system, talking to the Aliens as if this were their real species name.
    • According to Ash : "According to Mother, he's a primitive form of encephlepod..."
  • In Predator 2, the alien species is referred to by Gary Busey's character as "Predators".
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has a couple of these, mostly by Pilgrim.
    Scott: "Can you do a thingy... on that rail?"
    2nd Evil Ex: "It's called a grind, bro."
    Scott: "Well, can you do a grindy thingy now?"
  • The remake of The Longest Yard gives us this gem:
    "He's so fast, he makes fast people look . . . not as fast."
    Coach Klein: Bobby, can you do that for me every game?
    Bobby Boucher: Coach, not only will I do it for you, I... I... I... yes, yes, I'll do it for you.
  • Lampshaded in Star Trek: The Motion Picture
    Kirk: Bones, there's a... thing... out there.
    McCoy: Why is any object we don't understand always called "a thing"?
  • In Hancock:
    Bank robber: (holds up a deadman switch detonator) You know what this is?
    Hancock: I'm guessing it's some sort of detonator-type deal.
  • Monsters Crash the Pajama Party. As part of the Credits Gag. In the opening credits, which are spoken rather than shown with Big G the Gorilla demonstrating the various actions, the camera is referred to as the "picture-taking machine."
  • Patchi from the Walking with Dinosaurs film calls the Chirostenotes "skinny-necked pecky things".
  • David (King Edward VIII) calls ruling the British Empire "king-ing" in The King's Speech. No wonder he ends up having to abdicate.
    • According to The Windsors: A Royal Family, a PBS documentary from the 1990s, this may actually be a case of Truth in Television. The term is used by a historian who is directly quoting the former King.
  • April in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), when she complains about doing "froth" journalism. Oddly enough, there are actually proper terms for what April is describing: puff pieces or fluff pieces.
  • Groundhog Day: The National Weather Service is calling for a big blizzard thing.
  • In Love Crazy, Susan describes Ward Willoughby as a champion "bow-and-arrower". (The word is archer).
  • In Pokémon Detective Pikachu:
    Detective Pikachu: That's a twist! That's very twisty.
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