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Deteriorates Into Gibberish

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Stewie: Yeah, it seemed like they're all set without you. She's done a fine job creating a child-friendly environmen-ta-re-mi-ooh, buh de buh boo, buh buh buh THPTHPTHPTHPT...
[Brian slaps Stewie]
Stewie: Great parenting.

This is for a piece of dialogue that starts out seeming fairly coherent, but over time gradually deteriorates into gibberish.

Relatively common in Hilarious Outtakes. May be a sign of Sanity Slippage. When anger is the specific reason for this, it would be Angrish, whereas if falling in love is the reason, then it's Gibberish of Love. It may also happen in the presence of cute things or when starting to cry. This may start out as a Dramatic Stutter before the speaker loses their grip entirely. Repeating something they're trying to remember until it devolves into hopeless gobbledygook is Repeated Rehearsal Failure. When the gibberish precedes the character passing out, it's a Non Sequitur, *Thud*. When it precedes a worse fate such as death or insanity, it's Word-Salad Horror.


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    Comic Books 
  • In the "Homeschooling" arc of Runaways, Klara gets so worked up after Chase keeps yelling at her that her limited grasp of English fails her and she's reduced to incoherence.
  • In the Secret Six arc "Depths", one of the slaves starts to protest her treatment, to which Mr. Smythe responds by having her fellows systematically butchered in front of her. By the end of it, she's so horrified that she's begging them to stop in broken English.

    Fan Works 
  • In Daily Equestria Life with Monster Girl, this happens as the search party enters the range of the neurocypher.
  • One of the bloopers for Glitter Force: Into the Glitterverse has Nozomi try to say "awake" and "alive" at the same time, resulting in "awive", then "awale", then finally just babbling like an idiot.
  • When the four use the white key to visit the entrapped Pyar gods in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, they're told that the key endowed the gods with temporary coherence. After a brief and mostly unhelpful conversation, the three gods sink into gibberish before fading away. Later, when John is powering their boat through the Hungry Sea, he starts to spout gibberish as well. This is actually an important plot point since it points to the curse of incoherence that was placed upon the Last Wizard centuries ago. When they encounter her, they figure out that the ubiquitous saying “Speak the problem and it will be solved” is finally relevant in this situation, and George breaks the curse on her by telling her that she's cursed not to be able to speak.
  • In The Panda Chronicles chapter "Mama's Boy", Jesse's apologies to Aaron T. eventually become unintelligible due to his Inelegant Blubbering.
  • The first line of Reality Is Fluid, with First-Person Smartass Kanril Eleya not quite listening to a politician blathering:
    "This project ushers in a new era of cooperation between Cardassia and Bajor. We are healing the wounds of the Occupation and the Dominion War, Blah, Blah, Blah." Okay, that last part was me.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Scary Movie 3, Cindy tries to warn people about the Alien Invasion, so she writes in the monitor a text for the anchorman of the news network to read and tell the audience about it. She is busted and another guy writes a correction, the two start to fight at the console and the anchorman goes from contradicting himself to speaking gibberish because they write random letters.
  • In Night at the Museum''s third film, when the magic tablet starts to rust, the Theodore Roosevelt replica's speech to the visitors suddenly becomes gibberish.
  • In The Parent Trap (1998), Annie (posing as her twin sister Hallie) goes into French (or French-sounding gibberish) when her dad tells her that he's going to marry Meredith.

  • Happens several times in Discworld:
  • Tim Benzedrine's scrawled note in Bored of the Rings. Apparently, he took drugs before writing it and the high caught up with him in the process of writing.
  • Happens a lot to Cigar in Gone. He's only coherent and himself occasionally, and sometimes he'll transform midsentence.
  • In Martha Blah Blah, Martha involuntarily begins speaking gibberish all the time because the executive in charge of the soup company cut back on the letters.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's short story "Playback", advanced aliens attempt to rescue the pilot of an exploding human spaceship by capturing his mental pattern and even offering to build him a new body. Unfortunately, the recording was flawed, and his attempts to explain what humans look like degenerate into incoherent babbling.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Marshall describes how Lily became more and more neurotic in the weeks leading up to their wedding. Cue a series of flashbacks of Lily charging into the room with increasingly irrational complaints, with the last one being a tearful "Iggy wiggy wiggy!"
    Marshall: After a while, it was just... noise.
  • In Blackadder III, the Prince Regent does this: "Well, lucky lucky us. Luck, luck, lucky laaarck lukluklukluk laaarrk, laaaaarrk!"
  • This news reporter.
  • In the Criminal Minds episode "Amplification", one of the last stages of the poisoning causes the victims to babble absolute nonsense. The first time it appears it's almost comical, but because this sets the audience up for this actually being dramatic, the remaining times it's shown it's Played for Drama. In Reid's case, the babbling starts mid-sentence.
  • In the NewsRadio episode "Zoso", Beth tries to sell a line of hats. As the negotiations fall apart, she gets so upset that she starts blubbering incoherently, and her potential buyers decide to relent and buy her hats so that she'll stop.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus lineal descent from The Goon Show was never more apparent than in the "Stock Market Report":
    "Trading was crisp at the start of the day, with some brisk business on the floor. Rubber hardened and string remained confident. Little bits of tin consolidated, although biscuits sank after an early gain and stools remained anonymous. Armpits rallied well after a poor start. Nipples rose dramatically during the morning but had declined by mid-afternoon, while teeth clenched and buttocks remained firm. Small dark furry things increased severely on the floor, whilst rude jellies wobbled up and down and bounced against rising thighs which had spread to all parts of the country by mid-afternoon. After lunch, naughty things dipped sharply, forcing giblets upwards with the nicky nacky noo. Ting tang tong rankled dithely, little tipples pooped and poppy things went pong. Gibble gabble gobble went the rickety rackety roo..."
  • Mr. Bean: In "Back to School, Mr. Bean", the very composed judo instructor has a moment of this in the face of Mr. Bean's extreme nervousness about being "thrown". Having tried to coax Mr. Bean to co-operate, and pursued him around the room, the instructor briefly flails his arms and stutters.
    Instructor: Look, just... just... jus.. jus.. j. j. [finally regains composure, and speaks reassuringly] Look, just calm down.
  • One bit in Reno 911! has Dangle and Wiegel dealing with a woman who's weeping so profusely that they can't get any information out of her. Finally, Dangle starts weeping along with her and this somehow convinces her to get in the back of their squad car.
  • In two episodes of Stargate SG-1 ("The Fifth Race" and "Lost City"), Jack gets the knowledge of the Ancients downloaded into his brain by a computer, and his speech progressively incorporates more and more Ancient words until he can't speak English at all anymore.
    "Well, apparently I have lost the falatus to speak properly. [Beat] That wasn't a joke. I didn't do that on purpose."
  • Community:
    • In "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", Jeff tells Annie to blow off looking into the sudden appearance of a teacher Jeff claims doesn't exist. Her response quickly does this.
      Annie: Oh sure! I'll blow it off! I'll just blow everything off! Like, maybe I'll blow off walking!
      [Annie stops walking; Jeff bumps into her]
      Jeff: Okay.
      Annie: Or maybe I'll blow off standing.
      [Annie drops to the floor; Jeff steps over her and keeps going]
      Annie: I'm just blowing it all off! Now I'll blow off talking language!
      Jeff: Fine!
      Annie: Blee blee blah blah blah...
    • In "Regional Holiday Music", Annie (again) tries to sing a sexy Santa song. Emphasis on tries because her attempt at "cutesy" baby-talk eventually turns creepy:
      Annie: ♪Won't you be my daddy?/ I'm a silly Christmas baby!/ Tell me what to deck.../ Cuz' I forgot!♪ [falls over]
      Jeff: [legitimately concerned] Annie?
      Annie: [crawling around on all fours] ♪Bwainy hurty undewstanding Cwistmas!/ Mistletoe for eatie taste good?/ You smawty, me dumb!/ Help pwetty have fun!/ Boop-y doop-y doop boop.../ SEX!♪
      Jeff: Look, eventually you hit a point of diminishing returns on the sexiness.
      Annie: What's a demmemememuah?
  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Babel" has the station infected with an aphasia virus. As the disease takes hold, characters rapidly become unintelligible.
  • Inverted for Reg Barclay on Star Trek: The Next Generation, who normally talks with a stammer. When he starts speaking coherently, it means that things have gotten serious.
  • Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) sometimes does this in the Hilarious Outtakes for Star Trek: Enterprise.
    Archer: I think it's natural for people to get a little slop-sloppy. (goofy voice) And since we were talking about sex, I—(babbles while making a goofy face)
  • In Six Feet Under, Nate struggles to say "numb arm" just before suffering a stroke, resulting in increasing incoherence... and the Trope Namer for Narm.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent:
    • In "Blind Spot", criminologist Jo Gage plays a tape of someone being tortured by a serial killer, pointing out to Goren how the victim's speech grows increasingly incoherent as the pain and panic overwhelm them.
    • In "Untethered", Goren is bound to a table and denied water for two days. He grows increasingly incoherent as the dehydration nearly kills him.

  • In the Sandra Boynton song "Nobody Understands Me", the singer throws in nonsense words throughout. Near the end, she deteriorates into this for one whole sentence.
    Nobody beezifies me
    Nobody febbin ud.
    Kibbldzy deen voo nizee!
    I hate being misunderstood.

  • Happens in an episode of The News Quiz, when Phil Jupitus starts to answer a question about Scottish devolution and the West Lothian Question, before realising he doesn't really know enough about the details to continue and descending into gibberish before rallying enough to say "And I don't want the points because I don't deserve them." (Sandi then tells him it was actually a rather accurate and succinct description of the situation.)
  • Former BBC presenter Sarah Kennedy lapsed into this on several occasions, a drawback in one presenting the early breakfast show on national radio. Inevitably, kindly hands had to lead her away from the microphone, ring a cab, and send her home to sleep it off (whatever the it was), while a stand-in presenter took over. Officially, it was put down to over-strong prescription medication and lack of sleep. Sarah no longer works for the BBC, or indeed in radio.
  • Frequently used in The Goon Show. For example, in "The Call of the West":
    Greenslade: It is 1867 and dead on time. The harbour of Boston is a hive of inactivity, as English immigrants bring their shattered bank accounts to the New World. Alongside is the Good Ship Venus: The pling plang toof, nobitty nibbitty noo, pleta omnivorous plethora, pletty plom plom tartity to to tooee, fit plor tong tang tit putt putt.... I say, I can't read this rubbish! I - aargh! [splash]
    Little Jim: He's fallen in the wa-ter!
  • The Tongue-Tied song, a romantic love ballad first aired on Son of Cliché, later reprised for Red Dwarf on television, in which a hopelessly smitten swain fails to communicate the depth of his love.

    Video Games 
  • A borderline meme example from Tales of Vesperia: Rita Mordio during Overlimit. "I'm SO gonna make you blah, blah, blah, TIDAL WAVE! Blah, blah, blah, TIDAL WAVE! Blah, blah, blah..."
  • In Mass Effect, one symptom of advanced Indoctrination is increased verbal incoherence.

    Web Animation 
  • The RWBY episode "Field Trip" involved the arrival of a dog so cute that resident Ice Queen Weiss devolved into baby talk.
    Weiss: You mean this mangy, drooling... mutt... is gonna wiv wif us foweva?
    • Most egregiously:
      Weiss: Oh, I'll miss you so much, we're gonna be best friends, I ka be vo q yuaouuuuu. (That last may have been her attempt to say "I can't believe how cute you are.")
  • The Eddsworld episode "MovieMakers" has a conversational variant that occurs during a filmmaking montage.
    Laurel: The space cats will kill us all!
    Edd: Kill us all!?
    Laurel: KILLUSAAWLL!
    Edd: KILLASAW!?

  • xkcd:
    • #1296 has Git commit messages degenerating within a span of hours from "created main loop & timing control" to "here have code" to "adkfjslkdfjsdklfj."
    • #573 has a teenage girl mocking her father's generation for their lackluster pranks (namely the Rickroll). Her father calmly remarks that she's wrong:
      Father: I once raised a kid with conditioning so her speech centers would shut down when she was upset.
      Daughter: What? No, you couldn't have bleegle warble yargle ARRGH!

    Web Original 
  • Happens a lot in Dildobitch's infamous Amnesia: The Dark Descent video.
  • In I-Mockery's Action Figure Aberration feature, Spider-Man takes offense to The Tick's dissing of 3 Doors Down, and starts singing their song "Kryptonite" as thus: "If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman? If I'm alive and well, will you be dere be booo bah bah! Bee blah bee!" The other action figures proceed to beat him up as he exclaims, "Kryptonite!"
  • The Internet Oracle: Question 135.10 asks why no-one's worrying about "that damned satanic Snuggles the Fabric Softener Bear on TV working his fur off to turn everyone's brain to mush". The Oracle's reply:
    ... the snuggles bear is friend.... not muching brain... snuglis bear nice .. love snugls ber...
  • Bit Polar: Very common, especially in his Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure Let's Play, where it seems as if he's slowly losing his sanity as he plays.

    Western Animation 
  • The Legend of Korra: When Mako first meets Asami, he's so stunned by her beauty that, for a moment, he can't do anything but blush and stutter.
    Asami: Oh no! I'm so sorry. I didn't see you!
    Mako: How could you not see me? I mean, I was [sees her face] ju-ju—... I was— I-I— Wow. [coughs] That was— [clears throat]
  • In the Family Guy episode "The Former Life of Brian":
    Stewie: She's done a fine job creating a child-friendly environmen-ta-re-mi-ooh, buh de buh boo, buh buh buh THPTHPTHPTHPT...
    [Brian slaps Stewie]
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • "The Haunting of Mr. Banana Brain": Launchpad begins stuttering uncontrollably after seeing Paddywhack's jack-in-the-box pull in Quackerjack. He only manages to break himself out of it to yell at Darkwing and Gosalyn not to touch the box.
    • "Time and Punishment": Launchpad, seeing that Darkwarrior still has positive feelings for Gosalyn, asks if he can join the reunion. Darkwarrior turns around and goes on a Tranquil Fury-fueled tirade about his sympathies toward the criminal element and tells him he's going to give him the chair for defacing his statue (which he actually was only an innocent bystander for). Launchpad starts stuttering uncontrollably until Gosalyn breaks in to say that he didn't do it.
  • Happens to Quick Clones in Men in Black: The Series, right before they dissolve into a puddle of goo.
  • In the South Park episode "Goobacks", the "They Took Our Jobs!" slogan spouted by the enraged blue-collar workers who've been displaced by all those people from the "feww-chure" becomes increasingly incoherent at every rally.
  • Throughout the first season of Courage the Cowardly Dog, Courage actually talked throughout the episodes, spoke in complete sentences, and interacted with other characters through words. After that, Cartoon Network forced Courage to stop talking because Linda Simensky thought Courage talked too much in the first season, so Courage's dialogue was reduced to barely anything more than his frightened babbling... any actual talking he did do in those last three seasons was reduced to mostly to an Aside Comment every few episodes or a stock recording of Courage calling out for Muriel.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law had Vulturo, Harvey's rival bird-themed lawyer. His statements start out Wicked Cultured with an aristocratic tone, but eventually degenerate into mwoh hohn hon hnyaaaaaooonn…
  • The judge in The Dick Tracy Show episode "Court Jester" had spent the entire trial listening to Mumbles and his speech impediment that after he closes the case (once Mumbles and Stooge Viller were found guilty), he degenerates into unintelligible mumbling himself.
  • The General from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines doesn't hesitate to deteriorate into gibberish. He speaks it from the get-go.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: In "Maud Pie", the title character says she likes to express herself through her wardrobe. When Rarity asks Maud what her current outfit is saying, Maud replies "It doesn't talk. It's a dress". Rarity tries to explain what she meant but soon lapses into embarrassed, incoherent spluttering.



Video Example(s):


Clipping Through The Wall

Dr. Lancaster's speech degenerates into incoherent stuttering as he attempts to explain the plight of an employee who Tele-Fragged into a wall.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeterioratesIntoGibberish

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