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Parrot Expo-WHAT?

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Like Parrot Exposition, but the expositor can't even finish the word. Even if it is easy to remember. Also used when someone says a big word, like Palaeo-whatisit. Sometimes used out of spite, and sometimes used out of disbelief. A common form of verbal Oh, Crap!. Often used in Advertising. Sister Trope to Gesundheit, where the speaker finds the word so unpronounceable he thinks it must have been a sneeze. Compare Porky Pig Pronunciation, where a character is also unable to pronounce words that they want to say, and is forced to substitute them. A common silly subtrope involves the expositor successfully repeating each part of a word, but still somehow unable to say the whole thing together:

Advertisement:

"He went to Liechtenstein."
"Liechten-where?"
"Liechten-stein."
"What-enstein?"


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Snuggimals!
    • Snuggi-what?
      • Snuggimals!
  • Benda-what? Benda-who?
    • Bendaroos!
  • A certain E*Trade commercial that a certain actress claims is violating her rights.
    Lindsay: Milk-a-whaaat?!
  • Used in a commercial for Maximum Testosterol, apparently by picking which syllable to 'miss' out of a hat. A character asks incredulously, when first told the name, "Maximum whatstosterol?"

    Comic Books 
  • In Runaways, when Cloak and Dagger make their first appearance, Cloak sucks Alex, Chase, Nico, and Karolina into his cape before Molly rips it off of him. After Gertrude convinces them that they aren't murderers or kidnappers (as their parents, the real criminals, spread around), the following exchange occurs:
    Dagger: Oh my God, then your friends are innocent too?
    Cloak: And they're t-trapped in the Darkforce Dimension!
    Gertrude: The what now?

    Fan Works 
  • When Dan receives his Shikigami in Thawing Permafrost, he can't get the name right. Upon first hearing it, his reaction is "Shiki-whatnow?".
  • From Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    Mom: Calvin, we're going out to the grocery store real quick, and we need you to watch Tug.
    Calvin: You need me to what?!
  • From A Complete Turnabout:
    Edgeworth: You... You got the limited edition Mayoi and Chinami cards from the 'Moonlight Showdown' series!
    Phoenix: I got what of whom from what?
  • From Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless:
    Sonic: Who's Discord? That snake-looking thing up there?
    Twilight: That's right, Sonic. Discord is a draconequus.
    Sonic: A what?
  • From Double Rainboom:
    Twilight: In theory, this potion is supposed to be a talent enhancer.
    Rainbow Dash: A talent what?
  • From Turnabout Storm:
    • In Part 2:
    Apple Bloom: My name is Apple Bloom, and I'm a Cutie Mark Crusader!
    The Judge: A... cutie mark... what?
    • In Part 4:
    Twilight: [to Phoenix] As You Know, your Magatama's power somehow got transfered into me.
    Rainbow: Magma... what-a?
  • In Jinxing the Unforgivables Michael explains that Beauxbatons' flying carriage is made more comfortable during transport by magical means.
    Hermione: Oh, like a magical shock-absorbers.
    Michael: Shock-a-what?
  • Dragon Fire:
    Harry: Then [Voldemort]'s going to keep coming after me until either he kills me, or I kill him. If that's the case, then it only makes sense that one of us will end up killing the other.
    Dumbledore: Very wise of you Harry. Hence my reasoning for bringing young Tonks here today. She is a fully qualified auror as I mentioned, and therefore I believe she is well positioned to help you with your skills. She also has a rather unique ability as she is a metamorphmagus.
    Harry: A meta-what?
  • Not With Haste:
    Uncle Vernon: Well what happened boy?
    Harry: Dementors.
    Uncle Vernon: Demen-what?
  • A Solid Foundation:
    Daniel: We need to prioritize when we are in combat. I am all for feminism and girl power and all of that, but biology is biology. I would never want my wife or my daughter or any other woman, for that matter, to have to stand their ground alone against a man in a physical confrontation. Emma is a warrior. She can kick ass. She knows martial arts better than I do, and her technique is much better, but her frame is smaller than a man's, and she doesn't weigh that much. That is why her favorite martial art is aikido; it's the one that made her fall in love with martial arts.
    Remus: Aiki what?
  • Tones of Gray:
    McGonagall: Miss Dagworth-Granger, I apologize for not intervening faster. Mr. Finnigan was given detention and lost 50 points. However, I had to take points from Harry and Draco as well. I am sorry, boys, but I need to be as objective as possible.
    Draco: We understand, but again, Headmistress, if Finnigan or anyone else messes with one of us, we are not going to take that sitting down.
    McGonagall: Quite. However, I would rather you stick to surreptitious methods like that of Miss Dagworth Granger.
    Harry: Surre- what now?
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    Film — Animation 
  • In 9, from 8, the Dumb Muscle of the group:
    1: Subjugate them!
    8: Sub-what?
    1: You illiterate cretin — take their belongings!
  • Alpha and Omega:
    Kate: Idaho?
    Humphrey: Ida-who?
  • Madagascar:
    King Julien: Welcome to Madagascar!
    Marty: Mada-who-ha?
    Gloria: What?
    King Julien: No, not who-ha. As-car.
    • Counts as a Brick Joke thanks to the first exchange between Marty and the penguins:
    Private: We're going to Antarctica!
    Marty: Aunt-who-tica?
  • The Rescuers Down Under:
    Mouse Doctor: Bring me the Epidermal Tissue Disruptor!
    Wilbur: THE EPIDERMAL WHAT?!
  • In The Lion King (1994), this exchange regarding Simba and Nala's arranged marriage comes up:
    Zazu: Your parents will be thrilled... what with your being betrothed and all.
    Simba: Be-what?
  • Open Season: The paranoid Shaw comes across the couple Bob and Bobbie camping out and tells them he sees the future of animals planning a rebellion to overthrow the human race and become the dominating species on Earth. The couple's response his insane claim?
    Bobbie: Oh, we know exactly what you mean.
    Shaw: You do?
    Bobbie: We're scientists. Well, of sorts. And we're trying to secure photographic documentation of a real live Homo Sasquatchus.
    Shaw: Homo-say-what-us?
    Bobbie: We're looking for Bigfoot.
    Shaw: Huh? Bigfoot? [face palms] I didn't realize I was talking to a couple of whack-jobs!
    [Shaw picks up a roasted marshmallow on a stick by the campfire and points it at their dog Mr. Weenie]
    Shaw: Don't trust him. Pets are double agents. The moment you turn your back, he'll shiv ya!
    [He eats the marshmallow, then tosses the stick to the ground as he leaves.]
    Bobbie: Oh, no, he can't! We had him fixed.
    [Mr. Weenie whimpers]
    • Becomes a Brick Joke in the mid-credit stinger where Shaw, tarred and feathered in leaves, gets strapped to the roof of Bob and Bobbie's van, both of whom mistake him for Bigfoot.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: The Riddler explains how to defuse the Explosive Leash implanted in the each member of the Suicide Squad:
    Deadshot: How do you defuse this bomb, exactly?
    Riddler: It's the electroshock.
    Captain Boomerang: It's the what now?

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls:
    Princess: That was the dart of the Wachutu shaman!
    Ace: The what-nee what-en?
  • From Broken Arrow (1996):
    Giles: Broken what?
    Baird: Broken Arrow. It's a class five strategic theater emergency.
  • The Cat in the Hat has this during the Kupkake-Inator scene:
    Chef!Cat: Well, forget everything you know about making cupcakes ... and say hello ... to the amazing Kupkake-inator.
    Host!Cat: Cupcake-a-what?
    Chef!Cat and audience: Kupkake-inator!
  • This bit in The Court Jester
    Fergus, the ostler: "Im Fergus, the ostler!"
    Hawkins: Wh-Whogus the whatsler?"
  • In the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas! movie: "Holiday Whobeewhatee?"
  • This bit in Mary Poppins:
    Jane: Mary Poppins taught us the most wonderful word!
    Michael: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
    Mr. Banks: What on earth are you talking about, supercal— super— or whatever the infernal thing is?
    Jane: It's something to say when you don't know what to say.
    Mr. Banks: Yes, well, I always know what to say.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    Arthur: How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
    Dennis' Mother: King of the who?
  • In The Rocketeer, when Cliff reveals his secret identity to his girlfriend Jenny:
    Cliff: Jenny, prepare yourself for a shock. I'm the Rocketeer.
    Jenny: [confused] The Rocket-who?
  • Spaceballs:
    Radar Technician: I'm having trouble with the radar, sir.
    Dark Helmet: What's wrong with it?
    Radar Technician: I lost the bleeps, I lost the sweeps, and I lost the creeps.
    Dark Helmet: The what?
    Colonel Sandurz: The what?
    Dark Helmet: And the what?

