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Jive Turkey

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"I'm so hip, I have trouble seeing over my own pelvis. I'm so cool, you could keep a side of meat in me for a month!"

Slang is funny!

The way to capitalize on this funny is to introduce a hip, streetwise character who speaks entirely in a ridiculous urban dialect that is almost (or entirely) incomprehensible by the suburban "honkeys" at whom the show is aimed.

Generally, any slang involved will be at least five years out of date (or more), because it takes about that long for it to bubble up (or sink down) to the TV writers. It will also be toned down to remove profanity and vulgarities.

For extra comedy, the character who speaks in slang should be for some reason unable to stop speaking in slang, as if it were a foreign language. He'll insist on speaking only in impenetrable slang even in contexts where even the least streetwise punk would realize he'd get farther if he lightened up a bit.

The lightest form of this will involve a character trying to high-five a "square" (or some other "hip" handshaking alternative), who has no idea at all how to return the gesture or does know but finds it ridiculous and annoying and only returns the gesture to avoid being rude. This at least is Truth in Television.

For extra bonus points:

Generally, by the end of the episode, our hero will have gained a new respect for the slang-speaker, and the last line of the episode will be the hero using some line of slang correctly, demonstrating that he is now hip to their jive, homies.

If hip streetwise folks ever spoke like that, they certainly don't now. Because the speakers are generally of a darker complexion than the regulars, this probably feeds the stereotype that persons of color are inarticulate (and that persons of non-color are tongue-tied and boring), even though street lingo can be quite elaborate. (Indeed, Muhammad Ali is universally recognized as one of the most eloquent athletes of his generation, inspiring a lot of modern-day Trash Talk.) Thankfully, this is now a Discredited Trope. Unfortunately, it proves to be quite the resilient Undead Horse Trope and is still actively used in sitcoms and kid shows.

Compare Totally Radical when the writers use outdated slang to appeal to a younger demographic and Speaking Like Totally Teen when a character uses outdated slang to sound cool and fails. Also see Pretty Fly for a White Guy. Often afflicts a Disco Dan. Not to be confused with Buffy Speak.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the OVA crossover between .hack//SIGN and the R:1 Games, Balmung says "This shindig looks like the bomb-diggity!" to the other characters' shock.
  • Paltenon, of The Five Star Stories often speaks in impenetrable jive, especially when operating the Jagd Mirage. This is not so much because she's black as because she's violently insane.
  • Eureka Seven has Moondoggy. In one episode, he launches a string of slang intended to explain something to Renton, who promptly asks the other character in the room for a translation. It's a Shout-Out to Gidget, which also had a character named Moondoggie that spoke in impenetrable slang.
  • Samurai Champloo had one; he rapped into his sword hilt.
  • Full Metal Panic!: In the episode "A Hostage with No Compromises", The student council president must translate from street slang to military terms for Sousuke and then back again; seeing him speak street slang is hilarious, it's so unlike his cultured personality.
    • Especially when he begins a response with "Listen, bitch" in the exact same polite tone he always uses.
  • In One Piece, during the part in the Davy Back Fight where Luffy wears an afro wig, Luffy, Usopp, and even the normally-stoic Robin speak like this.
  • Takarada from Kill la Kill is one in the dub, as an adaptation of his Kansai Regional Accent.
  • In High School DD, Koneko talks like this in the dub. It makes sense if you recall that she likes hip hop music.
  • Okabe from Steins;Gate does this in the dub when trying to find the owner of an odd button. His latest inquire states he doesn't speak jive, prompting Okabe to drop the act, which mildly disturbs Suzuha.
    Suzuha: I can't believe you just said "word to yo motha" to this guy, you freak.

    Comic Books 
  • Luke Cage: Hero for Hire: Luke "Sweet Christmas!" Cage. He uses strange expletives like that because he promised his grandmother he wouldn't swear. Since Cage has been modernized somewhat in New Avengers, his euphemistic tendencies are subverted more often than not. ("Sweet f&#$%g Christmas!")
  • Fantastic Four: Any version of Ben Grimm who did not speak in thick 1940's era Brooklynese would not be Ben Grimm. Ya got that, ya bunch a' lousy mooks?!
  • Tom Strong: Solomon, a verbally gifted creature of the simian persuasion, espouses quite singularly in the vernacular one might expect of a British gentleman late of The Gay '90s, eh wot? Humorously, a look into the future of 2050 shows that his son Augustus speaks solely in slang from the 1950s, pops.
  • Go-Go Chex from The DCU and especially Ambush Bug: Year None. Let's just say he's one hip swinger, Clyde, and leave it at that.
  • Blade: Prior to the 90's, Blade was a fro sporting, bright clothes clad, jive and trash talking kinda guy.
  • In Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, an alien named Goom from another dimension talks like this. Justified because he learned English from MTV. As a comment says, "The whole gangsta speak is as ridiculous as Teen Titan's 70's hip speak, the only difference being that the writers make Spidey aware that it's ridiculous."
  • Cheng Bo Sen in Gun Fu speaks entirely in ridiculous hip-hop lingo that was stale by the time it came out in 2003... but the comic is set in 1936. And nobody comments on his bizarre speech pattern.
  • The Avengers: Played for laughs in a few 1970s stories; after The Falcon grudgingly joins the team on the orders of Henry Gyrich (who wanted to make it more ethnically diverse), he speaks this way on purpose to annoy Gyrich.
  • Green Lantern: John Stewart's first appearance in Green Lantern (Volume 1) #87.
    John Stewart: I refuse to wear any mask! This black man lets it all hang out! I've got nothing to hide!
  • A lot of Vaughn Bode's characters talk like this.
    Cheech Wizard: ...You got to harmonize yer complex. Be all.
    A random lizard: But, is I down an out?! Not on yer life!...Dis is one little lizard dat got spunk an heart...Things can't get any worse.
  • Icon: Buck Wild, with phrases such as "Sweet Easter!" and "Aunt Jemima's do rag!". It turns out this is because he suffered brain damage back in the '70s. Dwayne McDuffie was actually noted for his intense dislike of the Luke Cage character due to it's perpetuation of the "urban" stereotype.
  • Black Lightning: In some early stories, the titular hero talked like this. As with his afro wig, it was so no-one would connect him with mild-mannered teacher Jefferson Pierce.
  • Amalgam Universe: Parodied in All-Access when 60's nerd Beast meets '90s teen Superboy...and neither could understand what the other was saying.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Shoebox Project Sirius does this to Remus at the opening of Part 23.
    Sirius: Moony, I am getting the distinct impression that you are not hip to my jive. Are you or are you not hip to my jive?
    Remus: Something is wrong with your brain.
  • Devin from Total Drama School speaks almost entirely in jive.

  • '70s/'80s TV examples may be influenced by "Blaxploitation" films, which were often...less than pleasant in this respect.
  • Tropic Thunder: Alpa Chino calls Kirk Lazarus out for this during the "filming".
  • Airplane!: A gag repeated in both movies: two passengers speak only in jive, and can only be understood via an elderly white lady — "Oh, Stewardess! I speak jive." The comedic effect of having English subtitles is sometimes lost when TV showings omit the subtitles; the subtitling reveals their conversation to be perfectly sensible.
    • This one is made even funnier in the German dub. Seeing an elderly woman converse with two Afro-Americans in a very thick Bavarian accent is hilarious.
    • Ditto in the Latin American Spanish dub, when those characters are speaking with over-the-top Cuban accents.
    • It's also Barbara Billingsley, a.k.a. June Cleaver from the most white-bread and square show ever, Leave It to Beaver, as the jive-talking lady.
    • Hilariously reversed in a "Making of" anniversary TV special, when the black actors spoke plain English and they subtitled them in Jive.
  • Hilariously played straight in Stormy Weather (1943) where Cab Calloway speaks some serious jive, and confuses the older Bill.
  • Pootie Tang: The title character takes this trope to its incomprehensible extreme.
  • Black Mama, White Mama, being a 70's exploitation film, indulges in this. The word "Jive" comes up several times, but never Turkey unfortunately...
  • Played with in Goldmember, where Austin Powers and his father Nigel Powers have a conversation nearly entirely in Cockney rhyming slang. Subtitles keep up for a while, but are eventually reduced to "?????????????????...tea kettle!" Bonus points for Michael Caine being Cockney in real life.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • The first movie:
      • Jazz does this entirely during his introduction and occasionally through the film, though it's mostly due to his learning English via the internet, and also as he's always been the Autobot most into absorbing "hip culture."
      • Sam's mother spoke of giving her dog jewelry by painfully claiming that she was "giving him some bling"; though in all probability, the audience was supposed to be laughing at her and not with her.
    • There's the twins in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, who subsequently got bashed for it.
  • Basher Tarr in Ocean's Eleven delivers several lines in an impenetrable mix of Cockney rhyming slang and technical jargon. Examples include:
    Basher: That poxy demo crew haven't used a coaxial feed to batten the main line, have they? Instead they've gone and nosed up the backup grid, nosed it right up!
    Reuben: [to Livingston] Do you understand any of this?
    Basher: So unless we intend to do this job in Reno, we're in barney.
    [everyone pauses]
    Basher: Barney Rubble.
    [they look bewildered]
    Basher: Trouble!
    • For the record, you'd have a lot of trouble finding anyone English who actually talks like that. Unless they're being played by Dick Van Dyke.
  • In The Limey, Terence Stamp's character occasionally speaks a bit of Cockney slang, forcing him to repeat himself and explain the word.
    • At one point, after a particularly grievous monologue:
      Head DEA Agent: There's one thing I don't understand. The thing I don't understand is every motherfuckin' word you're saying.
  • Parodied in Semi-Pro when Will Arnett's character goes nuts during a poker game when he is called a "jive turkey''.
  • Seen in Better Off Dead, when Lane's father is trying to use slang, but gets the prepositions all wrong, resulting in gems like "Mellow off", "Bringing me over", and "Right off!". Made worse, perhaps in that he's reading these phrases from a book about how to talk to teenagers.
  • There's actually a film called Jive Turkey. As you might imagine, it's full of this trope.
  • Black Dynamite is a parody of Blaxplotiation films and is, predictably, full of this.
  • Jax in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. "You gon' fight Shao Kahn in his crib?" Ugh... It's especially ear-wrenching to hear because his video game counterpart doesn't come across that way at all.
  • In A Song Is Born, Buck and Bubbles (and later, Honey and the other musicians) introduce the professors to a whole new way of talking, as well as a new kind of music. It comes in handy at the end, as they use their new hep cat lingo as Spy Speak to outwit the gangsters.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Mikey talks in a more 'urban' slang style than the 'surfer' slang he's usually been associated with. Interestingly enough, this is not only a modernization but a Development Gag from the 87 show before it was ultimately decided they should be Totally Radical.
  • R.O.T.O.R. has Shoeboogie, a (self-described) Apache who talks like a character from a blaxploitation film.
  • Nothing to Lose has the unlikely team-up of T-Paul, a would-be robber, and Nick, a down-on his luck family man. While T-Paul usually only plays up the jive turkey aspects of his "tough black thug" persona, Nick still blows it out of proportions when he's annoyed with T-Paul (which is frequently).
  • The first guy to see Superman in costume in Superman: "Say, Jim, WOOOOO! That is one bad out-FIT!"
  • In the comedy They Call Me Bruce?, Bruce and Freddy run into trouble with a New York street gang. Bruce tries using a book titled Jive Talkin' by Yo Mama to speak their language. They're not impressed at first, but end up teaching Bruce how to speak jive properly.
  • The Robert Townsend comedy Hollywood Shuffle spoofs this with the Jive Talk 101 class in "Black Acting School", where black actors are trained by a white teacher to "talk black".

  • Subverted by the character of Yo-less in Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a black character who makes a particular point of not speaking in a stereotypical manner and acquired his nickname through never having used the word "yo".
  • Discworld series
    • Parodied in Soul Music when the wizards, under the influence of Music With Rocks In, start using 1950s slang. Ridcully is as immune to slang as he is to quantum physics lingo, and comments that the Dean's cool new trousers are "better than a thick robe in this hot weather."
    • Reaper Man, the Dean gets some sort of military-Rambo complex and cannot stop saying "yo" at every possible opportunity. Until Ridcully threatens him with a lengthy and dire punishment unless he stops saying it. The Bursar, always a step behind everyone else, finally manages a "Yo-yo."
  • Spook in the first book of the Mistborn series speaks solely in "Eastern street slang." It's all but incomprehensible, even to people in-story.
  • Forgotten Realms: Planescape slang. Looks dangerously brain-entangling when used in non-Planescape story. E.g. when in Finder's Bane characters travel to Sigil, every basher around immediately hear these berks are Clueless.
  • The three members of Able Team (a Heroes "R" Us action series from the 1980's) would speak jive (or sometimes bad Spanish) when they wanted to exchange information without English-speaking foreigners being able to understand them.
  • Peter Wheatstraw in Invisible Man. "Is you got the dog?"
  • Most of the cannibalistic(!) African-American characters in Lucifer's Hammer talk like this.
  • In Daniel Pinkwater's ''The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death'', there's a union organizer from a banjo pick factory who speaks entirely in jive. His main plot function is to allow the protagonists to meet the Chicken Man, who translates the organizer's speech from jive into something more comprehensible.
  • In Mr. Mercedes, otherwise well-spoken Jerome (who's in his late teens and black) affects an Ebonics-speaking persona named "Tyrone". This intensely irritates most people around him. He seems to have grown out of it by the next book in the Bill Hodges trilogy, Finders Keepers, which takes place a few years later.

    Live Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: Orville Mason, a dance instructor who hangs out at Elmer's Malt Shop, in "The Mambo". Walter Denton chose to describe Mason as a "jive hound" instead of a "jive turkey".
  • In one episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Bobby Fleet and His Band with the Beat come into town. After hearing the band members communicate in Beatnik slang, Barney Fife tries imitating their jargon, calling Andy "Chicky."
  • In Arrested Development, Gob has a ventriloquism act. He gives his puppet, Franklin, a jive turkey mode of speech, along with a slew of other racist characteristics.
  • Starsky & Hutch: Quintessentially, the character of Huggy Bear.
  • Knight Rider, Gemini Man and MacGyver all ran into such characters.
  • The WWE tag-team Cryme Tyme is another extreme example of this trope (exaggerated for comedic effect), and a vignette with Degeneration X managed to hit two out of three bonus points, with Shawn Michaels speaking fluent hip-hop slang (even admonishing Triple H to "let me handle this, I speak Jive", an obvious Shout-Out to Airplane!), and Triple H playing the dorky white guy who spouts a slang word and gets laughed at.
    • WWE offers another (somewhat subversive) example in Theodore R. Long, general manager of Smackdown, who, despite talking like a complete jive turkey, dresses in business suits and is a well-respected authority figure.
  • A mild version occasionally features in Scrubs, where J.D. is sometimes confused by Turk's slang, and sometimes attempts to talk to him in his own idea of black slang. There's nothing excessive about Turk's use of slang, but J.D. is so clueless the trope happens anyway. Subverted in the episode "Her Story", when Elliot and her friend Molly ("the two whitest chicks in America") corrected Turk's inaccurate "translation" of rap lyrics.
    • Scrubs seems to get on well with this one. When Carla's brother Marco is first introduced, he (apparently) speaks only Spanish. Later in the episode, he and Carla are conversing in Spanish in front of Turk, who responds by speaking in his own 'secret language', involving adding 'izzle' to the end of everything... Carla hasn't a clue what he's talking about.
  • Subverted in (original) V (1983) with Elias Taylor talking in jive and his respectable brother, Benjamin, who talks in perfectly erudite English, tells to stop using such bad grammar in a "poor man's Richard Pryor act."
  • In the QI episode "Cockneys", Stephen announces that "any flamencos you give in Pyong score Barney, and I'll also give you two Sundays..." before Alan Davies, an Essex native, asks him "What the fuck are you talking about?"note 
    Stephen: If you woman...
    Bill Bailey: "Woman"?
    Stephen: "Woman who does" — "buzz."
    Phill Jupitus: "Woman who does"? Oh, we're doing middle-class Cockney rhyming slang!
    Stephen: It was all I could think of!
  • Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus with the RAF Banter sketch, where none of the pilots or officers can understand a word of what the others are saying. Made all the funnier by the characters seeming to be aware of the problem but helpless to do anything about it:
    Squiffy: No, I'm just not understanding banter at all well today. Give us it slower!
    Squadron Leader: Banter's not the same if you say it slower, Squiffy.
  • How I Met Your Mother introduced a concept called "Revertigo" where, when people who knew each other in the past are reunited, they start talking and acting the way they did when they knew each other. Cue Lily and her high school friend Michelle suddenly speaking in Jive Turkey whenever they're in a room together.
  • On the US version of The Office, Darryl is fond of pranking Michael by making up ridiculous "black man phrases" to teach him.
  • Similar to the Office example, on NewsRadio Bill has an endorsement deal with a malt liquor brewery and delivers his on-air spots with ludicrous Pretty Fly for a White Guy patter. This offends Catherine on a number of levels, so she tells him that his slang is a little dated and feeds him some made-up nonsense slang that winds up getting him fired as spokesman.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a notable example in it's first series in the episode "Sophomore Jinx". Detective Brian Cassidy spent most of his time in the unit out of his depth, and gave the audience another laugh at his expense when he interviews a black student on the college basketball team about a rape homicide. He invokes this trope and is gently pushed aside by his partner who tries asking the question again in English. The look the student gives Cassidy is pure pity.
  • The local beat cops Hoppy and Smitty on Sanford and Son. Hoppy, the whitest of white guys, would try to speak jive and get it wrong, or would deliver a line of copspeak with a gratuitous big word or two for good measure causing Fred and everyone else to give him a blank look and then turn to Smitty for a translation.
    Hoppy: All right, let's crack!
    Smitty: You mean "split".
    Hoppy: Uh, right, split!
  • Parodied in an episode of Community. The main characters are playing a video game designed by a [dead] old racist. One level has Jive Turkeys as enemies.
    Pierce: Let's carve that jive turkey!
  • 1970's bittersweet BBC sitcom Butterflies focused, as BBC sitcoms tend to, on the usual sort of mum-dad-and-two-kids affluent middle class family living in a nice part of London. Put-upon housewife Wendy Craig is taken for granted by her husband and two teenage sons - who in the 1970's talked, at best, in teenage slang that was only ten years out of date. Even in the late 1970's when most kids were getting into punk rock, the two sons stood out horribly as Teenagers That Time Forgot, talking hippie argot that would have been horribly stale and dated in 1967.
  • Denzil from Only Fools and Horses in his first appearance only, as it was immediately realized what a bad idea this was.
  • Category for the 1970s-themed episode of Street Smarts: "Which Jive Turkey Blew It?"
  • The first episode of Yeralash plays with it. A boy tries to tell his neighbor about something that happens, with the neighbor apparently not understanding due to the slang. Then the neighbor turns the table by taking a few lines by Nikolai Gogol and retelling them in the same slang
  • The Russian Sketch Show Gorodok (The Little Town) had a sketch about a father calling his son, with the father talking in slang, and the son proper Russian. So, for example, the son says that his grandpa (living in a village) is happy because he got a new heifer. Heifer is the slang analogue of "chick", so dad imagines his grandfather with a young girl. He says "A heifer at his age? Did he fall off a fir (go nuts)". Cue son imagining grandpa falling off a tree...
  • The Sketch Show: In one sketch, two gangsters try to interrogate a clueless guy in a warehouse while talking entirely in slang. He doesn't understand a word they're saying, to the point of interpreting "start singing, or we'll unload in your face" by actually singing.
  • Amen: Cousin Oliver Clarence, a streetwise teenager, spoke like this 99% of the time. It's even played for drama when the Reverend uses it to communicate with him and get it into his head that his friends are a bunch of losers who are going to get him into trouble. And in a Christmas Episode, Santa Claus (true to form, an "unlikely character" as cited in the description) shows himself to be quite fluent in it as well:
    Clarence: "Oh, man! Get down, Nick! Man, you on the funky Santa tip!"
    Reverend: "Clarence, I don't think Mr. Nicholas understands."
    Santa: (to the Reverend) "Yo, I'm down with all the speak, dude! (to Clarence) May you and your crew be kicking! And your Christmas live! Hit me with vibe!" (he and Clarence exchange high-fives)
  • The Beverly Hillbillies:
    • In one episode the Clampetts get involved with some hippies who need "bread" to keep their coffeehouse going. The Clampetts think they mean actual bread.
    • Inverted in another episode where other hippies are interested when Jehtro mentions that he enjoys "smoking crawdads" and the hippies think that "crawdads" is slang for pot.
  • Parodied on Garth Marenghis Darkplace with Thornton Reed, who certainly talks the part, but is played by a nasally voiced Englishman with terrible acting skills.
    Thornton: My ass is grass, and Wanton's got a lawnmower, ya dig?
  • Gregory House, from the eponymous series, is a highly educated man who - dealing with his fair share of street punks at his job and having been brought up in a military environment - is familiar with street slang. He uses it occasionally in an obvious comedic tone, but always impeccably.
    House: Bros before hoes, man. [Fistbump.]
  • In an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, when Lois' racist mother decides to live in the family's house, they get rid of her by inviting their black friends over. Cue Abe, a very polite, soft-spoken gentleman, making a hilariously inept attempt to act gangsta.
  • Funky Squad themselves fall into this, but at other times, they act as translators for the square cops who don't speak the lingo of the street.
    Random witness type dude: Mystery man was a honky hombre two clicks off the six in mighty flash threads.
    (The police are baffled)
    Grant: Take a letter, Maria - Suspect was male, Caucasian, six foot two and well dressed.
  • That Girl Lay Lay: Being a rapper, Lay Lay is very much in touch with modern trends and frequently uses internet slang in her vocabulary, such as "Yas", "Drip", and "Lit".

  • One of the reasons white patrons adored Cab Calloway's band at the Cotton Club was Calloway's extravagant "hepcat" persona, complete with the most outrageous slang imaginable. Some of the words he invented (and later published in the "Hepster's Dictionary") have passed into general use.
  • The Bee Gees have a song called "Jive Talkin'", where the narrator complains about another person's unrelenting lies and general assholishness. In other words, the song is a massive aversion — the Gibbs rewrote the song from the ground up when they found out that "jive" originally meant lying.
  • Played straight TO THE MAX in Frank Zappa's Thing-Fish concept album/musical soundtrack.
  • In Betty Hutton's "Murder, He Says" she complains about her boyfriend's vocabulary.
    He says, chick chick
    You torture me
    Zoom, are we livin?
    I'm thinkin' of leavin' him flat
    He says, dig dig the jumps
    The old ticker is givin'
    No, he can talk plainer than that


  • As noted in the page quote, Zaphod Beeblebrox in every incarnation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978).
  • Jughead from Archie Comics doesn't normally talk like this, however in one episode of The Adventures of Archie Andrews he starts talking heavily in contemporary slang because he thinks girls like it. Archie thinks his jive talk is absurd and tries it on Betty to prove it, but she likes it. Archie continues to overuse slang until his mother starts to think he's sick.

  • In Applause, Margo suddenly starts spouting slang from the forties in the song "Who's That Girl?"
  • Most of what passes for "humor" in the 1858 play "Our American Cousin" is based around a family of stodgy Brits trying to make sense of the then-contemporary rural New England slang used by the eponymous cousin. Which means that a joke of this sort was perhaps the last thing Abraham Lincoln heard before he was assassinated during a performance of the play some years later.
  • Speedy Valenti in Wonderful Town.
  • The Wiz and its adaptations incorporate African-American slang, and even actually use "turkey" as an insult.
  • West Side Story specifically avoided using actual street slang to dodge this trope; by the time the play was through production and actually performed, it would have been hopelessly out of date.

    Video Games 
  • Many members of the Nerd clique in Bully attempt to use slang when they talk, sometimes with heavily-outdated English, to try fit in. The worst offenders are Algie, Bucky, and to a lesser extent, Melvin. The cutscene for one mission in the game features Algie painfully trying to speak in Jive before Jimmy cuts him off.
  • Ricochet, a contact in City of Heroes: Going Rogue uses exclusively Praetorian slang, to the point where the Player Character and most other Praetorians have no idea what she's saying.
  • In Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, on his final visit to the café in playthroughs where Lua and Baileys show up late because they postponed their wedding, Hyde greets the Barista with "Yo". It's his attempt at "younger people's speech", which Gala finds "a little disturbing".
  • DanceDanceRevolution got a new announcer for X, who is the hammiest example of a Jive Turkey ever. PSYCOLA!
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • Benny, the protagonist's almost-killer, and his gang, the Chairmen, spend the entire game talking in 50s swinger lingo. The justification is that while they were originally a nomadic raider tribe (the Boot Riders), they were hired by Mr. House to run the Tops Casino and their original ways were incompatible. Benny killed the tribe leader in a duel to make sure the best idea ever came to pass and has been speaking swinger lingo ever since.
      • This is the case for most of the Vegas tribes. Apart from the Chairmen, it also has The Omertas, the White Glove Society (upper class posh lingo), and an entire group of Elvis Impersonators, the Kings. The latter go the whole nine yards, with their hair styles and outfits based on Elvis' costumes and Elvis speak (though it's only spoken by the King and Pacer, since they're the only surviving members that got to hear the Elvis voice recordings before they broke).
  • In Kitty Powers' Matchmaker, Glam types usually speak in "modern" slang, spouting words such as "amazeballs" and "deliciosorooni".
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: Sniff is a parody of Mr. T, peppering his speech with a liberal amount of slang, in contrast to Scratch's posh accent.
    Sniff: I pity the fool that messes with us!
  • Nintendo Wars:
    • Waylon in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Unusual for this trope, his slang is stuck in the 1950s, Daddy-O (though oddly enough his first line is "Why are these Lazurians all up in my business?").
    • Jake in Advance Wars: Dual Strike is even WORSE. His horrific hip-hop slang grows tiresome before the tutorial levels are even over.
  • Funky Student from Persona 4 gives the player character riddles while speaking entirely in jive.
  • Disco Kid from Punch-Out!! Wii. Time for this turkey to jive!
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Dimitri, from the second and third games, is a literal lounge lizard from Paris, France who spouts a mishmash of slang ranging from beatnik to disco to gangsta. The creators of the series like to claim he learned English from hip-hop videos.
    • During the final chapter of the third game, Bentley tries to use slang to give Dimitri a mission objective (which is arguably more consistent and closer to actual slang than most of what Dimitri says). Dimitri appreciates the effort, but tells Bentley that he can never match Dimitri's style, and to hit him with some of his "turtle talk".
    • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: The Grizz likes to use rap and hip-hop slang, as well as making rhymes. Compared to Dimitri, however, he's much more understandable.
  • Beat from The World Ends with You. When you try to sound "street", you don't end most of your sentences with "yo".
  • The Forsaken in World of Warcraft speak Gutterspeak, which is supposed to be Common with so much slang that it is incomprehensible to the entire Alliance. The language was added to World of Warcraft when the developers decided against having any cross-faction communication.

  • CoyoteVille: In the November 27, 2014 strip of the new webcomic, Sean shows Ed a literal jive turkey, who expresses his displeasure about getting caught with a ton of slang and "hip", rapper-style mannerisms that's written in a Funetik Aksent.
    Turkey: So's I wuz plum hangin' around hangin' mah doodad and dis coyote picks me down and walks off wid me! Sheee! Can ya' imagine da damn shock? Man, dis place be crazy, why be he rappin' t'a crazy cranium?
  • Played with in Megatokyo with Largo and the l33t d00d. A subtitled example is here.
  • Zillion in Starslip always speaks in "Deepslang", which makes him nigh incomprehensible to others.
  • The robot Sweetdaddy Jupiter Velvet and, to a lesser extent, his creator Tigerlilly Jones of Skin Horse actually talk Jive, the former so impenetrably that the police need a translator. Despite Jones growing up in the 90s.
  • Molly of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, whose vocabulary choices are always wildly eclectic, delves into Jive-speak here.
  • Frigg, from Guilded Age, throws around ImageBoard slang, mutated memes, and creative profanity in a fantasy setting with an otherwise solid fourth wall. She's like a /b/ resident trying to play a paladin.
  • Fiona's conscience talks like this. Only because she was ordered to by the director of Fiona's dream, though. She drops it in Part 2.
  • Homestuck: Jade's penpal, Jake English, speaks in a really odd mix of modern and archaic slang peppered with esoteric profanity and F-bombs. His fellow Alpha Kid, Jane, is a milder version.
  • Gelasia in Ghosts Among The Wild Flowers is usin' some of this when she's speakin', callin' things "jivin'" and cuttin' off the ends of her suffixes like this.

    Web Original 
  • Chaka sometimes does this in the Whateley Universe, mostly to bug rich-white-kid Phase.
    [Phase knocks at Chaka and Fey's room]
    Chaka: [whips door open] Hey, 'sup dawg?
    Fey: [looks up from her book] What is it with you when Ayla comes over? You were being perfectly normal just two seconds ago.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Robute Guilleman from P*R*I*M*A*R*C*H*S. The other characters find him very annoying.
  • De Dialecticizer from RinkWo'ks includes a dialect called Jive. People are still nostalgic about that Dialecticizer Website, aren't they? That Website is old enough that even if its urban slang was up-to-date when it was new, it'd be Totally Radical by now.
  • Spoony riffed on a Game Crazy training video which has as whitebread a woman as possible talking like this: "You heard that guys, Ryan is slinging the bling-bling to get that paper!"
    • When she says "Boo-yah!", you can actually hear Spoony get up from his seat and walk around laughing uncontrollably.
  • Rockoon from TOME.
  • Gizoogle lets you translate text and websites into Snoop Dogg-ese. Hilarity Ensues. For example.
  • Pimp Lando from, well, Pimp Lando (not that one.)
  • The Sword Art Online Abridged version of Asuna talks using terribly rendered accents and slangs whenever she tries to converse with Tiffany (Agil's name in the abridged). It doesn't bode well with him due to how borderline racist she ends up being.
  • There is a YouTube channel called Jive Turkey. It averts this trope because it is about submarines, and is in standard English.
  • Berry the Mother Fucking G-Raffe from Dumbass Dinosaurs talks like this, as does his LB (li'l bro) Jerry. Both are parodies of gangstas.
  • Parodied at the start of Zero Punctuation's double review of Dex and Invisible, Inc., as a special Cyberpunk episode.
    Yahtzee: Good cyber-morning to all you "script kiddies" and "leet haxors" out there, "surfing" the "information superhighway" like a bunch of "fucking wankers".

    Western Animation 
  • In Sealab 2021, Hesh is sometimes used this way for laughs.
    Hesh: OH, DAYUM! NO HE DIDN'T! I know my man ain't gonna just climb up all on top of shorty's grill and put down a flag that says "BACKFIRE, Biziatch!"
    • When Quinn is re-purposed into a Shaft-esque spinoff
  • Foxxy Love on Drawn Together; as stated by her voice actress, she's "10% bullshit, 90% jive."
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode "Time Keeps on Slippin?", where the future Harlem Globetrotters speak and act in a way that's half Jive Turkey and half Mad Scientist. They also hold a news conference to announce that Prof. Farnsworth is a "Jive Sucker". Additionally it has a parody of a Salt and Pepper pair of cops with a robot who frequently talks like this after the end of a sentence. Awwww, yeah.
  • The title character of American Dragon: Jake Long was this as a result of his voice actor, Dante Basco, doing ad-libbing parodies of "wannabe MTV gangsta" crowd. His tendency to do this was toned down in the second season.
  • Tex Avery's cartoon Symphony in Slang features the angels at the Pearly Gates unable to understand a new arrival who only speaks in 1940s - 1950s slang. St. Peter calls in Noah Webster for assistance. The entire cartoon from there are humorously imagined literal interpretations of the man's expressions as he relates his life story. "I got a job slinging hash, but couldn't cut the mustard, so they gave me the gate." Turns out he's in Heaven because he "died laughing".
  • Danny Phantom: Adults misusing slang made up a good 25% of the humor. What's really funny is how bad the writers got the slang when they weren't playing it for laughs. Technus, particularly, is both "far out" and "funky fresh''. Mr. Lancer is the biggest Jive Turkey in the series, but Vlad also had a moment: "She just needs to, as the young folk say, 'chill in.'"
  • Transformers:
    • Most incarnations of Jazz are like this to a certain degree. (The original was voiced by Scatman Crothers, after all.) His Animated incarnation is explicitly supposed to sound like an beatnik.
    • Soundwave's Cybertron incarnation talks like an old school DJ.
    • Blaster is right up there in the 80's movie. Although his lingo does appear to be an amalgam of DJ and military speak.
  • Toyed with in X-Men: Evolution with the reimagining of the character Forge, who had been trapped in an alternate dimension for 30 years. After confusing Nightcrawler with his '70s slang, Kurt hilariously (and cringe-inducingly) misuses "modern" slang expressing concern at the datedness of Forge's speech patterns. Almost definitely self-conscious, as Nightcrawler never used fake slang again and the slang was the punchline.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang uses pseudo '40s/'50s-type slang in the second episode of season 3 when visiting the Fire Nation; the vernacular has changed considerably in the past century, so no one knows what he is talking about. It only ever comes up again once. "Stay Flaming!"
    • Very temporarily, Zuko is known as Sifu Hotman.
  • The Skeletunes from Ruby Gloom. On the various occasions when Ruby and company encounter the lead singer, they're left utterly perplexed. "Hey, what's happenin', babies?" "...?" "Come on, don't leave a guy hangin' like that, I said what's up!" "????" "*sigh* HOW ARE YOU?" Ruby becomes one of these in Hair(less) the Musical after soaking up enough of his lingo to replicate it... somewhat.
  • In Rocky and Bullwinkle, the moonmen become fluent in Jive after getting a stage career in Las Vegas, and are completely incomprehensible to the main characters while speaking in it. In order to even find the moonmen, they see a newspaper headline mentioning the moonmen, which they also cannot understand. They ask the guy reading the paper what it means, and he speaks gibberish as well. Eventually, they buy another copy of the newspaper and get the US Government to decode it in an incredibly large machine, which finally reveals where the moonmen were.
  • The Simpsons: Homer uses the phrase "Quit jahvin me, turkey!".
    • "You gotsta sass it! A turkey is a bad person."
  • Mammy Two Shoes from Tom and Jerry is this trope played straight, though many reruns diminish the characterization.
  • My Dad the Rock Star: Quincy, black friend of the male lead, is a subversion since he tries to use street slang and appear hip hop but comes off as a clear poser. To further the subversion, his family is latter shown to be a straight-laced, white collar family.
  • Mr. Herriman of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends does this on one occasion. Herriman is recorded doing a rather embarrassing ditty for Mrs. Foster, which Bloo uploads onto the house's web site, which becomes an overnight internet sensation. Herriman eventually finds out about this, and after Hilarity Ensues, the episode ends with Herriman attempting a Rap version of his limerick.
  • On the episode of Recess where TJ's use of the word "whomps" (which the adults believe to be some newfangled obscenity rather than an Unusual Euphemism) eventually lands him in court. Miss Grotke brings in her old professor Dr. Reginald "Dice" Weathersby, Ph.D., "Slangologist", an expert on American slang, to defend him. This person talks exclusively in what is apparently supposed to be roughly '60s-'70s slang, which confuses everyone in the room. He also casually uses the word "crap" in his argument, which greatly offends Mr. White, the prosecutor. Needless to say doesn't help TJ's case at all.
    Dr. Dice: Pad this, hammer man: TJ was just a boogler, hepping his aconas to a real gasser. You can't dis the kins for agging the profs. You're tootin' the wrong ringer, man! The big "W" ain't a word, ace, that's the crap. This biggity egg don't hold no air!
    Mr. White: I doubt this man is even an expert! I question his credentials!
    Dr. Dice: How dare you question my credentials, sir! I did not spend 12 years studying at the world's finest universities just to be slandered by the likes of some... civil servant!
  • Daria: Val, the adult writer of a teen magazine, takes this to the logical extreme as she not only speaks like a teenager (which is unsettling enough in a 30+ year old) but dresses like one. It borders on creepy, and plays out as a deconstruction; she comes off as unsettlingly shallow and self-absorbed to anyone who spends much time in her presence, even compared to the teens she's trying to imitate.

    Real Life 
  • Most jargons are at least vaguely understandable by others, but Cockney rhyming slang is generally considered completely impenetrable to outsiders, as the already bizarre terminology is made more incomprehensible by thick accents. Legend has it that this was intentional, in order to discuss questionably legal activities in public without fear of being overheard.
  • Polari: not exactly jive, but a mixture of Pig Latin, Romani vocabulary, and backslang very popular amongst the theatrical and gay communities in the 1950s. The comic characters Julian and Sandy, from Round the Horne, were the best known practititoners of it in the popular media.
  • Also, Shelta. "It ain't English an' it ain't Irish. Iss jus' ... Pikey" (note: that last word is considered highly derogatory).
  • Dean Andrews, the man best known for being hired as Lee Harvey Oswald's lawyer before Oswald was murdered. He was widely known for his ridiculous "hepcat" phrases and permanent sunglasses, and John Candy's performance as him in JFK follows suit.


Grand Wizard Asuna

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