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Gag Sub

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Most people think speech or song in languages they do not understand sounds strange. Some find it amusing to add their own interpretations or "translations" to such sounds, and the internet makes it easy to distribute. Thus the Gag Sub, which is much easier to create than redubs, is born.

There are basically two kinds:

  • The first consists of taking a song in a foreign tongue and adding Mondegreen-style subtitles, pretending the song actually consists of Word Salad Lyrics in whatever language the subtitles are in. (known properly as soramimi and popularly as "Misheard Lyrics")
  • The second is adding subtitles that have nothing to do with the original dialogue.

Compare Gag Dub, Redubbing, Animutation, Remix Comic, and Trolling Translator. See Good Bad Translation and Translation Train Wreck for unintentional examples. Compare and contrast Fun with Subtitles.


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Mondegreen Subtitles

    Anime and Manga 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Japanese comedian and TV personality Tamori has a segment on one of his TV series called "Soramimi Hour" (soramimi being the Japanese term for a Mondegreen), where viewers are invited to submit lines from real songs, usually in English, that have been misheard as something completely different in Japanese. The misheard lines are usually acted out in little video sketches.
  • When Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was dubbed into Japanese to air in Japan, someone on 4chan's /m/ board subtitled the first episode in the format of every character speaking in Cockney. It starts off rather simple, but by the second half it devolves to the point that anyone who doesn't know cockney slang won't know half the words being said in a sentence. Type I because they were still technically saying all of the dialogue correctly.


    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • Common in (f)animutations, who're widely hailed as the spiritual predecessor of Buffalaxing and Misheard Lyrics videos. Examples include French Erotic Film, Earth vs. Funk and Irrational Exuberance.
    • The infamous We Drink Ritalin is a variation on this. It actually is in English, but it's English so heavily accented and nonsensical that it sounds like what's in the subtitles, not what the lines are supposed to be.
  • The opening of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Other Abridged Movie puts hilarious nonsensical subtitles over the Toei Yu-Gi-Oh! theme that are different even when parts of the song repeat.
  • The Spanish webmanga author Jesulink does this on videos with opening themes for his series, parodying famous anime theme songs. If you know some Spanish, here's an example (the song is about a college student who has to clean toilets to pay his rent).
  • When Todd in the Shadows had to review Whistle by Flo Rida, another rare English to English version of this happened. "Who in the hell done paid the Rottweiler."

    Western Animation 

Subtitles that have nothing to do with the original


    Anime and Manga 
  • Official example. Funimation's already tongue-in-cheek dub of Sgt. Frog contained a new "character" made especially for the DVD release, "Mister Caption", whose job was ostensibly to translate the copious amounts of onscreen Japanese text, but he was also arrogant and extremely snarky and spent much of his time insulting the Lemony Narrator, the characters, and the viewers. Though his appearances became less frequent as the series went on (replaced, sadly, by proper captions), in early episodes it was not uncommon for Mister Caption to start snarking even when there was no text on-screen at all.
  • D.Gray Man Abridged made its own subtitles for the opening.
  • Some fansubbing groups often release Gag Subs of their current anime projects. (Example: Dattebayo's "You Have Been Trolled" subs...)
  • Gag subs of the first episode or two of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon were released within a day or so of their broadcast. Among other "revisions", these subs referred to the youma as tentacle monsters and characters broke the Fourth Wall several times to comment on how badly the show would traumatize children. They also included gag-subbed the commercials, too, including what was apparently originally a Japanese McDonald's ad that was already somewhat weird owing to the somewhat constipated look on the Japanese "Ronald's" face... even before the pedophile joke in the subtitles came at the end. In fact, that particular gag sub also featured at least one other commercial with a pedophile joke, for Ashita no Nadja undergarments by sponsor Bandai which translated the announcer's line as "They're pedolicious!". There was also an ad for Hello Kitty candy which mondegreened "Kitty de Catch" as "Evil Kitty" and said that eating the candies would control your mind and a commercial for Sailor Moon roleplay items which ended with the subtitle "Successful transformation not guarenteed".
  • An example of an official gag sub occurred in Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei's second episode. All the dialogue was turned to gibberish, and subtitles were added on, turning an already insane plot into nonsense about the Dragonballs and space aliens. Many viewers were confused by this.
  • The Adventures of Nagato Yuki says what 20% of the fandom is thinking.
  • Death Note:
    • The Gag Sub School Note does this both ways: it translates the show's second opening "What's Up People?!" into to something completely insane(er), and then performs a Genre Shift on the show, turning it into a school love comedy. Light becomes a complete moron who can't do basic arithmetic without the help of the titular "School Note" and talks about "going to Tokyo U". L becomes a geek who plays Dating Sims and has MC Hawking on his computer.
    • The Yaoi Note series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • Anon sub took advantage of .mkv files' ability to have multiple subtitle tracks to release a video with both a normal and a Gag Sub (for teh lulz) for the 23rd and 25th episodes of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann; among other things, the Gag Sub always replaces "Rossiu" with "Boota", a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man that has the hitter yelling "Wryyyyyy," displaying the word "Canadians" whenever anyone said "ehh?", and referring to the Death Spiral Machine as the "Desu Star".
    • One gag sub had references to numerous anime (including a mildly obscure Martian Successor Nadesico quote) as well as changing every single line into a hilarious parody of the actual script, without losing anything major from the story.
  • Dattebayo fansubs released an episode of Bleach subtitled in Ebonics. (i.e., African American Vernacular English)
    • They also released an episode of Soul Eater that was "translated" by someone who couldn't even understand Japanese.
  • Okane ga Nai (No Money) has No Decency which is a mix of both humourous/random story lines (one character has been fused with animal DNA) and a criticism of the show itself (the romantising of rape and Stockholm Syndrome, among other things).
  • The Fullmetal Alchemist capsummaries from inulovinkit count, though they are done in blog format. She has recently started making videos like abridged series, but done with subtitles instead of voice acting. Alas, the capsummaries stopped at Episode 54, last updated in 2010, and, by the look of things, will probably remain unfinished.
  • Pani Poni Dash! uses this in episode 22, where a TV crew comes to film the various classrooms for a popular late night show, and class 1-C has to convince Becky to show up for it. It also frequently switched into an isometric RPG view, complete with text boxes and character portraits. By the end of the episode, it does one last RPG switch, but while the class talks about Becky finally deciding to show up, the text boxes are carrying on a completely different conversation about weight loss advice.
  • Little-known anime Massugu ni Ikou had a gag sub, the first part of which can be seen here (unfortunately, it seems the other parts have been taken down). It takes a heartwarming slice-of-life series about dogs and puts a much darker spin on it, including jokes about slavery, violence, and bestiality. You heard me.
  • There's a Gag Sub of Mazinger Z vs. Devilman from the VHS era of fansubbing by Cornpone Flicks (who were also known for their legitimate subs of Captain Harlock-related anime) which gives humorous names to all their attacks (Mazinger's Photonic Beam becomes "Staring contest! You lose!"), says that Mazinger's Jet Scrander was made to offset its big butt, and makes Kouji and Akira gay for each other, ending with them flying off into the sunset declaring "There's room in the closet for both of us!" They also did a Gag Sub of UFO Robot Grendizer vs. Great Mazinger, which they did a few years before.
  • So far the only fansubs available for Musashi Gundoh are nonsensical gag subs. Just as well, because apparently, due to terrible editing, the show still wouldn't make any sense if it was translated properly.
  • To the fans' rejoice, Crunchyroll (Yes, that Crunchyroll) replaced a dialogue in Episode 15 of Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspectors, the episode where Dygenguard debuts in the series. Yes, fans will know exactly which dialogue it is.
    Vigagi: War God's Armament?! And what does Episode 15 mean?!
  • Erina Nakiri reviews Food Wars! (done with a Gag Sub of the second episode):[1]
    Erina [to Soma]: I've seen anime deep enough to drive you insane. ... I don't have time for kiddy Iron Chef.
  • When the toilet-training videos of Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō became Internet sensations, it was common to see videos with inaccurate subtitles. An infamous instance of this was a video of "Any Toilet Can Be A Piece Of Cake!" which used a ton of swearing and misinterpreted some scenes, like thinking Shimajiro wet himself in the scene where he uses a urinal. However, some parts of the video had translations close to the original script, but with swear words inserted in for humor, especially during the second half of the squat toilet's song.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There are literally hundreds of gag subs of a scene from Downfall (2004) in which Adolf Hitler et al are arguing about absolutely any topic under the sun, almost all of them wildly anachronous by having him rant about modern inventions and events. Listing them would almost certainly devolve into a huge Wall of Text, so just look them up if you want to. The only examples that must bear mentioning are the meta-ones where Hitler gets annoyed at people gagsubbing him, of which this one is but one example. The movie's director has admitted to cracking up at these gag subs. The Memetic Mutation has actually gotten to the point that multiple spin-off series exist, many of which are based around putting other characters in similar situations that often affect Hitler in some manner. Among them are the Stalin Parodies (centered around Joseph Stalin and his crew), the U-Boat Parodies (which turn the cast of Das Boot from a group of sympathetic Germans trapped in a war they don't understand to a group of lovable rogues who enjoy causing trouble for Hitler), and the Gaddaffi Parodies (where Gaddafi gets put into similarily humourous situations). There's even a spin-off channel based on Kit Kittredge of all people.
    • Even fellow American Girls Samantha Parkington and Felicity Merriman were no exception to the parodies, with the latter being turned from a caring Revolutionary War-era girl into a merciless Troll in the vein of Fegelein, from kicking Hitler in the testicle to even beheading him. Other characters from various canons were also involved, from historical people such as King Leonidas, to pop stars like Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black.
  • The Collector's Edition DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail includes a subtitle track composed entirely of lines from Henry IV, Part II, called "Subtitles for people who do not like the film".
    • More famous are the fake Swedish subtitles in the movie's silly opening credits, which start out fairly literal ("Mønti Pythøn ik den Hølie Gräilen") but then become completely irrelevant as the credits get more technical ("A Møøse once bit my sister...")
  • In Top Secret!, the East German national anthem (actually based on the anthem of Shorewood High School, from which writer David Zucker graduated) is translated in the subtitles as:
    "Hail, hail East Germany
    Land of fruit and grape
    Land where you'll regret
    If you try to escape
    No matter if you tunnel under or take a running jump at the wall
    Forget it, the guards will kill you, if the electrified fence doesn't first."
  • Brazilian team América-MG, whose mascot is a rabbit, spent most of 2011 at the bottom of the national championship. As in the last rounds it started to defeat the big teams on the top positions, the response was using Gag Subs to turn the Killer Rabbit into América.
  • The online toy BombayTV allows creating Gag Subs for, apparently, a variety of clips from Bollywood and other movies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The famed Jet Jaguar Fight Song from the MST3K episode Godzilla vs. Megalon. ("HE MOTHER NEVER REALLY LOVE HIM / HE CRIMEFIGHTING COVER UP A BASIC INSECURITY")
  • J/7 fans created these hilarious gag sub versions of French-dubbed Star Trek: Voyager clips, in which Celibate Hero Captain Janeway becomes a lesbian nymphomaniac lusting after Seven of Nine and engaging in habitual Chakotay-bashing.
  • A few members of the Power Rangers messageboard RangerBoard have created FiverSubs, turning parody fanfics of Super Sentai episodes into Gag Subs. Two of their biggest ones yet were based on Super Sentai movies:
    "START UP — Ouch, a kick in the chin! SHIFT UP — I like kitschy heroes!"
  • DVDs of The IT Crowd feature an alternate subtitle track, the form of which varies from episode to episode. The first episode is subtitled in leetspeak; others are in ROT13 or Base64 encoding.
  • The fansubbers of Hikari Sentai Maskman, CSCentrl, take potshot of Okelampa's catchphrase "Yare yare" (a sigh of exasperation with many fitting translations; if you're a fan of Haruhi Suzumiya, you know it as "Good grief!") after he does his duty, and make him say things like "I need a raise", or asking why the Maskmen never shoot him first, or more ridiculous lines that cannot be contained with mere "Yare Yare". Episode numbers have been mentioned. Because of this, the whole thing is often mistaken for a Gag Sub, on the assumption that such a gag wouldn't be used by people who were trying to translate the series properly at all. However, it turns out everything but Okelampa's "Yare, yare" is translated normally; another group has since done the series and all the dialogue comes out pretty much the same, but with Okelampa's catchphrase rendered as "I feel tired." It's hard not to feel like your favorite character is missing...
  • A yearly tradition with TV-Nihon, traditionally done on April Fool’s Day, wih the exception of 2022, where they claimed they weren’t doing one and then released an episode of Avataro Sentai Donbrothers a month later (with the episode titled “Man, this April Fool’s Sub is Late, Isn’t It?”). Frequent quirks include deliberate misnaming (Kamen Rider Bill Gates), potshots at the Merchandise-Driven nature of the shows (“Will you ask your parents to buy you this?”), Adaptational Jerkass behaviour (Mabushiina demanding the team cut down on the flashy effects, Momoi Taro murdering a whole neighbourhood as a child for not wanting more Den-O movies) and much more.
  • After Top Gear dropped a piano onto a Morris Marina allegedly belonging to Carla Bruni (the wife of the French President), we get the following subs over one of her songs:
    My heart is sore
    My Marina is no more.
    It was the 1.8
    With the optional rear armrests.
    And now those Top Gear wazzocks
    have dropped a piano on its roof.
    I hate James May
    And the other two
    But mainly James May.
    I want my Morris back...
  • The Chaser's War On Everything got a lot of mileage out of Gag Subs of footage of a foreign leader considered controversial, such as Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, commenting on the latest trends in popular culture.
  • In the Elvira's Movie Macabre version of The Giant Gila Monster Lisa, the French exchange student and love interest of the hero, is given this treatment.

  • EmoChickWOAM made one of these for Cirno's Perfect Math Class note  Because the original wasn't weird enough. note 

    Video Games 
  • The game Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire has an Easter Egg that removes the voice track and replaces it with a Gag Sub.
  • The notorious "Whitney Lies Version" of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is considered to be more comprehensible than the actual script. Its highlight was probably the "bee noises" scene.
    • Another AC parody, Advent Fanboys, turns the Sephiroth clones into Spirits Within fans trying to prove it's a good movie. Other noteworthy additions include orphan-eating commentary and auditions for a Cloud/Tifa porn video.
  • This trailer for Dirge of Cerberus.
  • Tasian's Lets Plays of both Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan games are both this and a Gag Dub. It's what happens when you decide to discard the plot of a Quirky Work and replace it with something even more incomprehensible.
  • Metroid: Other M, the reMovie, a Director's Deleter's Cut of Theatre Mode. Amongst many hilarious changes, the Head Quarantine Officer becomes a Memetic Molester, Adam tries to get the rest of his GF team to catch him a wild Choogle as a birthday present, Madeline Bergman is an old flame of Adam's that he and Samus thought they'd killed, and Samus decides to go for a low% run just to piss off Adam, who practically begs her to use her items.

    Web Original 
  • Dark Secrets of Garry's Mod: A non-comedic example. Frost speaks in English but his Hungarian subtitles mistranslates which are treated as correct in-universe.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • Episode 9 begins with a gag sub of the real episode from the Spanish dub.
    • Epsisode 10 has a particularly well-done series of images from the series to the theme tune of Neon Genesis Evangelion, with subtitles that make the song about card games.
      • Said sequence was an attempt to make a new theme for the show. Fans did not like.
  • Noah 'The Spoony One' Antwiler and Lewis 'Linkara' Lovhaug's collaborative effort to make some sense of former pro wrestler Warrior's insane ramblings in this review is represented through gag subs, wherein Warrior becomes much more eloquent and video game reference savvy.
    I just ejaculated crude oil onto an egret.
  • The Nostalgia Critic did this in his Rocky IV review during the scene with Rocky's post-fight victory speech being translated by the Russian interpreter.
    • In his review of Good Burger, when describing the scene where the Mondo Burger boss gives a Hitler-esque orientation speech to his employees, Critic plays old footage of the Fuhrer giving a speech with English subtitles related to fast food. "HEIL MONDO BURGER!"
      "And don't forget the fries with that! God HELP you if you forget the fries with that!"
  • The Cinema Snob uses them frequently, usually when he gets foreign language movies without subtitles or dubbing (which happens surprisingly often). In one episode, he decides to ramp up his status as The Movie Buff by complaining about the captions.
    I don't know why I always add fake subtitles to these! All it does is just make me mad!
  • The vast majority of YouTube videos that have the cc button in the corner work as a type 2 gag dub, considering that the subtitles in question often are automatically generated and sometimes even fail to recognise which language is spoken, leading to Mondegreens everywhere:
  • There's a Polish website, (Portmanteau of "movies" and "mixes") on which anybody can add their own subtitles to the short videos they choose. Hitler Rants are still popular, although almost every viral appears at least once.
  • This ad for the Chintendo Vii (Actual name of the console), where the narrator attempts to insist it's not a ripoff of the Nintendo Wii.
  • This "sub" of a Russian ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' quiz show.
  • When YouTube allowed people to submit fan subtitles without directly contacting the creators, one of MonteFjanton's videos (in which they advertised their new merch) got some subtitles in English that only vaguely have anything to do with the video, and still throw some Swedish words in. The jokes in these subtitles range from Felix having been renamed Troya (after a mishearing of "tröja", which means "shirt" in Swedish) and Basse allegedly being a noble who looks down on peasants, to a bizarre "plot" involving the duo blowing up one of their merch mugs with dynamite because it cursed them with its magical powers. These subs received an Approval of God in this Facebook post, which reads:
    "Whoever it was that added English subtitles to our merch video...
    ... you are a fucking King. Thanks!
  • The Animesque scene in the Scott The Woz episode "Anime Games" has Gratuitous Japanese subtitles; as in, they're Google Translated gibberish which has nothing to do with the dialogue that plays along with them. An excerpt (translated back to English):
    Do you think you can enter this into the translation website?
    This is a kanji
    I just typed something like this, so I could have copied the lines word by word.
    But who actually reads it?
  • The subtitles in Undertale the Musical's version of "Let's Dating Fight" consist almost entirely of food items directly from Outback Steakhouse's menu.

    Western Animation 
  • Clips of the claymation cartoon Pingu, where all the characters are voiced by the same actor and speak in expressive gibberish, have been treated like this several times. One relatively innocent English-language example had the penguins suddenly live in a communist society. There are several others with subtitles in Swedish that are full of crude jokes. Hit Entertainment is embarrassed, although apparently not enough to scrub these subtitles off of the Internet.
  • What Bumblebee is Really Saying: These videos are becoming really popular. They all consist of generally the same scenes of Bumblebee from Transformers: Prime 'speaking' in his ordinary way, R2D2-style gibberish that the other Autobots understand but with subtitles of what the creator thinks he's saying. For example, in one version he's constantly hungry and wants to know where they hid the Cookie Jar, and in another he's in a highly sexual relationship with Arcee and is forever talking about her.


Video Example(s):


MST3K Jet Jaguar Song

The cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 come up with their own English-language lyrics for the Jet Jaguar Fight Song.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GagSub

Media sources: