Follow TV Tropes


Insistent Terminology / Western Animation

Go To

  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake's mythology teacher and minor antagonist Hans Rotwood insists on being called "Professor", not "Mister".
  • Animaniacs: Whenever someone mentions the Warner brothers, expect Dot to pipe up with "And the Warner sister!"
    • Another variation shows up in "Broadcast Nuisance".
      Slam Fondlesome: I will not have my broadcast interrupted by a bunch of little kids!
      Yakko: We protest you calling us "little kids"! We prefer to be called "vertically-impaired pre-adults".
  • The Archer episode "Skytanic" has the repeated insistence that the titular ship isn't a zeppelin, but a rigid airship filled with helium. Archer never gets it, constantly referring to the thing as a hydrogen-filled death trap.
    Lana: ...and what part of that are you still not getting?
    Archer: Well, obviously the whole concept, Lana! We didn't all go to science camp!
    • EVERYONE refers to Trinette's son as "the wee baby Seamus." Every. Single. Time.
      • Also done with regards to Trinette herself in the episode "Training Day", who is a call girl. When Cyril thinks he accidentally killed her, Archer calls her a hooker because "...when they're dead, they're just hookers."
    • Advertisement:
    • Ray's brother Randy isn't a drug dealer, he's a drug farmer
    • It's not YYZ it's YY Zed.
    • Mallory will let you know that she is not racist, she is elitist, she treats every subserviant like crap, no matter their skin-color.
  • Don't call Dr. Gangreen from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! a Mad Scientist. He gets mad at you. He's an evil scientist!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender
      • The first episode has both Katara and Aang insist that what they do isn't magic; it is bending. Thankfully, nobody ever tried to sell that distinction again.
      • Sokka insists he does not have a ponytail; it is a Warrior's wolftail.
      • It's not "piracy", it's "high-risk sea trading".
      • And it's not a dance, it's an ancient, sacred firebending form. Called "The Dancing Dragon".
    • The Legend of Korra: Varrick allegedly committed the crimes of arson, kidnapping, terrorism, and grand larceny. ALLEGEDLY.
      Varrick: Never convicted!
      Asami: That's because you escaped before the trial.
      Varrick: I didn't escape, the Universe decided to set me free!
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • Dr. Champ is not a therapist, he's a therapy horse. The distinction actually becomes important, as a therapy horse is not bound by physician/patient privilege, meaning Dr. Champ was free to sing like a canary to Paige Sinclair about all of Bojack's dirty secrets.
    • Character Actress Margo Martindale is always referred to as...well, Character Actress Margo Martindale. No word on whether it's her or Hollywoo that does the insisting.
  • The Boondocks features recurring character "A Pimp Named Slickback", who gets flustered whenever people refer to him simply as Slickback and constantly has to correct them. A Pimp Named Slickback actually makes this correction a part of his introduction in one episode: "Please say the entire thing. Yes, that includes the 'A Pimp Named' part. Yes, every time."
  • The BOTS Master: They're BOYZZ, not bots. Calling them "bots" is basically their Berserk Button.
  • Advertisement:
  • On Camp Lazlo, when Chip and Skip agree with Edward's notion that they hate bugs, Raj points out that the two of them are giant dung beetles. They insist that they're vermin.
  • Charlie and Lola:
    • When Lola wants to wear the same costume for Halloween two years in a row, she claims that an alligator costume is now a crocodile, which is much more spooky. Charlie, though, insists that she can't wear the same costume two years in a row.
    • In "I Will Not Never Ever Eat a Tomato," Lola insists that she won't eat various foods, but Charlie tells her they're not what she says they are.
      Lola: Charlie! They look like fish fingers to me and I'll never eat a fish finger.
      Charlie: Fish fingers?! They are not fish fingers. (initiates a shared Imagine Spot in which he and Lola are swimming underwater) Lola, they are not fish fingers. They are ocean nibbles from under the sea. (they enter a mermaid supermarket) Mermaids always eat ocean nibbles.
  • The full title of the game "Big Ball" from Chowder. Apparently, it's bad luck not to refer to Field Tournament Style Up and Down On the Ground Manja Flanja Blanja Banja Ishka Bibble Babble Flabble Doma Roma Floma Boma Jingle Jangle Every Angle Bricka Bracka Flacka Stacka Two Ton Rerun Free for All Big Ball by its full name.
  • In Code Lyoko, when Odd Della Robia is called "scrawny" or "skinny", he always corrects them by saying he's "svelte".
  • In the Halloween Episode of Codename: Kids Next Door:
    Numbuh Four: I am not "pretty"! I'm handsome.
  • In Cranberry Christmas, Mr. Whiskers and Cyrus Grape get into an argument over who owns a nearby body of water, and whether or not it is a pond or a cranberry bog. Any time it is mentioned throughout the special, the other will insist that his term is the correct one. Cyrus even does this to the audience. "That's right; I said pond."
  • The Hacker in Cyberchase insists that people refer to him as "The Hacker", instead of "Hacker".
  • In Dan Vs.:
    Chris: So I'm expendable?
    Dan: Let's just say "non-vital", it's nicer.
  • Fang from Dave the Barbarian: "Not a monkey!"
  • Like Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid (see Literature above), Doug insists that his journal is not a diary.
  • Doug writes in his journal, and in one episode, gets annoyed when people call it a "diary", despite opening the first episode with "Dear Diary".
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • In the episode "Once Upon a Dime" had Scrooge McDuck wearing a kilt and correcting some non-Scots who called it a skirt.
    • Also, Scrooge never makes a "colossal blunder" when making decisions. A "business failure" maybe, but never a colossal blunder. (He's never made a "business failure" either, and never intends to start, but should he ever truly lose money on a poorly done and/or ill-conceived investment or project, that's the term he prefers.)
  • The Fairly OddParents has Doug Dimmadome, owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome, who will always introduce himself as such. Should someone simply call him "Doug Dimmadome", he will respond, "That's right! Doug Dimmadome, owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome!"
  • On Family Guy, Peter learns he has a black ancestor who was a slave and tries to embrace his roots, adopting the name "Kichwa Tembo", which he insists on being called, until his father-in-law offers him reparations.
    Carter: Not enough? Fine. Make it $20,000. How do you spell Kichwa?
    Peter: Yeah, you know what? Screw the Kichwa. Make it out to Peter. P-E-T-E...
  • In an episode of The Flintstones, Fred is employed as an apartment complex's janitor. "Not janitor! Resident stationary engineer!"
  • As Bender of Futurama puts it when accused of blackmail, "I prefer 'extortion'. The 'X' makes it sound cool."
  • Generator Rex: Bobo the nanite-enhanced, intelligent ape repeatedly insists his diaper is a "simian undergarment".
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Jackie "fell asleep". "Uncle merely resting brain."
  • In Johnny Test, Mad Scientist Eugene insists on being called "Bling-Bling Boy", due to the amount of jewelry he wears. Though in later episodes, Character Development sets in and he stops correcting people, indicating he's accepted that nobody will ever call him "Bling-Bling Boy".
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Gangster Poker", each time somebody says that Stumpy lost the cards, he claims that he just "forgot where he put them".
  • Kim Possible
    • Wade bemoans Kim for calling the genre "Sci-Fi" when it is in fact "Science Fiction".
    • "That's DOCTOR Drakken you dolt!"
    • "It's a housecoat!"
    • "It's called 'outsourcing'."
    • When Kim comments on Ron's "dumb luck", he answers, "Dumb skill."
    • "This building is actually made of cheese."
    • After Shego referred to him as a "college reject", Drakken points out that he's a college dropout — "They let me in; I let myself out."
  • King of the Hill:
    • Hank sells "propane and propane accessories".
    • You don't play bluegrass with a violin (heh). It's a fiddle.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Captain K'nuckles has a prosthetic sittin' muscle, not a prosthetic butt.
  • On Mighty Max Virgil's usual response to being chicken (which happened at least once an episode) was "Fowl, actually."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, specifically "A Dog and Pony Show": "I am NOT whining; I am complaining!"
  • In The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Ghost of Bigfoot", Laurel and Hardy apply at a ski resort for the positions of what Ollie calls "luggage expediters." Stan clarifies, "He means bellhops."
    • Before Stan clarified to the desk clerk that he and Ollie were looking for jobs, Ollie said they were on a business travel.
  • Peppa Pig:
    • In "Grandpa Pig's Train To The Rescue", Gertrude is not a little train, she is a miniature locomotive. In order, this is insisted by Grandpa Pig, Peppa, all the other passengers, then finally Mrs. Rabbit (whose big train had broken down.)
    • In "The Golden Boots", Peppa insists that her boots are "golden," but Suzy feels that they're simply "yellow." They get into an Argument of Contradictions about it.
  • In the Wizard of Oz parody episode of Phineas and Ferb, Doctor Doofenshmirtz (playing the Wicked Witch of the West) is insistent that he's a warlock, not a witch. The credits even list him as "Doofenwitch," with "witch" crossed out and replaced with "warlock".
    • From the episode "Candace Gets Busted": It's not a party, it's an intimate get-together!
      Candace party, Candace party!
    • Buford wasn't crying. He was sweating through his eyes. Major Monogram later said the same thing in the movie. (see above)
    • Again with Buford when he allowed Doofenshmirtz and his date to enter Phineas and Ferb's platypus-themed restaurant without a reservation. Doof didn't bribe Buford. He, to quote Buford, "caught my attention in a monetary fashion".
    • A downplayed example but Phineas and Ferb are each other's brothers rather than stepbrothers, Candace is Ferb's sister rather than stepsister, Linda is Ferb's mom rather than stepmom and Lawrence is Phineas and Candace's dad rather than stepdad (in fact, it's hard for first-time viewers to tell that the Flynn-Fletchers are a blended family at all).
  • The Inspector from The Pink Panther cartoon series, correcting Deux Deux for his Gratuitous Spanish: "Don't say , say oui."
  • In Ready Jet Go!, Sean's Neil Armstrong figure is an "action figure", not a "toy".
    • Mitchell isn't "playing" detective, he is one......or so he thinks.
  • A running gag is Rocko's Modern Life is when someone refers to Heffer as a "cow", either Heffer or his father will correct that person in that he's a steer.
  • In an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a Southern Gentleman insists that people call The American Civil War "The War Between The States". This sort of bickering over historical and political terminology is very much Truth in Television. Actually, he gets peeved over any word or phrase that even sounds like "Civil". When the next episode was going to be titled "Civil Defense", he angrily blustered, "War — I say — War between the States Defense!" (Amazingly enough, he's supporting the good guys, who are cast as the Confederate Army, though not by choice.) He relents after the war is reenacted (on the football field) and the South wins.
  • The Angry Scientist from Sheep in the Big City would get especially angry if anyone referred to him as a Mad Scientist. "Angrrrrry! I am an ANGRRRRRRRY scientist!"
  • Wrong Hordak from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power addresses all his allies his "brothers," even though most of them are women. Justified, as his upbringing was in a place with no familial ties, and as part of a One-Gender Race who address each other as "brother." To him, the word probably just means "person I like."
  • From The Simpsons:
    Girl: Milhouse has cooties!
    Milhouse: It's called lice, and it's nothing to be ashamed of!
    • Homer meeting the President of the Globex Corporation:
      Homer: Wow, my boss.
      Hank Scorpio: Don't call me that word. I don't like things that elevate me above the other people. I'm just like you. Oh, sure, I come later in the day, I get paid a lot more, and I take longer vacations, but I don't like the word "boss".
    • In one episode, Lisa points out that she's a perfectly reasonable child in order to stand up for children's rights at the town hall. An onlooker immediately reacts in shock, saying that he'd thought she was a midget. "First of all, they prefer to be called 'little people,' and secondly..."
    • In a parody of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, there was a robot urinal that doesn't like being called a urinal-bot. He prefers to be called "Lava-tron".
    • The man Marge bought a ticket from wasn't a scalper. He was a "dude whose 200 friends did not show up".
    • The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant melts down once, but meltdown is "one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus." Homer saves the plant/town through sheer dumb luck.
    • This exchange in "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)":
      Superintendent Chalmers: I'm bald-ing! Why does nobody honor the "ding?"
      Principal Skinner: I honor the "ding," sir.
      Superintendent Chalmers: What the hell are you talking about?
    • Homer does not want to take a vacation in Florida ("America's wang"). "They prefer the Sunshine State," though.note 
    • When Lisa and Bart unleash a zombie plague on Springfield, he chides her for calling them zombies: "They prefer to be called the living impaired."
    • This exchange from "Treehouse of Horror VII" section The Thing and I:
      Dr. Hibbert: You don't forget a thing like... Siamese twins!
      Lisa: I believe they prefer to be called "conjoined twins".
      Dr. Hibbert: And hillbillies prefer to be called "sons of the soil", but it ain't gonna happen.
    • Lampooned in the "Treehouse of Horror VIII" section The Homega Man:
    Moe: Actually, Homer, we resent being called 'mutants'. We prefer 'freaks'. Or 'monsters'.
    • The writers insist that Waylon Smithers is not gay, he is a "Burns-sexual".
  • Sofia the First:
    • "The Floating Palace": Oona constantly corrects anyone who refers to her sunken ship hideaway as a "shipwreck."
    • "When You Wish Upon a Well": The wishing well prefers the term "wish-granting water feature".
  • South Park
    • The very first one from Cartman - "I'm not fat, I'm big-boned!"
    • Sea Man regularly insists that people stop calling him "Semen".
    • And from the episode "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers":
      Cartman: The adventuring party saunters forth! The great wizard, the skillful ranger, and the covetous Jew.
      Kyle: I'm a paladin, Cartman!
      Cartman: Jews can't be paladins!
    • In "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery", a Scooby-Doo parody, the band spends most of the episode arguing over what to call the eponymous spirits. According to them, "ghost pirates" are the spirits of dead pirates while "pirate ghosts" are ghosts that decided to become pirates after their deaths.
    • "Bucky Bailey's Bully Buckers, trademark"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "That's MISTER Doctor Professor Patrick to you!"
  • Star Wars Rebels:
  • In Storm Hawks' first episode, the team is registering at the Sky Knight council. The registrar asks if Radaar is a pet, and when Radaar gets mad, Aerrow steps in to explain that Radaar prefers to be called the "mission specialist".
  • "That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" [wheeze]
  • In the Sushi Pack episode "From the Planet Citrus", Kani keeps calling the Ambassador to Citrus "Professor", and he corrects her each time.
  • Buddy Boar would like you to know that he was not "fired" from Taz-Mania. He was "promoted". To director.
  • Teen Titans Go! parodies The Legend of Zelda's equivalent of chickens being called Cuccos in the episode "Video Game References", where Starfire is in an adventure based on the original game and A Link to the Past and a villager insists that her chicken-like creature is called a Coocalacka.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny always follow up with the words "No Relation" whenever they need to introduce themselves together.
  • In one episode of Total Drama All-Stars, Chris keeps calling the Playa (now his private home), a cottage. Every time he does it, Courtney protests that it's actually a mansion. In a later episode, Zoey also calls him out for it.
  • In the animated Trolls de Troy series, Waha is a human girl adopted by trolls, a race of quite hairy humanoids. As such, she's very touchy about being called hairless or mangy, instead insisting that she has a "thwarted pilosity".
  • Dr. Orpheus from The Venture Bros. is a necromancer. Although he'll be the first to admit that he uses that title because Sorcerer or Magician sounds goofy nowadays.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Blunk is no smuggler, he's a retailer.
  • Wonder Pets!: The Wonder Pets had a tendency to refer to any baby animal as a "baby x," i.e. a "baby cow." A baby cow is called a "calf." This occasionally led to ridiculousness, such as a "baby kitten" or worse, a "baby egg."
  • Yogi's Gang: Yogi takes it for an insult if his hobo friend Smiley is called a "bum". Justified because, as Smiley explains it, a hobo looks for work and that makes them different from bums.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: