A Running Gag that involves repeating a funny-sounding phrase when least (or most) expected. Often lampshaded as an Overused Running Gag due to its randomness.
Unlike a Catchphrase, Gag Words are not associated with a character. Compared to Arc Words, they are less symbolic than just plain silly. More or less an element of Word-Salad Humor.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- "Fooly Cooly," from FLCL.
- "Gatchabagoose" from Elf Princess Rane.
- Marvel Comics mercenary Deadpool enjoyed using the words "Chimichanga" and "Duct Tape" during the "Cable/Deadpool" series. When asked why, he commented that they were funny words, like "Spatula, Rumsfield and Zygote."
- "Potrzebie" in MAD.
- Dave Barry uses this trope in several of his books:
- "The Hawley-Smoot Tariff," from Dave Barry Slept Here: "Quite frankly we have no idea what this is, but we think it has a wonderful ring to it, and we just like to see it in large bold letters."
- "Hawley Smoot" is also used as a gag phrase (including as an incantation) in Bored of the Rings.
- Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need uses the phrase "fish of your brother Raoul" and a few variants in several languages.
- And Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway uses the phrase (and accompanying image) "giant prehistoric zucchini."
Live Action Television
- "Lemon curry?" in Episode 33 of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Not to mention "Albatross!" from its titular episode.
- And "Semprini", which for some reason is considered a swear word.
- An episode of the US version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? had Colin yelling 'The cat!' or 'Meow!' at any moment when he couldn't think of anything else.
- Ryan Atwood and Sandy Cohen humorously repeat "Yogalates!" in episode 12, season 1 of The O.C..
- "Schnaps" on episode 2 of season 3 of The Big Bang Theory
- On Seinfeld, Jerry attributes the popularity of salsa to people thinking it's fun to say.
- Classic example: "Notary Sojac" from Smokey Stover.
- "Judo chop", among others, in Peanuts.
- In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Hobbes decides the word "smock" is fun to say and says it more and more until Calvin yells at him to stop.
- Warhammer 40,000 sometimes runs into this with some of their Space Marines. Of particular infamy are the Space Wolves; in the 5th edition their wargear rules were littered with wolfclaws and fenrisian-pattern weapons, and their heroes were all part of the various wolf ranks of the Wolf Guard.
- "Huggbees" in one Freakazoid! episode.
- Frisky Dingo had dozens of these. Killface even used "Hawley-Smoot" once.
- "Narf!" and "Poit!" from Pinky and the Brain.
- Not to mention "Zort!", "Troz!", and on one occasion, "Fjord!"
- "Spoot" was often used on The Angry Beavers.
- On one "Aesop and Son" segment from Rocky and Bullwinkle, characters keep saying "Hoot Gibson" (the name of a popular Western actor). Another episode had "succulent".