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Hold Your Hippogriffs

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The Dwarven way of saying "killing two birds with one stone".
Gabe: This jackass just said that something can go "through a ferrocrete bunker like a neutrino through plasma." I get it, man. It says Star Wars on the cover. I know I'm reading about Star Wars. It's like, do they not have butter in space? Or hot knives to cut it with?
Tycho: Listen, don't get your mynocks in a... sarlacc.

The author uses a popular and/or modern phrase in a work of Speculative Fiction, and adjusts it to the setting by replacing certain concepts with their more-or-less appropriate counterparts. Works as a sort of Shout-Out to make the reader/viewer more at home in the world, while at the same time highlighting the difference; it can also be used to get in some cursing. Can backfire if the adjustment comes off as too arbitrary (e.g., if the proverb refers to concepts that should exist in the speculative setting as well).

At times these are specific to an exact scene, too. The replacement concepts can be tailored to characters and current action, rather than being a common phrase of its own. A cop with an antagonistic relationship to his Imperial liaison can sardonically say the liaison's investigation team got past security like X-Wings through a Death Star. In this way it can overlap with Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?, though it can refer to past moments anywhere on the spectrum of awesome and suck.

Related to Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp" and Future Slang in as much as they're all about creating immersion through language use. The difference is that Hold Your Hippogriffs is, for one, not about words but phrases; for another, Hold Your Hippogriffs doesn't always create new words, although it can. It's also related to Flintstone Theming, but with fewer puns.

Supertrope of Oh, My Gods!. Compare Space "X", a lazier version where "Space" (or another relevant series concept like "Wizard") is just put in phrases to make sure you know a Space X is different, and [Popular Saying], But... which also alters common sayings, but to create humor instead. Not related to Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff". The inverse of this, when a regular phrase from present-day Earth is used illogically in a speculative setting, is Orphaned Etymology.

It should be noted that many, but not all those following examples, mostly apply for their original language, as it's very difficult to pull this off in foreign translations, especially when dealing with complex idioms without equivalents in the target language.

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  • Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees: In keeping with the birds-and-bees theming, some expressions swap out words for more thematic ones.
    • The bee guy in the first episode proposes getting "bird-shit-faced" instead of "shit-faced".
    • The large girl in the first episode calls the bee guy a "hive-hole" instead of an asshole.
    • The bee guy in the second episode uses "egg[ing] your pants" to describe getting worked up instead of mentioning peeing/pooping one's pants or something similar.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon Adventure 02:
    • "Gatomon  got your tongue?"
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • "Hold your Horsea !"
    • "I'm so hungry I could eat a Horsea !"
    • "Maybe if you weren't such a big fat Swinub , we'd get to the boat on time!"
    • "When the Swinub  fly."
    • "That Pachirisu is faster than water off a Wailord's  back."
    • "Hi-paw !"
    • "Cut the Mankey  business."

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Korean series Noonbory and the Super 7, the characters are divided into two groups - the good guys, known as the Borys, and the bad guys, known as the Gurys. These names are used in words like "everybory/gury " and "somebory ".
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Meethi Masi", after his aunt and cousins have caused him one disruption too many, Samosa is outraged and exclaims "My sauces are now overflowing!", saying "sauces" where a non-Anthropomorphic Food person would usually say "blood" and most likely meaning his blood is flowing from anger.

    Audio Drama 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who story The Shadow Vortex, when the Daleks claim that the Doctor will be unharmed if he surrenders, he retorts "You must think I regenerated  yesterday!"

    Comic Books 
  • In Asterix, typical French curses involving God are transformed into those which involve Roman and Gaulish deities. There's also phrases like "a big girl's tunica ", a sign which tells people to "wipe their caligae ", "in their good tablets"...
  • Astro City:
    • A straight example from "The Gordian Knot":
      "You look hot enough to power a transwarp liner and sleek enough to out-slink an Aristucian Pillilynx. But then, you always did."
    • "The Menace From Earth" features the First Family's adventures on the planet Zirros, told from the perspective of a native, and features a lot of this as a result.
  • Judge Dredd: When Judge Giant seemingly sides with Cal's SJS in Judge Caligula, one SJS Judge comments that he knows what side his soyloaf  is synthi-spreaded , since Future Food Is Artificial.
  • Lucky Luke's intellectual horse says, when crossing a river, "And the veterinarian  told me not to bathe immediately after pasturing. "
  • MAD's Golden Age parody "Mickey Rodent" had Darnold Duck turn to Mickey and call him a "dirty rat," with the word "rat" crossed out and "human" inserted.
  • In JLA: Earth-2, the residents of the Antimatter Universe, where everything considered bad is good and vice versa to create a world of pure evil, say God below , Satan knows , and unholy .
  • Marvel Comics:
    • In the Marvel Apes comics; "a human's  uncle" is an idiomatic phrase.
    • Residents of the Nine (now Ten) Realms excluding Midgard (Earth) use Hel  as an expletive. In case you're wondering, the modern word "Hell" does have Old Norse as an influence.
  • My Little Pony:
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: In one issue, in a situation where in a conversation one might say "potayto, potahto", Triple-Zero says "You say Palpateen, I say Palpatyne."
  • Superman: The Bizarros eventually take to using "Great Frankenstein!" as a minced oath, due to the character's popularity in their world. Bizarro Perry White also says "Little Napoleon's ghost!" instead of "Great Caesar's ghost!"

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In one strip, Hobbes, an anthropomorphic tiger, says, "I prefer to go furry  dipping".
  • The Far Side:
    • One strip has a microbe saying to another one who's been dumped, "There are plenty of other protozoa  in the lower intestine ."
    • A strip depicts a caveman saying, "Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a sharp chunk of obsidian in my eye."
  • Garfield: "Close, but no banana ."
  • Sally Forth: The Martian Snorky does this from time to time.
    "There's more than one way to gobl a knog!"

    Films — Animation 
  • Balto:
    • "That's 'cause you're looking at the bowl  half empty."
    • "It's not exactly a one-dog  show, Dixie."
    • "I'm sticking here until I'm sure you can stand on own four  feet.
    • "Balto, I was so scared, I got people  bumps!
  • A Bug's Life:
    • "It's a bug -eat-bug  world out there, Princess.
    • "Ladies and gentlebugs!  Larvae  of all stages!  Rub  your legs  together for the world's greatest bug circus!"
  • Cars:
    • "Ladies and gentlecars ..."
    • "His undercarriage  is showing."
    • "Float like a Cadillac , sting like a Beamer ."
    • Tractor  tipping.
    • RustEze Medicated Bumper  Ointment.
    • "The loser will be stripped of all modifications and become... STOCK!!! "
  • Planes adds in a few more:
    • "I'll leak all over you if you don't watch your intake! "
    • "Oh for the love of Peterbilt "
  • A lot of Disney's humor is based on this trope:
    • Aladdin:
      • "Don't stand until the rug  has come to a complete stop."
      • "Wake up and smell the hummus. " (Quite bizarre, given the significance of coffee in Arabia long before the west.)
      • "Mr. Doubting Mustafa. "
      • "Allah  forbid you have any daughters."
      • "That two-faced son of a Jackal! "
      • "Hold onto your turban,  kid!"
      • "It never fails, you get in the bath, and there's a rub  at the lamp. "
      • "In a Gomorrah  minute!"
    • Brother Bear
      • "Get a cave! "
      • "Don't make me turn this formation  around!" (said by a goose after another member of the flock asks "Are We There Yet?")
    • Dumbo
      • "Girls, girls, listen. Have I got a trunk  full of dirt."
    • Hercules
      • "Holy Hera! "
      • "So, is this an audience or a mosaic? "
      • "Wanna buy a sundial? "
      • "The honest-to-Zeus  truth."
      • Thebes is called the "Big Olive. "
      • "Keep your toga  on, pal!"
      • "Someone call IX-I-I! "
      • "That's it, I'm moving to Sparta! "
      • "He's just another chariot  chaser."
      • "...but I could see through that in a Peloponnesian  minute."
      • "Everybody in Greece thinks you're the greatest thing since they put the pocket in pita ."
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
      • "Quit beating around the bell tower. "
      • Doubling as a Shout-Out to Shakespeare: "If you chip  us, will we not flake?  If you moisten  us, do we not grow moss? "
    • The Little Mermaid:
      • "You're not getting cold fins  now, are you?"
      • "Don't be such a guppy! "
      • "As long as you live under my ocean , you will obey my rules!"
      • "You give them an inch, they swim  all over you."
      • "The seaweed  is always greener / In somebody else's lake! "
      • "Somebody's gotta nail that girl's fins  to the floor."
      • "Look what the catfish  dragged in."
      • "Leave no shell  unturned, no coral  unexplored!"
      • "It's time Ursula took matters into her own tentacles! "
      • "What a soft shell  I'm turning out to be."
    • The Lion King (1994)
      • "This child is getting wildly out of wing. "
      • In an initial recording, Zazu actually said "out of hand," before changing it.
      • "I'm so hungry I could eat a whole zebra. "
    • The Lion King 1 ½
      • "Don't let the branches  hit you on the way out!"
      • "The problems of a couple of wacky kids like us don't amount to hill of termites  in this nutty circle-of-life thing."
    • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
      • "It's every lion  for himself out here."
    • Mulan
      • "Who spit  in her bean curd? "
    • Pocahontas
      • "It's enough to make your sap  boil." (said by Grandmother Willow)
    • Zootopia:
      • (During the Gazelle concert in the closing credits) "Put your paws  up!"
      • "Ladies and gentlemammals !"
  • Finding Nemo:
    • "It'll be a piece of kelp ."
    • "Aww, you guys made me ink "
    • "Cause you're about to eat my bubbles !"
  • Happy Feet: "Can you speak plain penguin,  please?" and "I'm speaking plain penguin. "
  • Hoodwinked!: "Well well, someone hibernated  on the wrong side of the cave ."
  • Horton Hears a Who! (2008): "That's why my little Rudy is pouch -schooled.
  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010): "Odin  help us."
  • The Moshi Monsters movie has "A whole different barrel  of Moshlings ."
  • Osmosis Jones:
    • "You're pulling my membrane! "
    • "You saved my cytoplasm  back there."
    • "I should be out in the veins  fighting disease! "
  • Shrek 2: "Well, it looks like we're up Chocolate  Creek without a popsicle stick ."
  • Smallfoot: "Curiosity killed the yak. "
  • Toy Story
    • Toy Story has "Son of a building block! " and "Save your batteries. "
    • Toy Story 2: "If the boot  fits."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland has several mangled expressions, courtesy of the Grouches:
    • "Happy sour  sixteen!"
    • "You have the right to scream your head off ."
    • "The streets are paved with solid mould "
    • "I grouch , therefore I am."
    • "Listen up, you grouch  potatoes!"
  • Alexander manages to naturally do this, replacing phrases like "By God!" with "By Zeus!" or "In the name of the Gods!" instead of the singular, and other such things using ancient Greek-era things in place of more modern phrases and outbursts. A few times, it tends to get too clunky and usual, with things like "By Athena's Justice, this girl has spirit" that tend to be less artificial and more sticking out like a sore thumb.note 
  • Black Panther:
    Shuri: Did he freeze?
    Oyoke: Like an antelope  in headlights.
    • Later, before the final battle, when Shuri arranges for Ross to fly the Royal Talon Fighter by remote;
      Shuri: Don't worry, it's just like riding a hoverbike !
      Ross: Wait, you have hoverbikes?
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: As they're entering the factory, Mr Teavee says "Is it just me, or does Wonka seem a few quarters short of a buck?", to which Mr Salt responds "I'm sorry, I don't speak American". This is obviously a play on "a few cards short of a deck", which has several real variations, but this one is fictional.
  • Elf: "Son of a NUTCRACKER !"
  • The Lord of the Rings "As the Nazgûl  flies." Justified, since they are actually talking about Nazgûl flying there.
  • In Masters of the Universe, Gwildor the Thenurian twice uses the same term in different situations:
    • "I'm not a Torktum , you know!"
    • "I don't believe it! I've got a lot of serious work to do! You're acting like Torktums !"
  • Noelle: "Oh my garland !" (Also doubles as Gosh Dang It to Heck!.)
  • At the climax of Oh, God! You Devil, when the Devil (George Burns) loses his nerve in a poker showdown with God (also George Burns), God comments, "I put the fear of me  into you."
  • Planet of the Apes:
    • "Human  see, human  do."
    • Considering that the whole franchise was a commentary about racism, you can't forget a line like "The only good human  is a DEAD human! "
  • Racing Stripes
    Horse: Go home, four left hooves !
  • The Smurfs: Sometimes, the Smurfing would lead its way into expressions:
    • "Up the smurfin'  creak without a paddle."
    • "Is a Smurf's butt blue? "
    • "Where the smurf  are we?"
    • "Oh my Smurf !"
    • "Smurf  an eye on..."
    • "Get a shroom !"
    • "Have a smurfy  day!"
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had "What beams  you into this neck of the woods?"
      • The "old Klingon proverb" that "death is a dish that is best served cold" is actually Pashtun in origin.
    • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, McCoy says Spock is "not exactly firing  on all thrusters ".
    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Had Kirk mentioning "Moon over Rigel 7 " as a potential campfire sing-along. When this movie was later riffed, Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy mocked the use of this trope with such song titles as I Left My Heart On Tau Ceti Five  and I Have Thirteen Eyes For You.
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country had one of the military men threaten that if the Klingons declared war, "we'd clean their chronometers. "
  • Star Wars:
    • "May the Force  be with you."
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan says that his hunt for General Grievous on Utapau "May just be a wild bantha  chase."
    • Lampshaded in Solo: A Star Wars Story:
      Han: Beckett, did you hear me? Are they on us?
      Tobias: Like rashnold on a kalak.
      Han: ... I-I don't know what that means.
      Tobias: Like a gingleson's pelt.
      Han: Wha— Are they or aren't they?
      Tobias: Yes, they're still on us!

  • People will jokingly ask "What do atheists say during sex?" or what phrases they use to replace "Oh my God." and "Jesus Christ" and the answer is, in the joke at least, something like "Oh my science." or something to that effect.
  • A joke saying among Tabletop Gamers is "If I had one XP each time I heard that, I'd be level 20".
  • Another one is, when posting opinions on some D&D forum, is to finish it with "My two coppersnote ".
  • A minor one among Tom Lehrer fans in the Pokémon fandom. There's a small meme where a certain song of his gets referenced as "Poisoning Pidgey in the Park".

  • Aeon 14:
    • The Woman Who Seized an Empire plays with When Life Gives You Lemons... between 5th millennium Fish out of Temporal Water Katrina and her 9th millennium lover Juasa.
      Juasa: Stars... this is surreal. Yesterday you were slaving in the fields. Today you're promising me a starship.
      Katrina: I've made some lemonade.
      Juasa: What? What does lemonade have to do with anything?
      Katrina: When life gives you lemons... Nevermind, I guess it's an old saying. I thought that one would have stuck.
      Juasa: Sounds a bit like, "when the universe flings mass at you, you accrete it into something useful".
      Katrina: That's so awkward.
      Juasa: Yours just sounds weird. What does fruit have to do with daily life?
    • Know Thy Enemy has the protagonist, who was born on an ocean world, remark "Two fish , one spear ."
  • Air Awakens: Daniel says that head major Jax is "a few pieces shy of a whole Carcivi  board". Carcivi being a board game mentioned a few times in the series.
  • The Automatic Detective loves this trope — among others, Mack, as narrator, once says that "Grey had me by the directives ", and use of "exhaust port" is a common stand-in for "ass" in all manner of expressions.
  • Bravelands:
    • "He talks a lot of monkey dung ."
    • "Out of my way, monkey  brains!"
  • Rosalie hisses "Over my pile of ashes " in Breaking Dawn.
  • "A Brush with Life", a short story in Dragon magazine about a boy whose miniature figure of a Barbarian Hero comes to life when he paints it, and demands a female companion. When the boy paints a woman warrior and she likewise comes to life, she informs the barbarian that "Some women have as much use for a man as a sea serpent  has for a chariot ."
  • The Ciaphas Cain novels have a few examples:
    • The series is fond of the phrase "going ploin-shaped ."
    • In the first novel, Ciaphas notes that it's credits to carrots  that he and his troops will be mobilized to stop the Tau.
    • Cain often uses "Emperor's bowels!" in place of "Holy shit!"
    • "Flamebread" for "toast" is used by one trooper suggeting they get out before they're, well, flamebread.
  • Codex Alera:
    • "Go to the crows !"
    • "Oh Great Furies ."
    • "He's a slive ."
  • This is actually an occasional plot-point in The Cosmere. Worldhoppers can use Connection to speak the native language of whatever world they are on, but it translates idioms literally, often causing them to sound quite ridiculous.
    • Mistborn does this a lot with metal based sayings. For example, someone is Zinc -tongued because zinc Allomancers have Emotion Control powers, making them very persuasive.
      • Take it with a pinch of copper . Burning copper gives the user and everyone around them immunity to emotional Allomancy.
  • Dilly the Dinosaur:
    • "I spy with my dino-eye "
    • "And brontosauruses  might fly!"
  • In the Discworld books, most of the examples of this trope are simply their setting-appropriate equivalents. E.G.:
    • "...guaranteed to have fallen off the back of an oxcart. " (Guards! Guards!)
    • "He's going to go totally Librarian poo. " (The Fifth Elephant and The Truth)
    • " the high priest  said to the vestal virgin. " (Witches Abroad)
    • "Crysophrase, he not give a coprolith  about that stuff" (Men at Arms) and "I'm in deep copro,  right?" (Thud!). (Trolls are living rock, and a coprolith is fossilised animal dung.)
    • "Been there, done that, bought the doublet. " (The Fifth Elephant)
    • Men at Arms has "...some Watchman blundering around upsetting things, like a loose ... a loose siege catapult. "; "...up the Ankh  without a paddle"; "Does a dragon explode  in the woods?" (although the original version is also in use); and "Like a fish needs a ... a thing that doesn't work underwater , sir."
    • "Don't come the raw trilobite  with me." (Moving Pictures; from a rock-eating troll)
    • "When the midden  hits the windmill. " (Thief of Time and The Fifth Elephant)
    • "How many trolls does it take to change a lamp wick? " (Sourcery)
    • A weird one that started out as a Nanny Ogg malapropism in Carpe Jugulum, and then somehow became the accepted version of the phrase in later books is: "The leopard does not change his shorts." In Unseen Academicals, this phrase's complete meaninglessness gets lampshaded.
      • Another common mangled saying is "the worm is on the other boot", a mash-up of "the worm has turned" and "the boot is on the other foot".
    • The tendency of Honest Johns in UK media to call everyone "squire" (CMOT Dibbler does this) gets extended to other Discworld cultures, with a camel merchant who calls Teppic "emir" in Pyramids, and Disembowel-Meself-Honorably calling Rincewind "shogun" in Interesting Times.
    • Klatch's role as the "generically foreign" country to Morporkians means we get "Excuse my Klatchian " and "That isn't Klatchian  mist, lad" (both by Ridcully in Soul Music).
    • A few aversions are lampshaded early on, when he notes that the use of the phrase "gypsies" is anomalous, given that there is no such thing as Egypt, but some words of place-name origin need to be kept for coherency's sake, so he's not calling them Djelibabies, as technically appropriate as that would be.
    • "This is a hell of a way to spend Hogswatch! " (Hogfather)
    • "Now we're cooking with charcoal! " (Interesting Times and others)
    • Trolls refer to "legends from the sunset  of time." Either because they're nocturnal (according to The Light Fantastic), or because they think we go through time backwards (according to Thud!, based on a line in Reaper Man).
    • "Evil Emperor. Evil Empire. It did what it said on the iron maiden ." (Unseen Academicals)
    • Also in UA, a dwarf doesn't think much of moonsilver, but says micromail is a "different pocketful of rats  entirely".
    • "Couldn't expect to get away Feegle  free" (Snuff)
    • There's more than one way of choking a dangdang  than stuffing it with pling ." (Thief of Time) (dangdangs and pling, if you're wondering, are never mentioned in any other context.)
    • In a discussion on, Terry Pratchett said that building the clacks network was "not dragon wizardry ." (See The Last Hero for why they're the same thing.)
    • In Raising Steam a dwarf says the grags can "stick it where the sun shines too much ". An elder dwarf describes another younger dwarf as "still wet behind the helmet ".
    • "It's gone wahoonie -shaped." (Various books)
    • "The real Mac Feegle ." (Nanny Ogg's Cookbook)
    • In Feet of Clay, the Ankh-Morpork nobility know which side of their biscuit  is spread with pate .
    • Ancient Ephebians (i.e. Greeks) in Eric say "You play discus  with me, and I'll play discus  with you."
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Harvest of Time, the Master says "Skaro  wasn't destroyed  in a day".
    • The BBC Books series, in Endgame, has one of the villains ask the semi-amnesiac Eighth Doctor how he feels about his current allies, the Cambridge spies, two of whom are having sex at the time. The Doctor's response is that he doesn't mind, "as long as they don't do it in the swamp  and frighten the Drashigs ".
  • In Dora Wilk Series non-human characters use it a few times. Most notably, Dora puts "Goddess" instead of "God" in any place ("Oh my Goddess!", "For Goddess' sake!" among others) and Olaf (a werewolf) curses by "difficult change" instead of other light curses, whether they make sense in Doraverse or not.
  • Dragaera:
    • In Issola, Lady Teldra makes a reference to Vlad engaging in "gray humor". This is the equivalent of what we would call "black humor"—the difference is that in the series, black is the color of magic and gray is the color of death.
    • They also have "how many X does it take to sharpen a sword?" instead of Light Bulb Jokes.
  • In Dragonsong, from a seaside hold, "Every storm brings in a little driftwood .
  • The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov: "Built like a force-field latrine ." (If you're wondering about the practicality of a force-field latrine, note that that's the point of the original metaphor.)
  • The Eschaton Series: From Iron Sunrise, we have "Never bring a tazer  to an artillery duel ", and the ReMastered philosophy "Upload  them all, the unborn god  will know its  own."
  • At several points in The Final Reflection, the narration describes the alien protagonist's liver reflecting his emotional state, in the same way that a human's heart might be said to rise or fall or dance.
  • Fungus the Bogeyman:
    • "Thank badness  it's Friday!".
    • "For slime's  sake!"
  • A minor Running Gag in Good Omens is that Crowley, a demon who has lived on Earth so long he's more like humans than other demons, by habit uses the regular expressions. Then he thinks that as a demon, he should do this trope instead, especially when he runs up against semi-religious sayings, but never likes what he comes up with.
  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole does this a few times:
    • Most common is the use of "gizzard" in place of things like "know in my heart" or "bad feeling in my gut".
    • "Are you yoinks "?
    • "Racdrops" is a common swear, short for "raccoon droppings".
    • "Glaux" is used in place of "God" i.e. "Great Glaux!".
    • The owls say "good light" instead of "good night".
  • The Hollows has several, such as "You look like the vamp who drained the cat. "
  • The Trope Namer is Harry Potter; several of these expressions we hear from Mrs. Figg after she's revealed to be a Squib:
    • "Hold your hippogriffs! "
    • "What's got your wand  in a knot? "
    • "No use crying over spilt potion. "
    • "The cat's among the pixies  now."
    • "Wasn't enough room to swing a kneazle. "
    • "Might as well be hanged for a dragon  as an egg. "
    • "Fell off the back of a broom. "
    • "Son of a Bludger! "
    • "A poisonous toadstool  can't change its spots."
    • "God rest ye, merry hippogriffs " being sung by Sirius at Christmas in Order of the Phoenix. (This may very well have been Sirius messing with the words for his own sake, since he was attending on Buckbeak at the time.)
    • "Just yanking your wand. "
    • "Get off his high hippogriff. "
    • "Which came first, the phoenix  or the flame? "
    • "It's like losing a Knut  and finding a Galleon ."
      • Justified in this case, as wizards have their own currency and know nothing of Muggle money.
    • “The fire is lit but the cauldron is empty.” note 
    • In fact, in the Film, the band in one movie does a song pretty much entirely of this trope.
    • They also tend to refer to Merlin in addition to God. Which makes sense, one supposes.
    • Speaking of swearing by Merlin, "Merlin's pants!" could very well be a stand-in for "Holy shit!", considering the following:
      • "Pants" is British slang for "rubbish";
      • Another term for "rubbish" is "bullshit" or simply "shit"; and
      • When Hermione uses the term, Ron realizes she's got her wand in a much tighter knot than usual, for her to be saying that (also consider that he is himself guilty of swearing loudly numerous times throughout the series).
      • Speaking of Merlin's pants, quoth Ron: "How in the name of Merlin's pants  have you managed to get your hands on those Horcrux books?"
      • Ron is also cut off in the middle of asking why "in the name of Merlin's saggy left-" (cue interruption by his mother) he is required to tidy his bedroom ahead of his brother's wedding.
    • Rita Skeeter also once makes reference to a "bring and fly  sale".
    • Harry once tells Rita Skeeter that he wouldn't touch her "with a ten-foot broomstick ."
    • In The Deathly Hallows, when Ron introduces Harry, under disguise via Polyjuice Potion, to Muriel, as "cousin Barney", Muriel responds with: "Another Weasley? You breed like gnomes ."
  • In the Honor Harrington novels, characters from planets other than Earth (most of the cast), typically substitute native fauna into their metaphors, such as "We've got the hexapumanote  by the tail" or "If you had the sense God gave a near-turkey". A few technological metaphors show up - "adding hydrogennote  to the fire".
  • How to Be Comfortable in Your Own Feathers has birds refer to being comfortable in one's own feathers, instead of one's own skin.
  • In Insurrection one drow said "putting the cart before the lizard ".
  • In The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, several characters use the expression "feed the tree," which means, "The words you are saying are a commonly used form of natural fertilizer."
  • From Life, the Universe and Everything:
    • "Wouldn't stand a whelk's  chance in a supernova ." Much to Arthur Dent's confusion.
    • Ford, who has picked up Earth idioms but does not share Arthur's fondness for tea, thinks he wouldn't have got into the Krikketers' ship for all the rice wine in China.
  • Little Monster's Bedtime Book has "Don't let the zipperumpazoos  bite."
  • In The Machineries of Empire: "For the sake of fox and hound ".
  • A Memoir by Lady Trent:
    • Isabella describes her childhood friend Amanda as "what young people nowadays would call wing ."
    • Isabella mentions the saying "teach a dragon to hatch eggs" and the "dragon's share" rather than "lion's share".
    • Isabella says she won't "look a gift drake in the mouth".spoiler 
    • Audrey speaks of "putting the tail  ahead of the dragon ".
  • The Name of the Game (Elrod): Being demons, sayings with religious connotations are reversed, swapping "Hell" for "Heaven" ("What the Heaven's going on?") and "damned" for "saved" ("Not a saved thing!").
  • Neptune's Brood
    • The opening section, which drops the reader right in the middle of the complex interstellar economy that will get explained later, has a travel agent explain tickets to a certain planet are no longer available for love nor favours .
    • The captain of the Space Pirates (who are actually space privateers, and are actually actually very proactive freelance insurance underwriters) explains that they're a necessary part of the economy, so governments turn a damaged photoreceptor  to them.
    • It's noted that if the ruler of a posthuman oceanic colony suppresses civil liberties too much, her subjects will simply vote with their fins .
  • Orlando the Marmalade Cat has a cat add to the expression "There's no use crying over spilled milk" — "It should be lapped up and not wasted."
  • The Redwall books love these, as well as creative insults, the best being "If brains were bread you'd have starved to death before you were born!":
    • Some examples include "the leaf  calling the grass green " and "I'll bet you an apple to an acorn" (the equivalent of "dollars to donuts").
    • "If wishes were fishes, there'd be no room in the river for water. "
    • "There's more than one way of frying a frog. " Weird, you'd think Ferahgo would love to talk about skinning things...
  • In the picture book Rise and Shine Bunny, the mother tries to wake her son with "Now sweetie, the early bunny  gets the sweet clover ".
  • In Rudolph the Nasally Empowered Reindeer, a story in James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Holiday Stories, some older reindeer scold Rudolph for "rocking the kayak ."
  • In Safehold, "Kill the wyvern  that fetched  the golden rabbit ."
    • Also, "between the doomwhale  and the deep blue sea."
    • They also curse by Shan-Wei and put "Shan-Wei" instead of "Devil", as she's the local Satan figure, ("Go to Shan Wei's Hell !") and use Langhorne (greatest of the archangels) instead of God ("Langhorne  bless you" or "For Langhorne's  sake!").
  • The vampire culture in The Saga of Darren Shan: "In this night  and age."
  • Seekers:
    • "Have you got honey  between your ears?"
    • "They're all hiding in the trees like dumb scaredy birds ."
    • "Your brain is full of feathers ."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • "The song is sung, the wine is spilled, the wench  is pregnant ."
    • "Who pissed in your soup ?"
  • Star Darlings:
    • "Cool as a calaka ."
    • "In the starlight ."
    • "First stars ."
    • "Marches to the signal  of her own pulsar ."
  • Lots in the Star Trek Novel 'Verse:
    • Like a targ  out of gre'thor.  (Klingon)
    • "If life hands you ungaberries,  you've got to make detergent. " (Ferengi)
    • "Played me like a Syn Lara. " (Trill)
    • "The Bloodwing's  share", and "like h'vart  in an alley." (Both Romulan)
    • "The pin  that broke the zipthar’s wing .(Human colonists on Deneva)
    • "The sauce  on the slugsteak  (Ferengi)
    • "Nervous as a tiku in a kava reap" (Bajoran)
    • One that's almost the same: "Plenty of other Suckerfish in the River".
    • "If Ice Bores kill your Ailicorne, make Ailicorne steaks". (Andorian). There are also the Andorian axioms "Absence makes the heart forget" and "What goes around comes around...but with a sharper knife".
    • The Ferengi morality tale of "The Boy Who Cried Audit"
    • "Like Honge on fresh meat" (Cardassian). Also the Cardassian saying "the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy, but may prove useful".
    • "Sap and fog", for when Nasats are being dismissive.
    • "Screw with the Mugato, you're getting the horn".
    • "In a Tribble's eye!" (Which didn't need to be said, because McCoy uses the phrase "In a pig's eye!" in the original series).
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe and Legends books:
    • "Out of the reactor core  and into the supernova. "
    • Playing Sith's/Dark Side's  Advocate. Started in the X-Wing Series, but other novels picked it up later.
    • Better the Moff  you know than Emperor's new envoy. 
    • He was as green as the foam  on Lomiin-ale.
    • The Star Wars Holiday Special is largely cringed over and ignored, but a few things have worked their way into canon. Boba Fett, Chewbacca's family, and Life Day.
      Wedge: [after a very agreeable breakup, and having said that he hopes she'll still consider him a friend] Meaning you can still call on me. Send me messages. Send me Life Day  presents.
    • "These guys went through the estate's defenses easier than Rebels go through a Death Star ."
    • It's not the work of Venthan Chassu,  but it beats bare walls.
    • Less chance than a flame  on Hoth. 
    • If one person calls you a Hutt,  laugh it off. If two people call you a Hutt,  start to wonder. If three people call you a Hutt,  buy a drool bucket and start hoarding spice.  (Stackpole invents a lot of these.)
    • You look like something the poom  dragged in.
    • How many Corellians does it take to change a glowpanel? 
    • There's no such thing as a "poker face." Instead, you'd have a "Sabacc face." And "dejarik" (the game Chewie and R2 play in A New Hope) is substituted for chess.
    • She took to it like a sarlacc  to sand. 
    • If The Force is with us, it's definitely The Dark Side. 
    • This looks like a dew -run. Also used: a "blue milk-run". For those who don't know, a "milk run" is aviation speak for a routine, uneventful journey. Among bomber crews, it means an easy mission with neither flak nor enemy fighters.
    • Stick the vibroblade  in and modulate the oscillation rate. 
    • The airspeeder dropped like a freefalling Hutt.  The same character a few pages later said the same speeder "dropped like a rock", so "freefalling Hutt" was probably just for color.
    • As the smugglers say, we were putting all our spice  in one freighter .
    • Don't plot a course into that black hole .
    • I get the holo . (In general, "holo" or "hologram" are used in any context that calls for "photograph" or "video.")
    • I'll walk away, shedding my crimes like a Trandoshan  sheds its skin. In that case it was deliberate—a criminal offered to hand over some crucial info in exchange for immunity from prosecution, money, and a way off planet, and was amused when an old enemy was sent to pick him up. He knew she needed the info and was too honorable to go against the deal, so he used this phrase to remind her that he had let the Trandoshan who had murdered a friend walk free.
    • This really came out of the asteroid belt.  Alternately, it came out of the black, as in deep space.
    • "Like a neutrino  through plasma. " A similar but less arbitrary example from one of the Young Jedi Knights books: Lando says that a certain diamond drill can cut through durasteel just as easily as a laser can cut through Sullustan jam. It's not explained what property of Sullustan jam requires lasers to cut.
    • A particularly egregious one: What time is it when an Imperial AT-AT Walker  steps on your wrist chronometer?  Time to get a new wrist chronometer. 
    • Wedge Antilles is said to have ice water in his veins and cold-space lubricants for blood.
    • "And then ask yourself if that doesn't make you look a bit like a dewback's cloaca ."
    • "He's a few starships  short of a fleet. ."
    • Tending children is like herding Gammorean slime cats .
    • Set in durasteel . See page quote here.
    • At least one of the Essential Guide books has "A game of felinx  and rodus ". This despite the fact that a quick look on Wookieepedia reveals that both cats and mice exist in-universe.
    • It's dangerous to change dewbacks  in the middle of a sand dune. 
    • The Han Solo Trilogy: Expressions like "The rat's in the kitchen" have been modified with "vrelt" (apparently a similar creature) instead of "rat" and so on.
    • From Scoundrels: "Mind games, unfortunately, were a multidirectional spacelane ."
    • From the Revenge of the Sith novelization: “They say when the Force  closes a hatch , it opens a viewport .”
    • From Coruscant Nights, Den Dhur notes that trying to find Jax Pavan is "Like looking for a needle in a sleestax ."
  • A clever and appropriate use in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers novel, "...on the bounce." Its meaning ranges from along the lines of 'don't waste time' to 'stay alert', depending on the context it's used in.
  • Survivor Dogs:
    • "Paw" gets used as an equivalent of "hand"/"foot" in sayings. For example, "on one paw ".
    • "Hurry up, or we'll be here until the Moon-Dog goes to sleep ."
    • "The foxes could go to the Earth-Dog  as far as he was concerned (...)"
    • "They are hunting us, Lucky, and unless we keep on our paw-tips  and moving, they will track us down."
    • "I've got a good feeling in my fur  today."
    • "Watch your muzzle , Moon."
    • "We should make a camp for no-sun ."
  • Tailchaser's Song:
    • Cats say "Your Furriness " and "Regal Softness " to the queen.
    • At one point Tailchaser says that he's "made a m'an  of myself". For reference, a "m'an" is a human.
    • "I wasn't whelped just sunlast , you know!"
  • In the Tempest (2011) trilogy, merpeople talk about struggling to keep their heads below  water.
  • In The Vazula Chronicles, figures of speech used by merpeople include "hit the current swimming ," "a lot of water  to cover," "put all your pearls  in one oyster ," "in a clamshell ," "as many lives as a catfish ," and "albino dolphin."
  • Warrior Cats does this quite a bit:
    • "When hedgehogs  fly!"
    • "Don't be a scaredy-mouse! "
    • "Don't get your whiskers  in a twist. "
    • "That's a load of fox-dung! "
    • "You're crow-food! "
    • "Cloudtail's mew  is worse than his scratch. "
    • "We shall kill two prey  with one blow,  as it were."
    • "Who made dirt  in his fresh-kill ?"
    • "You look as if you've lost a rabbit  and found a shrew ."
    • "No use wailing  over lost prey ."
    • "Leopardfur can go chase her own tail ." (A similar expression, "Bluestar can go eat snails!" is also seen.)
    • "Great Star Clan!" 
    • "If I catch you on my territory, you'll wish you'll never been kitted ."
    • "You're two sides of the same leaf ."
    • "Have you got bees in your brain ?"
    • "We're living in a den of twigs ."
    • "Don't be such a smart-ears ."
    • "We're wasting moonlight ."
    • "That goody-four-paws ."
    • "Sorry catches no prey ."
    • "She's swiping at butterflies ."
    • "He sticks out like a WindClan kit in the ShadowClan nursery ."
  • Welkin Weasels:
    • "We'll have the last click of teeth ."
    • "We must avoid this place like the mange ."
    • "Now there's a rafter rat  in wood mouse's  clothing."
  • The Witch Family: Witches have a few idioms reversed or otherwise mangled:
    • "Yup-giddy" instead of "giddy-yup".
    • "There" instead of "here" as a response to a roll call.
  • The Race in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series do this a lot. Examples:
    • "On the other fork of the tongue ".
    • "Getting under his scales ".
    • "Keep an eye-turret  on him".
    • "You must be egg-addled !".
    • "You are yanking my tail-stump ."
    • They also constantly swear "by the spirits of Emperors past" (cast down eye-turrets).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with on America's Got Talent: The Champions when ventriloquist Darci Lynne brought her puppet Petunia to the stage. Seeing the size of the audience, Petunia repeated, "Oh my carrots !"
  • Babylon 5 manages to combine this with Yiddish as a Second Language when Ivanova says to Sheridan, "What am I, chopped flarn ?" ("Lines of Communication")
  • Bottom: In a scene cut from the episode "Gas" featured in the Fluff collection: “There are  more than three ways  to kill a monkey .
  • In the sixth episode of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Aughra describes guiding the people of Thra as "like herding Fizzgig ."
  • Doctor Who:
    • Not uncommonly, Time Lords — a two-hearted race — use allegorical phrases related to the heart, but with "hearts" instead. "Heartsbeat", "broke my hearts", "I haven't the hearts", etc.
    • "Robot" has the Doctor complain that "it's a free cosmos " as well as refer to his "heartsbeat".
    • "The Face of Evil": The Doctor's unimpressed by a broken communicator — "Dead as a Dalek ".
    • "The Unquiet Dead": Charles Dickens: "What the Shakespeare? ". Oddly enough, the phrase "what the dickens" actually appears in Shakespeare's writing and has nothing to do with the author Dickens at all ("the dickens" = "the Devil"), but it would be rather odd-sounding for Charles Dickens to say "what the dickens". Referenced two seasons later when Shakespeare says "What the Chaucer?"
    • "The Name of the Doctor": After the Doctor is conned by Clara's young charges, he mutters "Why those little... Daleks !"
    • Steven Moffat once proposed that a good title for a Paternoster Gang spin-off would be Tipping the Scales - referring not to the usual meaning of that phrase, but a Silurian equivalent of Tipping the Velvet.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • "When I was a child, an uncle asked: what gift I wanted for my name day ."
    • Tyrion claims "If I had a gold dragon for every time..."
  • House of the Dragon: "Moon tea" for an emergency contraception.
  • Good Omens (2019): Demons say "What/Where the Heaven ..."
  • In Krypton, with its Uterine Replicator, Dev-Em warns someone "Tell anyone about this, and you'll wish the Genesis Chamber never spat you out ."
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Poppy calling Nori a "smart-foot" as an In-Universe term for "smart-ass".
    • Galadriel cursing "Eat your tongue!" instead of "Bite your tongue!" to Adar.
  • The Mandalorian provides its own take on the one about the pot and the kettle: "Well if that isn't the Quacta calling the Stifling slimy."
  • M*A*S*H: On at least one occasion Klinger announced, "Piece of baklava !"
  • Mork & Mindy:
    • Mork once explains that carbonated drinks make him "Ork -faced".
    • Mork claims, "I wouldn't harm a harf  on your cholly-cho-cho "
    • "How do you like them iggles ?"
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • "Sick as a vole ."
    • "They breed like Tribbles "
    • One Rule of Acquisition adds "...but only between Ferengi" to the expression "a contract is a contract is a contract". Another one adds onto the expression "Home is where the heart is... but the stars are made of latinum", and a third one is "Exploitation  begins at home."
  • Characters on Star Trek: Discovery sometimes use a Vulcan expression: "Isik  for your thoughts." It's also a Running Gag that nobody knows what an isik is.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • Phlox referred to Archer's Freudian slips as "Pillarian slips".
    • He also referred to an old saying: "When in Fellebia , do as the Fellebians  do."
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Lower Decks", Sito (an alien, specifically a Bajoran) says, "I'd like to have been a spider under  that table ." Her human best friend is visibly confused before he figures out the human saying (which is apparently still in use).
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time" has one whose mundane equivalent isn't very common: "He's as tight-lipped as an Aldeberan Shellmouth ."
  • Star Trek: Voyager has "I didn't want to be a third nacelle. " (ships in Star Trek almost always have an even number of warp nacelles, usually 2). Potentially justified given that by that point in time, wheeled vehicles have been obsolete in the Federation for centuries.
  • In The Suite Life on Deck: "Well I guess we're both up the Ganges  without a paddle!

    Print Media 
  • MAD #208, "Cattlecar Galaxica":
    Adammit: That was real brave of you to rescue me, Athinner! I'd like to thank you properly! How about dropping by my sleep bay and—
    Athinner: Not tonight! I have a Cranium Megahurt!
    Adammit: Hmmm! Some things never change — even in SIX millenniums!

    Puppet Shows 
  • Invoked by Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Played for Laughs in Spark of Insanity by Jeff Dunham. After failing to scare Dunham, he swears "God damn it!" He then realizes what he said...
    Achmed: I mean, Allah damn it! (laughter from audience) Silence! I kill you!

  • In AJCO there is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example during a conversation between Kube (a Plant Alien) and Vinnie (reared by Plant Aliens):
    Kube: [pushes Vinnie back into bed] Easy there, tigerlily! 
  • Red Dawn +20: Chebrikov Ate Sugar.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An article in Dragon magazine has a veteran dungeoneer complain that when novices start out they take "everything but the bucket from the well ".
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Mirage, "Alarum":
      "One timely cry of warning can save nine of surprise." —Sidar Jabari
  • The dogs in Pugmire worship the lost race of Man, and are therefore prone to exclamations such as "Man damn it!" and "I swear to Man."
  • In Transhuman Space: School Days, Denise considers Ian to be sysadmin  of his own fan community .
  • Common in Vampire: The Requiem, e.g. "Tonight,  the world has changed."
  • Warhammer 40,000: Ever since Lorgar the Horus Heresy, people have replaced the word "God" with "Emperor". Said emperor is not amused because it means that everyone people started worshiping him when he explicitly commanded this not to happen. People also swear by the Golden Throne, which the Emperor's living corpse sits on and is sustained by.

  • The Little Mermaid:
    • "As long as you live under my reef ..."
    • "She was seaweed  and spice and everything nice..."
    • "That girl's on sandbar  nine!"
    • "Ariel and someone, swimming in the sea . K-I-S-S-I-N-G."
    • "And then the squid  will hit the fan."
    • "How could she just suddenly completely disappear into thin water ?"
  • Wicked: "Wait one clock-tick ."

    • "Hold your Rahi,  I'm coming!"
    • "All my friends went to Po-Koro, and all I got was this lousy rock. "
    • "Like Matoran  opening presents on Naming Day. "
    • "It's a load of Rock Steed droppings! "
    • "I have a feeling we're not in Karda Nui  any more!
    • "He clapped his hands over his audio receptors. "
    • "Kill two Gukko  with one stone."
    • "The metal claw's  on the other foot now!" (This one was lampshaded, as another character tells the speaker that what he just said makes no sense.)
  • Transformers:
    • "Do you ever think you could be programmed  for something bigger?"
    • "Stick it in your optic sensor !"
    • "My afterburner ."
    • "That's murder on my audio receptors !"
    • "Processor  over matter."
    • "Megatron?! The cruel and vicious Decepticon leader who eats Autobot protoforms  for breakfast?!"
    • "I've got one servo  in the scrap heap ."
    • "Human! It's the Matrix or your protoform batch initiators !"
    • "You'll have to pry it from my cold, offline servos !"
    • "I'll tear out your optics !"
    • "It's a ." (this one even they find weird to say)
    • "Go to scrap heap !"
    • "Aww, hexagonal nuts."
    • "You can stuff it up your exhaust pipe ."
    • "What, is my gearbox  hanging out or something?"
    • "Don't just stand there with your pistons  in your servos !"
    • "Don't just stand there with your cockpits  open!"
    • "Brilliant my sine function ."
    • "Kiss my skidplate !"
    • "Whoa! What crawled up your tailpipe ?"
    • "Go stuff it up your reactor linkage !"
    • "Brilliant, my boron compressor !"
    • "Blow it out your actuator !"
    • "Tell him to blow it out his exhaust port !"
    • "That restaurant where the waitresses go around without torso plates ?"
    • "Bearings of chrome steel. "
    • From an episode of Transformers: Cybertron:
      Override: What are we, roast energon ?

    Video Games 
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day note  has this trope not in dialogue, but in the title itself.
  • In the good ending of Cuphead, after defeating the Devil and incinerating the Soul Contracts, Cuphead and Mugman race each other for home, with Mugman shouting out, "Last one there is a leaky cup !"
  • The Discworld game:
    Sleazy Guy: Care to buy an hourglass? 
    Rincewind: Where'd you get those?
    Sleazy Guy: Fell off the back of a donkey cart,  sir!
  • In Disgaea 5, after Zeroken blows using the Ultimate Demon Technique, Final Skill on Bloodis, Seraphina angrily yells at him "What in the Human World  are you doing?!"
  • Dwarven curses in the Dragon Age setting include "Go take a long breath out of a short shaft," which from context and phrasing probably means "Go die in a hole" or similar. The saying most likely refers to the breathing of lyrium dust in the mines. Lyrium is basically the setting's magical macguffin, but it is very toxic to mortal beings. Breathing lyrium dust can, even in the best of circumstances, reduce you to a gibbering idiot, at worst, don't want to know.
    • They also use "Nug-humping" where a modern person would probably use "Motherfucking."
    • In addition, there's the phrase "by the maker", as well as a few references to Andraste throughout both games.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Game text tends to replace instances of "man" with "dwarf", resulting phrases such as "All craftdwarfship is of the highest quality".
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy X: Wakka instructs Tidus over the course of the game to hold his chocobos, flightless birds used as horse equivalents. The Chocoboy of Final Fantasy VIII instructs Squall to do the same. There's also Wakka's "son of a Shoopuf!" and another character's " shoopuf!"
    • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: At one point, Fran is being accosted by a group of sky pirates, including a "foul-mouthed moogle" who lets out an apparently profanity-laden sentence ending with "and your chocobo too!"
    • Final Fantasy XIII: In Nautilus, there's a boy who asks his parent to give him a "chocoback ride."
    • Final Fantasy Type-0 has a random NPC trainee who comments that "Confidence is exactly what I'm lacking. I go in thinking I can do it, but when push comes to shove, I always chocobo out..."
    • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: "Hold your chocobos" gets used a couple times.
    • Final Fantasy XIV uses coeurl (somewhat catlike creatures with long tentacle-like whiskers) in place of cat, like "Coeurl o' Nine Tails", and a quest called "When the Coeurl's Away".
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
    • In the barracks, one of your soldiers utters "I'm so hungry I could eat a Pegasus ."
    • Another character states "It's time for ol' Gangrel to get a dose of his own vulnerary !"
  • In Granblue Fantasy, Io drops one in a cross-fate episode with Ryan.
    "It's not over 'till the Primal Beast sings!"
  • Homeworld: Cataclysm:
    Kuun-Lan Fleet Command (agitated): Join the Kiith !
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: There are no animals larger than a pig, but there are Mechanical Lifeforms that fulfill much of the same purposes. Of special note is "the behemoth's  share of the supplies." It has a double meaning because not only is a behemoth a huge machine, but it's a transport unit that carries material for other machines.
  • After the CPU Breaker is defeated in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, Ram exclaims that she's "so hungry she could eat a horsebird."
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In one of its many, many moment of pure parody, Liberal Crime Squad has Liberals and Moderates (who are all Atheists of course) say, when confronted with the shocking truth of the evil conservative regime, "Oh my Science ! Is there anything I can do to help?"
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2 features an advertisement for a movie about "Blasto, the first hanar Spectre", whose trademark phrases are "This one has no time for your solid waste excretions" and "Enkindle THIS!"
    • Mass Effect 3 features many excerpts from the movie, the humor of which often stems from this trope.
    • When you first meet Legion, Tali mentions that a single geth would have no more intelligence than a wild varren. It makes more sense since varren are basically Space Dogs, and 99% of the characters, humans included, probably never saw a real life dog before.
    • Quarians in general use the term "Keelah" in place of "God" note , and "Keelah se'lai" is said at the end of certain discussions, including the hearing in front of the admiralty board. Replace it with "God be with you", and it's a perfect fit.
      • Mass Effect 3 reveals it to effectively mean "The homeworld which I shall one day see.", which is similar, given how mythical their homeworld is to the Quarians by this point.
      • Similar to the above, asari usually say "By the goddess!", while turians use "Spirits!"
    • Inverted early on, at one point Vega brings up a more traditional "shooting fish in a barrel", which is a completely alien concept to Garrus.
    • And most people would describe someone ballsy as having "a quad", as the krogan have four testicles.
    • Mordin Solus, your salarian teammate in 2, thinks his former CO was "a bit of a cloaca". Salarians are amphibians, wherein the cloaca is both anal and reproductive orifice, so he's basically calling him an asshole and a dick.
    • Romancing Garrus will have him tell you at one point that your outfit "has my mandibles  on the floor."
    • Also averted in the case of figures of speech involving bullets.
      Renegade Shepard VI: I find the best advanced battlefield strategy is to have more bullets than the other guy. [Beat] Technically, it's thermal clips, not bullets, but who says "I filled him with 5 detachable heat sinks"?
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda has "does a pyjak scratch its butt?" and "roast your quads over a low fire". A quest involving salarians has one claiming another could be pulling information out of his cloaca.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Bowser says Antasma's screaching sounds like a beached Blooper .
  • The Mega Man Battle Network series has quite a few of these, primarily in the first three games, where the translators were using Woolseyisms:
    • "I was programmed  ready!"
    • "You scared me half to deletion! "
    • "Prepare to meet your programmer! "
  • Moshi Monsters:
    • "Bogie  jumping."
    • "Thank Grargghness "
    • "Give a flying gooberry "
    • "Easy peasy gooberry  squeezy."
    • "Bless my gooberries ."
    • "The 70  seas."
    • "Trick or eat? "
  • In Nevertales 3: Smoke and Mirrors the inhabitants of Taleworld, a parallel reality composed entirely of book-worlds, say things like "May the Author keep you."
  • In Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2, one voice choice for male player characters has the following "swear" emote: "You two-faced son of a kobold !"
  • In the Paleo Pines demo, Agami says a lot of these. For example:
    • At the start, she says she hasn't seen a Parasaurolophus since she was "knee high to an Oviraptor ."
    • Whenever you talk to her at her shop, she says, "Look at what the rapt  dragged in."
    • There’s at least one "hold your herbivores 
  • Pokémon: As part of the series' Earth Drift, characters tend to substitute animal names with their Pokémon equivalents.
    • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon:
      • Well, I'll be an Aipom's  uncle!
      • I was being such a scaredy-Delcatty ...
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield has more of these than previous games. One example is Sonia mentioning the phrase "Nickit in wooloo's clothing ".
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet:
      • Once you learn how to ride on Koraidon/Miraidon, Nemona tells you that "Paldea's your Cloyster ".
      • Hassel says "All paths lead to the Great Crater of Paldea , as they say" to the player after they get the Gym Badge in Artazon.
  • Used by specific characters rather than the world at large, but the third season of Sam & Max: Freelance Police has a few.
    Papierwaite: And why should I give a hellbeast's hangnail  what happens to your partner?
    Papierwaite: I couldn't give three figs !
    • And a Dummied Out line has Skun-K'ape saying "You're swinging on frayed vines , magician".
  • When playing SimAnt, if the "Funny" captions are turned on, ants will often share gems such as "I've worked my mandibles to the chitin ."
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run: Apu exclaims "Shiva  H. Vishnu !"
  • Space Quest:
  • With Splatoon being the marine life-based World of Pun that it is, squid/sea life counterparts of phrases show up every now and then.
    "Hold on to your tentacles!"
    "You gotta be squiddin' me!"
    "HOLY CARP!"
  • In Spyro: A Hero's Tail, one of the elders says "(...) like ships in the sky ".
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, a Hutt remarks, "You say keelpunah , I say keepunah ."
  • Tales of Monkey Island has got LOADS of them, though a few examples are:
    • "Davey J. Nipperkin doesn't go handing over his secret sources to every Tom, Dick, and Guybrush  that washes ashore!"
    • "Anyone up for a quick game of Five Card Draw-and-Quarter?  Follow the Monkey?  Mêlée  Hold 'Em?"
    • "The Club has a strict 'No Feet,  No Service' clause."
    • "Talk to the hand, sicko, 'cause the pirate  ain't listenin'!"
    • "Accidentally, my dorsal fin! "
    • "Does someone have a cannon  to your head?"
    • "...but that guy is cannon -happy!"
    • "Just my two pieces of eight,  sir."
    • "Blowholes  to Betsy, could it be?"
    • "Hold onto your pantalones! "
    • "Your honor, pirates and wenches  of the gallery... "
    • "...he seemed to think I could make a pretty piece of eight  off of your untimely execution..."
    • "Time is grog,  Captain."
    • "Malevolence  is in the eye of the beholder, Guybrush Threepwood."
    • "Tore through here like a cat  outta hell, off into the jungle."
    • "Mo' money, mo ability to solve puzzles. "
    • "That witch is nothing but trouble with a capital T, and that rhymes with V,  and that stands for Voodoo. "
  • Trails Series:
    • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, if you talk with Ashleigh during the Eventide segment, she comments that asking her to rent out Mishelam for a send-off party instead of the usual payment is "No wool  off my Pom ." (A Pom is a Mascot Mook seen throughout the franchise the game comes from, and is among other things the subject of a plush toy, as well as a game called "Pom Pom Party.")
    • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, you can speak with a professor, Carton, and his student, Myria, Myria being upset because she thought an exam was going to be delayed because of classes canceled during the war. If you speak with Carton a second time, he comments to Rean that Myria would come crying to him Sharkodile  tears no matter how long he delayed the exam.
  • One random event in Wildermyth has a character discussing whether a particular kind of tree only grows in places untouched by fire, or whether the trees themselves ward off fire. They brush off the line of thinking by calling it "a lizard or egg thing." This is despite there being fire chickens, and presumably regular chickens as well.
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ciri offers Geralt an oren  for his thoughts.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, you'll occasionally get phrases like "What on Bionis ?"
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 makes even greater use of this than previous games:
    • Characters use phrases like "curiousity killed the ferrox ", "wild medooz ", or "pause your poniosnote ."
    • The game takes place in a setting where the whole cast was grown in People Jars to live their whole lives as soldiers and therefore have no concepts of sexual reproduction, religion, or family. As such, all swearing originating from those concepts is replaced with language referring to in-universe elements. "Fuck" is replaced by "snuff" as the general all-purpose profanity note , insults like "son of a bitch" or "bastard" are replaced by "mudder"note , and religious swearing and oaths refer to the Queens of the two nations at warnote .

    Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has repeated uses of "everybirdie ".
  • Last Chance in Xollywood: A variant. The text always uses phrases like "ocular organs" and "appendages", for example, in place of "eyes" and "hands", but it's justified since all the playable characters are alien beings. Also inverted since they sometimes use human expressions but don't really know what they mean: one character says "The grass is greener", and the other will say "What is grass?".
  • Reigning Passions: In Amara's first season, Lyris tells the heroine, "No need to get your branches in a twist, Your Highness."

    Web Animation 
  • Battle for Dream Island: Objects tend to say whatever created them in place of "god". Example:
    Pin: Oh my pin factory!
  • Helluva Boss: In one episode, Moxxie says "The Heaven's  wrong with this thing?!" In the first episode of Season 2, Stolas says "What in Hell  is this?"
  • JaidenAnimations: Parodied in a skit in "Random Thoughts (Part 2 Edition)" where two fish are talking, as they just put "fish" as an adjective before nouns and activities alongside the occasional fish pun.
    "Welcome home, fish dear! How was you day at the offish?"
    "Oh fish wife, the currents were pretty strong today. I was swimming to fish work and the currents swished all my fish papers out of my fish hands- I mean, fins."
  • Rusty in Pokémon Rusty tends to use Pokémon names in Palace of swears, such as "oh Dunsparce", "God Diglett!", and "son of a Bisharp!"
  • RWBY features an example in the episode "Family", where, after an awkward period of silence that follows Yang laughing at an insult from Taiyang about her missing arm, Oobleck quietly speaks up:
    Oobleck: Are we finally talking about the Goliath  in the room...?

  • Awful Hospital: Happens every so often between all the sapient lifeforms.
    Maggie: Hold yer horseflies, lemme buzz the place...
  • Discussed in The Bird Feeder #203, "Bird Talk," as Terry wonders whether they ought to use more bird-like jargon like "Gull!" when frustrated or "Great Auk!" when shocked.
  • Carry On: "Don't matronize  me."
  • Darths & Droids: In one strip, an Imperial officer says "What am I? Chopped splanch ?" (The splanch being a Running Gag of Bizarre Alien Biology in DMM's work.)
  • Digger:
    • "Hold your moles,  I'm coming."
    • "Never laid eyestalks on one before."
    • "I don't give a gnawed shoot. "
    • "Don't salt  the messenger."
    • " I'll make him regret the day he slid out of his mother's pouch. "
  • Footloose: "You've got about as much chance as Hinckley had with Foster "
  • Gaia:
    • "Go jump into the Void !"
    • "What in Bhaal's  name?!"
    • "Dear Gaia !"
  • In General Protection Fault, when Fooker fails to bluff Euler, the Gray says "I was not cloned in the previous solar cycle ."
  • Girl Genius has a few, based on steam power and clockwork, such as "Get wound !" and "runing around like headless constructs ".
  • Homestuck plays this for laughs with the trolls, as part of the Expospeak Gag that is their biology and culture:
    • "You can glub to the content of your collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular system ."
    • Karkat explaining a troll romance novel "THEIR DYNAMIC IS THE GRUBLOAF AND TUBER PASTE  OF THE OVERALL ARC."
    • "I made my recupracoon  and now I have to wriggle around in its slime ."
  • Housepets!:
    King: "Son of a charming young woman !"
  • "I'm such a plague-head!" from My Milk Toof.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • A fiend exclaiming "What the Home Sweet Home  is going on?"
    • A dwarf explaining that past history is all "water over the tunnel ."
    • A dwarf again: "I think I can kill two bushes  with one stone axe ." (Dwarves in OoTS all believe trees are plotting against them.)
  • Our Little Adventure has a few:
    • "For the love of the gods" replacing "For the love of God"
    • "For Stellina's sake!" replacing "For Christ's sake!"
    • "What in the three hells" replacing "What the hell"
    • "What on Manjulias" replacing "What on Earth" (at least when the creator remembers to change it.)
  • Outsider: The Loroi associated with the mostly-ocean world Taben occasionally use some culturally-specific terms in their spoken Trade to express negative ideas. When Nova's cruiser is destroyed, Stillstorm says "Confirm that Winter Tide has foundered", a term which in English can mean "to break" or "to sink". Later, Talon's Cluster F-Bomb toward Clearbrook's comms officer ends with "Shred this tilted field!" and Spiral softly exclaims "Low tide!" when Jardin mentions consuming animal milk.
  • The Petri Dish: When Thaddeus and Bob were sent to a dimension where it was illegal to wear out-of-fashion clothes, the police told them, "You have the right to remain ugly "
  • The godlike A.I. in Schlock Mercenary has a rather twisted sense of humor (this one seems to spread in the fandom):
    Schlock: ...How did Petey get a gestaltnote  off of a battleplate?
    Kevyn: I didn't ask, and all he said was "in for a penny, in for plutonium".
  • Skin Deep has at least one: "What's got your feathers in a turn? " (oddly enough, said to someone who doesn't have feathers.)
  • Played with in Skin Horse. Sweetheart is a talking female dog. And because she's a bit uptight, she doesn't like to swear. So she calls Violet Bee "that rhymes-with-bitch ".
  • Starslip Crisis parodies this hard, sometimes by adding needless adjectives to a phrase and sometimes by just putting "space-" in front of a word. (As in "Oh, space-hell!")
    Cutter: Today I kill two Salaxian birds with one Hethomorian laser-stone.
  • Because there are several gods in Unsounded of relatively equal importance, people usually say "gods" instead of "god," i.e. "oh gods" or "godsdamned." Though earlier comics sometimes use the singular form. Oddly, "hell" is used as an expletive even though no one seems to believe in such a place.
  • Vexxarr gives us this version. BellSouth has the Bleen Empire by the Golgi Apparatus.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic:

    Web Original 
  • Although this practice is frowned upon nowadays, This Very Wiki will sometimes alter trope names to fit the work that the page is dedicated to. Especially the Just for Fun page for Daring Do, where all the tropers are supposed to be sentient horses, zebras, griffons, etc. This can also extend to altering the category names or even the "This work contains the following tropes" header.
  • The Bastard Operator from Hell declares himself to be "up a thinwire without a terminator" in one story.
  • The Quest Den story Moot Point has one fire elemental tell another "No one expected a hearthfire  like you to travel so far."
  • Neopets:
    • This Neopian Times piece has "Wouldn't hurt a Buzzer " and "Two flicks of a Goldy's  tail."
    • "Don't look a gift Uni  in the mouth."
    • "Where on Neopia  can he be?"
    • "Oh, thank Fyora !"
    • "Too Lenny  to search Neopia for strange new lands?"
    • "A little Weewoo  told me."
    • One (purposely unidentifiable) food item is called "What the Aisha  Dragged In"
  • From this list of things babies would say if they could speak, there's the sentence "For the love of boobies !"

    Web Videos 
  • Diva the demon in Musical Hell uses "What the Here?" among many others. Sometimes, inverting the side ("Speak of the angel..."). It backfires when Diva calls Donna "goody two hooves", as she replies "I don't have hooves!"
  • Pokémon Talk: "My Arceus!" in place of "My God!" for the Pokémon reference in "Hot Dragonair Girl".

    Western Animation 
  • 3-2-1 Penguins!:
    • "For the love of herring ! Would someone please turn that off that infernal noise!"
    • "Jumping Jupiter !
  • Adventure Time:
    • "Oh, my Grod/Glob/Gob !"
    • "What the math ?"
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Upon having to fight their way out of a Earth-government facility, running from the Space Navy, and learning they're headed for Tortuna. "Out of the blast furnace,  and into the converter! "
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears
    • The Magnificent Seven Gummies: "Well, I'll be bounced ."
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • In "Air Feather Friends", the guards think that the newest scourge in Agrabah are wind demons, but Aladdin discovers that they're just ordinary bandits: "Wind demons, my camel !" (Doubles as Getting Crap Past the Radar.)
    • In "The Prophet Motive": "Hey, what am I? Chopped camel meat ?"
  • Amphibia: Parodied in the season one finale "Reunion", when Captain Grime compliments Sasha by saying "You are always playing Flipwart  while everyone else is playing Bog Jump ." Except Sasha isn't a native of Amphibia, so the metaphor goes completely over her head.
    Grime: Well, see, Flipwart and Bog Jump are games. Flipwart is, of course, far more complicated and— [fed up] I'M TRYING TO SAY YOU'RE SMART!
  • Both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have multiple references to the Mix-and-Match Critters that inhabit their world that match this trope perfectly.
    • "He's not a one-trick poodle-pony."
    • "That weasel-snake!"
    • Aang is such a pacifist, he even helps "the spider-fly stuck in its own web."
    • At one point in Korra, Mako advises his brother Bolin to handle a breakup quickly, "like pulling off a leech ." While this was a bit of Self-Deprecation about how Mako didn't do just that in his own breakup last season, it wound up being a poor choice of words on the creators' part as they had to reassure viewers that Mako was not in fact calling his ex-girlfriend a leech.
    • Prince Wu answers an obvious question with "Does a platypus-bear  poop in the woods?", though he cuts himself off before he finishes it.
    • The finale combined this trope with Varrick's catchphrase during Varrick and Zhu Le's wedding: "You may now do the thing ."
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command:
    Buzz:"We've got bigger sclerf  to fry."
    Ambassador Major:"Two zarkfleems  in every pot, a jetpack  in every driveway!"
    Alternate Universe!Booster:"You couldn't hit the broad side of a Jo-Adian barn , which is VERY big by the way!"
  • The Buzz on Maggie: "Oh, bug ".
  • Chuggington: "You're pulling my pistons , aren't you?"
  • According to the title character in the Darkwing Duck episode "Life, the Negaverse, and Everything," Negaduck isn't "duck  enough" to confront him himself.
  • Dragons: Race to the Edge:
    • The episode "Family on the Edge" has Heather say "a dragon  doesn't change its markings " (Fishlegs feels compelled to point out that some dragons do). Later Astrid takes about "the Rumblehorn  in the room".
    • In an earlier episode, "Have Dragon, Will Travel", we have this exchange, using the same simile for two separate expressions:
      Fishlegs: Can I help it if I'm an optimist? I'm a yak-bladder  half-full kind of guy!
      Astrid: Hate to burst your yak-bladder ...
    • The yak-bladder reference returns in "The Wings of War part 2" when Hiccup shows that he has nearly completed building an advanced version of the Dragon Eye.
      Hiccup: Friends, my yak-bladder  runneth over.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Top Duck", Scrooge calls Launchpad, "a chip off the old propeller ."
  • The Flintstones:
    • "That's the way the boulder bounces. "
    • "Just a rock  pickin' minute.
  • Futurama has "You sound like a broken MP3. ", "Powder my mouth flaps ", and "Is the Space Pope Reptillian ?"
  • The narrator from Jellabies has a tendency to insert the word "jelly" into certain words and phrases, resulting in stuff like "jelly good" ("very good") and "jellytastic" ("fantastic").
  • The Jetsons:
    • "That's the way the satellite spins. "
    • "Jumping Jupiter! "
  • The Lion Guard
    • "Winner winner, zebra  dinner."
    • "What in the Pride Lands ?"
  • The Loud House: Lisa says, "Sweet mother of discovery !"
  • The Little Mermaid (1992):
    • Disobedient children get beached .
    • Also:
      Triton: What under the sea  is going on?!
  • Maryoku Yummy: "Yum's  the word."
  • A number of phrases on Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends (which focuses on the adventures of sentient insects and other bugs), but most particularly, "Hold your horseflies !"
  • Monsuno uses "Aw, crag ." several times. At one point Chase refers to someone as "A pain in my Core ."
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends:
      • In "The Magic Coins, Part 3", when Megan starts dictating terms to the guy holding everyone over a deep pit and the ponies start wondering if she's gone nuts, Heart Throb asks her if she's slipped her bridle.
      • In "Fugitive Flowers, Part 1", when they see the flowerbed Posey prepared for them, a florie comments that with it "we'd be back on our roots  in no time!"
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • "Get your muzzle  out of those books."
      • "You little foal! "
      • "What the hay? " It's also a common Real-Life substitute.
      • "Every/Any/Some/Nopony " is quite possibly the most commonly used substitution in the show. Griffons and hippogriffs tend to use "anygriff" and "evergriff" instead. Starting in season eight, words such as "everycreature" are used, largely in reference to the Young Six.
      • "Old pony's/mare's  tale."
      • "Goody four -shoes."
      • "Well, well, well, it seems we have some neeeigh-sayers  in the audience!"
      • "It's time to pony  up and confront Zecora!" "Pony up" is also Real-Life slang for "pay up," which could hilariously change the line's meaning.
      • "Fillies and gentlecolts ."
      • "Nopony else gives a flying feather !"
      • "Who in the hoof  is that?"
      • The UK trailers have "lend a helping hoof ".
      • "You... get down here... this instant... young... colt! "
      • "Well, wallop my withers."
      • "Wings , don't fail me now!"
      • "What in Equestria  is going on in here?"
      • "Gabby Gums is my bread and butter, and I'm not gonna let you goody-two-horseshoes  take that away from me!"
      • "You're bucking  a dead... tree ".
      • "Hold on to your hooves !"
      • Several reference Princess Celestia, Equestria's Immortal Ruler, such as "as Celestia  is my witness..." and "sweet Celestia !" These get lampshaded in "Celestial Advice" when Twilight, panicking over all of the trouble Starlight could get into after graduating, exclaims "I can't just send her off to Celestia-knows-where!" and then blushes as Celestia remarks that she didn't know she was an expression.
      • In "Flutter Blutter", Fluttershy expresses frustration at how her parents let her brother Zephyr "trot" all over them.
      • In My Little Pony: Best Gift Ever, when Pinkie arrives at the cottage where the Gift Givers — a trio of oracular reindeer — live, the elderly doe who greets her crankily exclaims "By Blitzen's beard! It took you long enough!"
      • "I need to use the little fillies'  room."
      • "Cross my heart and hope to fly , stick a cupcake  in my eye."
    • In My Little Pony: Make Your Mark, ponies (especially Pipp) often say, "Oh my hoofness !"
  • Mysticons: "The rubies are  always brighter  on the other side of the mine ."
  • The Owl House:
    • Instead of swearing on God or Jesus, the denizens of the Boiling Isles swear on the Titan (i.e. "for Titan's sake" or "oh (my) Titan"). The reveal that King is a baby Titan causes Lilith to freak out over the fact that she's been taking his name in vain.
    • In "Clouds on the Horizon", Odalia brags to Kikimora that her Abomatron has "700 snorsepower ". A snorse, of course, being a snake-horse.
  • Pac-Man, the Animated Series: "Over my chomped  body!''
  • On PB&J Otter, according to Peanut in the song "The Ballad of Johnny Pompalope," folks on Lake Hoohaw say "You're the pompalope  of my eye" and "A pompalope a day keeps the doctor away."
  • In Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars, a Rebel technician says "Never look a gift tauntaun  in the oral cavity ."
  • Pound Puppies (2010) uses this a few times.
    • "Rebound" gives us Squirt's line "You scratch my belly , I scratch yours."
    • In "McLeish Unleashed", Lucky's reaction to the changes Milton Feltwattle makes to Shelter 17 is "Oh my Dog , he is serious!"
  • ReBoot used computer jargon:
    • "Me and good old Frisket just kicked Megabyte's bitmap !"
    • "If you ask me, they're just covering their ASCIIs ."
  • Rubbadubbers
    Tubb: Easy peasy shampoo  squeezy!
  • Rugrats: In "Opposites Attract", Lil says, "Looks like somebody's got their diapies  in a bunch."
  • In "One Grain of Sand" from Shelldon, Connie and her friend imagine if the roles were reversed in a beauty contest and the guys were the ones being judged on their looks. Connie comments that it's "not so funny when thehorseshoe crab  is on the other foot."
  • The Simpsons: "Lisa The Vegetarian" ends with Homer offering Lisa a veggie-back  ride home after accepting her decision to turn vegetarian.
  • South Park has these in the "Go God Go" episodes, in the atheistic future, things like "Oh my science !" and "What in science's  name?".
  • Splash and Bubbles:
    • "Leave only your finprints  behind!"
    • "What in the big blue ocean  just happened?!"
    • "I thought we were playing surprise fish, not scare-the-gills-off-of-me  fish!"
    • "I can't put my fin  on it."
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In the episode "The Algae's  Always Greener": "A rolling stone gathers no Algae! "
    • "What was first? The oyster  or the pearl ?"
    • "That trilobite  didn't know an oboe from an elbow!"
    • "Curiosity assaulted the snail !"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In "Dooku Captured", Weequay pirates offer Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker drinks, and Obi-Wan tells them: "Nothing too strong. He’s (Anakin) flying ."
    • In "Mystery of a Thousand Moons", Obi-Wan tells Anakin: "There’s more than one way to skin a womp rat ."
  • Star Wars Rebels: In “Always Two There Are”, Ezra tells an Inquisitor “You’re like a broken protocol droid ” while being interrogated.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!: "That's the way the meatball bounces. "
  • Most adaptations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have the turtles use the word "shell" where a swear word would usually be: "What the shell  are these things?" The 2003 series did this fairly often.
  • Transformers does this a lot, replacing certain lines in stock phrases with robotic related terms, especially when talking about body-parts. Notably, many Cybertronians use the word "slag" in place of curse words.
  • On Vampirina, ghouls and goblins tell each other hold your zombie horses . They also wish each other nasty dreams .

    Real Life 
  • There was a story in Readers Digest about a student of medieval history who explained she was far too busy to do something by saying "I've just got too much on my trencher ."
  • Some foreign proverbs translated into your language (which have an equivalent) can look like this. For instance, the English proverb "The grass is always greener on the other side" becomes "The cherries in your neighbor's garden are always sweeter" in German. (Die Kirschen in Nachbars Garten schmecken immer süßer.) Wiktionary has a list of this proverb in a variety of languages.


Video Example(s):


Little fillies' room

Rarity, lying to go to a fancy party, claims she needs to use the "little fillies' room", a pun on "little girls' room".

How well does it match the trope?

3.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / HoldYourHippogriffs

Media sources: