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Is That What They're Calling It Now?

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Falling in love with the hired help does not meet with your dad's approval, Jan.

The Doctor: The last I heard you were on a date with Penny. What happened?
Bill: The United Nations Secretary-General.
The Doctor: Awesome.
Bill: No, that wasn't a metaphor.
The Doctor: Good, because I really wasn't following it.

Snarky question used to imply that whatever the previous speaker was describing, the real subject matter at hand is sex:

Sweet Young Thing: ...And I've been lobbying heavily among the trustees to see that this new rule is passed!
Evil Mrs. Calhoun: "Lobbying heavily"? Is that what they're calling it now?

Alternate phrasings include "Is that what you kids are calling it these days?" and "Well, I've never heard it called that before."

While not limited to either gender, it does seem to be applied to eager young females most often, usually by older women who may feel threatened by them.

It is often mixed with Accidental Innuendo, with the original speaker literally describing a perfectly true, innocent situation, and the asker mistaking it for an innuendo because of how odd it is.

This happens in many examples of Truth in Television as well: For example, when Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa admitted to having an extramarital affair with a Telemundo reporter who was the Mayor's Office Correspondent for the station, the number of different phrases that "it" could be called expanded into a Hurricane of Euphemisms. ("Covering the mayor's job," "reporting on his affairs," "staying on top of his agenda," "working the beat," etc.)


This can extend to non-sexual subjects, if the subject of the remarker's disapproval is clear. (Kangaroo courts, for example — "We will, of course, be giving you a fair trial." "Oh, is that what you call it?")

See also Have a Gay Old Time and Double Entendre, not to mention "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Wordnote . Contrast Accidental Innuendo, I Need to Go Iron My Dog. Compare Unusual Euphemism, where they actually are saying something dirty.



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    Comic Books 
  • In Spider-Man 2099, Miguel O'Hara, the future version of Spider-Man, is caught by his girlfriend with another woman. He explains "We just... clicked." to which she replies "You clicked? Is that what it's called now?" After further argument, her parting shot is "Click you!"
  • Mr Mxyzptlk, discussing Batman and Robin with Bat-Mite: "Youthful ward? Is that what they're calling it these days?"
  • As the pic suggests, this line comes into play in Marvel Adventures: Avengers, where Janet has a crush on one of her dad's employees.
  • In The Incredible Hercules, Herc uses this line when Namora puts him in an "Atlantean crab hold" during a sparring match. Namora shoots back an Ironic Echo at the end of the same arc, when Hercules suggests using an Olympian eagle strike in combat.
  • Not so subtly used in a spinoff strip to Batman: The Animated Series. When Harley refers to her and Ivy playing, Batgirl initially, and correctly, thinks they're more than friends. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Incredible Hulks #627, when a mythology expert is briefing NATO on the Power Level of the recently stolen Pandora's Box, her usage of "Hercs" as a unit of measurement for the energy radiated by mythological objects and entities is inquired about, leading to the following exchange. As she mentions later to Banner, she really did date Hercules.
    Dr. Sofia di Cosimo: The god Hercules was the first mythological figure I was able to access and... ah... test.
    General Gladwell: So that's what you kids are calling it these days.
  • Used in an issue of Nova during the Annihilation: Conquest crossover:
    Phalanx: Query, select Gamora: Have you had operational knowledge of this threat?
    Gamora: "Operational knowledge"? I've never heard it called that before. Yes, I've had operational knowledge of Richard Rider.

  • In the Teen Titans fic One Thing Leads to Another, BB says: "Sure you 'talked'. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?" after Robin tells him he and Starfire "had a long talk last night" to resolve an argument that was really hurting the entire team. Of course, Beast Boy, due to his animal senses, is fully aware what this "talk" involved.
  • Naruto: Asunder:
    Jiraiya: [walks by eating ramen and sees Naruto and Hinata in bed] Nice kid.
    Naruto: Ero-Sennin! What are you doing here?! And why are eating my ramen?! I only share my ramen with Hinata-chan!
    Jiraiya: [quietly giving them a once over] So, that's what you wanna call it?
  • Browncoat, Green Eyes:
    Inara: I like to keep my options open.
    Mal: Options? Is that what the kids call it these days?
  • Cold Blood:
    • Harry receives an unsolicited nude photo of a former Hufflepuff.
      Harry: Maybe she's just more friendly than others, huh?
      Hermione: Friendly. Is that what they call it these days?
    • Harry and Hermione spend the night together.
    Hermione: As we're talking about talking business — you know, we were discussing things, this morning, and hatched a plan to f-inally get everyone off our backs, forever.
    Sirius: That's what you kids call "it", these days?
  • Rebuilding Your Life:
    Harry: We need to talk, Charlie.
    Charlie: Oh, is that what you're calling it these days, well then Harry I wouldn't mind us talking.
  • Drag Me Over the Rainbow:
    Sirius: So are you going to see her again? Or was this a shag and run?
    Remus: Yes, I am. I'm teaching her Russian, for Merlin's sake. So get your mind out of the gutter and stop acting like a ten-year-old.
    Sirius: Teaching Russian? Is that what they're calling it these days?
  • Tents, Tea and Rubbish:
    Ron: I'm mentally ill and prematurely balding. Clearly haven't got time for children, and Mummy wants to steal off with Viktor Krum.
    Hermione: Oh, for Merlin's sake, Ronald. It was twenty years ago. We exchanged polite hellos. You were standing right there!
    Ron: Polite hellos? Is that what we're calling it?
  • There's Nothing Sweeter:
    Gwen: Does [campfire call] happen every night? Because I'm afraid I can't bullshit that much cheer in one week.
    Connor: Yes. But it's not mandatory — or supervised. Most of us use the opportunity for stargazing on the Demeter Cabin roof.
    Gwen: Is that what they're calling it now?
  • Volans Orion Lestrange:
    Harry: Ginny and Hermione helped me do a lot of revision.
    Sirius: Revision, right. Is that what they're calling it these days?
  • Per Volar Su Nata:
    Harry: I have been getting acquainted with my fiancée.
    Tonks: Is that what they're calling it these days?
  • Universe Falls: In a flashback in "We Need to Talk", Stan is confused by Greg's talk of wanting to "fuse" with Rose Quartz, and asks "Is this some kind of innuendo or something?"
  • Sometimes It's Worth It:
    Harry: How about an early night? We cuddle in bed?
    Snape: Cuddle, Master, is that what they are calling it now?
  • In The Raven's Plan, this is Myrcella's response when Jaime introduces Brienne as his "good friend", when she's just walked in on them in the middle of The Big Damn Kiss.
  • In the High School D×D/Sword Art Online Crossover Highschool SAO, while Rias' Peerage is training for the rating game against Riser Phenex, Kirito tells Asuna they just need to grind (train) like they did against the bosses, and Akeno asks if that's what they do when they are alone. It takes them a while to understand what she means, and when they do it's Luminescent Blush for both of them.
  • From Rocketship Voyager
    Overlooker Zet: You may return to this docking facility in three trikinn.
    Captain Janeway: We wish to enter now, thank you. My crew seeks trade and cultural exchange with the residents of this space station.
    Overlooker Zet: I have no interest in their personal depravities.
  • In Sickness and in Health:
    Carlisle: Are you still nauseous, love? I can give you some medicine that will help a little.
    Emmett: Medicine, is that what you're calling it?
  • In The Final Curse Theo shows Hermione the Nott Manor library after a date.
    Ron: So, he showed you library, eh? What's that, a new euphemism I haven't heard of?
  • A Sign of Good Things:
    Draco: Of course Luna, don't mind little old me. It isn't as if I've been gone for ages and yet you're still ditching me to go on – Merlin help me – a date. Sweet Luna how you have wounded me.
    Luna: Oh stop it you. I told you, it's a business meeting.
    Draco: Is that what the kids call it nowadays?

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, when Auntie Entity's majordomo tells Max he's got nothing to trade, Max insists that he's got skills they can use. To this, he rather dryly replies "The brothels are full."
  • In body-swap comedy It's a Boy Girl Thing, Woody (Nell's personality in Woody's body, actually) comes downstairs after studying with Nell (Woody in disguise). His father asks him how things with Nell have been going to which he replies "we were studying." The father then merrily applies the trope: "so that's what you call it these days."
  • Last Man Standing (1996):
    Character Narrator John Smith: Strazzi said he had brought the girl along to keep up his morale. That's the first time I had ever heard it called that.
  • The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain: Morgan the Goat claims Betty is "advising me on the refurbishment of my establishment". His girlfriend/mistress replies "Refurbishing your establishment? I've never heard it called that before."
  • Push: Nick does a non-sexual version of this when Cassie uses the term "second-generation mover" to describe Nick. He quips "Is that what they're calling it these days?" This is more because he's a smartass than anything else.
  • In the film made of the Stephen King short story Umney's Last Case, a 1930's private eye swaps places with the modern day author who created him. He opens the door to find a girl with an uncanny resemblance to his Sexy Secretary from the past, dressed in a halter top and shorts, saying she's here to clean his pool. Naturally this leads to a "Is that what they're calling it now?" line.
  • Double subverted in Who Framed Roger Rabbit with the infamous "Patty-Cake". While we are led to believe that "Patty-Cake" is referencing a slightly less innocent act, it turns out that they really are just playing patty-cake. However, it's double subverted back to being played straight, as playing patty-cake is considered a VERY intimate thing by toons.
  • Stand by Me:
    Teddy: Look, you guys can go around if you want to; I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy asses half way across the state and back, I'll be waiting for you on the other side, relaxing with my thoughts.
    Gordie: Do you use your left hand or your right hand for that?
  • Justice League. Bruce Wayne is trying to recruit superheroes for the Justice League, especially Wonder Woman.
    Bruce: I'm only interested in her skillset.
    Alfred: [smirk] I'm sure you are.
  • Not actually stated, but the trope is used in all but words to make a joke about controversial National Security Advisor and legendary Kavorka Man Henry Kissinger in Dick. The main characters, a pair of teenage girls, have been named "Official White House Dog Walkers" by President Richard Nixon to keep them quiet about their (unwitting) knowledge of Watergate, and at one point they are trying to get into the West Wing of the White House but the Secret Service are keeping them out. Kissinger happens to come along and, recognising the girls from the earlier meeting, helpfully goes to try and smooth things over, leading to this little moment:
    Henry Kissinger: It's alright, gentlemen, I'm familiar with these two young ladies. Well, not 'familiar' familiar, I, that is, I, I know them. We discussed foreign policy.
    [The Secret Service agents look around at each other; one of them rolls his eyes knowingly]
    Henry Kissinger: [Indignant] Don't you give me that look!
  • Up the Chastity Belt:
    Lurkalot: Even now she lying with the woodcutter.
    Lady Ashfodel: Nonsense! He just went up there to stoke her fire!
    Lurkalot: That's one way of putting it.
  • In Graduation, Barbara finds Suzy flirting with Carl and tells her to go out back and finish sorting the files:
    Suzy: Can't you see I'm serving a customer?
    Barbara: Is that you call it?
  • In Booksmart, Amy is having some trouble convincing her parents that she and Molly aren't a couple, and that their sleepover is not a euphemism for "marathon sex session" (it's actually a euphemism for "going to a party to see the girl she's actually into").
    Amy: We'll probably just do a Korean face mask.
    Amy's Mom: I don't need to know all the words.
  • Vicki:
    Vicki: I've got a sponsor!
    Jill: If that means what it meant back in Harrisburg..."

  • Moshe Dayan, former Israeli Chief of Staff and later Minister of Defence, was notorious for his womanizing. One joke tells of how he came home late once, and his wife asked him where he'd been; he replied, "Diyunim, diyunim..."note  His wife says, "OK, next time, come home badman."note 
  • A woman in Boston asks a cab driver where she can get scrod.note  The cab driver replies with "I didn't know it had that past tense."

  • In the Newsflesh novel Blackout, Georgia II uses this trope as a snappy comeback.
    Dr. Thomas: You've been sleeping for some time.
    Georgia II: Is that what the kids are calling it these days?
  • In A Storm of Swords, Robb explains his offscreen (offpage?) marriage to Jeyne Westerling by telling his family that she "gave him comfort" after he found out his younger brothers had been murdered. Catelyn (the viewpoint character for the chapter) thinks to herself that she knows exactly what kind of "comfort" Robb is alluding to.
  • In The Age of Innocence, when a character discusses the vices of Count Olenski, he states, "When he wasn't cavorting with women, he was... collecting china. And paying any price for either." A lot of literary analysts took the "china" comment as insinuation that Olenski's lovers included men as well as women — the movie drives it home even further by having the person glance around furtively before making the comment, clearly not wanting to be overheard.
  • The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson. Swesnegard is trying to tell his alien overlord that he planted a miniature Tracking Device in the hair of a journalist before she went to interview the Rebel Leader.
    Swesnegard: When that girl was in the hotel I took the liberty of patting her sweet little head.
    Alien: I am not interested in your sexual depravity.
  • In "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" by Ernest Hemingway, while on an African safari with his wife Margaret, Francis wakes up at night and notices that Margaret is missing from their bed. This tips him off that she's cheating with the hunting guide, especially because she doesn't come back to their tent for a few hours. When she finally returns, Margaret insists that she "just went out to get a breath of air" — to which Francis responds, "That's a new name for it. You are a bitch."

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock:
    Jack: When I was your age, I was putting myself through college in Boston, paddling swan boats for the tourists.
    Kenneth: Is that a euphemism for some kind of sex worker?
  • A non-sexual example from Angel:
    Angel: I'm not here to sing.
    Lorne: Oh, is that what we're calling it now?
  • Arrested Development:
    • George Michael had been hiding his fugitive grandfather in the attic, but Michael suspected he was having sex with a girlfriend. So when George Michael confessed, we got this bit:
      George Michael: I have Pop-Pop in the attic.
      Michael: What?! The mere fact that you call making love "pop pop" tells me that you're not ready.
    • Later on Ann refers to sex as Pop-Pop, completely independently.
    • And so does Rita.
    • And so does George Michael himself, following Michael's usage to describe George Sr. in the same sense George Michael had originally intended, subverting the running gag and bringing it full circle.
  • An episode of Blackadder had the following:
    Percy: I touched her once.
    Blackadder: You touched her what?
    Percy: Her, once, in the corridor.
    Blackadder: I've never heard it called that before.
  • Blake's 7. At the end of "Sand", the crew rescue Tarrant from a Death World, only to find he was trapped down there with their arch-enemy Servalan (and it's strongly implied they had sex). Tarrant points out her affection was likely just a ploy to gain his sympathy in a dangerous situation. Avon responds sarcastically, "And she got it too, didn't she? Your sympathy, I mean?"
  • In the Bones funeral episode:
    Widow: And exactly how many times a week did you respect him?
  • When Richie claims in Bottom that 'my grandfather was a trawlerman you know?' Eddie's reply is 'Oh so that's what they called them in those days was it?'.
  • From Burn Notice, the hero's best friend is commenting on the wisdom of the hero's choosing his (admittedly very well-trained and well-armed) ex-girlfriend for backup.
    Sam: You sure this is a good idea, you hookin' up with her again?
    Mike: I'm not hooking up with her. That's not what's happening. I need her for tactical support.
    Sam: [chuckling] Is that what they're calling it these days? Tactical support?
  • Castle:
    • When Beckett and Castle had hickey-like marks left on their necks by injectors, the following exchange occurred:
      Esposito: Come on, what were you really doing?
      Beckett: It's not a hickey, Esposito.
      Castle: I wish it was. It was left by the injectors.
      Esposito: Injectors? Is that what they're calling it now?
      Ryan: Hey guys. Are those hickeys?
      Esposito: Yes.
      Beckett: No.
      Castle: I wish.
      Ryan: Okay then.
    • In "The Late Shaft", actress Ellie Monroe calls Rick up after Bobby Mann is murdered. Rick tells Beckett that she thought he might like to get together for some "comforting". Beckett responds:
      Beckett: "Comforting?" Is that what the cool kids call it these days?
  • One memorable non-sexual example from CSI is an exchange between Sara and Marjorie Wescott, a defense lawyer, after Sara is asked about a previous case where she had been seen touching someone in a "romantic gesture":
    Sara: I brushed chalk from his face.
    Marjorie: Oh, is that what they're calling it now?
    • Let it be known that, in the aforementioned episode, there was no chalk on his face. Really.
  • CSI: NY: In "Rush to Judgment", Flack discovers that a murder victim had been secretly taking dance lessons to surprise his wife for their anniversary. When Flack tells Mac what he was doing, Mac replies:
    Mac: Private salsa lessons? Is *that* what it's called these days?
  • Doctor Who:
    • There's a running gag regarding the use of the word "dancing" in "The Doctor Dances".
      The Doctor: Relax. He's a fifty-first century guy. He's just a bit more flexible when it comes to "dancing".
      Rose: How flexible?
      The Doctor: Well, by his time, you lot are spread out across half the galaxy.
      Rose: Meaning?
      The Doctor: So many species, so little time.
      Rose: What, that's what we do when we get out there? That's our mission? We seek new life and... and...
      The Doctor: [nodding] Dance.
    • "The Day of the Doctor": The Eleventh Doctor appears through a time portal just as his earlier regeneration is trying to sort out which of two Elizabeth I's is an evil shapeshifting alien. It doesn't help that Eleven knows Ten married Queen Elizabeth I.
      Tenth Doctor: What are you doing here? I'm busy!
      Eleventh Doctor: Busy? Is that what we're calling it, eh? Eh? [...] Look, what you get up to in the privacy of your own regeneration is your business.
      Tenth Doctor: One of them is a Zygon.
      Eleventh Doctor: [makes a face] Eugh... I'm not judging you.
    • "The Pyramid at the End of the World": A budding romance gets interrupted by the UN Secretary-General seeking the Twelfth Doctor to handle the latest end-of-the-world crisis.
      The Doctor: The last I heard you were on a date with Penny. What happened?
      Bill: The United Nations Secretary-General.
      The Doctor: Awesome.
      Bill: No, that wasn't a metaphor.
      The Doctor: Good, because I really wasn't following it.
    • "World Enough and Time": Missy wants to know what the Doctor calls his companions: exposition, comic relief, pets, snacks?
      Bill: He calls us friends.
      Missy: Ew, Doctor! But think of the age gap!
  • A variant is used in an episode of Eureka: Trevor tells Jack that he just went out on a date with Allison. Jack tells Trevor that he's merely "a distraction".. Trevor asks if that's what the kids are calling boyfriends these days.
  • The line is used in Family Matters when Karl's wife and sister-in-law catch him with a woman at a Love Hotel, and he claims they're working. He's telling the truth: the woman is a fellow police officer, and they're meeting some crooks at that hotel room as part of a sting operation.
  • Firefly had one of these, when Mal wakes up a naked, hibernating River in the first episode (played for drama instead of comedy, as a justifiably angry Mal thought Simon was involved in human trafficking):
    Simon: I need to check her vitals!
    Mal: Oh, is that what you call it?
  • On Frasier, when Martin introduces his physical therapist Daphne to his sister-in-law Zora, this is her exact reaction.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • In an episode, Will and Carlton went to a clinic to pick up some reference material for Ashley, who was slamming headfirst into puberty at the time. As the doctor goes to help them, Will and Carlton try to "cover" by loudly announcing that they were looking for material for a book report and checking the building for asbestos, respectively. The doctor later turns to Carlton and says: "Asbestos? Last time I heard, it was called Knockin' Boots!"
    • Not to mention Will's assurance to Carlton that he "won't always be a... German."
  • Friends
    • A kind of... double inversion (as he's both younger than her, and the one trying to be euphemistic):
      Young Ethan: I should probably tell you, I'm not a... uh, that is to say I don't... I've never...
      Monica: Are you a virgin?
      Young Ethan: Well, if that's what you kids are calling it these days, then yes I am!
    • In the episode "The One with All the Resolutions", when Monica and Chandler have a secret relationship:
      Monica: I'll just tell Rachel I'm gonna be doing laundry for a couple of hours.
      Chandler: Laundry. Huh. Is that my new nickname?
    • There was also the flashback episode to when Joey moves in with Chandler, time during which Monica had a crush on Joey. Monica invites him over to drink some lemonade, and while she's distracted serving it, Joey starts stripping:
      Monica: (turning around) Okay, here’s your... penis! Oh my God! What the hell are you doing?!
      Joey: You said, you wanna come in for some lemonade?
      Monica: So?!
      Joey: Whoa, ah! Were you just gonna give me some lemonade?
      Monica: Yeah huh! Cover yourself up!
      Joey: Oh right, right.
      Monica: I don't believe this! When someone asks you in for lemonade, and to you that means they wanna have sex?
      Joey: Well usually... yeah! Well, not just lemonade, iced tea, sometimes juice.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "What Is Dead May Never Die", Renly tells Brienne that he will "pray alone" in his tent. In his next scene, Renly is making out with Loras, his "object of worship", so to speak.
    • In "Kissed by Fire", Olyvar tells Loras, "I should like to see you spar with a proper partner, ser." They end up "sparring" in Loras' bed shortly afterwards.
  • In The George Lopez Show, Carmen tells George that she did "half pipes" with her boyfriend. George assumes she is talking about drugs. She was talking about skateboarding.
  • Used, albeit not with the exact phrasing on The Goodies:
    American Officer: Well, I'll be hornswoggled!
    Graeme: Your personal life is no concern of ours.
  • Grey's Anatomy
    Owen: She just wants to strategise.
    Cristina: At three AM? I bet she does.
  • Harrow: In "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"), Simon is telling Dass about a bet between him and Harrow about how could stand in the new freezer the longest naked:
    Harrow: And I would have won if I hadn't had to take that phone call.
    Dass: Is that what the kids are calling it now?
  • Have You Been Paying Attention?: Following a Mitsubishi promo into which an an image of Tom holding a strategically placed towel had been inserted:
    Tom Gleisner: Just integrating myself with the fine folks at mitsubishi.
    Anne Edmonds: Is that you call it?
  • Horrible Histories: In "Beastly Bodily Functions", two soldiers are standing outside a toilet (actually a secret communications room) while Winston Churchill is discussing D-Day plans with Franklin D. Roosevelt. Only able to hear Churchill's side of the conversation, and believing it is an actual toilet, the soldiers think Churchill is talking to his poo.
    Churchill: This is going to be the largest aquatic landing ever!
    Soldier: I've never heard it called that before!
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • An example arises not out of snarkery but a genuine misinterpretation/hopefulness on the part of Casanova Wannabe Barney. It was actually a Literal Metaphor (or rather, not any sort of metaphor at all).
      Barney: You invited me up to your apartment to "play Battleship". Is that not an internationally recognized term for sex?
    • Another instance is "I'm going to this girl's house and we're going to make juice," to which the cab driver responds "Nice."
    • Marshall even gets to hang a lampshade.
      Marshall: Where are you?
      Barney: Fundraising event. Helping underprivileged young women pay for community college.
      Marshall: Strip club? Nice.
  • On Hudson Street, Tony was excited about meeting his favourite footballer and getting him to autograph a ball. He said something along the lines of "I can't wait to get his John Hancock on my pigskin", causing one of his co-workers to remark "I hope that's not a euphemism".
  • Inversion from The Kids in the Hall
    Woman: I can't believe I fell for that line.
    Darril: What line?
    Woman: You know! "Would you like to look at my etchings?"
    Darril: [gestures towards wall of etchings] So you don't want to see them?
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Used by Olivia Benson to sweat a perp.
    Olivia: Exactly how close were you two?
    Lauren Cooper: He was like a father to me!
    Olivia: Oh, is that what they're calling it now?
To which Lauren Cooper essentially replies, "Are you disrespecting my family?" (For the record, there's no actual evidence the relationship was less than innocent, but Olivia needed a button to push.)
  • On Law & Order: UK, while interrogating a teacher about his relationship with their victim, a murdered high school student, the man claims he "was giving her driving lessons". The disbelieving DS Devlin scoffs, saying, "I've heard it called a lot of things, but not that". It turns out the man is telling the truth. What's more, he's gay and therefore had no sexual interest whatsoever in the girl.
  • Leverage, "The Double Blind Job":
    Hardison: Li'l Jennifer Pearson's wearing you out, ain't she?
    Elliot: Dude, we walked the Freedom Trail twice.
    Hardison: Nice!
    Elliot: No, man, the actual Freedom Trail. We took paddle boats to the public gardens, shopped on Newbury Street, and went to something called the Boston Duck Tour.
  • The Listener (right after Toby has been teasing Oz about how all he thinks about is his new girlfriend):
    Oz: Look, if I do Ryder a favor or two, he could help me switch some shifts and I can sync up with Sandy's schedule.
    Toby: Is that what it's called nowadays?
  • The end of Lost season 2, with the whole "got caught in a net" thing: following weeks of UST between them, Jack and Kate go out on a mission and spend a night in a jungle, being caught in a net among other things. When Sawyer asks what they were doing out there, all he gets is "got caught in a net" reply and mistakes it for sex euphemism. For the several following episodes he sarcastically refers to sex as "caught in the net", until the "A-Team" goes on another mission, where he sees another net trap in a jungle and realizes there was no double meaning after all.
  • On one episode of The Love Boat, Gopher and a woman are in a cabin, chasing after a spider and trying to squash it with their shoes. When Doc opens the door to see what all the ruckus is about, Gopher innocently comments, "We're killing spiders." As Doc leaves, he mutters, "I've heard it called a lot of things, but never that."
  • Morecambe and Wise:
    • Quite a few examples.
      Frank Finlay: I have a long felt want.
      Eric Morecambe: ...There's no answer to that.
    • Some funnier than others.
      Ernie Wise: Have you got the maracas?
      Eric Morecambe: No, it's the way I walk.
    • Some stretching it.
      Ernie Wise: My auntie's got a Whistler.
      Eric Morecambe: Now there's a novelty.
    • And some not.
      Eric Morecambe: A director rang from Hollywood...'Alfred' something.
      Ernie Wise: Hitchcock?
      Eric Morecambe: He might have, I didn't ask.
  • In an episode of The Mysteries of Laura, she is visiting a racetrack to investigate a crime, and noticing a lot of what could be described as "dirty old men" accompanied by comely young ladies, whose companionship is ostensibly obtained via cash or credit cards:
    Laura: Look at these men and their...
    Man: Nieces?
    Laura: Oh, is that what they're calling them now?
  • MythBusters: Used jokingly by Adam in the very first (non-pilot) episode, while making a bullet out of flash-frozen hamburger.
    Jamie: What did you do today, honey?
    Adam: I made a meat bullet. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?
  • NCIS:
    • Excretion instead of sex: Gibbs encouraged Kate to "stay hydrated", specifically to use her as a distraction when she went to the head.
      Gibbs: Go, unhydrate.
      Kate: Never heard it called that.
    • Inverted in another episode, when Ziva doesn't understand what a suspect means when he says someone 'couldn't keep it in his pants.' Tony's explanation involves a tune and some suggestive gesturing. Ziva comes to the conclusion that they're talking about dancing.
  • The Professionals. A deposed African head-of-state is reading in bed, believing that "If a man is not active, he should be gathering information". Later Doyle is talking to Bodie on the RT set as they stand guard.
    Doyle: The Colonel's in bed, gathering information.
    Bodie: So should I be. Had Louise lined up for tonight, you know.
    Doyle: In bed reading, you...priapismic monster!
  • Not quite exact to the trope definition, but series 2 of Robin Hood does include a conversation among the outlaws about euphemisms for couples hooking up.
    Robin: Where's Will and Djaq?
    Much: They said they were going to get some honey.
    John: They'll be back soon.
    Much: If that's what they've gone for. But why does it need two of them, hm? Honey is one of those things.
  • Scrubs:
    • Kind of inverted.
      Dr. Kelso: Last week I was in the mall hanging out at Brookstones when some kid asked me if I was lost.
      J.D.: Brookstone. Looking for gadgets, sir?
      Dr. Kelso: If that's what you call trolling for mall ass, sure.
    • And played straight in this exchange:
      Paul: ...and, I know you wanted me to come in to... you know...
      Elliot: Oh, no no no! I invited you in to see my... fish tank.
      The Todd: Is that what you ladies are calling it nowadays?
      Paul: Careful, Todd.
    • And again when Dr. Cox denies sleeping with his ex, saying that they went into an empty patient's room to "talk". Carla asks if that's what the kids are calling it now and informs him that the room really wasn't empty.
      • Jordan kinda gave it away by saying he "Shouldn't talk so fast." and "Maybe I could finish a sentence."
  • Interesting example in the Smallville Season 4 episode "Spell", when Jonathan finds a stray bra under the hay in the loft, and Clark blurts out that "it was magic", followed by a sarcastic "I'm sure it was" from Martha. While Lana, Chloe and Lois (under the control of three ancient French witches... and yes, it makes slightly more sense in context) did use sorcery to brainwash the guests at Chloe's birthday party, it was an underwear party, and there was at least one other couple Clark bumped into the next morning who had to bolt with clothes in hand. So the example is both played straight (it really was magic) and subverted (but there was probably lots of sex too, just not directly involving Clark).
  • Top Gear (UK) had this gem.
    Jeremy: Guys, problem! I've shoved my anarchy flag through my water lilo!
    Hammond: Nobody's ever said that before!
  • In the Torchwood episode "From Out of the Rain":
    Jack: I need [Ianto's] local expertise.
    Gwen: Oh, is that what you're calling it now?
  • Vera: In "The Blanket Mire", Vera discovers that one of her suspects as an alibi:
    "It turns out he's been carrying on with the landlady. He says they went for a walk. First time I've heard it called that."
  • Wild Boys: Emilia gets one when she discovers her boyfriend Conrad strolling back from the bush with a buxom Farmer's Daughter:
    Conrad: We've just been milking the goats.
    Emilia: I'll bet you have!
  • Would I Lie to You?: During the "This Is My..." round, Daisy May Cooper claimed that the mystery guest was an ex-boyfriend she used to smuggle into the house when she was a teenager. She said they would lie on her bed and "read Goth poetry".
    David Mitchell: That's the first time I've ever heard it described that way!
  • In The Young Ones, Vyvyan lets out a highly articulate outburst with his raging hatred for The Good Life. Neil's father stands up for it, specifically star Felicity Kendall, adding "...and I want to protect her!" Vyvyan snorts "Well, it's the first time I've ever heard it called THAT!"
  • The X-Files. When a New Old Flame of Fox Mulder's asks for his help with a case, this trope occurs:
    Mulder: I was merely extending her a professional courtesy.
    Scully: Oh, is that what you were extending?

  • Argentinian group Les Luthiers does this in some of their their numbers. An example would be their "Dilema de amor (Cumbia epistemológica)", where the reacting chorus mistakes the discipline of epistemology for another word for the act (and keep using it in that sense from then onwards, even turning it into a verb, accompanied by a suggestive movement).
    Daniel Rabinovich: Young people invent new words every day, it looks like they call it "epistemology" now.

  • Red Panda Adventures:
    John Doe: I'd better go. Dr. Anna has been pestering me for some scheduled maintenance.
    Kit: Hmm, is that what they're calling it these days?

    Puppet Shows 
  • On Dinosaurs, Charlene is dumped by her boyfriend, and this is Earl's reaction to the news.

  • In The Diary of Anne Frank, after Anne goes to visit Peter in his room:
    Mrs. Van Daan: In my day it was the boys who called on the girls. Not the girls on the boys.
    Mrs. Frank: You know how young people like to feel that they have secrets. Peter’s room is the only place where they can talk.
    Mrs. Van Daan: Talk! That's not what they called it when I was young.
  • From Grey Gardens The Musical:
    Edith: You're my soul mate, that's what you are.
    Gould: "Soul mate," is that the nom du jour?
  • In Lady in the Dark, Charley insinuates that "color plates" might be the new "etchings":
    Russell: Maggie — either Alison leaves the magazine or I do. This is the end — the absolute end.
    Maggie: Now, Russell...
    Russell: I meant it. She's just calmly loaned my color plates to a friend until Wednesday.
    Charley: Say, that's kind of new... "I'd like you to come up to the apartment and see my color plates."
    Russell: Oh, don't be so Goddamn bright, Johnson — you sicken me.
  • During the spectacular comedy of errors Lend Me a Tenor:
    Tito: I know why you're here.
    Maggie: You do, do you?
    Tito: Yes—you want my autograph.
    Maggie: Oh, is that what they call it in Italian?
  • In Urinetown, Bobby tells Ms. Pennywise he was up all night thinking. Since an earlier scene mentioned taking "a late-night-behind-the-bushes-to-relieve-yourself-for-free kind of walk," she assumes that's what he really meant and admonishes him.

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  • In the MST3K Spin-Off, Cinematic Titanic, in Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks:
    Some Guy: Alright, let's take her in for an Autopsy.
    Joel: Oh, is that what they're calling it now..
  • In Spoony's Campaign, Angry Joe tried to outline a plan to repair the party's reputation with a kingdom that wrongly thought they'd assassinated the king. Said plan involved presenting the head of the actual assassin to the princess, but Joe kept making Innocent Innuendo, for which the others ribbed him mercilessly ("Just because I'm taking a dude up to my room, and showing him my head, doesn't mean..."). When Joe tried to clarify that he would give a severed head, Y: Ruler of Time remarked "Is that what they're calling it now? That's gotta be some sort of new BDSM practice."
  • JonTron responds to Cedric the Owl mentioning "some old leftover fairy dust I've been carrying around" as follows:
    Jon Tron: Is that what the kids are calling it nowadays? [mumbling] I mean the '90s... 'cuz this came was made in the '90s... so I can't use that jo

    Western Animation 
  • A variation occurs in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Something Smells". After getting bad breath, SpongeBob is led by Patrick to believe that he's ugly, and decides to admit it by shouting "I'm ugly and I'm proud!" repeatedly on the rooftop of his pineapple.
    Squidward: [overhearing while tanning] Is that what he calls it?
  • In Transformers: Beast Wars, Silverbolt returns from a scouting run, in which he actually met with his still-evil lover Blackarachnia. Rattrap asks him, "Find any new positions?"
  • Murdoc Niccals of Gorillaz mentioned in a radio interview that his bandmate Russel had mentioned he'd been "living in Ike Turner's basement" and Murdoc had assumed it was an Unusual Euphemism. Turns out Russel had, in fact, been living in Ike Turner's basement.
  • Archer is sent to Miami to seduce a male Cuban spy, and gets coached how by a gay couple. After he's been at a cockfighting venue:
    Rudy: Then where were you all night?
    Archer: Way the Christ out in the Everglades burying some Dominican guy's rooster!
    Charles: Fun!
    Archer: ...Wha—?
    Charles: Oh, you meant literally.

    Real Life 
  • In the 1970s in the UK, a female journalist who had been in a bedroom with a former Ugandan cabinet minister during a dinner party claimed they had been "discussing Uganda". The satirical magazine Private Eye used "discussing Uganda" or "Ugandan relations" as an Unusual Euphemism for years afterwards.
  • This happened with South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. His initial explanation for his disappearance (to visit his mistress in Argentina) was that he had been "hiking the Appalachian Trail", and some commentators explicitly referenced the "discussing Uganda" incident as a comparison.
  • Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham has used this in an act with his dummy, Walter.
    Jeff: If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?
    Walter: [long pause] "Choke a Smurf"?
    Jeff: Yeah.
    Walter: Is that what they're calling it now? What happened to the chicken?
  • At the 1955 Worldcon, guest of honor Isaac Asimov was sitting at the dais as the Hugos were being handed out. One of the winning authors was unable to attend, and editor Judith Merril accepted for him. The presenter announced this by saying, "In his absence, the award will be accepted by Judy Merril, by whom he has been so often anthologized." Asimov turned to the person next to him and said, "Anthologized? Always euphemisms." Unbeknownst to him, the microphone in front of him was live, and the hall erupted in laughter at Merril's expense. Asimov was horrified, and for the rest of the weekend (while the other attendees were saying "Anthologize you!" and "Go anthologize yourself!" to each other), he was afraid that Merril would kill him the next time their paths crossed. To her credit, she forgave him.
  • In professional football, some infractions haven't changed. Just the names of the infractions. "Offsides" fifty years ago is now "neutral zone infraction" while "illegal procedure" is now "false start."

Alternative Title(s): Is That What They Are Calling It Now