Follow TV Tropes


Insistent Terminology / Comic Books

Go To

  • Aquaman doesn't "talk to fish." He telepathically commands.
  • In The Avengers storyline The Celestial Madonna Saga, Moondragon is quite insistent that she's a goddess due to her psychic training.
  • Batgirl:
    • In the Batgirl (2009) series, Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl and at that point the tech-savvy Oracle refuses to call Stephanie Brown by the name "Batgirl" after she takes over the persona. This is for a variety of personal and professional reasons, and she always refers to Stephanie by her proper name or with various pronouns, always avoiding the actual word "Batgirl." When she finally does use the term Stephanie recognizes that this signifies her acceptance and approval, and it gives her the motivation to persevere when fighting the Scarecrow.
    • Advertisement:
    • In Batgirl (2011), Barbara Gordon has to repeat several times her codename is Batgirl, not Batwoman.
  • Batman '66: The Bat-Signal Batman uses to call Batgirl isn't pink. It's "fuchsia".
  • Batwoman: Kate Kane makes it a point to remind everyone (especially her Dad) that for all her great qualities, Catherine Kane is her Stepmother.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 comics have Dawn cursed to turn into three things. She would like you to know that the second one was not a centaur, it was a centaurette, which is, as she defined it, a girl centaur.
  • In Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, Yankee Poodle's civilian identity Rova Barkitt insists that she is not a gossip columnist, but a celebrity interviewer.
  • Death's Head, of the Marvel universe (and occasionally appearing in the Transformers and Doctor Who comics when Marvel had the license), is a freelance peacekeeping agent. Some call him bounty hunter, but never twice, yes?
  • Advertisement:
  • Pfirsich Rommel in Donna Barr's The Desert Peach wants you to know that his accessories are peach colored. Pink is tacky.
  • The Fox Hunt villain known as "The Mad Gadgeteer" would prefer to be referred to as simply "The Gadgeteer", with "Mad" giving off such an insane connotation and all.
  • Ghost Rider antagonist and Legacy Character "The All-New Orb" literally always refers to himself with that full phrase. Others just call him "Orb" or "The Orb", but he's been very clear what he'd prefer to be known as.
  • In Gotham City Garage, Dick's electric batons are NOT called sticks. They're batons. Get it right.
    Dick: Unless you count electric batons? Not a whole lot.
    Kara: Electric sticks are our only hope?
    Dick: Batons. They're called batons.
  • In Gravity Falls: Lost Legends, Ford's cursed trunk insists on calling comic books "graphic novels".
  • Advertisement:
  • In the Hellboy comics, the Nazi head-in-a-jar mad scientist Herman Von Klempt gets very upset if you call his ape a monkey.
  • Sting: "Klarion... bum bum BUM... the Witch-Boy!"
  • In MAD, this is often used for humor. For example, one article described wealthy people's activities less bluntly than poor peoples' ("When you're poor, you vomit. When you're rich... you succumb to a sudden attack of nausea.") Another article tells people to think of others' behavior in worse terms than their own—others are pushy, while you are assertive.
  • New Avengers (2015): SHIELD would never torture people. They'd never stoop so low! What Agent Garrett is planning to subject Songbird to are "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques".
  • Runaways: Molly's code-name is Princess Powerful!
  • Max from Sam & Max: Freelance Police dislikes being called a rabbit, and instead prefers the term "Lagomorph" or "Hyperkinetic Rabbity Thing." He dislikes being called a "malefactor" too. But for really insistent terminology, just use a really weird or long word around him. He hates that even more.
  • The Sandman:
    • Fun-Land. "Not FUN! FUN-LAND!" This being The Sandman, it's actually pretty terrifying: the guy in question is a child-murdering sociopath hiding behind the mask of an amiable, slightly goofy fat guy who stalks his "prey" in amusement parks.
    • When Destruction got into a conversation with a denizen of a necropolis, the other person mentioned that they insist on referring to the dead they prepare for funeral rites as "clients" and not just "bodies". Destruction compliments them for their respect for the dead, contrasting them with the previous necropolis which did not share the same reverence for the deceased.
  • Spider-Man has been known to correct villains who call him an insect, pointing out that spiders are technically arachnids.
  • In Super Dinosaur, Elliot insists he be called by his codename of the week.
  • Superman:
    • In Who is Superwoman?, Supergirl finds out her mother Alura is spying on the Earth's army. Alura and her secretary point out repeatedly they were not "spying" on humans but merely "monitorizing" them.
      Thara Ak-Var: On your mother's orders, my team was monitoring certain human military channels before we left Earth.
      Kara: You were spying on the military?
      Lyra Kam-Par: Monitoring them.
    • Bizarrogirl: When Jimmy calls Bizarrogirl "Bizarro Supergirl", she growls: "It am Bizarrogirl, Jimmy Olsen!"
    • The Superman Adventures: Granny Goodness says Scott Free didn't "escape" her orphanage. "He just hasn't been here since then."
    • Power Girl 2009: They are not "monsters," they are G.E.L.F.s. It is not that hard to remember.
  • Top 10:
    • Vampires in Neopolis prefer not to say the zed word; One, when called a vampire, insists he's "a Hungarian-American with an inherited medical condition."
    • Robots, who are victims of Fantastic Racism, tend to insist on being acknowledged as "Ferro-Americans" or "Post-Organics".
  • In Transformers: TransTech, Shockwave will have you know he's not "evil", he's "morally ambiguous".
  • Varmints: Opie insists she and Ned "borrowed" the large bearded man's horse, when it's clear that they stole it.
  • Wonder Woman
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Queen Clea insists on being called a Queen long after she's been deposed and stripped of the title.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Nemesis in "Who Is Wonder Woman?":
      Sarge Steel: "... You'd still be one of Circe's pigboys."
      Nemesis: Wolfmen. A small but important distinction."


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: