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Lame Rhyme Dodge

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Kyle: We have to do something!
Stan: Well, we can't do anything for now - that fat bitch won't let us!
Mrs. Crabtree: WHAT DID YOU SAY!?
Stan: Uh, I said that rabbits eat lettuce!
Mrs. Crabtree: Oh. (cheerful) Well, yes, they certainly do!

Generally speaking, Lame Rhyme Dodge is the result of someone having a Did I Just Say That Out Loud? moment, but doesn't want to/is afraid or embarrassed to admit to having said what they said, or, it's a case of someone trying to dodge having heard what somebody else just said to them. It's the little sibling trope to Last-Second Word Swap.

Frequently used by guys who are tongue-tied around women, or teenagers trying to dodge teachers or other adults.

The way both parties try to dodge this situation is to come up with a word that rhymes or sounds similar to the operative word in the sentence. Unfortunately, this usually results in a sentence that makes no sense at all.

A common variant is to have someone dreaming/daydreaming about something, then they're awakened from their reverie by someone saying "What did you say?" and realize they've been saying everything out loud. They proceed with the clumsy cover-up.


Compare Freudian Slip. Not to be confused with Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion.


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    Anime and Manga 


    Films — Animated 
  • The Lion King (1994): When Banzai grumbles about Mufasa, earning an enraged "What did you say?!" from Scar, he nervously replies "I said, uh...que pasa?". Since "mostaza", "mustard" in Spanish, rhymes with "Mufasa", the Mexican dub renders it as "I said, uh... with mustard!". Which is funny, because they could have just continued to use "¿que pasa?" since it was already in Spanish.
    Scar: Good. Now get out.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in the remake of Ocean's Eleven, Rusty is talking to a bartender, only it's too loud in the bar for them to hear each other. Rusty begins the conversation with something like, "Longest night of my life" When the bartender looks up, wondering what Rusty said, he says, "I'm running away with your wife," and the bartender just nods and smiles.
  • In Wet Hot American Summer, camp chef Gene tends to accidentally mention his odd fetishes and then offer up a lame rhyme dodge when questioned.
    Gary: You said you were going to... fondle your sweaters.
    Gene: Ah, uh - no I didn't. I said... fondue the cheddar... I was thinking about making fondue with cheddar cheese for dinner tonight.
  • An unusual version of this happens in Hot Rod when the main character changes his sentence into something worse instead of something innocuous when he suddenly backtracks on his brief moment of having enough nerve to compliment the girl he likes.
    "You look pretty."
    "Uh, I said you look shitty."
  • Mannequin has Switcher quickly substitute "Nice hall" when Felix overhears him calling him an asshole.
  • In A Fish Called Wanda, Archie cries out "Wanda!" while she is on the stand, drawing suspicion of why he is being so familiar with her. He tries to turn it into "I wonder..." but is so fazed that he has a lot of difficulty getting there.

  • In Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, the yard teacher Louis intends to give a bouquet to Ms. Nogard (a substitute teacher he's smitten with), but he gets cold feet and ends up instead giving it to the surly principal, Mr. Kidswatter. Under his breath, Louis calls Kidswatter a "maggot-infested string bean", then when asked to clarify, changes it to "a magnificent human being".
  • In the Goosebumps book Bad Hare Day, the protagonist's sister tells their parents that she and her brother have a secret. When their parents ask what it is, the protagonist says that his sister was saying that she wanted a "wee pet", claiming that she was practicing her Scottish accent.

    Live Action TV 
  • A sketch on The Two Ronnies features Ronnie Corbett's character doing this with every sentence, ie: "Tickle your botty with a feather tonight" is changed to "Particularly grotty weather tonight." Eventually the people around him figure it out and he admits that he's doing it to try and to drum up his trade; he sells deaf aids.
  • Drake & Josh uses it in a way that's WORSE than what it was before. Drake agreed to pay for Josh's speeding ticket so their father wouldn't find out.
    Josh: Thanks, Drake! You're really saving my butt!
    Megan: How is Drake saving your butt?
    Josh: Oh, I didn't say he was saving my butt! I said Drake was... (realizes he can't think of anything else) shaving my butt...
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Soultaker, there's a needlessly long slow-motion scene where the female lead gets undressed while a soultaker, disguised as her mother, spies on her from the doorway. Crow gets something in his eye at a critical moment and has to leave the theater and look for some eye drops, Missing the Good Stuff.
    Tom Servo: Sh-sh-she's turning around!
    Mike: Shh!
    Crow: [offscreen] Did you say she's turning around?
    Tom Servo: No, no, Crow, I said she's spurning a clown!
    Crow: Well, I like that too! Where's the Visine?
  • On Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson once remarked that newsreader Fiona Bruce had "a nice bottom." When she was a guest on a later episode, he claimed to have said "Oxford-educated newsreaders wear cotton."
  • That's So Raven: Raven calls Alana a "sneaky boyfriend stealer", but when Alana asks what she said, she gives the pseudo-German phrase, "shneaky shnoyland shneiler".
  • Rumpole of the Bailey: Rumpole, given to muttering to himself, uses this constantly on his wife and in court and always gets away with it.
  • In the second season of the series Misfits, Shaun the probation worker walks in on the Misfits plotting to rob a bank so they can ransom Kelly who has been kidnapped by Tim and asks them what they're doing. Nathan informs him that they're going to have a wank and starts extolling the benefits of communal masturbation. Shaun, as always, decides that he doesn't want to know.
  • iCarly: Mr. Howard rants about how he hates Principal Franklin, calling him a "weak, spineless fool". Later, when Principal Franklin confronts him about the insult, he tries to save face by saying that he actually said "sleek, stylish, cool".

    Video Games 
  • Torin's Passage: The Queen of the Escarpa, Di, often quips sarcastically and harshly to her husband Rupert. Each time, the king assumes he has misheard his wife and asks her to speak up, this time with his full attention on her, to which she almost always replies in a softer and more supportive manner that rhymes with her previous quip. He instantly believes her each time.
    King Rupert: Di, my dear? Why don't you give this boy (Torin) a piece of your jewelry? That way, Leena (their missing daughter whom they wish Torin to find) will know that he represents us?
    Queen Di: (Sullen voice) Oh brother, aren't you right in his pocket?
    King Rupert: What was that?
    Queen Di: (Chipper supportive voice) I said, "Tell her, mother sends her this locket."
    King Rupert: Oh yes. Good idea!

    Web Comics 
  • Subverted in this El Goonish Shive strip. Catalina doesn't even bother with trying to make her response rhyme with her earlier rapid fire insult and relies on an innocent and submissive act instead. It works and Principal Verrückt accepts it without any doubt.

    Web Original 
  • In Hunter: The Parenting, Big D thinks fondly upon his grandson Boy during a police interrogation, and says, "I love my grandson." Since he gave his age as twenty-seven and looks it, he backpedals and pretends he said something about Bryan Cranston. The cop thinks it's a big off topic, but accepts it.

    Western Animation 
  • Spud, disguised as a member of the Huntsclan sees Jake get knocked down and apparently killed by the Huntsgirl. He calls out "Jake!" and then realising that he's surrounded by Huntsclan trainees, changes it to "Cake! Which is what we'll have to celebrate the death of the dragon."
  • Danny Phantom:
    • In "Maternal Instinct", Vlad accidentally said in front of Maddie how he wanted to kill Jack. How he fixed it? 'Flapjacks'.
    Vlad: They're here, kill Jack.
    Maddie: What was that?
    Vlad: I said... Flapjacks! Mm-hm, pancakes. I have pancakes.
    • Done again in "Secret Weapons" after Danny's parents tell him Jazz ran away from home, and he quickly realizes that she left to catch a ghost after telling her she was a lousy ghost hunternote . He then has to come up with a reason to leave and find her after blurting out why she left in front of his parents.
      Danny: She must've gone after Skulker.
      Maddie: What was that?
      Danny: I said...I'm so upset about Jazz leaving that I'm going to skulk...her.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Rosebud", Mr. Burns dreams about his lost teddy bear and talks in his sleep, which Smithers hears him doing.
      Burns: Bobo... Bobo... [wakes up]
      Smithers: Who's Bobo, sir?
      Burns: Hm? Bobo? Er... no, I said... Lobo! Sheriff Lobo. They never should have cancelled that show.
      • Immediately after, it cuts to Homer, who actually is shouting about Sheriff Lobo.
    • Done by Mr. Burns a second time in the Treehouse of Horror III segment "King Homer" while taking Marge to Ape Island:
      Marge: Am I coming?
      Mr. Burns: Of course. We wouldn't think of going without the bait— uhh, that is, the bait-thing beauty. The bathing beauty! I covered that up pretty well.
    • The episode "Tales from the Public Domain" contains a parody of Hamlet where Bart (as Hamlet) tries to trick Moe (as Claudius) into confessing that he poisoned the King (Homer) by having Krusty reenact by moment of the King's death.
      Moe: Wait a minute! I didn't use that much poison!
      (everyone gasps)
      Moe: I mean, I didn't use that much poi, son, at the royal luau.
    • Famously done by Principal Skinner in "22 Short Films About Springfield" when he has Superintendent Chalmers over for dinner:
    Skinner: Superintendent, I hope you're ready for mouthwatering hamburgers!
    Chalmers: I thought we were having steamed clams.
    Skinner: Oh, no! I said "steamed hams"! That's what I call hamburgers!
  • Family Guy:
    • In "The Tan Aquatic With Steve Zissou", Stewie believes he is dying of cancer and asks Brian to help him fulfill his last requests, one of which is ballroom dancing, which Stewie gets a little too into.
    Stewie: I love you.
    Brian: What?
    Stewie: Uh...I said...olive juice.
    Brian: Olive juice?
    Stewie: Olive juice too.
    • From the episode "One If By Clam, Two If By Sea" after Stewie's attempts to turn the new bar owner's daughter into a proper lady fail.
    Stewie: Well, dog if you have extra sensitive hearing, hear this: [mouthing] Fuck you.
    Brian: I'm telling.
    Stewie: Wait! I said "vacuum"!
  • In Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child's take on "Thumbelina," the mole is played by a fruit bat, who shows Thumbelina his collection of pinned butterflies. Seeing one she recognizes, she exclaims, "Mario!" which she tries to pass off "Marry you, I can't wait to marry you."
  • Phineas and Ferb: Done twice by Dr. Doofenshmirtz in "Phineas and Ferb's Musical Cliptastic Countdown"; played with in that both times he manages to have evidence to back up his back-spacing:
    • First, Doof explains his plan to control people with his Music Video Mind-Control-Inator. When he realizes that all of what he just said was on-camera, he quickly says, "I meant, 'Mimes control my gator!'" Cut to two mimes wrangling an alligator.
      Dr. D.: See? And you thought I was just making it up!
    • Later, when Dr. Doofenshmirtz brings up his plan to enslave the Tri-State Area, he claims he meant to say "Engrave my pie-plate carrier!"
      Dr. D.:(pulls out a pie tray) It's silver!
  • Blinky Bill did this a lot; in one case it set the plot of an episode by having Blinky change "Have you ever seen such a silly face?" to "We're practicing for a heavy race". Blinky then proceeds to (unintentionally) give Mayor Pelican the idea for a cross-country race to raise money for a new hospital.
  • The title character of The Deputy Dawg Show had a bad time from a bird visitor that does imitations. Mimicking Deputy Dawg's voice, he yells out "Hey, sheriff! How'd you like a lumpy lip?" The sheriff zips back angrily to D.D. with his fist balled up and yells "WHAT DID YOU SAY??!" Deputy Dawg sheepishly says "Er...I said, don't have a bumpy trip!"
  • In Gadget Boy & Heather, it was a Running Gag for Spydra's pet vulture Boris to insult her and then make up a phrase that vaguely sounded like his insult when she got angry. Boris himself is given one by Spydra's henchman Mulch in "Boris for President".
    Mulch: Just wait until Spydra catches up with you!
    Boris: What was that?
    Mulch: Er, I mean, I'll use catsup to do it!
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Gideon Rises," at one point Dipper is alarmed when Wendy says that she may have to leave town. Soos tells Wendy that would be terrible for Dipper, "because of his giant crush on you," but then seeing Dipper's anxious reaction, he amends it with a lame rhyme: "you . . . calyptus trees! The kid loves eucalyptus trees!" And then he declares, aloud, "Ha! Saved it!"
  • The Loud House: In "No Spoilers", when Lincoln has Leni make new clothes for him as part of a plan to keep the notorious blabbermouth from spoiling a surprise party.
    Lincoln: My sisters owe me big time.
    Leni: What was that?
    Lincoln: Uh, I think we need to redo the hemline.
  • Butt-Ugly Martians often had Dr. Damage insult Emperor Bog under his breath, then covering it up by claiming to have said something that rhymes when Bog gets mad at him. For example, the first episode has him call Bog a "royal nincompoop", which he covers up by claiming to have been talking about Bog's "loyal troops".
  • Turns up in the Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop episode "Son of Zitbag". Dr. Zitbag and Horrifido search for ingredients needed for Zitbag to create a son, but Horrifido deliberately avoids informing Zitbag that puppy dog tails are needed because he fears he'll have his own tail used to create Zitbag's son. When Horrifido remarks that he hopes the concoction will work without puppy dog tails, Zitbag overhears him and the skeletal dog covers up his statement by claiming he said he hoped the concoction would work with the nicely done snails.
  • Muppet Babies (1984):
    • In the episode "Good Clean Fun", Kermit remarks that Piggy weighs more than he thought when she stands on him to reach the sink. When Piggy gets angry, Kermit hastily claims that he said "Those are the nicest shoes you've bought".
    • During the imagination sequence of "The Pig Who Would Be Queen", Skeeter tells Piggy that she has to complete some tasks in order to prove herself worthy of being queen, to which Piggy responds by complaining that by the time she'd be finished with the tasks, she'd be a grandmother. When Skeeter asks what she said, Piggy claims that she said "You look just like your brother".
  • The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants:
    Krupp: I swear, one day I will destroy you!
    Melvinborg: WHAT WAS THAT?!
    Krupp: Um, I said, "Hi, there. Fun day! Why fill me toy shoe?"
    Melvinborg: ...Did you just replace the words that you said you didn't want me to hear with random gibberish words that rhyme with those words?
    Krupp: No, heh heh. No.
  • The Clone High episode "Episode Two: Election Blu-Galoo" has Joan of Arc tell Abe Lincoln that she's so angry at him she could kiss him. When Abe asks about the last part, Joan claims that she actually said "piss glue".

    Real Life 
  • Happened (reportedly) to Pierre Trudeau once. No microphone picked up what he actually said on the floor of Parliament, but he hastily claimed it was "Fuddle Duddle".


Video Example(s):


I Said "Que Pasa?"

In "The Lion King," when the hyenas come to Scar to complain about not having any food, Scar suggests they eat Zazu. Banzai mutters that things weren't like this under Mufasa and Scar, who never wants to hear that name, asks just what it was that he said. He starts to repeat himself, but Shenzi elbows him, so he goes with "I said 'que pasa?'"

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / LameRhymeDodge

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