Characters who are eccentric, nutty or mentally unhinged tend to demonstrate this in everything — including language. They often invent their own words or use the existing ones in strange ways, and employ peculiar syntax and grammar. From time to time, they may also use a Perfectly Cromulent Word.
Compare with Buffy Speak.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Cowboy Bebop, the quirky hacker girl Edward "Radical Ed" Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV always refers to herself in the third person, often sings nursery rhymes and talks to herself out loud, and has many other peculiar speech mannerisms.
- Mizuki from DAYS is highly prone to explaining things using sound effects and, in fact, incapable of issuing or understanding normal explanations. He also includes words from foreign languages in his speech sometimes, usually thinking they mean something other than they actually mean.
- Hinata from Haikyuu!! has a habit of describing things with sound effects, especially when he's excited. Other players occasionally do the same, such as Kageyama, Nishinoya when explaining receives, or Nekoma's Inuoka (leading to an excited and perfectly incomprehensible conversation between him and Hinata that consists almost solely of sound effects).
- Megumi "Nodame" Noda from Nodame Cantabile frequently refers to herself in the third person as her preferred nickname Nodame and peppers her speech with nonsense words like "Gyabo" and "Mukya".
- Delirium in The Sandman (1989) tends to do this occasionally — which makes sense, since she's basically the personification of being a Cloudcuckoolander.
- Hay Lin from W.I.T.C.H. tends to use the words "spacious" and "cosmic" as synonyms for "cool", and also sometimes invents her own words like "weirdific" and "rockalicious".
- In the Avantasia Protag AU series, Aaron speaks with overly big words and sometimes Victorian British slang (i.e. "Chuckaboo") when sleep deprived or drunk. These words do actually exist and have meaning, but put together it's difficult for the ordinary person to understand.
Aaron: The god machine could zeroize the will of humanity, the act of mystifying reason transcending the waking world and rendering it immaculate of volition.
Film — Animated
- King Julien of Madagascar fame is a crazy, party-loving, self-obsessed lemur who has Malaproper tendencies.
Film — Live Action
- In David and Lisa, Lisa always speaks in rhyme as a manifestation of her mental illness. Her other personality, Muriel, doesn't speak at all, and communicates using notes.
- The Cat Who... Series: Book #1 (The Cat Who Could Read Backwards) has Nino, for whom this is Lampshaded: "He even speaks a language of his own, but we don't expect conformity of a genius, do we?"
- In the Changewinds trilogy by Jack Chalker, the Eccentric Artist Boday always refers to herself in the third person, and uses expressions like "Moonstones and little fishes" in place of curse words.
- In The Chronicles of Prydain, the eccentric princess Eilonwy has a tendency to use unusual similes and metaphors, such as "If you don't listen to what somebody tells you, it's like putting your fingers in your ears and jumping down a well".
- In Leia, Princess of Alderaan, Leia's quirky Luna Lovegood-esque friend Amilyn Holdo tends to speak in riddles and strange metaphors, and Leia refers to it as "Holdo speak". For instance, she compares a double agent to a muffin whose two sides are covered with cream (a muffin always falls the cream side down, so if both sides are creamed, the muffin would just levitate; in the same way, a double agent would always have the upper hand regardless of which side wins). Another example is when Leia tells Amilyn that they need to make a detour in order to make their starship's course harder to track for the Imperials, and Holdo says "Mirrors bend light" in agreement.
- In Misery, the deranged former nurse Annie Wilkes swears very colorfully, using expressions like "You cockadoodie dirty birdie" and "I don't care if you're John Q. Jesus Johnnycake Christ from the planet Mars!". The protagonist calls these expressions "Wilkesisms".
- Molly Moon, Micky Minus, and the Mind Machine has Professor Selkeem, who, being extremely unhinged, frequently talks to himself, and speaks in riddles, rhymes and metaphors, also often inventing his own words.
- In Pelagia and the Red Rooster, the eccentric rabbi Emmanuel is noted to have very quirky speech patterns:
I am not able to convey his distinctive manner of expressing himself and so I smooth it out, but Emmanuel’s speech is extremely colourful. In the first place, he lisps in a very funny way. He speaks smoothly, but he likes to put in bookish words at appropriate and inappropriate points — you know, like a self-taught peasant, who devours books one after another and understands what he has read after his own fashion.
- Jeanne, Wyatt's mother from Shadow Play by Charles Baxter, makes up words like "corilineal", "zarklike", etc., and this is just one of her many peculiarities.
- The YA novel True (...Sort Of) by Katherine Hannigan introduces Delly (short for Delaware) Pattison, who has invented her own lexicon of slang, such as "surpresent" and "hideawaysis.” There is even a dictionary in the back for the terms in the book.
- Father Fintan Fay, a recurring character in Father Ted, only ever speaks in hoots and grunts. Somehow, the other priests find this to be perfectly intelligible.
- One "Celebrity Jeopardy" skit on Saturday Night Live has Anne Heche doing this.
Anne Heche: Akunis a afurna attruna donna. That means "I'm not crazy anymore" in my made-up space language.
Alex Trebek: Anne Heche, it's your board. [sees Anne Heche doing nothing and sighs] Fine. It's your board, Celestia.
Anne Heche: Neega ba "Batman or Robin" for $400, Alex.
Alex Trebek: [shakes his head]
Alex Trebek: Let's just go to "Celebrity Photos" for $200. And remember, this is a photograph of one of you.
[board shows a picture of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker from Rush Hour with "TUCKER" and "CHAN" written in red]
Alex Trebek: Who is this celebrity with Jackie Chan? Chris Tucker, you might want to ring in here. [Anne Heche rings in] Anne Heche.
Anne Heche: Who is Zartoo, third overlord of Blargon 7?
Alex Trebek: [exasperated "WTF?" face] For the love of God, no!
- Ever After High has Riddish/Riddle-ish, the rhyming language of the usually mad residents of Wonderland.
- Ensemble Stars! is filled with Cloudcuckoolanders, and also features a lot of characters with strange speaking styles in one way or another:
- The best example is probably Kanata, who speaks entirely in hiragana, uses a tilde ~ at the end of most sentences, and uses a lot of onomatopoeia, most notably "puka puka" (meaning roughly "bubble bubble"). Altogether, it portrays a relaxed, childish speaking style.
- Natsume's speech is even weirder — occasionally he'll speak in an entirely different font, which is referred to as "magic language", and which is almost invariably Brutal Honesty. He also usually speaks the last syllable of each sentence with katakana, though what this means is not at all clear.
- Leo also speaks in a very whimsical way, greeting people with "uchuu!", which literally just means "space". (Though it sounds a bit similar to "chu", which is the onomatopoeia for kissing, so it sounds much less strange in Japanese than English.)
- There are also a lot of characters which aren't as strange as the 5 Oddballs (and Leo, often noted to practically be one), but who do have very intense quirks that impact their speaking styles — for example, Souma is such a Samurai fan that he speaks in an extremely old-fashioned language, often using long-outdated sayings, and never uses the more modern katakana even when speaking loanwords, which implies a difficulty pronouncing non-Japanese words.
- Nugget from Kindergarten is a Third-Person Person, gives other characters descriptive nicknames (for example, his crush Lily is "the pretty Lily" while Felix is "the fancy rich boy"), and he uses a strange syntax in general, even when he's being snarky:
Protagonist: You say "Nugget" a lot.
Nugget: Keen observation. Has Nugget's potential friend also noticed the green of the grass and the blue of the sky?
- It temporarily goes away when he takes the principal's pills, which supposedly "fix him".
- In the Fate Series, the Mental Pollution trait is explicitly described this way. Servants with the trait cannot be understood (or influenced) by anybody who does not relate perfectly to their disturbed worldview.
- Truth in Television actually. One of the common symptoms of schizophrenia is the tendency to invent neologisms and speak in word salad. Also seen to a lesser degree in schizotypal personality disorder (which has the same symptoms as schizophrenia, but at a mild/sub-psychotic level), and sometimes during the residual phases of schizophrenia (i.e. between full-blown psychotic episodes).