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Doctor, Doctor, Doctor

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When several people of similar (and high) rank or professional stature are gathered, and greet each other with their titles. For the principals, it is shorthand for "Wow, we are all really awesome and successful. Isn't that awesome?" For the audience, it serves to point out that this is a meeting of Big Wigs, who will make Important Decisions and discuss Important Things.

The script would look like this:

Chase: Doctor. (shakes hands)
House: Doctor. (shakes hands)
Foreman: Doctor. (shakes hands)
Cuddy: Doctor. (shakes hands)
Cameron: Doctor. (shakes hands)

Seen with doctors, high-ranking military officers, and members of nobility and aristocracy. A variant is to have introductions between people with the same name. Can be combined with Rocky Roll Call. This trope is almost always played for laughs and happens to be Truth in Television.


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  • There was a campaign for Captain Morgan rum, where all the characters simply said, "Captain!" or "Captain, Captain?". Although, at one point, in a promotion for responsible driving, a man holds up his keys and says, "No, thank you, Captain."

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • Lucky Luke has a scene where he's asking a snooty hotel doorman for the location of a law firm.
    Luke: Could you tell me where I could find the Chester, Chester & Chester firm?
    Doorman: No.
    Doorman: Unless you mean Chester, Chester, Chester & Chester?
    Luke: & Chester, that's it.
  • A superhero bigwig meeting in New Avengers:
    Doctor Strange: Doctor Richards.
    Reed Richards: Doctor Strange.
    Tony Stark: You guys love calling yourself Doctor. I have three doctorates, you don't see me -
    Reed: Doctor Stark.
    Tony: Thank you.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • K-PAX, at the planetarium when Prot and Dr. Powell meet four astrophysicists.
    Prot: Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor. How many doctors are there on this planet?
  • Catch Me If You Can, when Frank pretends to be a doctor.
  • Kermit and Pepe do this in Muppets from Space while wearing huge labcoats with their little muppet heads poking out the top. A doctor gives them a look, and they just nod and say 'doctor,' and she leaves them alone.
  • Spoofed in Airplane!
    Tower guy: We're all ready, sir. This is Captain McCrosky, Captain Roberts, Captain Kramer, Captain Kolosomo. Captain Henshaw, this is Captain Gatz. Captain Kramer, Captain Gatz. Captain Henshaw, Captain Roberts...
  • Spies Like Us has this as an Overly-Long Gag, punctuated by a guest shot by Bob Hope. Watch it here.
  • Defied in the 1960 film The Alamo:
    Travis: My rank is colonel.
    Crockett: So's mine. Wouldn't we sound silly jabbering "Colonel, Colonel" at each other like a couple of bluejays?
    • And that was without Colonel Jim Bowie being present.
  • Played for comedy in Star Trek Into Darkness when both versions of Spock greet each other in the same way, with no trace of irony:
    Old Spock: Mr. Spock.
    Young Spock: Mr. Spock.
  • Ghostbusters (1984) has a variation with Venkman introducing himself and his colleagues (who all have PhDs)
    I'm Dr. Venkman, Dr. Stanz, Egon.
  • In Lethal Weapon 4, Riggs and Murtaugh get promoted to captain unexpectedly. They respond by calling their usual captain, each other, and even themselves "Captain" incessantly.
  • In Firestorm (1998), there is a scene where Wynt (the retired chief) and Jesse (the current chief) keep calling each other 'Chief'. In Jesse's case, it is out of respect (and habit) while Wynt is driving home the point that Jesse is now the one in charge.

  • Honor Harrington is filled with scenes like this, and as Honor rises in society, the volume of Dukes and Admirals only increases.
  • In one of Richard Scarry's Busytown stories, there is a pig couple named Mr. Doctor Doctor and Mrs. Doctor Doctor. They later have a child, Baby Doctor Doctor.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, you will often see nobles and knights congregating and saying a lot of "Lord X, Lord Y, Lord Z" and "Ser A, Ser B, Ser C".
  • Blended with a One-Steve Limit aversion in The Hound of the D'Urbervilles. Professor James Moriarty takes his henchman, Colonel Moran, to visit his brother, Colonel Moriarty... who is also named James. And they're discussing a third James, leading to a conversation like this:
    Professor Moriarty: James.
    Colonel Moriarty: James. Colonel.
    Moran: Colonel.
    Colonel Moriarty: It's James, James.
    Professor: James, James?
    Moran: James, Colonel?
    Colonel Moriarty: Yes, Colonel. James.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stargate Atlantis: As seen in this clip. Lots of Colonels there. McKay, a civilian, ends the introductions with: "Seriously?"
  • Stargate SG-1 in the episode "Tangent," when the team meets General Vidrine, and in "Frozen", when Doctor Fraiser accompanies them to visit a team of doctors in Antarctica. When the joke runs its course, O'Neill puts a stop to it.
  • Supernatural: When Sam & Dean are Trapped in TV Land as doctors on the set of "Dr. Sexy M.D." and they meet the eponymous Dr. Sexy.
    Sexy Doctor 1: Doctor.
    Sexy Doctor 2: Doctor.
    Sam: "Doctor"?
    Dr. Piccolo: Doctor. (slaps Sam)
    (several "Doctor"s later)
    Dr. Sexy: Doctor.
    Dean: Doctor.
    Dr. Sexy: Doctor.
    Sam: *nods*
    Dean: (whacks Sam)
    Sam: (rolls eyes) Doctor.
  • The Big Bang Theory: A Running Gag in the show revolves around the main cast's superiors greeting each of them as "Dr. [Last Name]" until they get to Howard, the only one without a doctorate, who's referred to as "Mr. Wolowitz" in a sneering tone of voice (which is especially petty since Howard still graduated with a masters in engineering from MIT).
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • Spoofed in a sketch in Episode 13:
      Doctor: Mr. Bertenshaw?
      Mr. Bertenshaw: Me, Doctor.
      Doctor: No, me doctor, you Mr. Bertenshaw.
      Mr. Bertenshaw: My wife, doctor...
      Doctor: No, your wife patient. (etc. etc. etc.)
    • The "Bruces" sketch, when Michael Baldwin gets introduced to the other characters, all named Bruce.
      Fourth Bruce: Goodday, Bruce, hello Bruce, how are you, Bruce? Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce a chap from pommie land... who'll be joining us this year here in the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo.
      All: Goodday.
      Fourth Bruce: Michael Baldwin — this is Bruce. Michael Baldwin — this is Bruce. Michael Baldwin — this is Bruce.
      First Bruce: Is your name not Bruce, then?
      Michael: No, it's Michael.
      Second Bruce: That's going to cause a little confusion.
      Third Bruce: Mind if we call you 'Bruce' to keep it clear?
  • In one episode of M*A*S*H, where a visiting major introduced himself to Majors Burns and Houlihan, Hawkeye throws himself in with the lot and nobody skips a beat.
    "Major" Pierce: Well we've made a major breakthrough. (Laugh Track)
  • Frasier: when Lilith and Frasier introduce themselves to the headmaster of Marbury Academy in the episode "A Little Thanksgiving". The scene is immediately prefaced with the title card "Stop saying 'Doctor'."
  • Done in a fantasy on That '70s Show when Fez is upgraded in the same manner as The Six Million Dollar Man, except he isn't as needy and obsessive over girls when Eric, Kelso, and Hyde all shake hands. Then given a one-two punch of comedy when Kelso leans in to kiss Eric, prompting a surprised rejecting, "Whoa, Doctor..." from Eric.
  • This is common on Cutthroat Kitchen: The chef-contestants are introduced by Alton Brown to the chef-judge as "Chef [name]", then there is a round of "Hello Chef"s, then when the judge is done tasting it usually ends with a mutual round of "Thank you, Chef"s. Alton sometimes plays into it and adds even more when all the "Chef"ing gets particularly noticeable.
  • From the Earth to the Moon: After their successful mission, the crew of Apollo 12, all Navy officers, receive a call from President Nixon to congratulate them and inform them that they've been promoted to Captain. After the call, they all congratulate each other on their new ranks, "Congratulations, Captain.", "Thank you, Captain."

  • In Anyone Can Whistle, Hapgood explains that this trope is the reason that everyone thinks he's the local asylum's new doctor when he is actually its latest patient.

    Video Games 
  • In Half-Life: Decay, one of the first security guards Collete Green and Gina Cross meet on their way to work greets them with "Good morning doctor, (beat) doctor."
  • In Injustice 2, one of the possible pre-fight banters between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in arcade mode has the two of them use this trope as a means of flirting:
    Harley Quinn: Doctor Isley.
    Poison Ivy: Doctor Quinn.
    Harley Quinn: Ooh, I love it when we play doctor.

    Western Animation 
  • The Bakshi Mighty Mouse episode "Heroes and Zeroes" had the hero seeking assistance in tracking down missing numbers. As it happens, the Mighty Heroes (Ralph Bakshi's 1966 Terrytoons creation for CBS) have become the firm of "Man, Man, Man, Man and Man — Mighty Chartered Accountants."

    Real Life 
  • A tradition in academia: When you have finished your research for a doctorate degree, and present it to your doctoral committee for approval, after the presentation, you leave the room and wait for the committee to make its decision on whether or not to award you the degree. If they decide in your favor, one of them (usually your main advisor) comes out of the room and lets you know of your success by greeting you as "Doctor".
  • When Terry Pratchett (who had multiple honorary doctorates because universities are full of Discworld fans) contacted Dr Pat Harkin for advice on pathology (such as how much force is required to twist a man's head off) he would greet him with "Dr Harkin? It's Dr Dr Dr Dr Dr Pratchett."


Video Example(s):


Doctor? Doctor!

While infiltrating a government facility, Kermit and Pepe's ridiculous disguise earns them a a look. Kermit just nods and says 'Doctor.'

Pepe briefly asks 'Doctor?'

To which Kermit responds 'Doctor!'

The doctor leaves them alone.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoctorDoctorDoctor

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