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    Anya: Buffy's got some kind of job there helping junior deviants, Spike's insane in the basement, Xander's there doing construction on the new gym—
    Willow: Wait, Spike's what in the what-ment?
    Anya: Insane, base.
    • In "Intervention", when Buffy's friends confront her about her having sex with Spike (the Buffy they saw was actually a robot), she responds, "The who whatting how with huh?"
    • Buffy does this a lot. From "Lie To Me":
      [Ford walks up behind Buffy, who has just slain a vamp]
      Ford: What's going on?
      Buffy: Um, uh... there was a-a cat. A cat here. And um, uh, then there was a-another cat. And they fought. The cats. And... then they left.
      Ford: Oh. I thought you were just slaying a vampire.
      Buffy: What? What-ing a what?
    • It's not for nothing that this show is the Trope Namer for Buffy Speak.
  • Red Dwarf:
    Extrapo-what-ilated?
    • This is infixation.
      • Infixa-what?
  • Firefly, "Shindig":
    "Any of these gentlemen can lend you use of a sword."
    "Use of a swwhat?"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In "Prince of Space", Bobo is "doing his business" in space and gets too close to a space-time anomaly.
    Observer: [to Bobo] Wait, wait, don't go in there! Don't, don't, I wouldn't do that, that's a...
    [Bobo gets sucked in]
    Observer: ...wormhole.
    Pearl: A worm-what?
    Observer: A wormhole.
    Pearl: A what-hole?
    Observer: A wormhole. Wormhole!
  • In El Chapulín Colorado, the eponymous hero would listen to some complex word, make the entire routine and then add an astonished expression. As added fun, instead of repeating the whole word, the person just repeats the last syllables that Chapulín missed.
    Person: It was its exoskeleton.
    Chapulín: Its exoskele-what?
    Person: -ton.
    Chapulín: Chanfle.
  • On World's Dumbest..., this is the reaction to a video of a woman who teaches you how to give your possum a proper pedicure.
    Danny Bonaduce: Give your what a proper what?

    Video Games 
  • In episode one of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Strong Bad's attempt to find one of the pages for the Snake Boxer 5 manual takes him through a chain of people that leads to Bubs.
    Strong Bad: Please tell me you've got my Snake Boxer 5 manual...
    Bubs: Snake what now?
    Strong Bad: Auuuugh! Aaaagh!
    Bubs: Oh, Snake Boxer 5! Here ya go.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day:
    King Bee: I didn't even get to tell you about the big-breasted babe...
    Conker: The— the big what?
  • Dead or Alive Dimensions:
    Ayane: How could karate stand against the Hajin-mon sect of Mugen Tenshin?
    Hitomi: Hajin-in the what now?
  • In Hearts of Iron IV, there is a world news event for when the Soviet Union annexes the tiny, geopolitically irrelevant Central Asian puppet state of Tannu Tuva. The only option text reads "Tannu What?"
  • From the opening cutscene of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures:
    Sir C: Oh no! That's the Fridigitator!
    Pac: Fridigiwhatsit?
  • In Chapter 2 of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, when Raiden infiltrates a Desperado facility, Doktor tells him to find a terminal where he can access the lab's main server.
    Doktor: But first, you need to take a DOOMP.
    Raiden: I... wait, what?
    Doktor: A DOOMP? A digital-optical output mounted proxy. ...

    Webcomics 
  • In Girl Genius, an old man explains to his granddaughter how he used to run with the jaegermonsters:
    Old Man Death: ... Then one day while sacking a castle, I was ravished by a wild princess.
    Zeuxippe: You the who what now?
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    Web Original 
  • In Dragon Ball Abridged, anytime Goku calls out that he's using the Kaio-Ken technique, it's invariably followed by the receiving party uttering "Kaio-what?" before he wallops them.
    • And in one case, it's done by Bardock, Goku's dad, seeing Goku using the technique via his ability to see the future.
    • And brought full circle, appearing in DEATH BATTLE! with Goku vs. Superman. With Goku voiced by MasakoX of course.
      Goku: Kaio-Ken!
      Superman: Kaio-wha— *POW!*
    • It gets gagged during the fight with Freeza when he No-Sells the technique.
      Freeza: …No, seriously. Kaio-what?
      Goku: Kaio-crap.
      Freeza: I thought so. (blasts Goku)
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series version of Bonds Beyond Time, Yami has this response when Yusei Synchro Summons a monster. Of course, Yami's doing it on purpose because he's a Jerkass.
    Yusei: I Synchro Summon Junk Gardna, in Defense Mode.
    Yami: Synchro what?
    Yusei: Synchro Summon.
    Yami: What Summon?
    Yusei: Synchro Summon.
    Yami: What what?
    Yusei: Synchro. Summon.
    Yami: Oh. What's that?
    Yusei: It's where you play a monst-
    Yami: Wait. I seem to have stopped caring.
    • The "Synchro what?" line was also used in the actual English dub of the movie. And later, in a scripted duel during the 2014 World Championships of the card game, he said "Xyz what?" in response to an Xyz Summon.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "part-time job", Bubs mocks Strong Bad for "wastin' time on that e-mail show of yours".
      Strong Bad: I'm gonna be big one day! I'm gonna be a famous email checker!
      Bubs: And I'm gonna be two times two. Now put on your uniform and get to work!
      Strong Bad: You're gonna be what?
    • "Hremail 7" is a faux-flashback episode which features Homestar trying to introduce Strong Bad to the concept of e-mails and the Internet:
      Strong Bad: A what-mail on the Inter-what?
  • The Most Popular Girls in School, Episode 18:
    Mackenzie: Alo-what?
    Doctor: Alopecia.
    Mackenzie: What the fuck is that?

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Team Homer":
      Burns: Listen here...I want to join your team.
      Homer: You want to join my what?
      Smithers: You want to what his team?
    • And from "Who Shot Mr Burns, Part 2"
      Jasper: You shot who in the what now?
    • From "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", on the Japanese game show:
      Wink: Now, our game shows are a little different from yours. Yours reward knowledge. We punish ignorance.
      Homer: Ignor-what? (fire shoots out of Homer's microphone)
    • From "Moe'N'a Lisa":
      Lisa: You could turn this into an epic poem! Like T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land!
      Moe: T.S. what-iot's the who-now?
  • Spoofed on Futurama, in the episode "I, Roommate":
    Fry: Where's your bathroom?
    Bender: Bath-what?
    Fry: Bathroom!
    Bender: What-room?
    Fry: Bathroom!
    Bender: What-what?
    Fry: Eh, never mind.
  • The Fairly Oddparents:
    Gigglepies: Yugo-po-what-i-whats?
  • Danny Phantom:
    Jack: It's the Ecto-Exodus Alarm!
    Danny, Sam and Jazz: The Ecto-whaty-what?
  • Rugrats:
    Stu: Presenting the Bonkomatic Baby Bumper!
    Didi: The Bonka-whosit Baby-what?
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Bridle Gossip", when Twilight Sparkle tries to assuage her friends' fear of Zecora
      Twilight Sparkle: She's a zebra.
      Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, & Spike: A what?
    • In "Stare Master", Fluttershy tries to warn the Cutie Mark Crusaders that they're in danger:
      Fluttershy: There's no time! There's a cockatrice on the loose!
      Apple Bloom: A cocka-what-now?
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", Pinkie Pie's reaction to the Flim-Flam brothers introducing themselves as "traveling sales-ponies nonpareil" is "Nonpa-what?"
    • In "Games Ponies Play", when it dawns on the Mane Six that they have mistaken a random tourist for the Equestria Games inspector, Twilight decides to ask:
      Twilight Sparkle: You...are Ms. Harshwhinny, the Equestria Games inspector, aren't you?
      [Beat]
      Tourist: Inspector what-now?
  • In one episode of Sheep in the Big City, a plot twist (both Sheep and General Specific lose the mayoral election to a talking ham sandwich) leads to a long chain of characters going "Hubba-whah?"
  • King of the Hill:
    Student: [at a Catholic school] We're learning about transubstantiation.
    Peggy: [a Protestant] What?
    Student: Transubstantiation.
    Peggy: Trans what now?
  • An episode of Ben 10:
    Mayor/Tour Guide: It's a Megawatt.
    Ben: Mega-what?
    Mayor/Tour Guide: Exactly.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    Dock/Xu/Bushi: The Painted Lady
    Katara: The painted who-now?
    Dock/Xu/Bushi: The Painted Lady.
  • In Family Guy, Brian unsuccessfully tries to correct Stewie's proununciation of "whip" (Stewie also aspirates the "h").
  • In a episode of The Future is Wild animated series:
    C.G.: Apparently, the impact of the Avian creature must have deactivated the mocular re-organizer.
    Ethan: The Whatta-who-nizer?
    C.G.: I don't know! Expands the moculars or something. You call ask my father after he yells at me for breaking it.
  • In The Beatles episode "Baby's In Black," where the boys are in a Transylvanian castle, and Paul comes across a tomb.
    Paul: Hey, a sarcophagus!
    George: A what?
    Paul: You know. An Egyptian tomb.
    Ringo: An Egyptian tomb? Can't say as how I do, but perhaps if you whistle a few bars.
  • "The Frickert Fracas" episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies has Jonathan Winters and the gang visiting the farm of Maude Frickert. The farmhand Vernon confronts them and tells them not to bother looking for a "chicken formula." Jonathan counters they're only there to visit Maude.
    Jonathan: We don't know anything about a growth serum or chicken formula. Look, buddy... I'm Jonathan Winters, the famous comedian.
    Vernon: Jonathan who? The what?
    Jonathan: [running out of steam] Jonathan Winters, the not-so-famous comedian.
  • Thomas & Friends, "The Deputation" has this exchange:
    Percy: Edward says we need a... a depot station!
    Gordon: Of course! The question is...
    Henry: What is a desperation?
    Percy: [smugly] It's when engines tell the Fat Controller something's wrong.

 
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