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Insistent Terminology

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Soap: What sort of pub is this then?
Barkeep: It's a Samoan pub.
Bacon: ...What's that?
Barkeep: It's a cocktail. You asked for a cocktail.
Bacon: No, I asked you to give me a refreshing drink. I wasn't expecting a fucking rainforest. You could fall in love with an orangutan in that.
Barkeep: You want a pint, go to the pub.
Bacon: (Beat) ...I thought this was a pub.
Barkeep: It's a Samoan pub.

Hey, we aren't "describing" Insistent Terminology, we are "articulating" it!

A character constantly corrects a word (fine, if you say it's called a term, then it's called a term) used in their introduction or any speech that otherwise refers to them, but never seems to stop (all right, keep) anyone else from using it. Sometimes this is because they could be called something people see as unflattering or a poor choice of words.

Occasionally this extends into a species joke, where an alien or funny animal corrects others about some stereotypical aspect. Can also be done with an ethnic joke where the person has to correct others about some stereotypical aspect of nationality.

Subtropes to this are as follows:

Compare/Contrast with She Is Not My Girlfriend (character insists a romance does not exist, sometimes an overlap when "friend" is substituted), Do Not Call Me "Paul" (character has a name they do not wish to be known by), Blatant Lies (character insists to make an affirmation that obviously isn't real), Don't Call Me "Sir" (character insists another not be formal), They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (character insists another uses a formal/informal title in conversation), You Keep Using That Word (a character corrects or points out another character's repeated word misuse), Pronouncing My Name for You (when a character insists on others getting the pronunciation of their name correct/the way they want), and Pretentious Pronunciation (character wishes to class up something by "pronouncing it poshly", overlaps if they insist on their pronunciation).

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • An M&M's ad featured a PSA on how people insist what their jobs should be called:
    Girl: I'm not a babysitter; I'm a domestic caregiver.
    Man: I'm not a clown; I'm a child entertainer.
    Red: I'm not a plain M&M; I am a milk chocolate M&M.
  • Pearl Drops isn't a "toothpaste", it's a "tooth polish".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Maico in Android Announcer Maico 2010 tells us she's "not a robot — I'm an android."
  • Angel Beats!
    • "Call me Christ!"
    • And inverted with "I'm not an angel".
  • Attack on Titan has Bertolt drawing a line between "soldiers" and "warriors", especially when discussing his childhood friend, Reiner. It's one of the hints that both are The Mole, drawing a line between the human "soldiers" they've infiltrated and their own group, identified only as "warriors". These terms help to keep track of Reiner's mental state as he goes insane from guilt.
  • Bleach: "It's CAPTAIN Hitsugaya!"
  • Rin of Blue Exorcist is not a demon.
  • Butterflies, Flowers: Domoto insists that Choko address him as "Director Domoto" when on the job. Don't forget the heart.
  • The perpetually poor Toku from Café Kichijōji de owns a pair of pet hamsters whom his co-workers insist on labelling as "emergency rations".
  • Call of the Night: Nazuna repeatedly compares sucking blood to "copulating", since it is the means by which vampires produce their offspring. This carries all manner of implications, such as when Yamori throws it back in her face and calls her a slutty she-devil after Nazuna admits she was looking for a rando to suck their blood.
    Yamori: You copulate with just anyone, then?
  • Kotomi from CLANNAD insists on being addressed with "Kotomi-chan" and won't even register other forms of address. This makes most people somewhat uncomfortable, as it is a rather intimate form of address.
    • In the same show, Fuko's carvings are starfish, not stars.
  • A very poignant use crops up a lot in Code Geass; the racist, darwinist Britannians call those who were once Japanese "Elevens", since Japan was redesignated "Area 11" after the Britannians invaded, as a way of oppressing the Japanese; They go as far as to illegalise the use of the terms "Japan" and "Japanese". It is frequently done by two characters:
    Kouzuki Kallen: "We're not Elevens, we're Japanese!"
    Nina Einstein: "Stop saying "Japanese"! You're Elevens!"
  • Dragon Ball Z has Vegeta insisting on calling Goku by his Saiyan birth name of Kakarot. When he calls Goku by his Earth name, it's a sign he's Not Himself.
    • Likewise, all of the creations of Dr. Gero are referred to as "Androids", even though at least several of them are actually Hollywood Cyborgs, most prominently Gero himself and "Androids" 17 and 18 — the latter even gives birth to a daughter! Cell, meanwhile, is more of a genetically engineered lifeform, as is the Dragon Ball Fighter Z exclusive character "Android" 21.
  • Played with and Discussed in Fairy Tail. The Trimens call Ichiya Nii-san, Master, etc., and is lampshaded a few times
    "They're not very consistent, are they."
  • In the BL manga FAKE, whenever Dee gets called gay, he corrects the person that he is in fact bisexual.
  • In Free!, Gou Matsuoka insists on being called Kou, since it is a more feminine pronunciation of her name. This leads to a funny moment where Nagisa tricks her into saying her name is "Gou".
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, former Warrant Officer Vato Falman has to remind people that he's a Second Lieutenant from the Briggs arc onwards.
  • The Crab Bunker of Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu was nicknamed "Kani Tank" ("kani" being Japanese for "crab") once. For the rest of the series, characters argue over which name it should be called by - Puria and Ruru insist upon Crab Bunker, while Yanma, Hacho and Bubi insist upon Kani Tank.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex takes place after both World Wars III and IV. However, the latter wasn't just World War IV - every time it's referred to, even in someone's internal narration, they will go out of their way to either prefix it as "Non-Nuclear World War IV" or suffix it as "World War IV, the unofficial Second Vietnam War".
  • In Gintama, Katsura constantly corrects Gintoki, who calls him "Zura", to the point where it's his catchphrase. The joke evolves over the series into silly puns, so when someone calls him anything other than his real name, Katsura says "Not X, it's Katsura!" He sometimes changes it to "Not Zura, it's X" if he's wearing a disguise, though he blows his cover by saying "Not X, it's Katsura!" just as often.
    • A minor case with Gintoki when Sakamoto calls him "Kintoki."
    • When called a pedophile by Matako, Henpeita replies, "I'm not a pedophile, I'm a feminist."
  • In Girls und Panzer das Finale, Momo would like to clarify the she is not repeating a year, she just wasn't accepted into any universities yet.
  • GUN×SWORD: "Carul-san..." "Carmen, Carmen, Carmen 99!"
  • Assistant chief security maid Yashima Sanae in Hanaukyō Maid Team: La Vérité. In Japan "Sanae" is normally a first name, so people often call her Sanae instead of Yashima. She always corrects them when they do so, telling them that Yashima is her first name and Sanae is her last name.
  • A Running Gag with Piwi from Helck, who insists he's not a bird, despite looking like an oversized chick.
  • Sealand of Hetalia: Axis Powers says, "Call me Sea-kun!" He also once requested, bizarrely enough, to be called "senpai."
  • I Can't Believe I Slept with You: We learn the Landlady's family name early on. Later, we learn her full name, Ritsuka Hara. But she insists that while they're under the contract, Chiyo keep calling her "Ms. Landlady".
  • In Initial D, street racers and everyone involved in the subculture don't say "curves" or "turns", they say "corners," as in "tackle the corners," as Itsuki bluntly puts it to Takumi early on in the series. And you don't "race" opponents, you battle them.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion, when first introduced, Daiya says her Stand's name is "California King Bed-chan" in Japanese. It turns out this is actually its name rather than just Japanese Honorifics to signify her age.
  • Of course, the protagonist of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple would never run away from a fight. He may occasionally make a strategic withdrawal in order to stay alive, but run away? Never!
  • Kill la Kill: Aikuro will have you know that it's a DTR, not a Dotonbori Robo. And don't you dare tell him it doesn't matter. It does and he will gladly spell it out for you.
  • Yoshiko Tsushima, the resident Chuunibyou of Love Live! Sunshine!!, has a Fallen Angel persona named Yohane, and she always insists on being referred to as such instead of her real name. Everyone else calls her “Yoshiko” instead, much to her chagrin.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Zafira insists that Arf refer to him as a "guardian beast" rather than as a familiar; Arf argues "It's the same damn thing!" Given that the Belkan magic system's terminology differs from the more common Mid-Childa system in many ways ("knights" instead of "mages"; "knight armor" instead of "barrier jackets"), Arf is probably correct that there's no actual difference.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: While people ignoring Merii's attempts to nickname them is a common occurrence, Teresa is the only one that is outright adamant about being referred to by her actual name, with her saying "It's Teresa" in response to Merii calling her Tere-san acting like a Phrase Catcher.
  • A more meta example: The cast of My Monster Girls Too Cool For You includes several youkai. While they are more properly called yukionna, nekomata and ningyu in Japanese mythology, the author insists in calling them "the snow youkai," "the cat youkai" and "the fish youkai," so as to avoid offending the actual youkai in question.
  • Ferry of Mythical Beast Investigator is constantly correcting clients who assume she's a Mythical Beast Investigative Official — she isn't that highly ranked, and hasn't undergone the necessary training to be considered an Official. Due to a shortage of Officials, the Investigators have been forced to send out trainees to do the peacekeeping work normally assigned to Officials. Ferry is only a member of the Mythical Beast Investigative Unit (though her membership grants her nearly all the same rights and privileges as a fully vetted Official).
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke corrects Deidara that his jutsu is called "Chidori", not "Raikiri" (Lightning Blade). "Chidori" is the formal jutsu name, and "Raikiri" is the nickname given to Kakashi's version. Initially this makes sense, as Raikiri was a further refined version that Kakashi created after years of practice. But Sasuke continues to call his version "Chidori" even after he's surely refined it just as much as Kakashi did, and also refers to all of his specialized variants of the technique as "Chidori [suffix]".
    • On a number of occasions, Shikamaru and Shikaku corrected their opponents by insisting that their technique is called Shadow Imitation Technique (Kagemane no Jutsu) and not Shadow Bind Technique (Kage Shibari no Jutsu). The Shadow Imitation Technique is more refined version of the older Shadow Bind.
    • In a flashback on the day of the Uchiha massacre, Sasuke's mother offered to help him with "shuriken practice" after school. Sasuke then insists, "It's not practice, it's training!" His choice of words is implied to reflect the desire that his efforts as a ninja in training be taken more seriously, since, when he was young, he felt as though he was living in the shadow of his brother.
  • Albireo Imma of Negima! Magister Negi Magi likes his tournament alias of "Ku:Nel Sanders" so much that he requests everyone to call him by that name and will pretend to ignore you if you call him by his original name.
  • Noragami: Even after releasing Mayu from his service, Yato continues to refer to her as Tomone, the name he gave her while he still served her. Mayu is understandably annoyed; referring to her as "Tomone" would imply she still served under him, and as she is not a Nora, it comes across as an insult.
  • One Piece: Sadi-chan insists on being referred to as such ("Miss Sadie" in the Viz manga)
    • In the Punk Hazard arc, the corrupt Vice-Admiral Vergo demands that Law call him "Vergo-san," a form of respect due to their shared past and Vergo's higher position in Doflamingo's empire, and beats the crap out of him whenever he doesn't. Ironically, the one time Law does call him "Vergo-san" is when he regains his heart, and before proceeding to cut him in half.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Butch from the anime series constantly corrects those who get his name wrong. Everyone has mistaken his name for either "Biff", "Bill", "Bob", "Hutch", "Butcher", "Patch", "Botch", or "Chuck". Whenever his partner, Cassidy, gets it right, he accidentally corrects her with the wrong name. In the Japanese version, his name is "Kosaburo", and he's called "Kosanji" instead.
    • They also get orders from Dr. Nanba, who has the exact same problem as Butch.
    • As does Stephen (not Stef-AN or Steven but STEPH-an) in the Best Wishes saga.
    • Brandon demands that he be called "Brandon", not "Mister".
    • In Queen of the Serpentine, one of Lucy's apprentices insists that Lucy be addressed as "Pike Queen Lucy".
  • Frazer in Pikaia will LOUDLY correct anyone who doesn't call him "Captain Frazer", once he becomes the captain of a ship in the second season.
  • Kirika, of Puella Magi Oriko Magica actually flies into a rage when Mami uses "affectionate" to describe Kirika's feelings toward Oriko. She thinks it's dismissive.
    "Those who show their love through words such as "like" or "affection" don't know the meaning of love!"
    • There is definitely some Lost in Translation here, considering the notorious ambiguity of the Japanese word suki.
  • Hisa Takei of Saki insists that she is the president, not of the student council, but the student congress.
    • Ikuno Akasaka of the Himematsu team doesn't like being referred to as the "interim" coach despite having gotten the position as a result of Coach Zenno being hospitalized.
  • In Slow Start, Tamate doesn't like being called Tamate and would rather want people call her Tama. This is because of a grammatical issue—"Tamate" is short for "Tama-tebako," or "Jewel-chest," so she sees "Tamate" as cutting off her name mid-morpheme.
  • Steins;Gate: The name of Future Gadget #8 is "PhoneWave (name subject to change)", because Okabe really dislikes the name "PhoneWave" and refuses to acknowledge it as permanent, but at least for the moment doesn't have a better idea. He will correct anyone who leaves the "name subject to change" off.
  • Mana from Super Dreadnought Girl 4946 is 49 meters, 46 centimeters tall. She is NOT 50 meters tall.
  • Same thing in Tenchi Muyo!: "No! I'm not gonna help you unless you call me Little Washu!" ("Washu-chan" in the Japanese version).
    • Greatly exaggerated in the minds of fans. Washu did this once in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, and six episodes later it came back to bite her on the butt when she discovered that Mihoshi had included it in her report. That hasn't stopped fanfic writers using it to death.
  • In Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu, Karigari will not be pleased just being called by name. He always has an overly-long title he insists people use, including the words "Genius Scientist" in there somewhere, but changes the rest around at whim.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Manjoume has to constantly correct anyone who doesn't use honorifics when saying his name with "Manjoume-san da!" (translation: "That's Mr. Manjoume to you!"). Unfortunately for him, everyone mistakes this as "Manjoume sandaa", instead ("sandaa" being the Japanese pronunciation to the English world "thunder"). While he hasn't stopped with the correcting, "Manjoume Thunder" has embraced the mistake as part of his personal motto. In the dub, Manjoume's counterpart Chazz Princeton does the same thing, insisting everyone call him "The Chazz".
    • Dr. Chronos was like this too. In the first season, he insisted on being called Doctor Chronos to anyone who addressed him otherwise. In the second season, he became Chancellor of the school, and while students managed to address him as "doctor" now, he insisted on being called by his new title. (By the fourth season, when he became Vice Chancellor, the students had much more respect for him, and this wasn't an issue anymore.)
    • This happened twice in the dub during Judai's duel with Princess Rose; she was annoyed when Kenzan referred to her Des Frogs as reptiles (frogs are amphibians) and again when he called her D.3.S. Frog a toad. (Frogs are not toads.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Since the Japanese name for "Fusion" is "Yugou", a lot of people either mistake Yugo's name as "Yugou" or he thinks that they mispronounce their name even if they don't mean his name, he always says "Yugou ja ne, Yugo da! (It's not Fusion, it's Yugo!)". Yugo also has a habit of correcting other things, e.g. "It's not a (motor)bike, it's a D-Wheel", "It's not 'Kendama', it's 'Maken Dharma'!", etc.
  • Suzuka from YuYu Hakusho somewhat fits this trope during his first appearance in the Dark Tournament. He insists on being called "The Beautiful Suzuka" and promises that anyone who doesn't refer to him as such will not live to repeat their mistake. When the foxgirl announcer Koto just calls him Suzuka, he shows his annoyance by hurling a razor sharp playing card at her head. She manages to duck as the card skewers the demon sitting behind her, scaring her enough to use Suzuka's title and constantly compliment him and his techniques during the match. And even once a whole two sagas later.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who, The Last Adventure: In The End of the Line, Norman keeps telling people that he is a 'senior customer service manager'; not a 'conductor', a 'ticket collector', or any of the other titles people address him as.

  • Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy once ran into a renowned Bollywood director at a bar, and wondered if he could ask him a question about Bollywood. The director became very angry and said that he considers "Bollywood" an offensive term, and that the proper term is "Indian Cinema". Danny profusely apologized, saying he had no idea, and wondered if he could still ask his question. The director gives him permission, so Danny asks "Why is... Indian Cinema... shit?". Needless to say, the director wasn't any happier now that Danny was using the proper term.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman: The titular hero doesn't "talk to fish." He telepathically commands.
  • The Avengers: In The Celestial Madonna Saga, Moondragon is quite insistent that she's a goddess due to her psychic training.
  • Batgirl:
    • Batgirl (2009): Barbara Gordon refuses to call Stephanie Brown by the name "Batgirl" after she takes over the persona. This is for a variety of personal and professional reasons, and she always refers to Stephanie by her proper name or with various pronouns, always avoiding the actual word "Batgirl." When she finally does use the term Stephanie recognizes that this signifies her acceptance and approval, and it gives her the motivation to persevere when fighting the Scarecrow.
    • In Batgirl (2011), Barbara Gordon has to repeat several times her codename is Batgirl, not Batwoman.
  • Batman '66: The Bat-Signal Batman uses to call Batgirl isn't pink. It's "fuchsia".
  • Batman/Superman: World's Finest: Batman is ticked off when he learns the Doom Patrol's leader routinely spies on heroes. Niles Caulder insists that he is merely "monitoring" them.
    Batman: You spy on heroes? As a matter of routine?
    Niles Caulder: I prefer to think of it as monitoring allies and threats.
  • Batwoman: Kate Kane makes it a point to remind everyone (especially her Dad) that for all her great qualities, Catherine Kane is her Stepmother.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Season 8 comics have Dawn cursed to turn into three things. She would like you to know that the second one was not a centaur, it was a centaurette, which is, as she defined it, a girl centaur.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!: Yankee Poodle's civilian identity Rova Barkitt insists that she is not a gossip columnist, but a celebrity interviewer.
  • Chuck Dixon's Avalon: Fazer is not King Ace's sidekick. They're partners. To his credit, Ace makes the same distinction.
  • Death's Head (Marvel Comics): Death's Head is a freelance peacekeeping agent. Some call him bounty hunter, but never twice, yes?
  • The Desert Peach: Pfirsich Rommel wants you to know that his accessories are peach colored. Pink is tacky.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Magica De Spell is not a witch, she's a sorceress.
    • In Italian stories she insists she's not a strega (Italian for witch) but a fattucchiera, as the latter term implies she's a professional user of magic - and that's actually how she makes money.
    • The story "Magica and the 7 Volcanic Witches" features the titular Volcanic Witches, who live close to volcanoes and calderas and draw their power from them... But Magica never refers to herself as one, and when talking of them to a member of that coven she always says "your sisters". The end of the story reveals she's not a Volcanic Witch as they believed due her living on the Vesuvius but an Oceanic Witch that just happened to find living on a volcano useful for her goals.
  • The Fox Hunt: The villain known as "The Mad Gadgeteer" would prefer to be referred to as simply "The Gadgeteer", with "Mad" giving off such an insane connotation and all.
  • Ghost Rider: Antagonist and Legacy Character "The All-New Orb" literally always refers to himself with that full phrase. Others just call him "Orb" or "The Orb", but he's been very clear what he'd prefer to be known as.
  • Gotham City Garage: Dick's electric batons are NOT called sticks. They're batons. Get it right.
    Dick: Unless you count electric batons? Not a whole lot.
    Kara: Electric sticks are our only hope?
    Dick: Batons. They're called batons.
  • Gravity Falls: Lost Legends: Ford's cursed trunk insists on calling comic books "graphic novels".
  • Hellboy: The Nazi head-in-a-jar mad scientist Herman Von Klempt gets very upset if you call his ape a monkey.
  • Hound: Cú Cullan insists on calling the Gae Bolga by the epithet "The God-Killer".
  • The Incredible Hulk: In The Incredible Hulk (1968), during the period when the Hulk was working as a Las Vegas mob enforcer under the name Joe Fixit, his boss Michael Berengetti was often annoyed by out-of-towners calling the city “Vegas” in his presence. He wouldn’t explicitly say as much, but he would emphasize the proper name the next chance he got (i.e. “You must be new to Las Vegas.”)
  • Sting: "Klarion... bum bum BUM.. the Witch-Boy!"
  • MAD: This is often used for humor. For example, one article described wealthy people's activities less bluntly than poor peoples' ("When you're poor, you vomit. When you're rich... you succumb to a sudden attack of nausea.") Another article tells people to think of others' behavior in worse terms than their own—others are pushy, while you are assertive.
  • New Avengers (2015):
    • The Maker would rather his sycophantic insect men not refer to him as "Supreme Leader". It smacks of airs (never mind that the Maker is a Smug Snake as is).
    • SHIELD would never torture people. They'd never stoop so low! What Agent Garrett is planning to subject Songbird to are "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques".
  • Runaways: Molly's code-name is Princess Powerful!
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Max dislikes being called a rabbit, and instead prefers the term "Lagomorph" or "Hyperkinetic Rabbity Thing." He dislikes being called a "malefactor" too. But for really insistent terminology, just use a really weird or long word around him. He hates that even more.
  • The Sandman:
    • Fun-Land. "Not FUN! FUN-LAND!" This being The Sandman, it's actually pretty terrifying: the guy in question is a child-murdering sociopath hiding behind the mask of an amiable, slightly goofy fat guy who stalks his "prey" in amusement parks.
    • When Destruction got into a conversation with a denizen of a necropolis, the other person mentioned that they insist on referring to the dead they prepare for funeral rites as "clients" and not just "bodies". Destruction compliments them for their respect for the dead, contrasting them with the previous necropolis which did not share the same reverence for the deceased.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spidey has been known to correct villains who call him an insect, pointing out that spiders are technically arachnids.
    • He's also a stickler (as are his publishers) for including the hyphen in his name. He can hear it if you leave it out.
  • Super Dinosaur: Elliot insists that he be called by his codename of the week.
  • Superman:
    • In Who is Superwoman?, Supergirl finds out her mother Alura is spying on the Earth's army. Alura and her secretary point out repeatedly they were not "spying" on humans but merely "monitorizing" them.
      Thara Ak-Var: On your mother's orders, my team was monitoring certain human military channels before we left Earth.
      Kara: You were spying on the military?
      Lyra Kam-Par: Monitoring them.
    • Bizarrogirl: When Jimmy calls Bizarrogirl "Bizarro Supergirl", she growls: "It am Bizarrogirl, Jimmy Olsen!"
    • The Superman Adventures: Granny Goodness says Scott Free didn't "escape" her orphanage. "He just hasn't been here since then."
    • Power Girl 2009: They are not "monsters," they are G.E.L.F.s. It is not that hard to remember.
  • Top 10:
    • Vampires in Neopolis prefer not to say the Z word; One, when called a vampire, insists he's "a Hungarian-American with an inherited medical condition."
    • Robots, who are victims of Fantastic Racism, tend to insist on being acknowledged as "Ferro-Americans" or "Post-Organics".
  • Transformers: TransTech: Shockwave will have you know he's not "evil", he's "morally ambiguous".
  • Varmints: Opie insists she and Ned "borrowed" the large bearded man's horse when it's clear that they stole it.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Queen Clea insists on being called a Queen long after she's been deposed and stripped of the title.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Nemesis in "Who Is Wonder Woman?":
      Sarge Steel: ... You'd still be one of Circe's pigboys.
      Nemesis: Wolfmen. A small but important distinction.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In The Bridge:
    • Xenilla/Spacegodzilla is very insistent on calling the Crystal Empire royals what they are
      Xenilla: I'm eager to see this... crystal empire of yours, Empress.
      Cadance: Princess!
      Xenilla: Considering the architecture of your land Consort-
      Shining Armor: Prince.
      Xenilla: -Prince Consort.
    • Grand King Ghidorah gets pissed if anyone just calls him Ghidorah.
  • Cross Cases: From Sam's perspective, all magic users are witches, and he habitually keeps referring to Harry as a witch even after multiple corrections from Harry. In the Dresdenverse's magical community, 'witch' is a term that has largely fallen into disuse ever since the Salem Witch Trials and is now only occasionally used to refer to minor talents, and a minor talent Harry is not.
  • The species of Gods and Demons in Divine Blood were named such by the humans.
    Morrigan: I've never claimed to be the Creator of the universe. We started to interact with you, and you called us 'God'. Eventually we just kept having to respond to that and it became the name of the species. As far as I am concerned, the definition of 'God' is my species. And since I am a member of my species, I am not a false god.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls:
    • Clover is very insistent on the security constructs in the sewars not being robots... despite her boss Starswirl having programmed them to go "beep-boop", and that their attacks aren't lasers.
    • Adagio is insistent that her Arrancar subordinates are "vassals", not "friends". She gets lightly called out on this concerning her relationship with Ember, with it being noted if she can't honestly call her a friend after everything they've done for each other what chance does she have of doing so for anyone else? And she only very reluctantly admits to that particular case for the sake of her own pride.
    • Bowtie of the Zero Division is so obsessed with the language of his birth country, Japan, that he's the reason for the Gratutious Japanese all over Soul Society, including using the Japanese versions of his own name and the names of his fellow Zero Division members. Medley, in turn, makes it clear that she prefers the English version.
  • Fate Revelation Online:
    • Shirou, Illya, and Grimlock, the only actual mages from the real world, all use correct terminology. Most players refer to their spells as magic, but those three only ever call it magecraft, as True Magic is something entirely different. Illya gets a reputation for somehow knowing exactly how the thaumaturgy system works despite never speaking to a trainer, while Grimlock gets a reputation for constantly correcting everyone on their terminology.
    • On the other side of things, Diabel, Sasha, and Thinker are all careful not to call the children trapped in the game "orphans." After all, their parents aren't dead or missing, they are just separated from them. Diabel is able to change the player name for their domicile from "the orphanage" to "the boarding school." He hopes this will reduce their trauma and help them reintegrate into society once the game is cleared.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Weiss Schnee asks Gilgamesh about his weapon collection. He says he has a treasure collection.
    • Edmond Dantes insists he be addressed as "The Count of Monte Cristo, The King of the Cavern, The Vengeance Grimm" every time. Nobody humors him.
    • When Astolfo is called annoying, he says he prefers the term "eccentric".
  • And I Will Burn For You:
    • In For What, For All But Myself, soon after they discover that Jiang Cheng is carrying a baby and not possessed by some sort of parasite/spirit, Jiang Cheng mostly refers to it as “the heir”. Wei Wuxian calls him on it at one point. By Chapter 21, though, he does think of it as a baby a couple of times, and by chapter 22 it’s consistently “the baby” in his head instead. He thinks of it as the baby or even as his son for the rest of the pregnancy.
    • In "The Shadow Lingers", Jiang Cheng is trying to get his son to call him Jiujiu (uncle) instead of diedie (dad). He is heavily implied to have done the same thing to his nephew, Jin Ling.
  • In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades,, Jormungandr does not hand out "contracts", but "blessings". JK states it doesn't matter—Jormungandr would just take over him no matter what he called it.
  • In the first chapter of Is Your Great Aunt An AI, GLaDOS insists on calling magic Will-based Transmogrification Force, partially because she thinks "magic" implies a lack of scientific understanding and partially because her initial reactions to it were a confused "What the fuck?"
  • In Impenetrable Walls, Wei Wuxian is insistent that the books he's looking at aren't porn, they're dual cultivation manuals. Okay, then.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kanae insists Kyon call her by her first name instead of her last name.
    • Later, Achakura insists on calling Nonoko "Magical Radiant Nonoko".
    • Yakuza pretty consistently refer to themselves as "ninkyo dantai" ("chivalrous organization") and to rivals as "boryokudan" ("violence group").
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, a reader might wonder what's with the talk about "lightstaffs" and "Current" which clearly resembles something else, especially with Star Destroyers in the background. You're right, it's the Force, forgotten, rediscovered, and renamed over millions of years of time passing when the Eridians decided to screw with the galaxies.
  • Peter Parker Needs A Hug: Batman calls Peter's spider-sense his "precognitive danger-sensing ability". Everyone else calls it spidey-sense.
  • A Possible Encounter for a Phantom: When Danny first meets the monkey ninjas, he asks Kim if they're ninja monkeys and she replies "monkey ninjas".
  • In Potter's Protector Rowena Ravenclaw's magical echo is quite insistent that the diadem she created is not a tiara.
  • In Raptor, Harry Potter is very insistent that his raptor pack is trained, not tamed; the difference is both distinct and critical. An important example of the difference is shown when Dr. Wu shows his back to Talon despite knowing she doesn't like him. Talon leaps at him and only Harry keeps her from killing the man.
  • RWBY: Epic of Remnant: When Blake Belladonna calls Hassan of the Cursed Arm a murderer, he says he prefers Assassin.
  • In A Skittering Heart a Worm/Kingdom Hearts crossover, after Assault forgets Taylor’s cape name (Portunes) when giving a TV interview after meeting her he calls her Keynote. Everyone subsequently calls Taylor Keynote despite her attempts to correct them.
  • In The Story to End All Stories, Poirot angrily asserts that he is not French, he is Belgian.
  • In Superhero RPF mentioning that Loki stole someone's power, will be corrected by little old him, that he just borrowed it. Interestingly he doesn't have a problem with the word steal in any other context.
  • In Turnabout Storm, Phoenix Wright gets called out quite a few times for not using the word pony. At first it's for calling Twilight Sparkle a horse, getting corrected inmediately after it, and the next time is for using the word guy instead of pony. Phoenix doesn't seem too amused by this.
    • Also, the ladders/stepladders gag.
  • Wonderful (Mazinja): When Taylor wants to block an attack, her team morphs into a jelly-like wall. She calls it a bunker, and she gets annoyed because people keeps calling it a flan.
    A quick command, and the group morphed into the Wonder Bunker (it was NOT a flan dammit why did people keep calling it that).
  • In Calvin & Hobbes: The Series, when the titular duo encounter two hawks in a tree, all of whom are in a tornado, the elder hawk refuses to call tornadoes by their name (only referring to them as "cyclones"). This ends up becoming a downplayed and Played for Laughs version of Poor Communication Kills.
  • In To Calormen and the South, Eena keeps insisting that what she and Sallowpad are up to in Calormen is spying.
  • The Bugger Anthology: Dalek Sec takes offense at the Cyber-Leader referring to the Void Ship he and the other Daleks came out of as a sphere.
  • In The Mouse in the Walls, Bruno/Ratón repeatedly insists that the rats he bunks with are "mice", not "rats".
  • Us and Them: Jessie prefers to be called a "computer guru" rather than a hacker.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path:
    • A minor running gag is magic users insisting that they are mages not wizards.
    • Sothis insists that she's nine and a half years old, not eight. This in spite of the fact that she's Really 700 Years Old.
  • In 3 Slytherin Marauders, it's Lampshaded how Dumbledore and other members of the Hogwarts staff often use words like "pranks" and "schoolboy spirits" for what normal people know as "bullying."
  • In The Dogfather, Harry is Happily Adopted by a muggle family, the MacIntyres, after the Dursleys refuse to take him in. After he gets his Hogwarts letter and starts interacting with the Wizarding World, he runs into a lot of people who address him as Harry Potter, and every time he politely but firmly reminds them that "It's MacIntyre, actually."
  • In Lily and the Art of Being Sisyphus, Wizard Lenin asserts on multiple occasions that he has a name. It is Tom Riddle. Or Lord Voldemort if you feel like groveling a bit. But, no, Lily knows that it doesn't fit his sense of gravitas- he is Wizard Lenin and Wizard Lenin he shall be.
  • In Moratorium, Harry doesn't have friends, she has alliances.
  • Heroes of the Desk: The Strategic Prevention, Extraction, and Ablation Regiment calls what appears to be, for all intents and purposes, magic, "Functional Supernatural Phenomena". They do, however, believe in Sufficiently Analyzed Magic as per Clark's Third Law unless they absolutely must fall back on A Wizard Did It.
  • In Snippets of Sirin Shariac's life Sirin insists on being a St. Freya Valkyrie and not one of Schicksal. When asked on the difference she just replies that she doesn't like the Overseer.
  • Becoming a True Invader: Gaz doesn't have a diary, she has a "vendetta list".
  • In the Elizabeth Quatermain universe, Elizabeth's father Allan narrates the events from his own separate side volume, in which he refuses to refer to Elizabeth and her half-brother Harry as anything other than Daughter and Son. In the main storyline, meanwhile, Skinner has a good half-dozen nicknames for Elizabeth, but uses her real name only once.
  • Displaced: Link insists on referring to teleportation as "glowy-string travel," since it involves dissolving into countless glowing strings of light. Zelda, more reasonably, insists on referring to it as "warping."
  • An Alternate Keitaro Urashima: After realizing that Haruka's supporting Granny Hina's manipulative attempts to force him to take over the Inn, Keitaro starts pointedly calling her Aunt Haruka, much to her frustration.
  • Fashion Upgrade: Marinette makes certain to remind anyone who brings up 'her' fashion show that the show belongs to her class, not her and her alone. This is not only because Mendeleive's class actually has Team Spirit and has contributed greatly to the project, but also because Bustier's class had the tendency to dump most of the work on Marinette due to a bad case of Conservation of Competence.
  • Death is forced to take a vacation: Fall Harvest insists he is a winged unicorn, not an alicorn (he has wings but only a unicorn's magic, nothing from a pegasus or Earth pony). He’s lying, of course.
  • The Demesne Of The Reluctant Twilight Sparkle: It's Doctor Princess Twilight Sparkle.
  • Earth and Sky: It's Doctor Twilight Sparkle these days.
  • Escape from the Moon: In the later sequel Scavenge for the Future, Spliced Genome corrects people who call her "doctor", since she never actually earned her medical degree.
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: Discord would like to remind everypony that Malfunziona is a lesser draconequus.
  • Harmony Theory: Rainbow Dash finds herself a thousand years in the future. Cutie Marks are now called Talent Glyphs. Rainbow adamantly calls them Cutie Marks, claiming Talent Glyph just sounds wrong.
  • The Immortal Game: Many characters repeatedly state that "titles are important". The best example is Esteem, who uses it so much that it's practically his catchphrase (considering the character, it's probably to remind everyone that he's both a knight and a General).
  • Living the Dream: Zorrow does not "spy" on Applejack, He "observes" her.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: The Grand Ruler is referred to as a "Three-Horned Winged Unicorn", rather than a tricorn.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Evergreen Road is not a corrupt priest, he is a fraud priest. Night Blade is sometimes like this too, preferring the term "Nox pony" over "bat pony".
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: The villains of Nightmares Yet to Come are not a cult, even if they look, dress and act like one. One of their number clarifies it — a cult worships someone, and they don't worship anyone.
  • Scootertrix the Abridged:
    • Rarity always corrects "noodles" to "spaghetti noodles". (In reality, there's no consensus on the distinction between spaghetti and noodles). Spike makes the same correction in episode 13.
    • Celestia is very insistent on the correct pronunciation of "Grand Galloping Gala"note  (although it's also likely that she's doing it on purpose to mess with Luna).
  • Sophistication and Betrayal: Rarity gets very frustrated whenever her boyfriend refers to elbow gloves as "socks". A fact he occasionally deliberately takes advantage of.
  • Tales of a Junk Town Pony Peddler: Prodigious Peddler makes it very clear that his name is "Prodigious Peddler", not "Peddler", and definitely not "Peddles".
  • Ultra Fast Pony. The episode "Gelatin Swingsets" has a running gag with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo arguing over the proper shortened form of "gelatin": "jelly" or "jello".
  • Under the Northern Lights: Most characters refer to Wiglek the Wicked as a draugr or a generic undead; Twilight insists that he is properly speaking a lich. Since only one lich ever existed and will ever exist — only Luna can create liches, she only made the one back in her bad old days and has no intention of making more — she fails to make much headway in convincing people that they should use "lich" as a category of things.
  • The Vinyl Scratch Tapes: Octavia doesn't have a band; she is part of an ensemble.
  • In Naruto: The Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show, Sasuke's brother Itachi as always referred to as just that:
    Sasuke: Damn you, Sasuke's brother. I shall get you back. Somehow...
  • In Vapors Aiko Uzumaki refers to Kakashi as "shishou," and only Kakashi. When Jiraiya tries to make him call her that, she snaps at him and only uses "sensei".
  • Rise of the Minisukas: Ritsuko does not care whatever Misato says: Nerv did NOT loot the Jet Alone's N2 reactor. They merely "reappropiated" it.
    Ritsuko: Yes, well thanks to the N2 reactor we 'reappropriated' after the Jet Alone incident we have some power to work with.[...]
    Misato: You mean looted right?
    Ritsuko: Call it whatever you want, neither the UN nor JHCI are getting it back.
    Ritsuko: Sorry to interrupt your tearful reunion— but our reappropriated-,
    Misato: Looted.
    Ritsuko: -reappropriated N2 reactor is showing signs of instability.
  • My Dream Is Yours: True to her name, Jamie Jam gets very touchy about people saying that she attacks people and objects with a substance other than jam.
    Jamie Jam: Look, it's very simple. When I say "knock, knock", you're supposed to say "Who's there?". "Who's there". That's it. That's all there is to it. Just say "who's there".
    Ohlm: But why would I say "who's there"? You're right there! I know who you are! You're that villain who sprays jelly all over everything!
  • In Fighting for the Future, Luffy spends quite some time insisting he's simply a "concerned citizen". As a result, after beating Arlong he's in the paper, not as the newest bounty, but being hailed as a hero for taking down such dangerous threats.
  • Opening The Box: This is Played for Drama when Usopp repeatedly insists that he didn't help the other Straw Hats at Enies Lobby. It was all Sogeking's doing, not him. Sanji doesn't understand why he keeps making this distinction; Usopp actually explaining his reasoning doesn't make him any happier, either.
  • In This Bites!, Cross objects to being called a kid or brat, being 18. He also objects to Vivi's nickname for him, Mister Jeremiah, which comes across as implying he's much older than he is. The insistence ends in Chapter 18, when he finally gives up.
  • In Start Again, Goro prefers "rage fugue" over "psychotic breakdown" to describe Loki's ability against Shadows. Makoto admits that it's more fitting because "psychotic" is a clinical term and doesn't match up with the observed behavior of the victims.
  • Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy:
    • Chiara Auriville/Cure Vanilla insists that she is "just in development" every time someone calls her "flat".
    • And in episode 15...
      Ayameko: IT! WASN'T! A! DATE! Just a stupid fancy dinner! Nothing else!
  • Things I Am Not Allowed to Do at the PPC: Regardless of how much people insist otherwise, graffiti, bloodstains, stick-on sparkles, and paper chains made out of paperwork won't be reclassified as being "community service art project(s)".
  • Goddess Reborn Chronicle: A lot of things are called demons in English-speaking countries, regardless of whether they're demons or not. It's noted that English lacks a good word for what to call them as a collective whole. This is, of course, present in the original works as well.
  • The Portal: Static, being a human in a yellow dragon's body, tends to refer to the dragons as "lizards", something that Blizzard and Spyro both call him out for.
  • Rocketship Voyager: Janeway denies that, early in her career, she participated in a mutiny against the Valkyrie's mad Captain Qu. Instead, she and the others "detained our officers". Notably, the same wording was used in their successful legal defense.
  • Step by Step: Kirk insists throughout the fic that he does not believe in luck, until the ending lines.
    It's fortunate, he thinks fuzzily, just before dreams usher him away, that Fate decided to present one mostly-deserving captain with two such trustworthy subordinates-and-friends. Oh, who is he kidding. He is a very lucky man, and he knows it.
  • Limpet AU: When Vader is sulky or pouty or idly bored, he insists that he's "meditating" instead.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: Even after Splinter's mutation into a rat, Kasumi makes it a point to exclusively refer to him by his human name, Hamato Yoshi.
  • Eugenesis takes a moment out of the narrative to note that Straxus used to insist the Harvester Units (machines designed to find bodies and take them to the smelting pools to be melted) were Sanitation Units.
  • In Everqueen, the Emperor insists he is not a god, and neither is anyone else.
  • Wyvern: Taylor is very firm on the point that her alternate form as a two-legged, winged, fire-breathing reptile is a wyvern, not a dragon, and tends to pointedly correct people when they slip up on this matter.
  • The Darwin Chronicles: Scott's new bike is not a "bike". It is a "sophisticated driving machine".
    Jean: Logan, is this Scott's new bike? The Harley A-Rod or something?
    Scott: It's not really a bike, Jean. It's a Harley VRSCA V-Rod with a 115 hp Revolution V-twin engine. It's really far above a bike. It's to motorcycles what the Blackbird is to planes. It's not a bike, it's a sophisticated driving machine.
  • By the end of the Stars From Home series, Scott is Happily Adopted and won't let anyone refer to Chris Summers as his dad. Charles is his dad, Chris is his father. (He does relent and let Ororo refer to Chris as his "back-up dad".)
  • In X-Men: The Early Years, Cyclops resents being called "Satan". He insists on "Incarnation of Evil".
    "Please, anyone but him! He's an agent of Satan!"
    Scott rolled his eyes. "Incarnation of Evil please. I'd like to think I have the major religions covered."
  • In X-Men: Revolution (Which has since been renamed), Betsy Braddock repeatedly insists on being called 'English, not British, its a common misconception' whenever someone refers to them as the former. This was because two readers complained about the stereotypes used in characterizing her and any non-American characters used, with one telling them that 'British' is an incorrect term, especially when referring to them, and she rewrote the entire story to remove the stereotypes, and for her added this. Betsy's brother Brian, however, doesn't have a problem being referred to as 'Captain Britain', due to it being his self picked title. Ironically, Betsy once served in the role.
  • In Davion & Davion (Deceased) the SLDF have a tradition of reacting poorly to anyone copying their Powered Armour. The AFFS programme to develop an armoured combat exoskeleton is therefore designated Battle Armour rather than Powered Armour.
  • In The Echo Ranger, whenever someone calls Izuku a Power Ranger, he tacks on "in training". At least when he doesn't try to deny it.

    Films — Animated 
  • In A Monster in Paris, Raoul's coat isn't made of straw; it's made of a very expensive material! Although eventually Raoul gives in and admits that, yes, it's made of straw.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: This line by Rourke: "Mercenary? I prefer the term 'adventure capitalist'."
  • In Batman vs. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Donatello and Batgirl have different terms for the chemical compound that mutates people into animal-like creatures. Donnie calls it "ooze" while Batgirl calls it "mutagen". They keep this up with the formula they create to reverse the affects of the transformation; Donnie calls it "anti-ooze" and Batgirl calls it "retro-mutagen".
    • The Joker makes an announcement over the Arkham intercom after taking over the asylum, playing up the roll as the new head of the hospital. He then calls for his "nurse" Harley to continue his latest plan. She simply stands there glaring at him until the Joker finally relents and calls her "Doctor Quinzel".
    Harley: Ya damn straight! (mutters to herself) Eight years of college, a three year residency, and he says “Nurse”!
  • The Adelita Twins from The Book of Life didn't "fight" in the revolution, they "Won".
  • Brave: She's not a witch; she's a woodcarver. A witch. Woodcarver! Witch! WOODCARVER!
  • The Emperor's New Groove
    • "We've been through this... It's a HARP. and you know it."
    • "That's a harp... and that's a dress." "ROBE."
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, Ratigan is not a rat, he's a big mouse. You will be fed to Felicia if you say this.
  • In Kubo and the Two Strings, in her form as "Mr. Monkey," Monkey was most definitely not a "toy." She was a charm.
  • In Lilo & Stitch, Jumba does not appreciate being called an "idiot scientist".
    I prefer to be called evil genius!
  • Never call the titular heroine of Disney's Moana a "princess" — she is the "chief's daughter," and, no, they are not the same.
  • Mulan: "Dragon, dragon, not lizard! I don't do that tongue thing." (Then he does it.)
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature: The briefcases full of money the Mayor receives aren't bribes. They're "campaign contributions".
  • Over the Hedge:
    • Verne is a reptile. Not an amphibian. He'll be quick to tell you that.
    • Gets a Call-Back when Dwayne sniffs, initially saying, "Amphibian" - Verne mutters, "Reptile", but to his surprise, Dwayne says, "No... reptile!" It's an Establishing Character Moment for Dwayne, indicating he knows his stuff when it comes to extermination.
  • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Doof-1 described Monogram-2 as a slave. Monogram-2 said he was an 'indentured executive assistant', which is how Doof-2 later called him.
    • Also, Monogram-1 said he was sweating through his eyes instead of crying. Buford had previously used that terminology in the series.
  • The Princess and the Frog: "It's not slime, it's mucus!"
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster: Duncan the dock master gets very irritated when Fred says "lake" instead of "loch."
  • A classic example from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: King Neptune is not bald; he is thinning.
  • The Steam Engines of Oz: There are no prisoners in the Tin Man's dungeons. They are all 'honoured guests'.
  • Storks: Tulip would prefer not be called Orphan Tulip for obvious reasons.
  • Strange Magic: The Bog King feels the need to correct every instance of 'Boggy Woggy' by Dawn until the end when she actually uses his correct name causes him to miscorrect it by habit.
  • Toy Story: "This isn't flying, this is falling with style!"
  • In Turning Red, Mei and her friends correct a classmate who calls Mei a bear with a simultaneous "Red panda!".
  • When Ralph sees King Candy's palace in Wreck-It Ralph, he quips that the king is a fan of the color pink. King Candy insists that it's salmon, not pink.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alexander, when Nearchus subtly jabs that Parmenion's flank nearly crumbling at Gaugamela cost them the chance to catch Darius, Parmenion's son Philotas rages at him, starting with "How dare you, Nearchus!" prompting Nearchus to talk over him, "General Nearchus to you!"
  • Almost Famous: "We. Are Not. Groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids."
  • Austin Powers:
    Dr. Evil: It's Doctor Evil! I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called Mister, thank you very much!
  • The Big Lebowski
    • The Dude is very insistent that Maude Lebowski is not his "special lady", but his "fuckin' lady friend!". Though partway through this same scene, he gets flustered and accidentally calls her his "special lady" once himself.
    "I'm just helping her conceive, man!"
    • Also, he's The Dude, not Jeffrey Lebowski. This is rather important, as the whole movie got started when he was confused for another Jeffrey Lebowski.
  • Birds of Prey (2020): Huntress insists her weapon is called a crossbow, not a bow and arrow.
  • Black Christmas (2019): There's a Running Gag that men call the sorority sisters "girls" and immediately get corrected, "women!"
  • Hedley Lamarr, the villain of Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, is cursed with a name similar to a noted actress... in a joke that may by now have suffered from Parody Displacement.
  • The inmates of Camp X-Ray are "detainees", not "prisoners". Prisoners can appeal to the Geneva Convention, but detainees cannot.
  • In Casablanca, Rick asks Captain Renault, "Is it your order that we come to your office?" Renault responds, "Let us say it is my request. That is a much more pleasant word."
  • Cellular: It's a day spa, not a beauty parlor.
  • Chasing Amy:
    • Banky is an inker. But many people (especially that one guy) think it's the same as tracing.
    • Alyssa may be a closet bisexual/pansexual but still insists on being considered a lesbian by her friends and eventual lover Holden. Possibly due to some Unfortunate Implications in the 90's that being considered a bisexual/pansexual was worse and more controversial than being just a lesbian (her friends react badly to her saying she's dating a man).
  • King Edmund, during The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, is addressed as "Prince Edmund" by the usurper Miraz, shortly after reading Peter's duel challenge. Edmund is lightning-quick on the correction; Miraz is momentarily bemused and then pointedly avoids any names or titles for the rest of the conversation.
  • Clerks II: When Randall arranges for a donkey show for what's supposed to be Dante's going away present, he refers to it as "bestiality". The guy running Kinky Kelly's performance is always quick to correct him: "It's interspecies erotica, fuck-o!"
  • Dad's Army (1971): Frazer insists he isn't an undertaker, but rather a funeral director.
  • Deadpool 2: Weasel gets oddly angry about Cable's "utility bag."
    Cable: Relax, I'm retrieving something from my utility bag.
    Weasel: It's a goddamn fanny pack and you know it, you sick son of a bitch! The difference is night and day!
  • Equilibrium has this famous dialogue:
    Preston: Then I have no choice but to remand you to the Palace of Justice for processing.
    Mary: Processing. You mean execution, don't you?
    Preston: Processing.
  • In both Escape from New York and its sequel, Escape from L.A., the U.S. government is on a Last-Name Basis with protagonist Snake Plissken, to which he consistently replies, "Call me Snake". However, during the respective climaxes of both movies, when one of the government's men finally does call him Snake, he reverses his previous attitude with the reply "The name's Plissken".
  • A Few Good Men: Subverted when Kaffee asks Colonel Jessup if he thought Private Santiago was in "grave danger". Jessup asks "is there some other kind?"
  • F@NB0Y$: "You live in your mom's garage!" "It's a CARRIAGE HOUSE!"
  • From The Gamers: Dorkness Rising- "I'm Chaotic Neutral!"
  • Godmothered: When Mackenzie says "You turned my dog into a pig?" Eleanor says "Technically, he's a piglet."
  • In Half Baked, Thurgood is a custodian, or a janitor, if you want to be a dick about it.
  • In Hangmen Also Die!, the Resistance members note the importance of word choice in public perception, preferring the people see Reinhard Heydrich's killer as his "executioner", rather than his "assassin".
  • In The Hangover:
    Alan: It's not a purse, it's a satchel!
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Dobby refers to Mundungus Fletcher as a thief, he insists that he is instead a "purveyor of rare and wondrous objects."
  • Haunted Mansion (2023): Harriet insists on being called a "medium" rather than a "psychic."
  • Mel Brooks loves these. See the Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein examples above. He also did it in the French Revolution part of History of the World Part I with the Comte de Monet. People keep calling him "Count de Money" and he repeatedly corrects them. Somebody later asks who he is, and he says he is the Count de Money, then annoyedly corrects himself.
  • Hot Fuzz: A series of Running Gags in stem from Angel's strict adherence to politically correct vocab guidelines that cause him to correct anyone who gets something wrong.
    • He prefers the gender-neutral term of "police officer."
    Danny: When did you first know you wanted to be a policeman?
    Angel: Officer.
    Danny: When did you first know you wanted to be a policeman, officer?
    • "It's the police service; 'force' is too aggressive."
    • "Traffic collision; 'accident' implies there's no one to blame." (Obviously, that one's not so much meant for comedy. Later becomes a Plot Point AND Foreshadowing).
    • This is also shown at the end of the movie to show the Character Development of both main characters. Danny is the one to make the vocab guideline correction, showing that he's starting to take the not-so-action-packed moments of being a police officer a little more seriously, as he actually knows some of the guidelines. Angel is then the one who responds with a Double Entendre, showing that he's not taking himself quite so seriously anymore, and isn't as obsessed with being a model police officer every single moment of every day.
    • It's not a rubber plant, it's a Japanese peace lily!
  • In House on Bare Mountain, any time someone addresses Granny Good as 'Miss Good', she firmly corrects them to 'Granny'.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!:
    (Grinch is searching for a party outfit; he grabs a tablecloth and wraps it around his waist)
    Max: [barks at him]
    Grinch: It's not a dress, it's a kilt! (rips off tablecloth) SICKO!
  • Guns, Girls and Gambling: Every time addresses Tony Cox's character as 'Midget Elvis', he angrily tells them the correct term is 'Little Person Elvis'.
  • Hunter Prey: The alien bounty hunter prefers to call himself a soldier of fortune.
  • If: As part of initiating a junior boy to boarding school, Brunning drills Jute in a test for which he has to be word-perfect:
    Jute: Masters, wives and friends of College.
    Brunning: (shouting furiously): No!! Masters, THEIR wives, and THE friends of college!!
  • In I'm Not Rappaport, Nat Moyer doesn't lie. He makes certain alterations because sometimes the truth doesn't fit.
  • Jurassic Park (1993):
    • "I prefer to be called a hacker."
    • Also, Dr. Malcolm objects to being described as a mathematician because he is a chaotician, thank you very much.
  • One of the lessons Killing Zoe taught the world was that a prostitute has sex for money. A call girl has sex for money to pay for school.
  • True Romance: Alabama insists on being called a "call girl" rather than a whore for rather obvious reasons.
  • Kopps: The police cars are called radio cars.
    Lasse: I will not drive around saying "radio cars"!
    Benny: Then some errors will occur. There's a lot of vehicles in the police force. Emergency vehicles, Black Marias,...–
    Jacob: Benny, we just have two cars. Number one and number two. That can't be too difficult to understand.
  • Lantana gives us the gem, "This is not an affair, it's a one-night-stand, except it's happened twice."
  • In Little Sweetheart, Thelma is not "kid", she is Thelma. Seeing as she's a sociopath and a psychopath, it's best to just listen to her.
  • Live Free or Die Hard: "It's a command center!"
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' hilarious exchange between Bacon and Barkeep Joe provides the top example on the main trope page. Remember: Cocktail =/= refreshing drink. Pub =/= Samoan pub.
  • Logan's Run: Logan insists to Jessica that he doesn't kill people. No, he terminates Runners. Probably the Sandmen are trained to think of this way.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: Tony Stark is the lone civilian riding in a Humvee in Afghanistan. He asks the driver whether it's appropriate to call her a "Soldier" or if there is a prefered nomenclature since she's female. She points out that the correct nomenclature is Airman, because she is in the US Air Force.
    • Iron Man 2: Tony insists during the Senate Subcommitee hearing that the Iron Man armor is not a weapon but is instead a high-tech prosthesis.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): "It's not a purse, it's a knapsack!"
    • Ant-Man: Scott never robbed anyone. He burgled from them. Robbery involves threats or violence.
    • Doctor Strange (2016): Stephen is very insistent on being called Dr., rather than Mr.
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Parodied when Sonny Birch and his goons try to interrogate Luis by injecting him with Truth Serum. The bad guys insist it is not truth serum, it is a formula that lowers inhibitions and makes one vulnerable to suggestion, which Luis points out is what truth serum does. At the end, Luis and his friends defeat Sonny and his goons and inject them with the stuff. When they uncontrollably confess their crimes to the police, they grudgingly admit the stuff is truth serum.
    • Thor: Ragnarok:
  • In Men in Black 3, the villain corrects anyone who calls him "Boris the Animal", insisting that his name is just Boris. The protagonists respond by referring to him exclusively as "Boris the Animal".
  • From The Miracle of Morgan's Creek:
    Governor McGinty: This is the biggest thing to happen in this state since we stole it from the Indians!
    The Boss: Borrowed.
  • A character in Miss March insists upon being called horsedick.MPEG.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, overlapping with Sarcasm Mode, the repeated use of the word "brave" to describe Sir Robin during the minstrels' song veers into this territory.
  • From Muppet Treasure Island where the muppet version of the Blind Pew storms in to confront Billy Bones:
    Gonzo: Looks like some sort of blind fiend!
    Rizo: I think they prefer "visually impaired fiend".
  • In Mutiny on the Buses, Arthur insists he hasn't been sacked, but rather that he's been made redundant.
  • From Night at the Museum 2:
    Kah Mun Rah: Are there any questions?
    Al Capone: Yeah, I got one. How come you're wearing a dress?
    Kah Mun Rah: This is not a dress. This is a tunic.
  • In the German comedy Pappa ante Portas, the title protagonist insists that the dish "Birne Helene" (Poire Belle Hélène) has to be pear with chocolate sauce — not pear with vanilla sauce, or apple with chocolate sauce. He is technically correct, but his insistence (among other things) leads to repeated rows with his wife. When at the end of the movie a waiter mentions that in this restaurant, Poire Belle Hélène is apple sauce with whipped cream, and "Pappa" doesn't mind, you can see they're happy again.
  • Jack in Meet the Parents always refers to Greg's job as "male nurse" rather than just "nurse".
  • Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther films. Once promoted to his boss' old job, he finds himself constantly having to correct people of his full title. "Ah, Inspector Clouseau!" "Chief Inspector."
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • "Mr. Sparrow." "Captain Jack Sparrow!"
    • In the first movie:
      Will: We're going to steal that ship?
      Jack Sparrow: Commandeer. We're going to commandeer that ship. [points to a bigger ship]. Nautical term.
    • The "Captain" thing comes back to bite him in the second film:
      Jones: You've been captain of the Black Pearl for thirteen years. That was our agreement.
      Sparrow: Technically I was only captain for two years before I was viciously mutinied upon.
      Jones: Then you were a poor captain, but a captain nonetheless! Have you not introduced yourself all these years as "Captain Jack Sparrow"?
    • And in the fourth movie:
      King of England: You are Jack Sparrow?
      Sparrow: There should be a Captain in there somewhere.
    • When Lord Beckett mentions Jack Sparrow (sans "Captain") in front of Will and Elizabeth, they both spontaneously blurt out "Captain".
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes: Zira insists they're apes, not monkeys.
  • The Genie in Pretty Cool Too can't read your mind, she can interpret your thoughts.
  • Pulp Fiction: "It's not a motorcycle, baby, it's a chopper."
  • In the opening scene of the Danish film Pusher, a deadbeat drug buyer repeatedly asks to be called "Scorpion."
  • In Rounders: Worm wasn't printing those (counterfeit) credit cards, he was distributing. It's different!
  • The Mercury astronauts in The Right Stuff insist that the vehicle they ride be referred to as a "spacecraft", not a "capsule".
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, every time Scott refers to Ramona's ex-boyfriends, Ramona corrects him with "exes". This is later revealed to be because one of her exes was a girl.
  • By the killer in Scream (1996), both of them.
    Sidney: You're crazy, both of you.
    Stu: Actually, we prefer the term "psychotic".
  • In Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Phony Psychic Myra Savage insists to her husband Billy that he has not committed a criminal act by kidnapping the daughter of wealthy industrialist Charles Clayton; they have simply "borrowed" her for a while, and they intend to return her (and the ransom money) when Myra has become famous as a medium for helping the Claytons find their daughter. When the young girl develops a fever, a distraught Billy says they need to call a doctor, and Myra flings his own insistent terminology back in his face by pointing out how bad it would look if they called a doctor to examine a girl they've kidnapped.
  • Secrets In The Hot Spring: Qie's grandparents make a point of stating that the hot spring doesn't contain froth and scum. It's actually "medicinal herbs".
  • In Serial Killing 4 Dummys, Crusty Caretaker Frank insists that he is not the school janitor, but the 'head custodian'.
  • In Shanghai Noon, Chon Wang meets Roy O'Bannon, the leader of the gang responsible for the death of his uncle, buried up to his neck in the desert after his gang turned on him for screwing up the heist. Chon gets Roy to give him directions to town, but instead of digging him out, puts a pair of chopsticks in his mouth so he can dig himself out. After promptly getting lost in the desert, Chon eventually makes his way to town and finds Roy again (who successfully dug himself out with the chopsticks) playing poker at the saloon and accuses Roy of giving him bad directions. Roy denies the accusation: he gave Chon wrong directions.
  • In Sharknado 2: The Second One, when Matt Lauer mentions the intensifying "shark storm" to his Today show audience, Al Roker corrects him with "sharknado"—but Matt, at this point, ignores him and repeats the phrase "shark storm". Later in the film, however, Matt has caved and is somewhat grudgingly using the term "sharknado".
  • From Small Soldiers: "We're not dolls... We're action figures!"
  • From the first Spider-Man movie, when Peter Parker finds out J. Jonah Jameson is putting out a front-page story claiming Spider-Man attacked the city:
    Peter: Spider Man wasn't trying to attack the city...he was trying to save it. That's slander.
    Jameson: It is not! I resent that! (beat) Slander is spoken. In print, it's libel.
  • Star Wars:
    • Attack of the Clones. Anakin first classifies his threat against another species as "aggressive negotiations." Padmé later picks up the term as a sign that the two are bonding.
    • Some old-school fans refuse to acknowledge the first movie as having any title but Star Wars. As Robin Laws put it in Blowing Up the Movies, "If, in 1977, when I am 13, you show me a movie called Star Wars, it's still called Star Wars now."
  • Andrea in the 2007 St Trinians is adamant that she is an emo, not a goth.
  • From Sunset Boulevard:
    Joe Gillis: I was only asking; I didn't know you were planning a comeback.
    Norma Desmond: I hate that word! It's a return, a return to the millions of people who've never forgiven me for deserting the screen!
    Joe: Fair enough.
  • Suspect: Eddie is a "Congressional consultant", not a lobbyist, and compares this mockingly with calling a lawyer a mouthpiece.
  • Tár: Conductor Lydia Tár insists on the title of "Maestro," rather than the feminine version "Maestra." As she puts it, "It's not like we call female astronauts 'astronettes.'"
  • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines John refers to the T-850 as a robot. It quickly corrects him with about as much annoyance as possible for an emotionless killer robot.
    John: No I can do whatever I want, I'm not a robot like you!
    T-850: Cybernetic organism.
  • Thirteen Days, as occurred historically, features the US instituting a naval "quaratine" around Cuba, as a blockade would legally be an act of war.
  • In Tombstone Rashomon, Doc Holliday is insistent that there was no gunfight at the O.K. Corral. It happened on Fremont Street.
  • In Trailer Park Boys The Movie several of the guys insist, "It's not a strip joint, it's a gentleman's club!"
  • In Transformers, Simmons insists on calling Megatron "N.B.E.-1", even after finding out his name. This even carries into the second film, after Megatron is brought Back from the Dead. "N.B.E.-1 still ticking eh?"
  • Tricky People: They're not sexual predators, they're tricky people.
  • In the mockumentary opening of The Truman Show, Louis/Marlon insists that Truman's world isn't "fake," just controlled.
  • Undercover Blues: A minor villain insists that his name is "Muerte". He is very insistent on this point, especially since the protagonists insist on antagonizing him by calling him "Morty". Near the end of the show, the protagonists end up pretending that Muerte is the Big Bad and their boss, which leads poor Muerte to try desperately to claim that his name is really Morty.
  • In Unforgiven, Sheriff Little Bill Daggett insists on calling English Bob the Duck, not Duke of death. When he's called out on it one time too many he gives a brief Death Glare:
    Daggett: Duck I says.
  • Vamps: A justified example; Vadim is the Ukrainian stem and NOT the Russian stem, although to be fair to the main characters, he doesn't regularly interact with them (not having anything to do with Sanguines Anonymous until later in the film) and probably was referred to as the Russian stem before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • The Villain: "Cactus Jack Slade!"
  • We're the Millers: The Millers are drug smugglers, not dealers.
  • When We Were Kings: George Foreman suffers a cut on his face during sparring, which means his heavyweight championship bout with Muhammad Ali will have to be postponed six weeks. At a press conference, an annoyed Foreman says "There will not be a delay. The fight will be rescheduled, but when it happens, it will be intended for that time."
  • In White House Down, Emily insists that it's known as a "YouTube channel" and not a "video blog" or "blog".
  • In the movie Willow, the racial slur for the hobbit-like Nelwyn appears to be "Peck". The Nelwyn protagonist gets into a minor verbal altercation with Madmartigan about it.
  • In Who's That Girl, Murray the cougar is consistently referred to as a Patagonian felis concolor.
  • Winter Kills: When Nick calls his father a "petty thief" his father scoffs and says "Petty thief, hell, I'm the king of thieves."
  • Wolves: John asks Cayden if he knows what "lupine" means, as in the name of the town, Lupine Ridge. Cayden says "wolf". John says no, it means "wolflike". One of several early hints John drops that he knows exactly who and what Cayden is.
  • The World's End: The doppelgängers are not 'robots'. After a whole scene spent trying to invent a term for them, the gang settles on "Blanks" by default.
  • For the first third or so of Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein consistently corrects the pronunciation of his surname: "Fronkenshteen". This causes his nonplussed assistant to claim his name is pronounced "Eye-gor", and to call Frederick "Froederick". It's reversed, however, when the creature is recaptured: Igor addresses the doctor as "Fronkenshteen", and he screams "My name... is... FRANKENSTEIN!"

  • In one American folk tale, it's said that the Chinese used to give extravagant names to their firstborn sons but very plain names to their younger children. So when Chang, the second-born, sees his brother, Tikki-tikki-tembo-no-sa-rembo-chari-bari-ruchi-pip-peri-pembo, fall into the well, he tries to tell his mother... only to be repeatedly told to give his brother the proper respect by saying his name properly. In the aftermath (the kid was alive, but suffered a terrible cold), the Chinese culture changed to where even firstborns had short, sensible names... like Chang.
    • "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo" was the first child's name, according to The Other Wiki. While claimed to be Chinese, about the only thing anybody agrees on about the tale's origins is the impossibility of it being Chinese.
    • In the original version of the story, Tikki-Tikki-Tembo died because his brother kept running out of breath trying to say the absurdly long name and had to start all over again each time he tried to say it.
    • It may originate from the Japanese folktale/comedy piece of Jugemu... short for Jugemu Jugemu Gokō-no surikire Kaijarisuigyo-no Suigyōmatsu Unraimatsu Fūraimatsu Kuunerutokoro-ni Sumutokoro Yaburakōji-no burakōji Paipopaipo Paipo-no-shūringan Shūringan-no Gūrindai Gūrindai-no Ponpokopī-no Ponpokonā-no Chōkyūmei-no Chōsuke.
    • The story has been retold numerous times, both by word of mouth and in published form, and has acquired a large number of variations because of it. Versions differ on whether the child lives or dies, and the specific manner in which his rescue is delayed varies as well (though it is always due to multiple repetitions of the very long name). The various names attributed to the unfortunate kid include Nikki Nikki Tembo No So Rembo Oo Ma Moochi Gamma Gamma Goochi, Sticky Sticky Stumbo Nos E Rumbo E Pro Pennyo Hara Bara Brisko Nicky Prom Po Nish No Menyo Dumbricko, and Ikky Bikky Stumbo Nozo Rumbo Addy Baddy Basco Tana Rama Tasco, among others. There are even non-Chinese versions, which in retrospect show their roots a bit, such as "Eddie Coochie Catchie Cama Toka Nera Toka Noka Sama Kama Wacky Brown".

