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"Dearly beloved. Gems. Humans. Lions big and small. Living gourds. Onion."
Steven, Steven Universe, "Reunited"

Possibly coined by Milton Berle, this is a variation on the respectful greeting "Ladies and Gentlemen" with which a speaker or performer traditionally addresses their audience from the stage. Usually takes one of the following forms:

  1. "Ladies and X", where X is usually some corruption of "gentlemen".
    • A little less commonly, "X and gentlemen".
  2. "Ladies, gentlemen, and X".
  3. "X and Y", if the writers are clever enough, with plays on "ladies" and "gentlemen" respectively.
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Although the phrase is usually Played for Laughs, it also sees more serious use when the greeter wishes to acknowledge a non-binary gender dynamic.

Generally not used as an insult against X — but compare gender-based versions of My Friends... and Zoidberg.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 

    Comedy 
  • More than one sketch comedy troupe: Ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs, bozos and bozettes …
  • From the highly esteemed Goon Show: "My Lords, Ladies, and other National Assistance holders..."
  • Eddie Izzard often addresses his audience as "Ladies and Jellyspoons..."
  • Hosting the 2006 Oscars, Jon Stewart said, "Good evening ladies, gentlemen... Felicity."
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    Fanfic 

    Film — Animated 
  • The white rabbit from Disney's Alice in Wonderland: "Your Majesty; members of the jury; loyal subjects; [dismissively] and the King..."
  • A Bug's Life:
    Slim: Ladies and gentlebugs! Larvae of all stages!
  • Cars:
    Mater: Ladies aaaand gentlecars!
  • At the end of Robots, Bigweld starts his speech with "Ladies and gentlebots".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Star Trek: Nemesis, before his musical number, Data addresses the audience as "Ladies and gentlemen... and invited transgendered species".
  • Parodied in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story: Before Dewey Cox's band plays a Buddy Holly-esque song, the MC at the high school talent show uses the "ladies and germs" line on the audience. For some unexplained reason, the entire crowd finds it much more humorous than one could expect they would.

    Literature 
  • Spider Robinson, in many Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories: "Genties and ladlemen".
  • In Eric Frank Russell's anthology Men Martians And Machines, chronicling the adventures of the crew of the spaceship Upskadaska City, the Martian members of the crew start speeches to the (all-male) crew with "gentlemen and adults." Since the Martians are male too, this is not a gender distinction but a piece of Martian snark.
  • In Screwtape Proposes a Toast by C. S. Lewis, the titular toast is introduced by Screwtape with the words, "Mr Principal, your Imminence, your Disgraces, my Thorns, Shadies and Gentledevils..."
  • In Star Wars Legends, it seems like the standard form is "ladies and gentlebeings".
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga: In Diplomatic Immunity, Miles opens with "Ladies, Gentlemen, Honourable Herm", which is an accurate form of address for the genders present.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Billy Crystal opened one Academy Awards show with "Ladies, gentlemen... and Felicity Huffman." (The joke was that she had been nominated for her role as a transgender person in Transamerica.)
  • In one episode of The Big Comfy Couch, Loonette took on the role of a circus ringmaster and said, "Ladies and jellybeans! Boys and gorillas!"
  • An episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy used "ladies and germs" during an episode on... well... germs.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Homecoming" has "Ladies, gentlemen, spiny-headed looking creatures..."
  • The Dinosaurs episode "Germ Welfare" has a scene with a germ greeting other germs with "Ladies and gentlemen..." after which they all laugh and then the germ says, "just kidding. I mean ladies and germs..."
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The End of the World": "Ladies and gentlemen and trees and multiforms..."
    • "The Long Game": "Ladies, gentlemen, multi-sex, undecided or robot..."
    • "Midnight": "Ladies and gentlemen, and variations thereupon..." Used twice, the second time with rather more strain than the first.
  • At Phoebe's wedding in Friends, Joey begins the ceremony by saying "Friends, family, dog."
  • Glee: In "Big Brother", Sue Sylvester addresses the club with "Ladies and gays..."
  • An scene of iCarly shows Freddie walking into the room, saying, "Hello ladies. Or should I say lady and Sam."note 
  • Hawkeye would use the Trope Namer "Ladies and germs" on at least one early Mash episode.
    • Also, in the episode where Colonel Blake appointed Hawkeye chief surgeon, Hawkeye began his acceptance speech, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen...and anyone in-between."
    • On at least one occasion, the snooty Major Winchester greets Hawkeye, BJ, and Radar with, "Gentlemen... and Corporal."
  • Midsomer Murders has a Pompous Windbag starts a speech at a funeral addressing the ladies, gentlemen, honroable members... and not-so-honorable members, the last one directed at some politician who brought his mistress along.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus; during the Confuse-a-Cat sketch, at one point a Long John Silver impersonator announces, "My lords, ladies and Gedderbong."
  • Henrietta Hippo uses the Trope Namer "Ladies and germs..." as part of her pathetic comedy act in an episode of New Zoo Revue.
  • Quark. Dr Otto Palindrome is introduced this way. It becomes an Overly Long Gag when a Reveal Shot shows he's addressing a roomful of aliens.
    "I want to thank you all — ladies, gentlemen, humanoids, multiforms, polomorphopods, genunites, tun-guans, transtodulites."
  • In one episode of Red Dwarf, Lister begins a toast with "Gentlemen, and skutters." In his defense, there are no women on board... and technically only one man. The other characters are a cat, a hologram and an Artificial Intelligence.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Odo once had to get the attention of everyone on the promenade with, "ladies and gentlemen." After a pause when he realized he still didn't have Morn's attention, he added "and androgynous species."
    • Although, it's worth noting that Morn has been addressed with masculine pronouns at any other given point in the series. Since he is the only Lurian we ever see in the entire Star Trek franchise, it could just be how his species prefers to be addressed.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Spirit Folk", the Emergency Medical Hologram is playing an Irish priest in a holodeck program, and gets some funny looks from his congregation when he talks of "man or woman, husband and wife, photons and forcefields..."
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has "ladies and germs" as an added note of sarcasm and incredulity when Matt Albie remembers to his ex-girlfriend (and the audience) that she doesn't have the right to question who he is dating because she broke with him, and she did it by e-mail.
  • On The Suite Life on Deck, we get "Ladies and Quentilmen" from London. It wasn't said with any mean subtext, she's just that dumb.
  • Tales from the Crypt: Everyone's favourite storytelling zombie has this gem:
    Crypt Keeper: Welcome, boils and ghouls!
  • In an episode of Will & Grace, Karen is making a grand entrance at a gay rights rally, and announces "Ladies, Gentlemen, and undecided."
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    Music 
  • Emilie Autumn addresses her audience as "Ladies, gentlemen, and all those undecided or in-between".
  • From Blue Öyster Cult's "Subhuman" (from Secret Treaties and part of the Imaginos Myth Arc):
    So ladies, fish, and gentlemen
    Here's my angled dream
    See me in my blue sky bag
    And meet me by the sea
  • Cher addresses her audience with "Ladies and gentlemen... and you flamboyant gentlemen."
  • From Dr. Dre's The Chronic album: "What up, niggas and niggettes..."
  • A live recording of Finnegan's Wake by The Dubliners begins with Ronnie Drew addressing "The Lord Mayor, Your Excellencies, ladies, gentlemen... and fellow peasants".
  • "Business", from Eminem's album The Eminem Show, begins with him saying to listeners, "Bitches and gentlemen..."
  • Meat Loaf addresses his audience with "Ladies and gentlemen...brothers and sisters...." while doing his impression of a Southern Baptist minister.
  • The immortal Anna Russell began her "Introduction to the Concert (By the Women's Club President)" with, "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen ... and others. — I'm sorry, of course I know all our members are ladies and gentlemen. What I meant to say was, some of you have brought friends."
  • Rapper Slick Rick begins his song "Mona Lisa" on The Great Adventures of Slick Rick with the introduction "Ladies, gentlemen... and lowlifes."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A Bloom County strip features a grade-school math teacher (who may or may not be drunk) addressing his class as "ladles and gentlemints" before embarking on a lesson about fractions, which is simply a thinly-disguised rant about his low pay.
  • Garfield once greeted his audience as "Ladies and Germs" while on the fence for a show.

    Oral Tradition 
  • A famous rhyme/faux speech begins with the words "Ladles and Jellyspoons". Past that there are many versions, but it always begins with those words.
  • The 'One Fine Day' rhyme sometimes starts with 'Ladies and gentlemen/hobos and tramps/cross eyed mosquitoes/and bowlegged ants...’

    Radio 
  • From an episode of The Burkiss Way:
    "Your majesty, your most royal highness, your grace, your excellency, your worships, my lords, ladies and gentlemen... tables, chairs, napkins and cruets... curtains, cutlery... things in the soup... gravy on the tablecloths... stars on Sunday, raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite things..."
  • Among the many nonsense expressions of The Goon Show was Seagoon's address, "Ladies and Gintlepong..."
    • One episode has Bloodnok start a speech "Ladies, gentlemen and wogs..." This line, and some similar later ones, are omitted from repeats on BBC7.
  • From an episode of Hello Cheeky:
    "Ladies and gentlemen...and Gladys Suavely..."
    • They also had this:
    "My lords, my ladies, my dukes, my duchesses, my earls, your most royal highnesses, ladies and gentlemen...the building is on fire."
  • When he was on the Rick Dees show, Meat Loaf introduced the number one song with "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, cats and dogs, turtles and gerbils...."

    Theatre 
  • In Cabaret, the MC doesn't change the wording, but makes his feelings clear whenever he says "Ladies!... and gentlemen."

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Arkada, formerly of DesuDesBrigade and currently of Podtaku is fond of "Ladies, gentlemen and others...".
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara likes to open with "Ladies and gentlemen and others, welcome... to Atop The Fourth Wall."
  • On Homestar Runner, the Strong Bad Email "pizzaz" had Strong Bad addressing an audience on a Show Within a Show with "Good evening, mostly people."
  • In the Jake and Amir episode "Girlfriend", Amir says "look who decided to show up, ladies and Germanies!"
  • Markiplier: Wilford Warfstache uses 'Ladies, Gentlemen and other configurations of being' ( like Dark).
  • The Selectives Lore podcast always begins with "Ladies and gentlemen, and variations therof..."
  • Cecil of Welcome to Night Vale once addressed his listeners as "Ladies and gentlemen and those of you not clearly falling into either category..."
    • The second-anniversary special opens simply with "Listeners of every kind..."

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers used a couple. The Queen's announcer in "Shootout" opened with "Ladies, aliens, and mutants!"
  • In an episode of Arthur, we have Francine's dad saying to the rest of his family: "Ladies and, uh... ladies."
  • Cow and Chicken: Chicken is in prison and The Devil the Red Guy, who is the warden, enters. The entire group of convicts are men. So Red goes: "Laaaaaaddddddiiiiiieeeeeeees!!!!!!!... and gentlemen".
    • Another instance in Cow and Chicken is when Cow wrote the school play "The Ugliest Weenie". They greeted the audience with "Ladies and Germans".
  • The referee in the Daffy Duck cartoon To Duck Or Not To Duck opens the boxing match between Daffy and Elmer with "Ladies and gentleducks..."
  • Ed Eddn Eddy: Eddy normally started out scams like this.
  • Used in The Fairly OddParents!:
    Timmy: Ladies...and Timmy Turner's Dad!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In "Hiccy Burp", Wilt serves as the MC for the big talent show, but suffers an attack of stage fright. After fumbling his introductory monologue several times, he tried to start again. Unfortunately, his note cards had become so soaked with flop-sweat that it came out as "Lardies and gestlemen" before he got dragged offstage by a Vaudeville Hook. Madame Foster then quipped that he still did better than last year.
  • Futurama:
    • A wrestling announcer says "Ladies, gentlemen and smizmars..." We don't find out what a smizmar is for a few more seasons.
    • Hedonismbot: "Courtesans and gentlefops..."
    • Speaking of Zoidberg, he actually Lampshaded this while doing open mic night in "That's Lobstertainment": "Good evening, ladies and germs. [Rimshot] That wasn't a joke. I was talking to Dean Streptococcus."
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape from Reality", Bill Cipher addresses a group of fellow monsters with "Ladies, gentlemen, that creature with like eighty-seven different faces..."
    Creature: "Eighty-eight different faces!"
  • House of Mouse: One episode has Mike the microphone introducing Mickey by saying "Ladys and jungle man, toys and squirrels..."
  • Jimmy Neutron:
    • "Ladies and gentlemen... and Cindy."
    • "Lady and gentleman ... Mom and Dad!"
  • In the King of the Hill episode "That's What She Said", Hank considers a lawsuit against a new co-worker's boss-approved juvenile language and pranks:
    Ms. Borginnis: "Sexual harassment" is an umbrella term. It doesn't just cover women, but also men. And transgender individuals.
    Hank: *groans*
  • Visually taken literally in the Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoon "Bat With A Golden Tongue". Trophy thief Ski Nose (a caricature of Bob Hope), about to disrupt a ceremony by stealing another trophy, greets the audience as ladies and germs. The tables are populated by ladies and germs.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Fillies and gentlecolts" is commonly used to address a crowd.
  • Phineas and Ferb: "Friends, bullies, Irving..."
  • Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire: Bram of the Fangenschanz acting troupe welcomes the audience with "Ladies and gentle-mortals!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Shows up at least once at an event called "Robot Rumble".
      Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen- ah who am I kidding, just gentlemen.
    • In another episode, Bart introduces himself at a contest by saying "Ladles and jelly spoons!"
    • In the Treehouse of Horror sequence "The Island of Doctor Hibert," Homer addresses the animal/human hybrids as "manimals" and "invertibroads."
  • "Ladies and Gentlesnorks" is used in The Snorks.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The line "Ladies and Jellyfish" is used on a few occasions.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "The Platform Classic", Aunt Z opens up bets on the titular race with "Ladies and gentaliens".
  • Steven Universe: In "Reunited", Steven does this at Ruby and Sapphire's wedding.
    Steven: Dearly beloved. Gems. Humans. Lions big and small. Living gourds. Onion.
  • The 1980s opening: "Boys and girls, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, cats and dogs, welcome to the world of Strawberry Shortcake!"
  • Teen Titans: Cyborg does this just before revealing his hand-built T-Car to the rest of the team:
    Cyborg: Ladies and gentlemen, and whatever Beast Boy is...note 
    Beast Boy: (stops drum roll) Hey! Do you want your drum roll or not?!

    Real Life 
  • The former German federal president Heinrich Lübke, an acknowledged and frequently parodied poor public speaker, is often reported to have begun a speech with "Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Negroes" while on a state visit to Africa. (Despite his track record, however, this particular quote appears to be an Urban Legend lacking actual verification.)
  • The current king of Sweden pulled one of these off giving a public speech a few years ago.
    "Distinguished foreign guests, Mr Speaker, Members of the Riksdag, Mr Minister of State, Chairman of the County Council.[Beat]Dear citizens of Örebro."
    • He was giving the speech in Arboga.
  • Reversal: the traditional start of some auto races, especially the Indianapolis 500, is 'Gentlemen, start your engines!'. Then the women started showing up, and a few wondered how to adapt. (A valid question, since for years there was only one woman driver at a time.) The eventual solution for those years was the somewhat awkward 'Lady and gentlemen, start your engines!' Now, however, the larger pool of woman drivers allows for 'Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!'.
    • NASCAR, by contrast, just uses "Drivers, start your engines!" now.
  • The Disney theme parks always opened announcements with, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!" Others have taken that up as homage or parody. At Disneyland, Bill Rogers provides this booming voice.
  • In England, the proper way to greet a crowd is "Ladies, gentlemen, and officers of the Royal Navy", due to a decree by Queen Victoria stating that officers of the Royal Navy are not considered gentlemen.
  • The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus (and circuses in general) often have the ringmaster begin the show with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages!"
  • John Lennon to the audience of the Royal Variety Show: "Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry..."
    • The tribute act The Bootleg Beatles topped this with Neil Harrison as Lennon saying "And the people in the really cheap seats, rustle your giros!" (girocheque = UK welfare payment)
  • There is some discussion about how "Ladies and Gentlemen" excludes those who consider themselves neither or both. Some suggest hosts say variations of those listed on this page.
  • In Israel, the audience is nowadays usually referred to as kahal nikhbad, ‘respected audience’.
  • In schools, assemblies, special events and guest talks sometimes begin with "Students and faculty" instead. If there's a high possibility of people who are neither, "members of the community" or "guests" is added as well.
  • German far-right political party Af D, in opposing a bill which would legally recognize 60 genders, cast their vote in a speech which began, "Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, Gays, Lesbians, Androgonous, Bi-genders..." and went on to list all 60 proposed genders, ending with "and, of course, a hearty welcome to all 'Other' genders."


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