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Insistent Terminology / Live-Action TV

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  • Angel:
    • In Wesley's first Angel appearance, he wants to make sure everyone knows that he's a rogue demon hunter.
    • Another Wesley example—in earlier seasons, he always answered his phone, "Wyndam-Pryce". But after he took multiple levels in badass, he apparently decided his full last name was too formal and switched to answering calls with "Pryce here". He's not exactly insistent about it, so it's a pretty minor example, nevertheless the change does seem to be deliberate.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Thor's not just handsome, he's dreamy, according to Skye and May.
    • In "F.Z.Z.T.", it's not a vaccine, it's an anti-serum. Which is technically correct; a vaccine works to prevent infection, and is useless for treatment, while an anti-serum is used to treat an active infection.
    • In Season 3, Daisy started the show being named Skye. She has started going by her new name, Daisy, after finding out that it is what her birth father named her. Coulson is the only one who is having trouble remembering to call her that, and is corrected by other characters often.
    • Enoch regularly points out that he is a Chronicom, not a robot or android.
  • America's Next Top Model: Want to know what really ticks Tyra off? Calling it a "season" instead of a "cycle." Others don't have this problem.
  • Arrested Development: GOB insists that his magic act is not about doing "tricks", he is doing "illusions!"
    • Though, funnily enough, near the end of the series the shadowy pimp Michael is talking to reveals himself to be GOB when he talks about his girls "turning illusions", accidentally making the switch in exactly the situation he used to use to illustrate his point.
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  • Babylon 5: In the fourth season the Centauri emperor complains about his Pain Technicians. They used to be called Torturers, but ever since they got organized it's Pain Technicians.
  • Batman (1966): It is always "Stately Wayne Manor". Always.
    Suzy Knickerbocker: Oh, I don't know, Boy Wonder, I hear millionaire Bruce Wayne is really one of the hippies. All that marvelous money and fantastic Wayne Manor.
    Batman: Stately Wayne Manor.
    • There is one exception: In "Penguin's a Fink" it is just called Wayne Manor.
      • In "Fine Finny Friends"/"Batman Makes the Scenes", even the surveillance camera monitor for stately Wayne Manor is labelled "Stately Wayne Manor".
  • Better Call Saul: In a flashback, Saul asks Walter if he had a time machine and could go and change something in his life, Walt angrily refutes the concept of time travel as impossible and insists that Saul refer to the question more seriously as "what is your greatest regret".
    Walter: Oh you are not talking about a time machine, which is both a real and theoretical impossibility, you are talking about regrets. So, if you want to ask about regrets, just ask about regrets and leave all this time-travelling nonsense out of it!
  • The Big Bang Theory
    • Sheldon is not a rocket scientist. He's a theoretical physicist! Also, Sheldon takes great pains to point out that his bowling team t-shirt is said as "The Wesley Crushers" (those who crush Wesley) and not "The Wesley Crushers" (a group of people who are fans of Wesley Crusher). Dr. Sheldon Cooper would also have you know that he's not crazy; his mother had him tested. She later confirms this (...though she should have followed-up with that specialist in Houston). Sheldon also does not play "pranks"; he subjects people to his classic pranks.
      • He also prefers it when accurate terms are used. One of the more notable things he prefers is to refer to sexual intercourse as "coitus", probably to separate it from sex as in "male or female". (Note: Coitus actually strictly refers to heterosexual intercourse in which a vagina is penetrated by a penis and nothing else so calling any other type of sex this is inaccurate).
    • Repeated reminders that Howard does not have a doctorate:
      "Doctor Gablehauser"
      "Doctor Koothrappali"
      "Doctor Gablehauser"
      "Doctor Hofstadter"
      "Doctor Gablehauser"
      "Doctor Cooper"
      "Doctor Gablehauser"
      "Mister Wolowitz"
    • Also Howard would like to point out that he does not live with his mother. She lives with him.
    • Confusingly defied when Amy, at one point, calls The Doctor "Doctor Who" and Sheldon didn't correct her which, given his obsessive, compulsive, tendencies in every other scene in the show, is a bit out of character for him. The writers had an easy out to have the uninitiated in the audience know the difference for future episodes, yet they didn't take it. Presumably, Sheldon is a long-term fan, who remembers the first several Doctors being called "Doctor Who" in the credits.
  • Blake's 7: Arlen, when it is revealed that she was a mole in Blake's new non-organization, corrects Tarrant when he concludes that she is "A Federation agent". She abruptly insists on "Federation Officer". This distinction is also used in real life government miliatry/intelligence organizations where, for example, an actual card-carrying member of the CIA is an officer, not an agent. He recruits (or turns) civilians and outsiders to act as his agents, spies, assassins or moles.
  • Boardwalk Empire: Dr. Narcisse always refers to any black people as "Libyans". As he spends quite a bit of time proselytizing about the plight of his fellow "Libyans" the term gets used a lot.
  • Bones:
    • Booth is quick to point out, he's not Agent Seely Booth, but Special Agent-In-Charge Seely Booth. Justified in that that's his actual rank in the organization.
    • Hodgins hates when anyone says “dirt” instead of “soil”. He launched into a long rant about it once.
    • Intern Jessica insists she grew up in an “educational collective” and not a “commune.”
    • Bone names for Brennan. Even in different languages like her “Ska-luh!” exchange in one episode.
    • Gordon Gordon Wyatt was a chef and definitely not a “fry cook??!!”
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Hank is not collecting "rocks", he's collecting "minerals". Because rocks are aggregations of minerals, Hank is apparently collecting samples of single-mineral crystals.
    • Walt isn't a meth dealer, he's a meth manufacturer.
  • Cheers:
    • Diane is very firm on the fact that Goldenbrook was not a loony bin or a mental institution, but a health spa, where she was staying of her own free will. A health spa which just happened to have licensed psychiatrists and orderlies working there.
    • Cliff doesn't keep a diary. Only weirdoes keep a diary, where they inscribe their dark, depraved thoughts. He keeps a journal!
    • Carla didn't hate Diane. She disapproved of her, so she tells Sam, several years after Diane's left.
    • When Sam finally reveals to Carla the deep, dark secret that he's losing his hair, he quickly corrects her; he's not wearing a wig, he's using a "hair replacement system."
  • The Cleaner (UK): Wicky insists he's a crime-scene cleaner, not just a cleaner.
  • The Closer: No, Brenda, they aren't "suspects", they're "persons of interest".note 
  • In the Corner Gas episode "Tax Man", Canada Customs and Revenue agent Marvin Drey takes offense to being called "the tax man", finding it dehumanizing. He's a tax man, thank you very much.
    • In "Rock On!", Emma insists that the Nanaimo bars she has made not be called as such, since they were not made in Nanaimo. Instead they are "Nanaimo-style Saskatchewan bars".
  • In Criminal Minds, Dr. Spencer Reid would like you to know that he has an *eidetic* memory, not a photographic memory. Also, during the first few seasons, some of his team members are very insistent that he be referred to as "doctor", although that had more to do with the fact that he was in his early 20's and looked fifteen at the time than with anything else.
  • Daredevil: Karen was the "office manager" at Nelson and Murdock, not the "secretary". She has to correct both Ray Nadeem and Fisk about this.
  • Detectorists: The devices are metal detectors, the people who use them are detectorists... and they will correct you if you get that wrong.
  • In Devious Maids, Julia is a chef, NOT a cook. The difference? $60.000 in tuition. And a hat.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor in general is rather insistent that he borrowed the TARDIS, not stole it. Meanwhile, the TARDIS herself insists that she stole him.
    • The Doctor's moniker is "The Doctor", not "Doc", and definitely not "Doctor Who" (except early seasons, including one on-air mention in "The War Machines").
      • Steven Taylor, one of the First Doctor's Companions, would often call him "Doc". The Doctor would demand that Steven call him by his proper name. On one occasion he hastily added a "–tor!" to his "Doc" on suffering the Doctor's mighty glare.
      • Similarly, Ace refers to the Seventh Doctor as "Professor", which, like "Doc", often irked the Doctor.
      • When Missy is pretending to be the Doctor, she refers to herself as "Doctor Who". Bill corrects her, but Missy says that when the Doctor first left Gallifrey he called himself "Doctor Who", only to change it when he decided that just "the Doctor" was better.
    • The classic series has 26 seasons. The revival series, which being a continuation should have started with season 27, instead starts with series 1. Most British shows would refer to a season as a series, so why classic Doctor Who called them seasons is a mystery.
    • "Voyage of the Damned": Bannakaffalatta, a red-skinned, spikey alien cyborg, takes it personally when the Doctor tries to call him "Banna".
    • In "The Girl Who Waited", Older Amy insists on calling everything what it is. "Sonic screwdriver" is too whimsical. It's a probe. Also, useful as it is, she doesn't want to be reminded of the Doctor.
      • It's occasionally implied that the Doctor does this too, if in reverse. He actually has a sonic probe, he just likes calling it a sonic screwdriver.
    • "Resolution": Aaron repeatedly insists that the microwave he's trying to sell is, in fact, a microwave oven.
    • "Praxeus": Jake Willis is very insistent that he is not a former police officer, he's just on a sabbatical.
  • On Dollhouse:
    Topher: He seemed to be having a kind
    Claire: Victor had an erection?
    Topher: I prefer man-reaction.
  • Done repeatedly on El Chavo del ocho.
    Doña Florinda:This is your great job? Balloon seller?
    Don Ramon: I'm not a balloon seller, I'm a dealer specializing in folkloric articles for child consumption.
    • Also in the sister show El Chapulín Colorado, where an episode has a scientist (by coincidence, played by the same actor as Don Ramón) who studies space stones, but constantly insists they're "aerolites" instead of "stones".
  • MKnote  Miri Regev once angrily insisted that a leader of the Israeli Occupy movement address her as ‘MK Miri Regev’ on a televised debate to establish herself as her superior. Israeli satire show Eretz Nehederet parodied her as a Hair-Trigger Temper and somewhat poor in sense, making her fly into a blind rage whenever someone omitted the ‘MK’ part, taking a second before noticing when the show’s host didn’t omit it, and at one point flying off the handle when telling him about how she once looked into the mirror and said to herself, ‘Miri... MEMBER OF THE KNESSET MIRI!!’
  • Jim Taggart of Eureka would like you to know that he is not a dog catcher. He's a Biological Containment Specialist. This seems funny at first, but this is Eureka, the home of mad scientists, so he actually does have a lot of qualifications in a task that is vital whenever one of the many biological experiments escape.
  • On Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert is gored by a bull, and a Running Gag is made of his insisting that he was injured in the "upper thigh." This finally snaps when he confronts the bull again. "You chased me down, and you gored me. RIGHT IN THE ASS!"
  • The Expanse:
    • The crew of the Rocinante are insistent that their ship is legitimate salvage from Mars, despite the fact that it is a fully functional warship.
    • In one of the fourth season story arcs, Belter refugees from Ganymede name the world where they've settled "Ilus"note , while the corporate charter holders and the UN government call it "New Terra". The name used generally reflects the speaker's position on which side has a better claim.
  • On an early episode of Family Matters, Laura Winslow agrees to eat out with Steve Urkel on the condition that it's not a "date"... it's a "non-date".
  • On Finding Carter, the titular character is insistent on being referred to as "Carter" (as opposed to her birth name of "Lyndon") and others referring to her biological mother as "Elizabeth" (even Elizabeth's two other children). This is to show her affiliation to the woman she regards as her actual mother, who kidnapped her when she was three. (She eventually relents on the latter.)
  • Friends: "WE WERE ON A BREAK!!"
  • In Get Smart, when Max calls the Chinese ultra-villain 'The Craw', the villain corrects him in a proper Chinese ultra-villain accent, "No, not da Craw, da Craw!"
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Remember that Ser Davos Seaworth used to be a smuggler in the old rebellion days, not in any way a thief or a pirate though the distinction is lost on people like Stannis. When the Iron Bank refers to him as a thief, he counters "I didn't do the thieving. I just moved what they [the pirates] stole from one place to another."
      Davos: I was never a pirate, I was a smuggler.
      Shireen: What's the difference?
      Davos: Well, if you're a famous smuggler, you're not doing it right.
      Shireen: My father says a criminal is a criminal.
      Davos: Your father lacks an appreciation for the finer points of bad behavior.
    • Joffrey feels the need to remind everyone he is king. Even Tywin believes that a true King would never feel such a need.
    • Daenerys refuses to use the title of Queen before she takes over Westeros, though she accepts Khaleesi as her current status. "Not a queen, a Khaleesi" — Daenerys Targaryen. "I'm a Khaleesi(!), no' a queen, for fuck's sake mate." — Emilia Clarke.
    • Brienne is no "Lady".
    • Sandor Clegane has never been knighted and proudly refuses to accept any such "honour" after seeing it given to his abusive older brother:
      Sandor: I am no Ser.
    • Viserys Targaryen refers to Robert Baratheon as "The Usurper" (accurately), and calls himself a "King" before ever being crowned.
    • When Doreah says that Daenerys will look like a Princess in the dress that Xaro Xhoan Daxos has given her, Irri corrects her. Daenerys is a Khaleesi, not just a Princess.
    • Salladhor is not going to rape Cersei, he's going to fuck her. He wants to persuade her to consent to sleeping with him first.
      Salladhor: One thing: I want the Queen.
      Davos: The Queen?
      Salladhor: Cersei. I want her. I'll sail with your fleet, all thirty of my ships, and if we don't drown at the bottom of Blackwater Bay, I will fuck this blonde Queen and I will fuck her well.
      Matthos: This war isn't about you. We're not attacking King's Landing so that you can rape the Queen!
      Salladhor: I'm not going to rape her, I'm going to fuck her.
      Matthos: As if she would just let you?
      Salladhor: You don't know how persuasive I am. I never tried to fuck you.
  • Guerrilla: Marcus is upset that their Black Army Faction is called the "Bishop-Mitre Gang", after Dhari and Jas, saying it's not just about them. This is an obvious reference to the Red Army Faction, commonly known then as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: June's boss in the flashback says all his female employees are being "let go", not "fired". In the present time she's beaten by Aunt Lynda because she calls Emily "gay", not a "gender traitor". In another flashback, June keeps being called "Mrs. Bankole" (her husband's surname) despite saying her name's June Osborne. It's an ominous sign of the change happening, as it was once standard for women to have their husband's name.
  • Barney from How I Met Your Mother is constantly insisting to others (including Ted) that he is Ted's best friend instead of Marshall.
  • How Not to Live Your Life: Jackson doesn't play songs, he plays melody/word formations.
  • In How to Be Indie, Indie never refers to her cousin Rubi without calling her "Evil Cousin Rubi".
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mac repeatedly insists that he's not gaining weight, he's "cultivating mass".
  • In the French series Kaamelott:
    • King Arthur (son of Pendragon and Ygerne) and Anna of Tintagel (daughter of Gorlay and Ygerne) always correct anybody calling them either brother/sister with "half-brother/half-sister". They once said it simultaneously. As her husband Loth can attest, Anna can get violent if you forget the "half-" part.
    • Also, during the whole "Livre V", as Arthur has renounced the throne, he keeps correcting anybody calling him "Sire".
  • In Keeping Up Appearances, Hyacinth insists on the correct pronunciation of her last name, Bucket, which is pronounced like the word bouquet ("Boo-Kay"), not like the word it resembles: bucket ("Buh-Kitt").
  • Killjoys: The people who work for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition are "Reclamation Agents", not "bounty hunters" or "killjoys", thank you very much.
  • Kenan & Kel: In "Attack of the Bugman", Kenan finds a lot of the stuff in his house is missing, so he and Kel call the police and say he's been robbed. The (goofy) policemen who come insist he has not been robbed, he's been burgled (this is technically correct; robbed is when a thief takes your stuff by force, burgled is when a thief takes your stuff without you noticing). Kenan just gets annoyed and says he doesn't care what it is called, he just wants his stuff back.
  • In the early seasons of Law & Order, EADA Ben Stone insisted on calling people "sir" or "ma'am". The more he disliked you, the more polite he got.
    Ian O'Connell: May I ask you a question, sir? How with the map of Donegal on your mug did you ever end up with a name like Stone?
    Stone: Happenstance, sir. Same way you ended up with the name of a real Irish patriot.
  • Played for Laughs with Detective Carisi in Law & Order: SVU; upon introducing himself, he tells people to call him "Sonny", but none of the other main characters ever do. Rollins even Lampshades it at one point.
  • This is used as a Running Gag in the season two premiere of Legends of Tomorrow, some characters refer to a particular weapon of mass destruction as an "atomic bomb", while Albert Einstein keeps insisting that it is a "nuclear bomb".
  • On Leverage, Eliot—for whom food is very much Serious Business—gets quite upset when Hardison keeps referring to the "culinary institute" they're infiltrating as a "cooking school."
  • Little Lunch: In "Dress-Up Day", Melanie keeps insisting that she is a vet, despite everyone else thinking she is a waitress. Mrs Gonsha guesses dog groomer, which is a least somewhat closer.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Adar takes offence to the word "orc", insisting that the monstrous spawn of the elves Morgoth corrupted be called by their proper name, Uruk.
  • In the alternate timeline in the sixth season of Lost, Ben Linus likes to be called Dr. Linus. He's specifically a doctor of history.
  • In Mad Dogs, Rick is NOT an accountant; he's a Financial Consultant.
  • Magnum, P.I.: The title character is not a "private eye", he's a "private investigator".
  • Manhattan Love Story: Peter doesn't read comic books, but graphic novels. Interestingly, he's shown reading comic books rather than trade paperbacks, making his argument fairly weak.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: Bambang refers to his father's favorite actress Maudy Koesnaedi by her role in Si Doel Anak Sekolahan "Mbak Zaenab". When his friends figure out who is this Zaenab he has been talking about, Bambang starts insisting they all call her "Mbak Zaenab" too.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Never call Ferdinand Von Zeppelin's flying machine a "Balloon". "Eet is not a BALLOON!! Eet is an AIRSHIP! An AIRSHIP!! You vant to play wis balloons, GET OUTSIDE!!"
    • No no, it's spelled Raymond Luxury Yacht, but it's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove!
    • S. Frog, sir.note 
    • "Mrs. Anne Elk." "Miss." She even verbally puts it in brackets.
  • On Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of these (see Real Life below) was used as a running gag in seasons 3-4: Whenever Joel referred to "comic books" the bots would take offense and insist on the term "graphic novels."
  • Newhart: When Michael admits to his boss that he had stolen an idea for the TV show from a student in his production class...
    Bev: You stole his idea?
    Michael: According to his lawyer, it was "unlawful approximation".
  • NUMB3RS: A character mentions something is increasing at an exponential rate, and Charlie corrects her; exponential increases are a very specific pattern, and this pattern does not apply at all. Then he admits with a chuckle that the mathematically correct term is simply "more."
  • Nuremberg: During Justice Jackson's questioning of Hermann Goering, he presents the memorandum in which Goering ordered Reinhard Heydrich to organize the Holocaust, i.e. the Final Solution. Goering protests that the proper translation is "Total Solution", completely ignoring that it's an order for genocide either way.
  • The Nutt House: It's Ms. Frick. Not Miss Frick, or Mrs. Frick.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "Jinx", the Noisemaker refers to Dr. O and Oscar as "evil scientists". Dr. O tells him that she's a doctor, not an evil scientist. Oscar, on the other hand, tells him that he's a Scientist (as in, an Odd Squad agent working in the Science department), not an evil scientist.
    • In "O is Not For Over", Oprah teaches Olive that the Catchphrase to use when you are an Odd Squad Director addressing two of your agents about a case is, "Something very odd has happened". Olive mistakes it for "something super odd has happened", causing Oprah to sharply correct her.
    • Both Jamie Jam and Marty Marmalade are often victims of this, with people thinking that the jam Jamie makes is jelly while others think the marmalade Marty makes is jam. Jamie corrects Olympia on the mistake in "Mid-Day in the Garden of Good and Odd" and gives a long-winded explanation about the difference, while Otis corrects Olympia in "Two Agents and a Baby" when she mixes up jam and marmalade.
    • To Oprah, the Scientist convention held every year is a "sweaty Scientist party". To everyone else, including Odelia, it's Lab-Con. It's called Lab-Con.
    • The eggs that Delivery Doug uses in the making of his egg salad sandwiches? They're ripened, not rotten.
    • In "The B-Team", Orla shows the Big O and her teammates who she would have replaced herself with in OSMU. The Big O dubiously confirms with her that she chose a rock to replace her. Orla responds by saying that she didn't choose a rock to replace her, but a boulder.
  • The Office
    • Gareth Keenan and his American counterpart Dwight Schrute constantly refer to themselves as "Assistant Regional Manager," prompting nearby employees to insist, "Assistant to the Regional Manager," a much less impressive and largely meaningless title.
    • There's also Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. He's even introduced this way by the pastor at his wedding.
  • Once Upon a Time: Zelena's not evil, she's wicked. Justified in that, after the "evil" moniker became so associated with Regina, Zelena would naturally want to have something of her own to be called rather than share something with Regina.
  • The Order: According to Lilith, the Knights are not a "Brotherhood." They're a "Gender-Neutral Collective."" Her fellow Knights (all male) start to say that too later.
  • On Orphan Black, Allison is initially very resistant to the "C-word" (not that one) so they're "genetic identicals."
  • The Partridge Family: Danny insists the bulletin board in the kitchen is called the "communications center."
  • Memetic mutation has done this to Dr. K of Power Rangers RPM. It's Bio-Armor, not spandex!
    Dr. K: The material is a self-assembling nanofiber formed with an inter-cellular shape memory alloy.
    • Not just memetic mutation, as it's cropped up again a few episodes after the first incident. Schoolkids on a field trip get a Q&A session with the Rangers, and K has to be restrained when the S-word comes up.
    • Dr. K is very insistent on terminology. During the Q&A session she holds with her Series Operators in the beginning of "Ranger Blue", Scott asks her about the eyes in front of their Zords. She tells them that they are not eyes, but that they are actually optical field scanning sensors for their cockpit's displays. But, of course, this doesn't go around the fact that...
      Dillon: They look like eyes!
      Ziggy: Big, googly anime eyes.
  • Red Dwarf: A simulant is not an android. There are key distinctions. For one, an android would never rip off a person's head and spit down their neck.
  • Rizzoli & Isles:
    • Bass is a tortoise, not a turtle.
  • Scrubs
    • There is an employee who is noted for resembling Snoop Dogg who is very insistent on making sure everyone knows his title, making sure nobody calls him Snoop Dogg Intern when he becomes Snoop Dogg Attending and so on. Although he wishes that, just once, someone would just call him Ronald.
    • The Janitor objects to his uniform being called a jumpsuit (or, more usually, being referred to as "Jumpsuit" himself). "It's a shirt and pants. Who wears a belt with a jumpsuit?"
  • In Sherlock, Holmes is not a psychopath. He's a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research!
    • And he seems to use the phrase "I didn't know, I saw" Once an Episode.
    • John apparently seemed to tell Wiggins that his broken arm was a "sprain" and said "I'm a doctor. I know how to sprain people."
  • Green Grove from The Sopranos is a retirement community, not a nursing home.
  • In one episode of Special Unit 2 they were trying to catch a djinn before she could grant her 3000th wish and be free. To do this, their resident gearhead created a capturing device:
    Jonathan [describes the device, using terms involving sucking and a storage bag]
    O'Malley: So you created a vacuum cleaner.
    Jonathan: It's not a vacuum cleaner.
    Captain: [enters scene] Have you finished briefing Benson and O'Malley on the vacuum cleaner?
  • There's also "adult film actress" instead of "porn star" in Sports Night, also by Aaron Sorkin.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Senator Robert Kinsey tries to smugly comment on Thor's presence and refers to him as "Commander", only for Thor to restate that he is Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet. Kinsey does it again when he meets Bra'tac, referring to him as "mister", whereupon SG-1 explains that it is Master Bra'tac.
  • On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Mr. Data is an "artificial life form" or "android", not a "robot"
    • And his name is pronounced "Dayta", not "Datta".
    • It is a cellular peptide cake...with mint frosting.
  • In an example from one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Ferengi episodes, the good guy Ferengi repeatedly have to correct people who refer to "Grand Nagus Brunt" by insisting that they call him "Acting Grand Nagus Brunt".
  • The Defiant-class of ships are not warships, they are heavy escorts. Starfleet does not have warships. That doesn't stop Defiant-class ships from being more heavily armed, armored and shielded than most other factions' warships, or showing up far away from anything that might need escorting and delivering huge amounts of firepower to Borg and Dominion ships and installations. But still absolutely, definitely not warships.
  • In a similar fashion to classifying the Defiant, Starfleet is not a true military, despite the fact that they are one of the most heavily armed organizations in the Milky Way and are the ones who fight when the Federation's borders are assaulted. They prefer to use themselves and their ships as a humanitarian and peacekeeping fleet, as well as doing exploration and scientific research.
  • In Still Standing, Bill once took Tina to a bar. Bill then, every time it's mentioned, adds, "AND GRILLE!".note 
  • Supernatural:
    • Samuel Winchester is insistent that his name is "Sam", not "Sammy", but has trouble convincing his older brother of this. Note that anyone else who calls him "Sammy" has a tendency to die shortly thereafter. After all, "[Dean]'s the only one who gets to call [him] that."
    • The leader of the Leviathans isn't Richard Roman, he's Dick. He even makes a point of correcting people on this.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • According to Stiles, Lydia's hair is not merely red, it is strawberry-blonde.
    • Scott and Jackson are CO-captains of the lacrosse team.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, like Uncle Bob from Judgement Day, the Terminators insist on being called cyborgs, rather than robots. Justified, since most of Skynet's army is a purely machine-based force, so a cyborg is a specific unit for the infiltration of the resistance, not simply a rank and file endoskeleton.
  • Fabio Viviani from Top Chef season 5. After a judge called his filet mignon sandwich "essentially a cheesesteak", he went on to declare, "It's a filet mignon sandwich. Not a cheesesteak."
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Twenty-Two", Liz Powell's agent Barney Kamener says that she is a stripper but she corrects him by saying that she is a dancer.
    • In "Passage on the Lady Anne", whenever Eileen Ransome refers to the Lady Anne as "it," Toby and Millie McKenzie tell her that the ship is a "she."
  • The Two Ronnies were two comedians who did a lot of work together, but they were not a double act.
  • On Veronica Mars, Cassidy Casablancas is always referred to as "Beaver". In the season 2 finale he finally snaps, yelling "MY NAME IS CASSIDY!" Lampshaded since Veronica Mars calls him Cassidy (and whenever she calls him Beaver, she corrects herself).
  • Warehouse 13 is located in UH-niville, not YOU-niville. This is because the "Un" in Univille is short for "unincorporated."
  • The West Wing, thanks to its focus on the arcana and minutia of politics, encounters this quite often.
    • For example, in episode 1x08, "Enemies", Sam Seaborne is roped into writing a birthday message for the Secretary of Transportation. That he is staggeringly overqualified for this minor assignment is emphasized throughout.
      Josh: What're you guys working on?
      Toby: It's a birthday card.
      Sam: Actually, it's a birthday message.
    • Sam Seaborn's friend Laurie is a "call girl", not a "prostitute". It's an important distinction, Toby.
    • And people like to remind you when the person you're talking with them about is the US president.
      Hoynes: I have had it up to here with you and your pal.
      Leo: Excuse me... Are you referring to President Bartlet?
      Hoynes: Yes.
      Leo: Refer to him that way.
    • Legislative uses tends to come in two flavors:
      • Names that simplify or brand the issue so as to make it hard to oppose, such as the real-life "death taxnote " or Annabeth reframing the alternative to Charlie's poverty assistance plan a "poverty/poor tax."
      • Names that are obfuscatingly wordy so as to make them easier to oppose, like the "Comprehensive Access and Responsibility Act" for the Patients' Bill of Rights. (The Republicans agreed to discuss changing the name back.)
  • In White Collar, criminals always remember to say "allegedly" after anyone mentions any crime they have committed and/or been charged with, but not been convicted for.
    • Also, Neal objects to being called Mr. Caffrey. And Cheekbones.
  • Brilliant cop Lester Freamon of The Wire is very insistent about the amount of time he spent banished in the pawn shop unit—thirteen years and four months. Every time someone mentions his thirteen years there, Lester adds "and four months" in a way that makes it clear he begrudges every second of it.
  • On Workaholics, the guys frequently smoke pot, and are fine with calling it pot or weed. In one episode though, they insist on calling it "grass", correcting Karl when he calls it weed. By the end of the episode, Karl and the guys are together again, and Karl offers to smoke grass. But now they call it "dro." For the most part on the show, the terms are interchangeable. The guys are also not "bros", they prefer to call themselves brajs, sometimes brojs. Which fits, since while they're similar to traditional bros, they are their own animal.
  • The Worst Year of My Life, Again: In "Halloween", Alex is quite insistent that his Grim Reaper costume is a 'robe', and not a 'dress', as Simon keeps referring to it as.