  • Certain bands (such as The Tragically Hip) have "The" as being the first part of their official band name — while other bands (such as the Foo Fighters) don't, but are still usually referred to with "the" at the beginning. In the case of the former, their ardent fans will correct you — if you leave off the word "The". Other bands (such as [The] Rolling Stones) are inconsistent with it, however. (See also The "The" Title Confusion.)
  • Many fans of "real" bands (i.e. ones that play their own instruments) will insist on referring to vocal ensembles as "groups". For example, see any Twitter trending topic related to bands - it's a pretty even mix between those mentioning One Direction and those insisting "One Direction are a group, not a band!".
  • Whenever a popular rock band goes on hiatus, you can bet them and their fans will be using the word routinely when a non-fan calls it "a breakup."
  • Some electronic music performers have insisted that they be called "producers" rather than DJs, due to negative perceptions of the term held by those who do not associate themselves with the mainstream "EDM" movement for various reasons.
  • An Elvis Impersonator would generally prefer that you call him an Elvis "tribute artist". Same goes for other bands that exclusively cover the songs of one band (Pink Floyd has several of these that tour bars and other smaller venues), "[Band] tribute band", not "[Band] cover band".
  • Steve Albini does not "produce" albums, he "records" them.
  • Aphex Twin makes "braindance", not IDM.
  • In the liner notes to their debut XL, 90s rock band Blue Flannel claim "WE ARE NOT ALTERNATIVE".
  • Not only does Deadmau5 insist he's a "producer" rather than a "DJ", he's made disparaging comments about "DJs" in interviews over the years.
  • In an interview, Céline Dion stated that she felt that her video for "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" wasn't a music video. It was more like a "four minute movie".
  • Enya. Is. Not. New. Age.
  • Kenny G insists he doesn't make "jazz" or even "smooth jazz"; it's "instrumental pop". (He probably does it to head off criticisms from serious jazz fans, who tend to agree that he doesn't make real jazz.)
  • Philip Glass is not a "minimalist". It is process music, thank you very much.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic. Note where the quotation marks are in his name, this is so people don't say things to him like "Hi Weird, how are you?" As Weird Al once said himself: "I'm not on a first adjective basis with anyone!"
  • It's "Green Day", 2 words, not "Greenday."
  • For unknown reasons, when Havalina Rail Co. brought in outside musicians to help record an album, their liner notes always referred to them as "The Latino All-Stars" rather than the more prosaic "guest musicians".
  • Michael Jackson often referred to his "music videos" as "films" (even the standard 3-5 minute ones).
  • In The '90s, there were dozens upon dozens of remixes of Jean-Michel Jarre's music. And among that deluge there were two cover versions (distinct from remixes in that they re-recorded the song in its entirety): Vertigo covered "Oxygène 4", and Helios covered "Equinoxe 4". Helios insisted in interviews on calling their version a cover and not a remix, while Vertigo didn't care enough to correct anyone.
  • LL Cool J would like to remind everyone not to call it a "comeback", he's been there for years.note 
  • Matchbox Twenty's not "crazy", just "a little unwell" or "a little impaired."
  • Motörhead did NOT make Heavy Metal music. It's Rock & Roll. If you say otherwise, Lemmy's ghost will probably come for you or something.
  • Despite being credited as one of the pioneers of Gangsta Rap, N.W.A prefers to describe their music as "reality rap" in reference to the struggles of disenfranchised inner-city youth such as racial profiling and police brutality.
  • Drum corps are led on the field by drum majors - except for Phantom Regiment; they're led by "conductors" (a fitting trope, given Phantom's predominantly classical repertoire).
  • "By the way, which one's Pink?" It's the name of the band, not one of the band members... and was the subject of a lawsuit when they started to break up.
  • Public Image Ltd. isn't a "band," it's a "communications company."
  • Suzi Quatro made Rock & Roll. And definitely not Glam Rock.
  • "Unhealthy Obsession" by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra is about a Stalker with a Crush - possibly two considering the multiple singers. They justify their obsession by insisting it isn't stalking.
    They call it "creeping"/I say "loving"/It's the only way for me
    Some call it "stalking"/I say "walking, just extremely close behind"
  • Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah prefers to call his music (and in fact, the entire genre he plays in) "creative improvised music". He's on the record saying the name "jazz" is a "belittling, pejorative term".
  • SiIvaGunner refers to any and all remixes and such on the channel as "high quality video game rips", and when questioned about the nature of such music will only respond with "I only upload high quality video game rips."
  • Andrew Eldritch, the frontman of The Sisters of Mercy, adamantly insists that his band is not Goth Rock. This is because they were not popular in the 1980s post-punk subculture, which the British press called "Goth". The band was also accused of plagiarising Joy Division, who was also labelled "gothic" in the late 1970s.
  • Snarky Puppy's frontman Michael League refers to the group as "a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals". Most would just call them jazz fusion.
  • Starset has demonstrations, not concerts.
  • Richard Wagner wrote "music-dramas," folks — not "operas."
  • Vince Staples is a Gangsta Crip but doesn't record Gangsta Rap. It's West Coast Hip-Hop.
  • "Scorpio" by Drake is not an album, it's a playlist.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Many atheists are quick to point out that it is incorrect to say "they believe there's no God", because it's not a matter of belief... it's a matter of disbelief. (However, if you read UsefulNotes.Atheism, you'll see that there is a small difference in meaning: Those who believe that no gods exist are referred to as strong-positive atheists, those who don't believe there are any gods border the agnostic-atheists side.) Still, this has been known to cause heated arguments about whether babies are atheists, and whether rocks are atheists. Technically speaking, babies can be seen as "atheistic", but this is just as meaningful way as saying babies do not like sports, or Rembrandt's art, subjects which they are clueless about. As for rocks, objects lack any sentience or sapience to possess any form of belief or lack of it to begin with. There's also debate on whether the etymology of the word is "a-theist" (one who is not a theist, which could include agnostics), or "athe-ist" (one who believes in no God, which would exclude agnostics). Add in anti-theists (actively opposed the idea of God and religious belief in general) and you're in for a good time.
  • Christianity, oooooohhh boy:
    • Don't ever say that Jesus performed "magic". He performed miracles.The difference here is kind of like between "hacking" and "releasing a patch", so it's not really a straight example. Same idea with "psychic premonitions" vs. prophecies.
    • Messianic Jews do not typically identify themselves as "Christians" — insisting, instead, that they are "Jews who found Jesus". "Traditional" Jews will usually fire back with, "Nope, you guys are definitely Christians!" Given that acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah is the point of divergence between Judaism and Christianity... On the flip-side, there are points in the The Bible in which the early Church made clear distinctions between Jewish converts (which were still bound by traditional Jewish law such as circumcision), and non-Jewish converts (who were not). So, the distinction is not baseless.
    • The robes worn by a Catholic priest on the third Sunday of Advent and the fourth Sunday of Lent are rose-colored. They are not pink.
    • Some, though not most, Christians get very offended if you call Christianity a religion. They prefer to be called "spiritual" rather than "religious", and may refer to their beliefs as a "faith" or a "relationship with God", but insist that it's not a religion. There are Christians online who have said things like "as a Christian, I follow no religion", and they sometimes refer to other religions as religion, except their own.
      "It's not a religion, it's a relationship!" (the quote originally started as a dig at Catholicism, as Protestants considered their ritualism to interfere with their relationship with God)
    • Some non-Catholic groups, especially ones more hostile to the Catholic Church, also chafe at calling Catholics "Christians". Even less friendly ones extend this exclusion to anyone not practicing their version of Christianity. There are people on the other end of the spectrum who insist that Catholicism is distinct from Christianity. Note that, semantically, both versions in this case are wrong; Christianity is divided into Catholicsnote  and Protestants, and Protestants are further subdivided into various denominations based on how they think God should be worshiped beyond "not how the Catholics do it".note 
    • But don't refer to Mormons as "Protestants," because they're "restored", not a break-off group that can trace its origins to Catholicism.
    • Likewise, some Baptists insist that they aren't Protestants, as they are descended from other sects that were never part of the Catholic church, and tend to view Protestants as "Catholic-lite".
    • The Catholic Church has given a couple of words which describe divine miracles a transitivity/intransitivity distinction which differs from how the words are used in normal speech, and one should expect to be corrected if one uses the colloquial meanings in front of an older or more devout Catholic. Specifically, only Jesus ever "resurrected", because only He could come back from the dead under His own power. Those such as Lazarus, who were mere humans who only were brought back through Jesus' miracles, are "resuscitated". Moreover, only Jesus, being God, could "ascend" to Heaven on His own. The other Biblical figures said to have entered Heaven alive—Marynote , Elijah, and possibly Enoch—were not divine, and thus were only brought to Heaven by God's grace, and so were "assumed". Note though, that these are terms of art that only have these specialized meanings in this specific context, as even in Latin, "ascend" could be used just to mean climbing a staircase or mountain.
    • There was a schism over literally a single dot on a single i in the original Greek about the relationship between God-father and Jesus within the trinity (look, it's complicated). That's where the phrase "not one iota less" comes from, "iota" being the Greek variant of the letter "i". Basically what it boiled down to was "of similar nature" vs. "of the same nature".
    • Any Trinitarian note will tell you that the son was "born, not created".
  • Some polytheists adamantly refute that they are not pagans. Typically, you have a serious reconstructionist groups trying to distance themselves from the label due to the "fluffy" and Wiccan associations.
  • Taoism teaches that to name something is to define it, and since the Tao is infinite, it has no definition, and therefore no name. So the ethereal force that permeates the universe is called the Tao for the sake of conversation, but it is not named the Tao because it has no name.
    The Tao that can be known
    Is not the true Tao.
    The name that can be named
    Is not the true name.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Pro wrestling isn't "fake". You can call it anything else (scripted, simulated, worked, etc.) but "fake" will upset people, sometimes fans more than the athletes themselves.
    • This can be zig-zagged. Fans and wrestlers don't appreciate "fake" used to disparage pro wrestling (especially considering the idiot spouting off probably has no issue with James Bond or the like), since the wrestlers really are falling off the ladders and such. So beyond being insulting, "fake" is an incorrect term. On the other hand, wrestlers have admonished other wrestlers, who are either hitting entirely too hard, or are doing unnecessarily risky spots, by saying that wrestling is FAKE and you aren't supposed to clobber the other guy or kill yourself doing it.
  • Even though it's now commonly known that professional wrestling is a scripted performance rather than a competitive sport, some fans and industry professionals are very adamant about clinging to jargon that previously helped disguise that fact. Officially, wrestling has "heels" and "faces", not "heroes" and "villains"; it has "angles", not "storylines"; it has "swerves", not "plot twists"; and it has "booking", not "writing". Probably overlaps with Grandfather Clause.
  • Speaking of scripted performances, don't ever use the word "script" around Jim Cornette in a wrestling context, unless you want to be on the end of one of his rants. Movies have scripts, wrestling shows have formats, though given that wrestling formats now include stage directions and promos written word for word "script" probably is more appropriate.
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated and its former sister magazines do their best to uphold Kayfabe, so they had to come up with their own euphemisms rather than use industry lingo. Thus babyfaces and heels become "fan favorites" and "rulebreakers" respectively, a Jobber would be called a "preliminary wrestler", etc...
  • During the mid-nineteen/eighties, children of the Japanese diaspora began referring to Japanese pro wrestling exclusively as puroresu in an effort not to be associated with the WWF or GLOW when they admitted to being pro wrestling fans. Unlike say, Lucha Libre, which means something different in the language and was intended to be an offshoot of pro wrestling from the very beginning, puroresu was initially just what came out when someone who doesn't speak much English said "pro wrestling" untranslated. While the intentions were largely forgotten by the next generation of pro wrestling fans, "puroresu" has stuck. There have even been official events in the USA billed as such.
  • Some wrestlers, such as Ric Flair, have gotten away from some traditional terms like "heel", preferring to be called "bad guy" now that "marks" know it.note  Fans are marks because they get hooked by angles but some fans identify as smarks, since they know pro wrestling is show business. The argument here is that marks still get worked and the only "smarts" are those who have worked in the industry and thus intimately know how to work marks.
  • WWE does this so often that it's probably easier just to list them all (it should be noted that many other wrestling promotions have begun using some of the same terminology, especially "sports entertainment" and "superstars"):
    • Most famously, pro wrestling itself is "sports entertainment" (sometimes just "entertainment"). When a WWE wrestler is written to be "rebelling" against the company, they'll say "professional wrestling." Vince McMahon will say "rasslin" if he's intending to mock someone. (Roddy Piper was a mediocre rassler before McMahon made him a superstar, etc.) This one actually goes back a long time, one story Vince likes to tell is that when Ted Turner bought WCW he called Vince and said "Guess what, I'm in the wrasslin business!", to which Vince responded "That's nice Ted, but I'm in the entertainment business."
    • Wrestlers are "Superstars."
    • Until April 2016, female wrestlers were "Divas" (they're now "female Superstars").
    • For a brief period in 2006, male wrestlers on the ECW brand were "Extremists" and females were "Vixens" (this was dropped with most of the other unique aspects of the ECW brand).
    • Even on topics outside of kayfabe, "character" will always be used in place of "gimmick", even though "gimmick" was coined to more accurately explain how the job is different than playing a character.
    • Injured wres... superstars are never taken to a hospital, but to a medical facilitynote .
    • Championship belts are just "championships" or "titles" (never "belts" and definitely never the old timey-sounding "straps"). Becky Lynch seems to have broken this one, though, after her double-championship win and dubbing herself "Becky Two-Belts".
    • By the same token, title shots are "opportunities".
    • WWE's fanbase is the "WWE Universe."
    • WWE Raw is "the longest-running weekly episodic television program in history," ever since they legitimately took the title from Soul Train. This, however, is mostly done since other scripted shows have run longer, but do so seasonally, or in cases of news and sports programs, are not episodic but may have run longer. In the case of pro wrestling, several local promotions such as the Portland and Houston territory ran for over 40 years but weren't nationally available or episodic.
    • This was invoked in a Miz TV segment with Cody Rhodes, where Miz would correct Cody when he gets the terms wrong. When Cody says that is eager to win the Undisputed Universal Championship "belt" from Brock Lesnar, Miz corrects The American Nightmare with "title" since "a belt holds up your pants".
  • Total Nonstop Action is also guilty of this, to a lesser degree:
    • Gimmick Matches are "concept matches."
    • Female wrestlers are "Knockouts."
    • On at least one occasion, the live audience was told they were "cast members" (insinuating they should cheer and boo the wrestlers the company wanted them to)note .
  • On the flip side, other wrestling companies who don't even have "writers" or such have fallen into using WWE terminology just because WWE is so insistent it starts to wear off. Alternatively, you can tell where WWE penetration isn't particularly strong by how little of its terminology they pick up ("championships" are events in CMLL and the International Wrestling Cartel while wrestlers hold "titles" and "belts", for instance, while New Japan Pro-Wrestling does refer to the IWGP belts as "championships", though given that they call a governing body a "grand prix" Engrish is also clearly in effect).
  • Newsletters (such as The Wrestling Observer Newsletter) are referred to exclusively as "dirtsheets" or "inside trade papers" depending on whether the person is portrayed in a negative or positive light or what information is being reported, "ragsheet" or simply "rag" might be used if it's particularly negative. (For the record, most involved in putting out such things prefer the terms "column", "magazine", and yes, "newsletter", where applicable.)
  • Similar to, and possibly the inspiration for, the Grinch movie example elsewhere, is wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Piper was legitimately of Scottish descent, and often wore a traditional kilt to the ring. Of course, his opponent would invariably comment about how he didn't want to wrestle someone in a "skirt". Piper's response: "It's not a skirt, it's a kilt!", followed by some serious pummeling. The apex of this came at the 1992 Royal Rumble, where "broadcast journalist" Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was openly rooting for Ric Flair and mocking Piper at every turn, until Piper saved Flair from an attack.
    Heenan: It's a kilt. It's not a skirt, it's a kilt!
    (30 seconds later, Piper attacks Flair)
    Heenan: YOU SKIRT-WEARING FREAK! It's not a kilt, it's a skirt!
  • 237 lbs? "Playboy" Buddy Rose is a slim 217, thank you.
  • Ultimate Warrior's arm tassels are "Belief Banners".
  • Weapons that aren't supposed to be used in a wrestling match are commonly called "foreign objects". During a period of time in which WCW was trying to present itself as a cleaner and more tolerant alternative to the WWF, these were renamed "international objects" because standards and practices didn't like that use of the word "foreign". This came about due to a miscommunicated directive to all Turner divisions (most specifically, CNN) to replace speaking instances of the word "foreign" with "international" in a news context. Nobody at WCW thought to get the directive rescinded in their case, and since they were in the middle of a financial downward spiral, it was easier just to go along with it. Jim Ross even used "international object" a couple times in WWE as a joke.
  • Bryan Alvarez insists on calling wrestling moves by the name he finds to be the coolest, directly in the face of proper context at times. Who cares who invented it? The STO is still the Downward Spiral to him. What, they're kind of different moves? He's still going to call the Glam Slam a Bitch Clamp! No, you're the one who'd best learn the difference!
  • Every suplex is a Tazzplex when done by Tazz.
  • Michael Cole has a tendency to substitute "skull" for head and "spine" for back, no matter how accurate or relevant the wording might actually be. In this sense, the Smackdown vs Raw games are better than his usual broadcast work, as he will be more likely to say "squeezing down on the head" or "small of the back".
  • Jillian Hall did not have a wart, mole, growth, tumor or rice cake! Just a blemish!
  • "Horse" became a common greeting for Passion after Trina called her such at a PGWA event. Passion, for her part, insisted she was not a horse but a thoroughbred.
  • What's this? Why does TV Tropes have no pages with text about Osamu Nishimura? We know not this person you speak of. Perhaps you meant Mr. Muga?
  • A certain someone has a tendency to demand a certain introduction when in certain venues, emphases italicized: "Standing at 5 foot 5 inches of perfection, weighing in at 120 perfect pounds, she is from the most perfect city in the world, Lisbon in the great nation of Portugal, Portugal's Perfect Athlete, SHANNA!"
  • Forget everything you know about Bad Influence and especially don't bring up anything about Fortune or The Addiction. The Extraordinary Gentlemen's Organization is an entirely new alliance!
  • Former WWE Authority figure John Laurinaitis seemed to make it fit to refer to himself (and have everyone call him) as "Mr. John Laurinaitis, Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw." Later it became "General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown".
  • The Xbox 360 Lucha Libre game had the tag line "It's not pro wrestling! It's Lucha Libre!" Never mind the terms are often used interchangeably in the industry itself, such as the Lucha Libre Internacional having all its titles over seen by the Universal Wrestling Association or the World Wrestling League having the tag line "Un nuevo mundo de lucha libre". Even arguing "Lucha Libre" and "Pro Wrestling" are different is a generalization as there are several different styles of "Lucha Libre" and "Pro Wrestling".
  • Do NOT let Scott Steiner hear you refer to a Frankensteiner as a Hurricanrana. You have been warned. He's technically correct. A Hurricanrana requires the user to end the move by hooking the opponent's legs in a pin. Without the pin, the move would be more accurately called a Back Flip Head Scissors.
  • Barry O. From the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, thank you.
  • The current top championship in the National Wrestling Alliance is the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. Not "World" or "World's"—"Worlds".

    Puppet Shows 
  • In "Music to My Ears" from Bear in the Big Blue House, Ojo, Pip and Pop don't have pan lids and a pot for their "orchestra," which is not a band. They have "cymbals" and a "drum." And Ojo is their "constructor," who helps them to make musical "combustions."
  • On "Rabbit's Happy Birthday Party" from The Book of Pooh, Pooh and Piglet get lost while trying to get to Rabbit's house. Pooh, however, assures Piglet that they're not lost. They just have no idea where they are.
    Piglet: (sighs with relief) At least we're not lost. ... But, uh, what will we do?

  • Mrs. Banting in The Men from the Ministry is not Ministry's janitor or a charwoman, she's a hygiene operative.
  • In the Charlie's Angels episode "Toni's Boys" strip club owner Jade Allen says that Arnie's an exotic dancer and not a stripper when she, Kris and male Angel Bob Sorenson are watching him rehearse Kris than agrees that's a better job title:
    Jade: Arnie's my class act.
    Kris: Yeah, a real Fred Astaire!
    Bob: He's a male stripper.
    Jade: Er, he prefers to be called an exotic dancer.
    Kris: Oh, yes. It's much better.
  • Dead Ringers: Jeremy Corbyn insists people did not quit the Labour Party because of his leadership (or lack thereof). It's just a string of "conscious unshufflings".
  • One of the John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme Train Driver/Train Manager skits has the driver winding up the train manager by concluding a passenger announcement with "And when I say train manager, as we all know, I basically mean ticket inspector." The train manager insists that he is not a ticket inspector.
    • An interview sketch has an actor insist he wasn't murdering people, just "bumping them off". To death. Patsy Straightwoman repeatedly notes this is just murder.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The rules of Clue make a distinction between a Suggestion, in which a player is simply... suggesting a theory and seeking evidence to the contrary, and an Accusation, an all-or-nothing action after which the accusing player will either win the game or be eliminated from play.
  • In Fading Suns, despite being for all intents and purposes a House, the term is "the Hazat", not "House Hazat". This originated as an Appropriated Appellation, with the other Houses not viewing the Hazat as fully worthy of membership, and now lingers as an excuse to start fights, which is something the Hazat enjoy quite a lot.
  • The Scorpion Clan of Legend of the Five Rings do not have ninja. They have shinobi. Only those jerks in the Spider Clan have ninja.
  • Rampant in Mage: The Ascension. First, you have the terminology split between the Council of Nine Traditions and the Technocratic Union — "Enlightened Science" versus "Magic," "Reality Deviant" versus "Mage," and so on. Then, you get into the hairsplitting between a given Tradition or Convention over specific items — there are four different terms for Paradox amongst the Technocrats (only Iteration X and the NWO use the same term), each group has its own specific term for an Avatar, and so on.
  • In Pathfinder, some of Asmodeus's knights call themselves paladins. Likewise, many paladins across multiple settings refer to themselves as knights, extending to Dungeons & Dragons. The class that is often attributed to be the representation of a basic knight is internally called a cavalier, even if the term is never used in-setting.
    • Both games' bestiaries continue to textually describe gnolls as being a "hyena-headed" race, suggesting a case of Non-Human Head. Despite that, both the accompanying illustrations and all adventures involving them always depict gnolls as being full Funny Animal (well, intimidating more than funny) hyenas.
  • Warhammer:
    • In the prodigious backstory of the game, there was once a great war between the elves and the dwarfs. While the war was inevitable due to deep social, economic and cultural differences, an overly arrogant elven king and some too-stubborn dwarf lords, helped with a dark elven False Flag Operation, the straw that broke the camel's back was when said elven king had the dwarven emissary to his court shaved for his own amusement. The subsequent war is known as "the War of Vengeance" to the dwarfs, who do not take kindly to use of the more common elven term, "the War of the Beard".
    • Empire wizards who study the Lore of Death are not Black Magic users but Amethyst Wizards. This is a very important distinction in a setting where The Dark Side exists and is a real threat for wizards. Studying actual Black Magic and Necromancy inevitably corrupts wizards and drive them to do bad things to humanity at a whole, while Shyish (the Wind of Death) will at worst turn you slightly fatalistic and give you a taste for Gallows Humour.

  • Les Misérables: In response to being addressed by his prison number (24601), Valjean says "My name is Jean Valjean." Conversely, Inspector Javert makes a point of calling Valjean "24601" on several occasions.
  • In the musical version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Englishman Sir Percy Blakeney (a.k.a. the Scarlet Pimpernel) continually refers to his rival, the Frenchman Chauvelin, as "Mr. Shovelin".
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: William Barfée constantly reminds Panch and Peretti that his name is pronounced Bar-FAY. There's an acute accent.
  • An old Vaudeville joke involves a man who thinks he's found his long-lost friend. The straight man says nothing except "I'm not Rappaport", thereby giving the joke its name. It also inspired a successful play in The '80s as well as a film starring Walter Matthau.
    Joker: Hey, Rappaport! I haven't seen you in ages. How have you been?
    Straight man: I'm not Rappaport.
    Joker: Rappaport, what happened to you? You used to be a short fat guy, and now you're a tall skinny guy.
    Straight man: I'm not Rappaport.
    Joker: Rappaport, you used to be a young guy with a beard, and now you're an old guy with a mustache.
    Straight man: I'm not Rappaport.
    Joker: Rappaport, how has this happened? You used to be a cowardly little white guy, and now you're a big imposing black guy.
    Straight man: I'm not Rappaport.
    Joker: And you changed your name, too!
  • This act was then turned on its head by French Canadian absurdist comedy duo Les Denis Drolet, where one of the two would insist the other is named "Jacques" despite the other's protestations that his name is "Jean", and they would argue back and forth like this for a couple minutes until "Jean" finally realizes he'd been mistaken and his name was indeed "Jacques".
  • In Black Friday, Tom would like you to know that he doesn't suffer PTSD flashbacks; he remembers bad things vividly. Also, Linda is not in charge of a cult, she's in charge of an exciting new religion!

    • Berix in Bionicle: The Legend Reborn isn't a thief; he's a "collector"!
    • Real-life Bionicle example, no longer in effect: the Toa carried tools, not weapons. LEGO was very cautious about this, because the word "weapon" apparently carries a less family-friendly meaning. When their violence-policy changed around 2006, it became free to use, and, just as well, the storyline suddenly became a lot more Darker and Edgier.
  • You don't have Legos; you have LEGO® Bricks or LEGO® toys. This is a little bit of Stuck on Band-Aid Brand.
  • Toys such as G.I. Joe and the Transformers, are often marketed for boys, with a claim that they are definitely not dolls (despite matching every description and definition of Dolls). Instead, they are referred to as "action figures. After all, dolls are toys that girls play with. The term "action figure" was originally coined to describe the first 12-inch GI Joe toys.
  • Legally, Transformers do not transform, and you will get in big trouble with Hasbro if you say they do. They "Convert" from one mode to another, and the difficulty rating theoretically measures difficulty of "conversion". The reasoning is if Transformers "transform", then "Transformers" is just a generic name for the type of toy they are, and thus cannot be preserved as a trademark. But if it "converts", then the generic term for transforming robot action figures is "converters", of which Transformers is one of the most successful brands. This is mostly ignored by the fiction, although there are points where Hasbro will step in. This can lead to some very silly situations, whether it's Optimus Prime being known for the order "Transform and roll out!" or the Magic: The Gathering cards having to call flipping the card from robot to vehicle or vice versa "converting" even though the game has used "transform" to refer to flipping cards between two states, printed on opposite sides, for a decade.

    Video Games 
  • Zorbak is an "ebil" moglin Necromancer present in several original Artix Entertainment games, and he frequently corrects people who call him evil. What, exactly, separates evil from "ebil" is up for interpretation, but, if the little blue troublemaker's actions are anything to go by, being "ebil" seems to mean being more a Stupid Evil Jerkass than a real villain in one's own right.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann is referred as "Subject 06" by The Consortium as she was formally once part of the Gatekeeper Project and they won't hesitate to refer to her as that.
  • In Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword there's a kind of pastry that's basically identical to a waffle filled with some sort of sugary fruit. Lemuria constantly corrects him when he calls it a waffle instead of a yofwal, while in turn he stubbornly refuses to refer to them as anything but waffles.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, Robert Faulkner gets uppity when Connor calls the Aquila a boat, insisting that she - not it! - is a ship.
  • In Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, Reyfer and Threia don't have arguments according to Reyfer. They "express differing opinions at elevated intensity and volume."
  • In Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey, at one point, when you make a Bomb, Revy appears and asks Firis if the names she uses for the items are one she comes up with on her own. She says that sometimes they are, but sometimes she just uses the old names. He suggests pepping them up a little - for example, the Bomb becoming the "Searing Orb of Crimson Flame." Firis immediately takes to the idea and the scene changes to Liane asking Firis for an Uni Bag and a Zettel, which Firis has now taken to calling the "Fury of the Earth" and the "Blessed Paper of God's Grace."
    Liane: Huh...? Fury of earth...? Blessed... What?
    Revy: Heh heh. Firis and I thought of new names for her items. Aren't they awe inspiring? Epic?
    Liane: Um, sorry. They're too hard to understand now. Could you change them back to their old names?
  • The title character of The Bastard of Kosigan, a Burgundian during the period when which the Duchy of Burgundy was an independent state, has the option of taking offense when people refer to him as a Frenchman.
  • In Batman: Arkham Origins, Jervice Tetch, the Mad Hatter, insists that he's not "crazy", he's mad. There is a difference... even if he can't remember it.
    • Throughout the Batman: Arkham Series, Batman is very particular about how addresses his Rogues Gallery members. He may refer to them by their codenames, but he will not call them that to their face. Exceptions are The Joker, Ra's, and Bane, who have no known names besides those. Otherwise:
      • Riddler, Penguin, Firefly, and Professor Pyg get a Last-Name Basis. This may be deliberate to tweak their noses.
      • Hush, Two-Face, and Mister Freeze get a First-Name Basis. The first two are old friends or allies of Batman so that makes a certain amount of sense (he's definitely mocking Hush though), and calling Mister Freeze "Victor" may be due to his Tragic Villain status.
      • Harley Quinn is the odd one out, who he always calls "Quinn". Which while the last name of her codename, isn't her real last name (Quinzel), making it an odd combination of using their last name and codename.
  • In Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack wishes to make very clear the difference between "choking" and "strangling".
    Handsome Jack: No, no, Jimmy, choking is something you do when you eat too fast. As I'm crushing Mr. Moorin's windpipe with my watch chain, what I'm doing is actually referred to as strangling.
    • And later:
    Handsome Jack: Mr. Tassiter—maybe you can settle up something for me—do you know the difference between choking and strangling?
  • Crysis 3: Claire insists on calling Prophet "hardware". Prophet disagrees.
  • Paws from Cthulhu Saves the World would like to remind you that he is not a cat, but an ultharian (a race of green feline-shaped aliens whose tails can transform into Combat Tentacles), a fact Umi won't learn any time soon.
  • The Pirate Barbers in The Curse of Monkey Island prefer the term "Buccaneer Hairstylists".
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • Horsemaster Dennet will never address the Herald of Andraste as anything except "Inquisition." Not Inquisitor, which is his/her later title, but "Inquisition."
    • Dalish of the Bull's Chargers insists that she's an "archer," despite it being very obvious that she's an apostate mage. She also claims that her magic staff is a "bow". The glowing crystal is for aiming; old elven trick, you wouldn't understand. The other Chargers go along with this to protect Dalish from people who don't like apostates (which is pretty much everybody). Hilariously, in the tie-in comic Magekiller, Dalish's mage staff is finally seen and it actually is shaped like a bow.
    • Imshael is not a desire demon. He is a Choice. Spirit.
    • The Qunari do this a lot whenever some of their members don't quite fit in their roles, particularly gender roles. If a woman wants to be a soldier and proves to be very good at it, she is allowed to fight, but is also considered a man while fighting. Because women under the Qun aren't soldiers. Likewise, the Qun treats mages as dangerous things (literally, the Qunari term for mages, "Saarebas," means dangerous thing) that must be chained up like animals. If a mage earns the respect of the Qunari, the Qunari simply don't think of that person as a mage. They are non-mages who just happen to be able to perform magic. But they are not mages.
    • Dorian is mildly annoyed by the fact that "Magister" is used as a general term for all Tevinter mages among non-Tevinters, since it's an official position. He has to specifically explain that while he is a mage from Tevinter, he is not a Magister.
  • In Dragon Quest V, a character insists that his name is "Not Dwight Dwarf! Da White Dwarf!"
  • The Dwarf Fortress community insist on calling hell Hidden Fun Stuff. Demons are Clowns, and adamantine is cotton candy. Also, any mention of possible failure or defeat is referred to as "Fun."
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Dremora are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell. Though they are commonly referred to as "Dremora", they prefer to identify themselves as "The Kyn", which translates to "The People" in the Daedric language. This is because they consider themselves superior and more intelligent than the other lesser Daedra, which they see as little more than mindless beasts.
    • In Oblivion, an aspiring Orc "knight" named Mazoga insists that the player call her "Sir Mazoga" or similar, and will get angry if the player does not. Depending on dialogue choices and how the player handles the associated quest, she eventually realizes she's being a pompous jerk.
    • In Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, Knight-Paladin Gelebor - the last surviving uncorrupted Falmer - prefers to be called a "Snow-Elf", since the term Falmer has become stigmatized due to the actions of their debased kin, to whom he refers as "The Betrayed".
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout 2, the citizens of Vault City keep a slave labor force, but insist upon calling them "Servants", and make a habit of expelling those who say otherwise. There is some meaningful contextual difference,note  but mostly it is just Vault City being elitist jerks.
    • When you meet Angela Bishop for the first time, she will ask if you are one of her dad's goons. One of the possible answers is that yes, you are one of Mr. Bishop's ENFORCERS, thank you very much.
    • Similarly, in the Fallout 3 DLC Pack "The Pitt", The leader of the Pitt Raiders, Ashur, insists that his subordinates refer to the slave populace as "workers".
      • Also in 3:
      Butch: I'm a barber, not a hairdresser! There's a difference!
    • Fawkes, the token good Super Mutant, insists that he is a "Meta-Human". Also, Dr. Barrows in Underworld calls Ghouls "post necrotic humans", feral ghouls are "Ferocious Post Necrotic Human Dystrophy," and Glowing Ones are "Luminous Post Necrotic Humans."
    • And in Fallout: New Vegas, we have the subtle distinction between a scavenger and a prospector, along with the varying ways to say Caesar's name.note 
      • Ranger Jackson is not allowed to hire mercenaries to help him. If someone were to help him, they most certainly will not be compensated in any way. However, there's a chance he might "accidentally lose" some supplies when they get back.
      • Mr. House doesn't hide the fact that he'd be the sole ruler of New Vegas, but he'd be an autocrat, not a dictator.
      • Raul, a ghoul who was alive before the bombs fell, insists that the Arizona city now known as "Two-Sun" still is and will always be Tuscon, dammit!
      • Dr. Klein of Old World Blues makes it clear that Big MT is meant to be Big Mountain and not "Big Empty" as it is known elsewhere.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cid in Final Fantasy II wants to make it perfectly clear that he's lending you his airship. But seeing as those are his last words...
    • Locke of Final Fantasy VI. He's not a thief, he's a treasure hunter. And he'll rip your lungs out for saying otherwise! What makes this one line particularly funny is that the SNES translation is so aggressively kid-friendly that it refuses to acknowledge the existence of pubs and the word "death" and its variants... but threatening to pull out somebody's internal organs is A-OK?
      • He's much less violent in the GBA remake. He'll just beat the crap out of you.
    • Ashe from Final Fantasy XII, leader of La Résistance - not the Insurgence.
    • Carvellain, one of Limsa Lominsa's many Privateers, is known for dealing in spices. This confuses a newly-minted player character sent to obtain something totally non-culinary until another NPC explains that Carvellain calls everything he seizes from Garlean vessels "spice" regardless of what that cargo actually is.
  • Canas from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade would like to remind you that it is incorrect to refer to the elder magic that he practices as dark magic, which according to him is "a rather biased term".
  • Regardless of certain quirks, Freddy Fazbear and his friends from Five Nights at Freddy's are animatronics, not robots, Homicide Machines, or RoboCop clones in Funny Animal costumes.note 
  • An example from Gabriel Knight 2: "I do not know what it's like where you're from, Mr. Knight, but people refer to me as Herr Doktor Klingmann here."
  • Every time he is called "the man who killed Thanos" or a variation of such in Guardians of the Galaxy (2021), Drax the Destroyer is quick to correct that he "allegedly" did it. While he thinks it is possible he did so, he doesn't remember actually landing the killing blow during their fight and he passed out before its end. On one hand, they Never Found the Body. On the other, no one has seen or heard of Thanos since.
  • The Chariot Line of Horizon Zero Dawn are "peacekeepers". Not killer robots bought by companies to attack other companies, that consume biomass, self-replicate and can't be hacked that go haywire and kill off the entire planet.
  • Both In-Universe (as referenced in Stop Poking Me! quotes) and out, Heroes of the Storm is a Hero Brawler, not a MOBA.
  • I Was A Teenage Exoclonist: Sometimes, you can see Tangent taking a nap, and when you wake her up, she'll insist that she wasn't sleeping and that "it is crucial to rest the eyes, to maintain adequate moisture levels."
  • Delsin Rowe of inFAMOUS: Second Son insists that you refer to his kind as Conduits, not Bioterrorists.
  • The Mycologist in Inscryption has patients, not victims.
  • Jak II: Krew prefers the term "freedom challenged" over "slave".
  • In Katawa Shoujo, this comes up in a context surprisingly unrelated to any disabilities. Lilly and Shizune both insist that their Big Fancy Houses are not "mansion(s)".
    • Lilly Satou, after Hisao realizes she is a Covert Pervert, will say that she has "a healthy adolescent sex drive".
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • In Kings Quest (2015), the Merchant of Miracles insists that the creatures who pull his wagon are unicorns, even though they're very obviously goats with horns tied to their heads. If questioned about it enough times, he will break down and explain that this is actually a justified example: the trolls who live under the bridges eat goats. But as long as they think Mr. Fancycakes and The Other One are unicorns, the trolls will leave them alone.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: It is implied that Tetra got a lot of this after it was revealed that her real name is Princess Zelda, but in the game itself it only happens in one short exchange, where she told Niko to keep calling her "Tetra" instead of the other name. Tetra's level of anger about this seems to imply that it has happened before and started to annoy her.
  • Resident Black Magician Girl Chloe from the second Mana Khemia game insists that her curses and black magic that regularly summons demons in combat be referred to as "incantations".
  • Marco & the Galaxy Dragon: Marco prefers the term "treasure hunter" to "thief", though she readily admits that she steals things for a living.
  • The Mass Effect universe has quite a few of these.
    • Robots with AI programs running in them, are referred to as "synthetics" to differentiate them from naturally evolved "organic" life.
    • People with telekinesis ability are referred to as "biotics".
    • The salarian scientist Mordin insists that the Depopulation Bomb known as the genophage is not a sterility plague, but a "fertility rate adjustment to optimum growth levels", he'll even point out that sterilizing the krogan out right would have been considerably easier. Given that the krogan aren't actually sterilized, this is actually accurate. Salarians also do not get married, they "negotiate reproduction contracts".
    • Illium does not allow "slavery", it allows "indentured servitude". Though from what we hear about the rules and terms of the practice, indentured servitude actually is the more accurate term.
    • The quarian-made electric pulse gun known as the Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle suffers from a reversal of this trope, with Alliance (human) marines saying that it doesn't have a rifled barrel and doesn't fire bullets, so it shouldn't be called a rifle.
    • The geth insist on calling the Robot War in which they drove out the quarians from their home planet as "The Morning War" since it occurred immediately after they "woke up" (gained self awareness).
    • Early human biotics weren't drafted for "brain camp"... err, Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training, they were "encouraged to submit to a review so a greater understanding of biotics could be compiled."
    • This pops up in an amusing conversation between Shepard and Tali in Mass Effect 3:
      Shepard: How are you getting drunk?
      Tali: [completely plastered] Veeeeeeery carefully. Turian brandy, triple filtered, then introduced into the suit via an emergency induction port.
      Shepard: ...that's a straw, Tali.
      Tali: Emerrrrrgency. Induction. Port.
    • In Mass Effect 2, it is revealed that all quarians refer to the leader of a ship as "captain", regardless of their actual rank: while Shepard never made the rank of captain, they are still responsible for the lives of the crew of the Normandy, hence, Captain Shepard. This is something Real Life human navies do too.
    • The asari languages make a distinction between the partner that gives birth and the one that does not. The non-birthing partner in an asari/asari or asari/female alien couple is not the mother, she is the father.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has an Agent who insists on calling an ex-cop turned security guard "Officer" because he's trying to get him to kill Neo.
    Agent: Do your duty...Officer, kill him, kill him now.
    • Another example with a girl who insists on calling Neo's cassock a "dress".
  • Mega Man Zero: Copy-X knows that he is a copy from the original Mega Man X, but he insists that he is the perfect copy and even casts himself in a superior light to the original one. Of course, Zero quickly proves him wrong.
  • Metal Gear:
  • According to its community including the devs, Minetest, a voxel miner not too dissimilar to Minecraft, is a game platform or, better yet, a modding platform. And not a game. Games run on it. minetest_game, which is bundled with Minetest, is a game, Mineclone2 is another game, Nodecore is yet another game, Lord of the Test and Infinite IKEA are games, too. By the way, these are games. And no longer subgames.
  • Mortal Kombat: Sub-Zero would like you to know that he is a Lin Kuei assassin, not a Ninja. It actually makes sense because ninja are Japanese, which makes his rival Scorpion a true ninja, whereas Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei are Chinese - he even points this out in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.
    • Tanya thinks "enforcer of the Deadly Alliance" is such an ugly term. Personally, she thought of herself as an ambassador.
    • Since Mortal Kombat X came out, the term "Revenant" is being applied to any kombatant who has been killed to be resurrected later as an undead warrior. In Mortal Kombat 11, however, Noob Saibot prefers the term "Wraith" - his shadowy nature doesn't fit the usual characteristics of a Revenant. Same goes with DLC character Spawn, who is... well... a Hellspawn.
  • Onmyoji: Kohaku does not take too kindly to being called a dog by other characters, especially Minamoto no Hiromasa.
    Kohaku: I said, I'm not a dog, I'm a fox shikigami!
  • Open Simulator is not a game! Even less so than Second Life thay may have making money as a goal. OpenSim completely lacks things that define games, namely a defined objective, a defined goal, a winning condition to try and achieve. You can't play through OpenSim.
  • In The Dentist trailer of PAYDAY 2, when asked about his profession by the titular Dentist, Dallas replies that he works in financial transfers. Of course, through his connections, The Dentist knows who he was dealing with and offers him a choice: Work for him for a few jobs and get an opportunity to free Hoxton, or have the Dentist use his connection to destroy him.
  • Phoenix Wright is a lawyer. Not a dentist, policemen, detective or parliamentarian. And no, his badge is not made of plastic and not available in a Gumball Machine. (He has to insist on those facts so frequently, it actually strikes him as strange whenever anyone actually gets it right.)
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Pastoria City Gym Leader, Wake, insists on being called "Crasher Wake".
    • Yet when you fight him, he's still called "Leader" Wake, just like any other Gym Leader. This is mostly due to character restrictions for in-battle text.
  • In the Professor Layton games, don't bother trying to call Luke Triton anything other than Layton's apprentice. He simply will not accept any other name for their relationship. He even cuts off Layton himself whenever the professor tries to clarify it.
    • And in Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Layton repeatedly corrects that he is not a detective, which is actually true; he's a college professor of archaeology who dabbles in puzzle solving. This doesn't stop the people of St. Mystere from constantly thinking that's the case, though.
  • Tear from Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a loan shark (not quite that bad, she's nice and helpful about it) but doesn't like to be called as such.
  • In Rune Factory Tides Of Destiny during Joe's second friendship event, Sonja calls Joe a 'pervert' for looking through a crack in the women's bath. He insists that he is a 'treasure hunter' who is after 'a different sort of treasure'.
  • Saints Row:
  • In Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Sam and Max argue over what to call the Sam clone army; Sam insists on "Samulacra", and Max insists on "Dogglegangers". This develops into a Running Gag. Amusingly, when playing as Sam and mousing over one of the clones, the text indicating the name of the object reads "Samulacra", but when playing as Max it reads "Dogglegangers".
  • The students and professionals in Senran Kagura are Shinobi. The promo materials occasionally call them ninja, but never kunoichi. While the latter is a decently well-known term for female ninja even in the west, it carries the connotation of relying on deception and feminine wiles, which Shinobi just don't do.
    • There's also an odd example in the narrative of Shinovi Versus. Using dark powers to force your will on someone is "brainwashing", but apparently using your influence to take in young orphans with a specific and tragic background and then raising them in complete isolation to foster a fanatical, homicidal hatred for a specific group is not. Could have something to do with Dougen being the Big Bad and Kurokage feeling guilty about his actions on his deathbed and asking Honzo to deliberately undermine what he'd done, but the narrative is suspiciously hesitant to label a "Good Shinobi's" outrageously selfish plan anything negative. Of course, that might be the point.
    • The Neptunia games poke fun at this. The games use every synonym for ninja in the descriptions of MarvelousAQL's equipment... except for shinobi.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has Gaston, a military officer from Mikado who insists that you call him Sir Gaston. Though he later drops it due to a demotion and going through a fair bit of Character Development.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the humans that have settled the new planet have vowed not to repeat the mistakes that turned Earth into such a Crapsack World, and as such they will not declare war on one another. Factions will have prolonged periods of armed conflict against each other when they become displeased, but they call it 'Vendetta' instead.
  • Meta-example for Star Trek Online. Cryptic insists the Klingon Bortasqu'-class is a "battle cruiser" despite the fact that stats-wise it's really a Starfleet-style cruiser with the serial numbers filed off: an engineering/tactical Mighty Glacier. This led to them not giving it all four cruiser commands when they debuted (although in practice "Attract Fire" isn't that useful in the PVE metagame anyway).
  • Early in Star Wars: The Old Republic's Knights Of The Eternal Throne, you meet former-Moff Lorman who, in the intervening five years since everything which took place before Fallen Empire, rose to the rank of Minister. With the player character (regardless of whether they were affiliated with the Sith Empire or not) being accompanied by a former Republic SIS agent (Theron Shan) and a Sith who was the former right-hand of a traitorous Dark Lord (Lana Beniko), all three of them can - and, if given the chance, will - get in on intentionally omitting his new title. Or referring to him by his old one. The more they do it, the more irate he gets.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: 8-bit is Enough, Strong Sad ends up in the world of Peasant's Quest wearing a pointy hat. He insists that he's a wizard, and gets miffed if people call him a princess.
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Dr. Marion Radom flat out refuses to call Kyosuke's and Excellen's machines the Alteisen and Weissritter, instead using their original, production-model names — the Gespenst Mk. III and Gespenst Mk. II Custom, respectively.
    • Until OG2, anyway, when she's impressed enough by their performance to call them by their codenames. Her selective hearing still keeps Excellen from getting a proper upgrade for "Weissy," though.
    • Somewhat justified in her dislike for the name of Alt Eisen, as it's name is German for "Old/Scrap Iron" was partly picked as a means of mocking Radom's stubborn refusal to use alien Extra-Over Technology, and preference to sticking with the somewhat aging Gespenst design that she helped develop in the first place, when the military brass and other manufacturers wanted more advanced technology instead. Not that Radom didn't have justifiable concerns, given her ex-husband was nearly killed due to a serious malfunction of an Extra Over Tech based engine in the planned next gen Huckebeins that halted their development for some time.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    Jade: Why if it isn't Dist the Runny!
    Dist: The Rose! R-O-S-E, rose! Dist the Rose!
    Anise: You mean Dist the Reaper.
    Dist: Silence! I refuse to accept that name! It's Rose! ROSE!
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    "It's Magnius from the eastern ranch!"
    "That's LORD Magnius, vermin!"
    • And of course, the sequel has the Nazdrovie / Light-Frog debate between Centurion Tenebrae and the main cast. The main cast start out calling it the latter while Tenebrae insists on the former. Being that Tenebrae is normally The Gadfly, they decide to get back at him by purposefully using 'light frog' until he gives up and starts calling it that too, at which point they suddenly start calling it a Nazdrovie instead.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • In "Meet the Sniper" video, the Sniper is discussing his career choice with his unseen father over the phone, and it's evident from the Sniper's exasperation that they've had this conversation many, many times before:
      Sniper: I'm not a "crazed gunman", Dad, I'm an assassin. [Beat] Well, the difference bein' one is a job and the other's mental sickness!
    • Also, it is not "a jar of pee". It is jar-based karate.
    • With Halloween 2011, we now have MONOCULUS!, all caps and exclamation point necessary. Upon being killed by him, players must raise their hands to the skies and shout his name (then explain to the cops when they show up).
    • In "Expiration Date", the Scout confides in the Spy that he'd like to get a date with Miss Pauling. The Spy proceeds to mock his lack of ability to get girls, to which the Scout protests. He's great at getting girls. He's not so good at getting ladies, and unfortunately Miss Pauling falls into the latter category. As for an example of the former category:
      [The Scout is standing next to a girl in a fried chicken joint. Each of them has a bucket of chicken.]
      Scout: We both got buckets a' chicken. You wan' do it?
      Girl: [shrug] Eh, okay.
  • Lara Croft of Tomb Raider uses a more honest euphemism than most examples of this trope. "Tomb Raider" can be converted to "Grave Robber" just by replacing words with their synonyms.
  • Marisa Kirisame of the Touhou Project series doesn't steal things. She borrows them. Without permission. For the rest of her life.
    • Also, regardless of what kinda first impression her clothes might leave you with, Marisa totally isn't a witch. She is, in fact, a miko/nurse/merchant/burglar. And her name is Reimu Hakurei.
    • Yukari Yakumo is the one responsible for humans being spirited away. So if someone disappears without her involvement, they haven't been "spirited away" and she'd appreciate it if you referred to their disappearance using some other terminology.
  • Dr. Hello in Treasure Hunter G gets rather peeved when Red addresses him as just that, insisting on being called "the last remaining mad scientist, Dr. Hello"
  • Creator version. The makers of the When They Cry franchise insist their Visual Novel's are "sound novels" due to their reliance on sound.
  • XenoGears: Krelian always calls Fei as 'Lacan' since he was more familiar with his past incarnation.
  • The proper abbreviated name of the Nintendo Entertainment System is the NES, not "the Nintendo", per Nintendo of America's naming guidelines. Likewise, the proper shorthand for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is "Super NES", not the "Super Nintendo". This hasn't prevented the use of "Nintendo" and "Super Nintendo" as common names for these platforms in colloquial speech though.
    • Despite this, Nintendo of Europe never enforced these guidelines strictly when it came to localizing text in languages other than English. It's not uncommon to find the term "Super Nintendo" slipped by in an ad copy for a game in German or Italian where the English equivalent would use "Super NES" instead (compare the various ad copies for Super Mario All-Stars here). Even Nintendo of Europe's official site refers to their 16-bit console as a "Super Nintendo."

    Web Animation 
  • FreedomToons: In "Noah's Ark 2018" the Hipster in charge the ark claims that it's not an Ark but an "Authortarian Resistance Carrier", until Seamus points out that Islam has the Noah's ark narrative at which point she admits it's an ark.
  • Helluva Boss: Stolas and Stella don't celebrate their wedding anniversary; they celebrate their "not-divorced" anniversary.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    • When dealing with the Emperor, it's never just Horus; it's always Fucking Horus. He has good reasons to be mad even to this day, however.
    • Marneus Calgar, the Chapter Master of Ultramarines, is not Marneus Calgar — he's Papa Smurf.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Donut insists that his armor is not pink; it is lightish red.
      "They have a word for that. PINK!"
    • And Doc isn't a doctor. He's a medic. He doesn't actually heal you; he just makes you more comfortable while you die.
  • RWBY:
    • Bartholomew Oobleck is to be addressed as Doctor, not Professor. He worked hard for his PhD.
    • Neptune's not a nerd, he's an intellectual.
    • It's not a dress, it's a combat skirt.
  • The "Só Levando" series.
    • In a season, a hospital was illegally recycling gauze. The employee in charge of collecting the used gauze insisted on describing his job as a "gauze collector" but everybody else called him a garbageman.

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Space monsters are known to exist. Not space aliens, space monsters. They're planet-sized and humanity prays they don't notice the Earth.
  • Blade Bunny. People keep mistaking Bunny for some assassin named Rabbit or Hare or something. It's Bunny!
  • The protagonist of Catena may be named Treiss, but as far as her housemate Bear is concerned, her name is Chinchilla. Full stop. Nobody really knows why, given that she's actually a snow leopard...
  • In Commander Kitty, Moose will have you know he's entered a contest, not a pageant.
  • While most words in cool and new web comic are misspelled all the time, all proper nouns are consistently misspelled a certain way, such as Prospit always being referred to as Prostit. Averted with Sburb, which is never spelled consistently.
  • Dragon Mango has Cherry who can teleport. However, anyone actually calling it that will provoke a correction from her, where she insists she can "pfffft".
  • Dregs: Those aren't guns Mags has, they're "Pneumatic Weapons".
  • Drowtales, Dycle calls it 'courting', expressing the desire to court one as beautiful and smart as Snad. Snad calls it wanting to fuck her.
  • Dubious Company:
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Even after Susan gives up trying to distance the Aberration she and Nanase fought in France from the word "vampire" she insists on referring to it as "the monster". Sarah and Grace continue calling it a vampire though.
    • In one of the canon EGS NP side comics, Susan insists that a fairy doll she just received is an action figure despite the fact that such objects had been referred to as dolls on every prior occasion.
    • Lavender, a US-born member of an extraterrestrial race, strenuously objects to being called an "alien," to the point that Mr. Verres threatens to send Wolf to sensitivity training for doing so.
    • In one of the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot comics, Kevin objects to being called a "minion," instead preferring "assistant." Dan points out that minions are paid more, and Kevin decides he's fine with being a minion.
  • Galaxion has a reasonable example - the planet 76432-69-GM has landmasses exactly like Earth - the protagonists have to remind themselves they are, in fact, on an alien planet.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer!. It gets so ingrained that Krosp once does the correction reflexively without Othar present (before stopping halfway and noticing to his horror what he'd just done).
    • In The Rant rather than the comic itself, hyperlinks are always "elegant and finely-crafted".
    • And the comic itself, which is a part of the Gaslamp Fantasy genre, most definitely not Steampunk.
    • Gilgamesh is very insistent that the little Heterodyne generator is not a lamp. The novelisations state that it is in fact a lamp. It just happens to have other functions as well. The Heterodynes liked building devices with multiple uses, "at least one of which was invariably for surprising people."
    • When Agatha officially announces herself as the new Heterodyne, the Castle is very insistent that she say "tremble and obey!" This is because the Castle is about to ring the Doom Bell, which makes everyone (except the Heterodyne) tremble.
    • Castle Heterodyne also insists that its guardian systems aren't called "devil dogs" but "fun-sized mobile agony and death dispensers".
  • Homestuck:
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! Bigfoots prefer to be called Bigfeet.
  • Inhuman. They're not furries, they're aliens.
  • In the fantasy theme of Irregular Webcomic!, Mordekai is not a thief. He is a "lovable rogue."
  • In Mage & Demon Queen, lamia general Melathia insists that her writing Yuri love stories is not a hobby. It's a side-occupation.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: When the Commander's superiors leave him in a briefing room for hours in an effort to drive him crazy, they blink first when they realize he's making paper stars out of the briefing documents they left behind. The admiral calls it "passive-aggressive defiance," but the Commander insists it is "deliberate, aggressive, non-violent defiance."
  • Medic Pics: The artist insists on calling the inside of the elbow the antecubital fossa - before he's even started medical school.
  • In Nedroid there are no vampires, only Draculas.
  • Pokémon-X: His name is Jim Gai, but you can just call him Gym Guy. Except when he randomly reverses this. It seems that whatever spelling he prefers is the one that the protagonists did not just use.
  • Riverside Extras: The tattoos that girls in the Roses get aren't "ink", they're brands. This is to distinguish themselves from their rival gang the Ink.
  • Jareth in Roommates insists on calling one of the memetic bad habits of his species babysitting in Girls Next Door he also insists on calling his pouting / sulking Glowering Ominously.
  • Sam & Fuzzy. If you're in the Ninja Mafia, does that make you a Ninja Mafioso?
  • Sandra and Woo: The Corrupt Corporate Executive who tries to take Sandra away is insistent that he's not a vampire.
Armin Fish: Man-eaters, please, not vampires. The vampires are in the movie industry and we don’t get along with them very well.
  • Seiyuu CRUSH!: When Kaji learns that one of his gigs involves doing recording for a BL game featuring everyone's characters, KoiZ insists that they're not doing porn, but "erotic vocal entertainment".
  • Silent Hill: Promise doesn't have pages, it has screens.
  • Unsounded's Duane Adelier is not a zombie, thank you very much, he'd much prefer you use the term Galit. (Which is basically 'zombie' in his first language.)
  • In Vattu: It's Lord Morrian.

    Web Original 
  • Adult Wednesday Addams: Wednesday says she is looking for an "accomplice" instead of a boyfriend.
  • During Alpharad's playthrough of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Jo (playing Nabbit) keeps claiming a glitch of some sort happened whenever he fails to take damage, rather than actually acknowledge his character is invulnerable to attacks.
  • The Annoying Orange:
    • That's little apple! (Subverted in that his character name really is Midget Apple.)
    • We're not pistachios. We're mustachios.
  • Bernadette Banner, for all of her sewing skills, insists that she’s not a seamstress, tailor or even a fashion designer, but a fashion historian.
  • The Cry of Mann: Berry like the fruit, Jouglat like the plant.
  • Dad insists on referring to pancakes as "little towels", even after Daughter corrects him.
  • Dreamscape: Vampire Lord does not SUCK blood, he laps!
    • Dylan's Mechelly always refers to Dylan as her Link.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Though Future Trunks refers to 17 and 18 as "cyborgs", which is in fact the correct term, Goku insists on referring to them as "androids".
      Future Trunks: Two creatures will appear. A pair of man-made monstrosities; half-human, half-machine! [...]
      Goku: (gasp) Androids?
      Future Trunks: Actually, the technical term is "cyborgs"...
      Goku: Androids!
      Future Trunks: (Beat) Look, my point is...
    • When Cell calls 17 and 18 "cyborgs", Piccolo follows Goku's example and tells him that they call them "androids". Cell responds with "Well, good for you; you're wrong!"
    • Comes up shortly after that when Cell tries to absorb Android 16, assuming he's a cyborg like 17 and 18.
      Cell: (after failing to absorb 16) What are you made of, pure metal?!
      Android 16: Affirmative. I am Android 16.
      Cell: Oh... Errors have been made.
    • In spinoff HFIL Goz and Mez insist on calling the villains trapped in HFIL 'morally compromised malefactors', because villains imply that they're stuck there forever, and Goz and Mez are trying to reform them.
    • In the "Buu Bits" done for Totally Not Mark's review of Dragon Ball Z's Buu Saga, Vegeta absolutely refuses to call Kakarot "Goku". So much so that, when they fuse into Vegito, their entire segment is Vegito trying to force themself to say "Goku" and absolutely failing.
  • DSBT InsaniT: From episode 3 onwards, the creator is not referred as 'Vexusdylan', but 'Vexusdylan DA SECOND'. Andy is usually the one to enfore this rule.
  • In Echo Chamber's "Trope Of The Week" episode Unresolved Sexual Tension Dana and Tom are trying to discuss their characters separately from themselves, in order to keep themselves distant from their roles. It leads to a lot of "I will... I mean she will..."
  • The Game Grumps almost always refer to instant extra-life items as "one-mans", a combination of "one-up" and "free-man".
  • When Tama announces that Ranjeet's about to go chatting in Hector's World, Ming says, "Instant messaging actually!".
  • Highcraft: The back and forth Joko and Cooper have in "2b2stoned" about Joko's "gooning shack", and what the word "gooning" means.
    Joko: You guys are in here talkin' about jerking off! It's a gooning shack!
    Cooper: Yeah, and what does that mean, Joko?
  • The leaders of the seasteads in In Golden Waters prefer to be called "captains of industry" and not pirates, slavers, or robber barons.
  • In the Jake and Amir episode Staycation, Amir insistently calls the trip to Mexico he booked a "staycation" despite that not being what the word means.
  • Kingdom Smarts: When reviewing the Mulan stage of Kingdom Hearts II, Shannon refers to Li Shang exclusively as "Bisexual Icon Li Shang". The one time she doesn't, she backtracks to say it properly.
  • Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on Twitch and YouTube. In "Scammer Loses His Mind Over $3,00,000," the scammer asks why Kitboga hung up. He tells the scammer that he didn't hang up, that he disconnected the call. "It's different than hanging up."
  • Old Man from The Legend of Neil: "You may call me... '*Old* Man'."
    • It also applies to Old Man's brother... who is also named "Old Man".
  • The crew of Linus Tech Tips refer to hoverboards as "swegways", due in part to their similar method of operation to the segway.
  • In Lovelace ˝, Andi is "Miss Gannett-Moore", not "Miss Moore" or "Miss Gannett".
  • In Triumphant Return! by Matt Santoro, Matt says that he got some "cool social media cards" made for him. Big Shine says that they're "business cards". Matt corrects him, explaining that they don't have any personal information. Big Shine gets even madder, and knocks down Matt.
  • The fans of Mike & Tom Eat Snacks are not viewers. They can't be after all. What they are is debatle, but they are not viewers. Whenever Mike or Tom make that mistake the other one corrects him.
  • Nobody Here: "Alive" has Jogchem asking the reader to call a fly by its proper name (Calliphora vicina) and insist that it's not dead, but rather "vitally challenged".
  • Noob has a Captain Ersatz of Jack Sparrow, who, obviously, insists on being called "captain".
  • Roanoke Gaming refers to weapons as "boomsticks" or "handhelds" and death as "bodied," "game end," or "game over" in order to avoid tripping YouTube's demonitization censors.
  • Tobuscus' friend, Gabe, would like everyone to know that his nickname is "Gabe-uscus", not "Gaybuscus". Too bad Toby insists on pronouncing it without the pause. Parodied in Tobuscus Animated Adventures when he insists on the pronunciation even as Zombie!Toby is eating him.
  • Unraveled: Played for Laughs in an episode; "I'm Brian David Gilbert, safety fan and bureaucratic wunderkind. Please address me as such."
  • In Welcome to Night Vale virtually everything is referred to the same way every time it comes up and nothing is ever shortened. Some examples include:
    • "John Peters, you know, the farmer"
    • "Larry Leroy, out on the edge of town"
    • The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home
    • Wheat and wheat by-products
    • The Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex
    • Hiram McDaniels, who is literally a five-headed dragon.
    • The Shape in Grove Park that No One Acknowledges or Speaks About
  • Larry Damone, in the Whateley Universe, is a mutant with the codename "The Man Called Vengeance". He can't get people to stop calling him just "Vengeance". His team leader Fantastico calls him "Vengie", which really bugs him.
    • The school administration adamantly puts its foot down when people call Whateley Academy a Superhero School; they have a strict policy of neutrality to uphold, after all.
  • Lewis Brindley of the Yogscast had a habit of calling Minecraft's skeletons "skeletal archers" for a while.
  • Tom Fawkes usually refers to the male Wii Fit Trainer as 'Darryl' in his Custom Smash videos. The same happens with Mario's purple coloration when under the command of ProtonJon, who uses the name of the color's basis (Waluigi).

    Western Animation 
  • The American Dad! episode "Jenny Fromdabloc" has Snot dating Roger's latest persona, and then revealing that they're having sex which he only ever refers to as "Sniz on the reg." Steve hates the way Snot phrases this and at one point snaps at him to stop.
    Snot: And you're jealous that I'm getting sniz on the reg!
    Steve: Stop SAYING that!
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake's mythology teacher and minor antagonist Hans Rotwood insists on being called "Professor", not "Mister".
  • Animaniacs: Whenever someone mentions the Warner brothers, expect Dot to pipe up with "And the Warner sister!"
    • Another variation shows up in "Broadcast Nuisance".
      Slam Fondlesome: I will not have my broadcast interrupted by a bunch of little kids!
      Yakko: We protest you calling us "little kids"! We prefer to be called "vertically-impaired pre-adults".
  • The Archer episode "Skytanic" has the repeated insistence that the titular ship isn't a zeppelin, but a rigid airship filled with helium. Archer never gets it, constantly referring to the thing as a hydrogen-filled death trap.
    Lana: ...and what part of that are you still not getting?
    Archer: Well, obviously the whole concept, Lana! We didn't all go to science camp!
    • EVERYONE refers to Trinette's son as "the wee baby Seamus." Every. Single. Time.
      • Also done with regards to Trinette herself in the episode "Training Day", who is a call girl. When Cyril thinks he accidentally killed her, Archer calls her a hooker because "...when they're dead, they're just hookers."
    • Ray's brother Randy isn't a drug dealer, he's a drug farmer
    • It's not YYZ it's YY Zed.
    • Mallory will let you know that she is not racist, she is elitist, she treats every subserviant like crap, no matter their skin-color.
  • Don't call Dr. Gangreen from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! a Mad Scientist. He gets mad at you. He's an evil scientist!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender
      • The first episode has both Katara and Aang insist that what they do isn't magic; it is bending. Thankfully, nobody ever tried to sell that distinction again.
      • Sokka insists he does not have a ponytail; it is a Warrior's wolftail.
      • It's not "piracy", it's "high-risk sea trading".
      • And it's not a dance, it's an ancient, sacred firebending form. Called "The Dancing Dragon".
    • The Legend of Korra: Varrick allegedly committed the crimes of arson, kidnapping, terrorism, and grand larceny. ALLEGEDLY.
      Varrick: Never convicted!
      Asami: That's because you escaped before the trial.
      Varrick: I didn't escape; the Universe decided to set me free!
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • Dr. Champ is not a therapist, he's a therapy horse. The distinction actually becomes important, as a therapy horse is not bound by physician/patient privilege, meaning Dr. Champ was free to sing like a canary to Paige Sinclair about all of Bojack's dirty secrets.
    • Character Actress Margo Martindale is always referred to as...well, Character Actress Margo Martindale. No word on whether it's her or Hollywoo that does the insisting.
  • The Boondocks features recurring character "A Pimp Named Slickback", who gets flustered whenever people refer to him simply as Slickback and constantly has to correct them. A Pimp Named Slickback actually makes this correction a part of his introduction in one episode: "Please say the entire thing. Yes, that includes the 'A Pimp Named' part. Yes, every time."
  • The Bots Master: Despite the implications of the title, they're BOYZZ, not bots. Calling them "bots" is basically their Berserk Button.
  • On Camp Lazlo, when Chip and Skip agree with Edward's notion that they hate bugs, Raj points out that the two of them are giant dung beetles. They insist that they're vermin.
  • Charlie and Lola:
    • When Lola wants to wear the same costume for Halloween two years in a row, she claims that an alligator costume is now a crocodile, which is much more spooky. Charlie, though, insists that she can't wear the same costume two years in a row.
    • In "I Will Not Never Ever Eat a Tomato," Lola insists that she won't eat various foods, but Charlie tells her they're not what she says they are.
      Lola: Charlie! They look like fish fingers to me and I'll never eat a fish finger.
      Charlie: Fish fingers?! They are not fish fingers. (initiates a shared Imagine Spot in which he and Lola are swimming underwater) Lola, they are not fish fingers. They are ocean nibbles from under the sea. (they enter a mermaid supermarket) Mermaids always eat ocean nibbles.
  • In the ChalkZone episode "Madcap Snap", Snap insists on calling his lookalikes "Snips" as he is the ONLY Snap in ChalkZone.
  • The full title of the game "Big Ball" from Chowder. Apparently, it's bad luck not to refer to Field Tournament Style Up and Down On the Ground Manja Flanja Blanja Banja Ishka Bibble Babble Flabble Doma Roma Floma Boma Jingle Jangle Every Angle Bricka Bracka Flacka Stacka Two Ton Rerun Free for All Big Ball by its full name.
  • In Code Lyoko, when Odd Della Robia is called "scrawny" or "skinny", he always corrects them by saying he's "svelte".
  • In the Halloween Episode of Codename: Kids Next Door:
    Numbuh Four: I am not "pretty"! I'm handsome.
  • In Cranberry Christmas, Mr. Whiskers and Cyrus Grape get into an argument over who owns a nearby body of water, and whether or not it is a pond or a cranberry bog. Any time it is mentioned throughout the special, the other will insist that his term is the correct one. Cyrus even does this to the audience. "That's right; I said pond."
  • The Hacker in Cyberchase insists that people refer to him as "The Hacker", instead of "Hacker".
  • In Dan Vs.:
    Chris: So I'm expendable?
    Dan: Let's just say "non-vital", it's nicer.
  • Fang from Dave the Barbarian: "Not a monkey!"
  • Like Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid (see Literature above), Doug insists that his journal is not a diary.
  • Doug writes in his journal, and in one episode, gets annoyed when people call it a "diary", despite opening the first episode with "Dear Diary".
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • In the episode "Once Upon a Dime" had Scrooge McDuck wearing a kilt and correcting some non-Scots who called it a skirt.
    • Also, Scrooge never makes a "colossal blunder" when making decisions. A "business failure" maybe, but never a colossal blunder. (He's never made a "business failure" either, and never intends to start, but should he ever truly lose money on a poorly done and/or ill-conceived investment or project, that's the term he prefers.)
  • The Fairly OddParents! has Doug Dimmadome, owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome, who will always introduce himself as such. Should someone simply call him "Doug Dimmadome", he will respond, "That's right! Doug Dimmadome, owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome!"
  • On Family Guy, Peter learns he has a black ancestor who was a slave and tries to embrace his roots, adopting the name "Kichwa Tembo", which he insists on being called, until his father-in-law offers him reparations.
    Carter: Not enough? Fine. Make it $20,000. How do you spell Kichwa?
    Peter: Yeah, you know what? Screw the Kichwa. Make it out to Peter. P-E-T-E...
  • In an episode of The Flintstones, Fred is employed as an apartment complex's janitor. "Not janitor! Resident stationary engineer!"
  • As Bender of Futurama puts it when accused of blackmail, "I prefer 'extortion'. The 'X' makes it sound cool."
  • Generator Rex: Bobo the nanite-enhanced, intelligent ape repeatedly insists his diaper is a "simian undergarment".
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Jackie "fell asleep". "Uncle merely resting brain."
  • In Johnny Test, Mad Scientist Eugene insists on being called "Bling-Bling Boy", due to the amount of jewelry he wears. Though in later episodes, Character Development sets in and he stops correcting people, indicating he's accepted that nobody will ever call him "Bling-Bling Boy".
  • Kaeloo:
    • In the episode episode "Let's Play Gangster Poker", each time somebody says that Stumpy lost the cards, he claims that he just "forgot where he put them".
    • Stumpy's little sister Poucave is an aspiring journalist who practices for her future career by spying on people to write about them. Whenever someone calls her out on it, Poucave explains that she isn't "spying", but "investigating".
  • Kim Possible
    • Wade bemoans Kim for calling the genre "Sci-Fi" when it is in fact "Science Fiction".
    • "That's DOCTOR Drakken you dolt!"
    • "It's a housecoat!"
    • "It's called 'outsourcing'."
    • When Kim comments on Ron's "dumb luck", he answers, "Dumb skill."
    • "This building is actually made of cheese."
    • After Shego referred to him as a "college reject", Drakken points out that he's a college dropout — "They let me in; I let myself out."
  • King of the Hill:
    • Hank sells "propane and propane accessories".
    • You don't play bluegrass with a violin (heh). It's a fiddle.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Captain K'nuckles has a prosthetic sittin' muscle, not a prosthetic butt.
  • On Mighty Max Virgil's usual response to being chicken (which happened at least once an episode) was "Fowl, actually."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, specifically "A Dog and Pony Show": "I am NOT whining; I am complaining!"
    • Then of course, there's Trixie, or as she prefers, The Great and Powerful Trixie!
    • The underdog candidate in "May the Best Pet Win" is a not a turtle; it's a tortoise.
    • In "Read it and Weep", there's a brief debate over whether Rainbow Dash was causing a ruckus or a fracas.
    • And in "Magical Mystery Cure", Shining Armour insists that his Tears of Joy at the end are, in fact, "Liquid pride... totally different thing!"
    • "Putting Your Hoof Down" has Fluttershy insisting that "Iron Will's not a monster; he's a minotaur!"
    • "Daring Don't" introduces Daring Do's nemesis Caballeron or "Dr. Caballeron" as he prefers.
    • In "The Beginning of the End - Part 1", Tirek constantly reminds Cozy Glow to address him as "Lord Tirek". When the two of them are transported to Grogar's lair and meet Queen Chrysalis, who addresses him as "Lord Tirek" immediately, Tirek notes to Cozy "See? She gets it."
  • Played for Laughs in The Oblongs when Bob gets injured at Globocide's theme park and their legal team insists he not talk to any lawyers while they try to figure out a way to placate him without him suing for millions. Naturally, he points out that they are lawyers, and...
    "Attorneys:" Heavens, no! We're attorneys!
  • In The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Ghost of Bigfoot", Laurel and Hardy apply at a ski resort for the positions of what Ollie calls "luggage expediters." Stan clarifies, "He means bellhops."
    • Before Stan clarified to the desk clerk that he and Ollie were looking for jobs, Ollie said they were on a business travel.
  • The Patrick Star Show: In "Stuntin'", Patrick's Coconut Meets Cranium sketch is always called his "classic coconut comedy bit".
  • Peppa Pig:
    • In "Grandpa Pig's Train To The Rescue", Gertrude is not a little train, she is a miniature locomotive. In order, this is insisted by Grandpa Pig, Peppa, all the other passengers, then finally Mrs. Rabbit (whose big train had broken down.)
    • In "The Golden Boots", Peppa insists that her boots are "golden," but Suzy feels that they're simply "yellow." They get into an Argument of Contradictions about it.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the Wizard of Oz parody episode, D. Doofenshmirtz (playing the Wicked Witch of the West) is insistent that he's a warlock, not a witch and that his outfit is a robe, not a dress. The credits even list him as "Doofenwitch," with "witch" crossed out and replaced with "warlock".
    • From the episode "Candace Gets Busted": "It's not a party, it's an intimate get-together!"note 
    • Buford wasn't crying. He was sweating through his eyes. Major Monogram later said the same thing in the movie. (see above)
    • Again with Buford when he allowed Doofenshmirtz and his date to enter Phineas and Ferb's platypus-themed restaurant without a reservation. Doof didn't bribe Buford. He, to quote Buford, "caught my attention in a monetary fashion".
    • A downplayed example but Phineas and Ferb are each other's brothers rather than stepbrothers, Candace is Ferb's sister rather than stepsister, Linda is Ferb's mom rather than stepmom and Lawrence is Phineas and Candace's dad rather than stepdad (in fact, it's hard for first-time viewers to tell that the Flynn-Fletchers are a blended family at all).
  • The Inspector from The Pink Panther cartoon series, correcting Deux Deux for his Gratuitous Spanish: "Don't say , say oui."
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • In "Night of a Bazillion Stars," Sean brings his Neil Armstrong figure to the sleepover. Sean insists that he's not sleeping with it, he just wants to keep Neil company.
    • Mitchell isn't "playing" detective, he is one......or so he thinks.
  • A running gag is Rocko's Modern Life is when someone refers to Heffer as a "cow", either Heffer or his father will correct that person in that he's a steer.
  • In an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a Southern Gentleman insists that people call The American Civil War "The War Between The States". This sort of bickering over historical and political terminology is very much Truth in Television. Actually, he gets peeved over any word or phrase that even sounds like "Civil". When the next episode was going to be titled "Civil Defense", he angrily blustered, "War — I say — War between the States Defense!" (Amazingly enough, he's supporting the good guys, who are cast as the Confederate Army, though not by choice.) He relents after the war is reenacted (on the football field) and the South wins.
  • The Angry Scientist from Sheep in the Big City would get especially angry if anyone referred to him as a Mad Scientist. "Angrrrrry! I am an ANGRRRRRRRY scientist!"
  • Wrong Hordak from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power addresses all his allies his "brothers," even though most of them are women. Justified, as his upbringing was in a place with no familial ties, and as part of a One-Gender Race who address each other as "brother." To him, the word probably just means "person I like."
  • From The Simpsons:
    Girl: Milhouse has cooties!
    Milhouse: It's called lice, and it's nothing to be ashamed of!
    • Homer meeting the President of the Globex Corporation:
      Homer: Wow, my boss.
      Hank Scorpio: Don't call me that word. I don't like things that elevate me above the other people. I'm just like you. Oh, sure, I come later in the day, I get paid a lot more, and I take longer vacations, but I don't like the word "boss".
    • In one episode, Lisa points out that she's a perfectly reasonable child in order to stand up for children's rights at the town hall. An onlooker immediately reacts in shock, saying that he'd thought she was a midget. "First of all, they prefer to be called 'little people,' and secondly..."
    • In a parody of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, there was a robot urinal that doesn't like being called a urinal-bot. He prefers to be called "Lava-tron".
    • The man Marge bought a ticket from wasn't a scalper. He was a "dude whose 200 friends did not show up".
    • The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant melts down once, but meltdown is "one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus." Homer saves the plant/town through sheer dumb luck.
    • This exchange in "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)":
      Superintendent Chalmers: I'm bald-ing! Why does nobody honor the "ding?"
      Principal Skinner: I honor the "ding," sir.
      Superintendent Chalmers: What the hell are you talking about?
    • Homer does not want to take a vacation in Florida ("America's wang"). "They prefer the Sunshine State," though.note 
    • When Lisa and Bart unleash a zombie plague on Springfield, he chides her for calling them zombies: "They prefer to be called the living impaired."
    • This exchange from "Treehouse of Horror VII" section The Thing and I:
      Dr. Hibbert: You don't forget a thing like... Siamese twins!
      Lisa: I believe they prefer to be called "conjoined twins".
      Dr. Hibbert: And hillbillies prefer to be called "sons of the soil", but it ain't gonna happen.
    • Lampooned in the "Treehouse of Horror VIII" section The Homega Man:
      Moe: Actually, Homer, we resent being called 'mutants'. We prefer 'freaks'. Or 'monsters'.
    • The writers insist that Waylon Smithers is not gay, he is a "Burns-sexual".
    • Homer's "D'oh!" is always written as "[Annoyed grunt]" in the show's scripts and episode titles, even when punning on "D'oh!"
  • Sofia the First:
    • "The Floating Palace": Oona constantly corrects anyone who refers to her sunken ship hideaway as a "shipwreck."
    • "When You Wish Upon a Well": The wishing well prefers the term "wish-granting water feature".
  • South Park
    • The very first one from Cartman - "I'm not fat, I'm big-boned!"
    • Sea Man regularly insists that people stop calling him "Semen".
    • And from the episode "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers":
      Cartman: The adventuring party saunters forth! The great wizard, the skillful ranger, and the covetous Jew.
      Kyle: I'm a paladin, Cartman!
      Cartman: Jews can't be paladins!
    • In "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery", a Scooby-Doo parody, the band spends most of the episode arguing over what to call the eponymous spirits. According to them, "ghost pirates" are the spirits of dead pirates while "pirate ghosts" are ghosts that decided to become pirates after their deaths.
    • "Bucky Bailey's Bully Buckers, trademark"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "That's MISTER Doctor Professor Patrick to you!"
  • Star Wars Rebels:
  • In Storm Hawks' first episode, the team is registering at the Sky Knight council. The registrar asks if Radaar is a pet, and when Radaar gets mad, Aerrow steps in to explain that Radaar prefers to be called the "mission specialist".
  • "That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" [wheeze]
  • In the Sushi Pack episode "From the Planet Citrus", Kani keeps calling the Ambassador to Citrus "Professor", and he corrects her each time.
  • Buddy Boar would like you to know that he was not "fired" from Taz-Mania. He was "promoted". To director.
  • Teen Titans Go! parodies The Legend of Zelda's equivalent of chickens being called Cuccos in the episode "Video Game References", where Starfire is in an adventure based on the original game and A Link to the Past and a villager insists that her chicken-like creature is called a Coocalacka.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny always follow up with the words "No Relation" whenever they need to introduce themselves together.
  • In one episode of Total Drama All-Stars, Chris keeps calling the Playa (now his private home), a cottage. Every time he does it, Courtney protests that it's actually a mansion. In a later episode, Zoey also calls him out for it.
  • In the animated Trolls de Troy series, Waha is a human girl adopted by trolls, a race of quite hairy humanoids. As such, she's very touchy about being called hairless or mangy, instead insisting that she has a "thwarted pilosity".
  • Dr. Orpheus from The Venture Brothers is a necromancer. Although he'll be the first to admit that he uses that title because Sorcerer or Magician sounds goofy nowadays.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Blunk is no smuggler, he's a retailer.
  • Wonder Pets!: The Wonder Pets had a tendency to refer to any baby animal as a "baby x," i.e. a "baby cow." A baby cow is called a "calf." This occasionally led to ridiculousness, such as a "baby kitten" or worse, a "baby egg."
  • Yogi's Gang: Yogi takes it for an insult if his hobo friend Smiley is called a "bum". Justified because, as Smiley explains it, a hobo looks for work and that makes them different from bums.


Video Example(s):


A ''Companion'' Not A ''Pet''

Jewel is shocked that Blu likes the enclosure they are in and says that she wouldn't expect a pet to understand which Blu responds to by saying that he is not a pet but a companion.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / InsistentTerminology

Media sources: