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Pokémon Speak

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What Friendly Floyd's Yoshi Language Learner lacks in precision, it makes up for in accuracy.

"They try to talk to me all the time, but all they hear is 'pika-pika'."

When the Verbal Tic sufferer is pushed well past Smurfing all the way to its logical conclusion and practically becomes The Unintelligible, this is the result, a speech disorder primarily suffered by some types of mons.

The primary symptom is repeating its own name or a part thereof over and over. It's especially strange when one considers that cats don't go around saying "Cat! Cat!" et cetera. Sometimes it's part of an attack or an affirmative of their master's commands. Often, it's the only thing the monster ever says, which may require Repeating So the Audience Can Hear.

Can be a Justified Trope if the monsters in question made their sounds before people named them, and people decided to name them that — which happens once in a while in real life. For example, the Chinese word for cat is Mao. In Egyptian, it's called Mau.

Due to the abbreviation of PoKéMoN used in the Pokémon games (PKMN), Leetspeak and UnrEaDaBLe INTerNet wr1tINg are called "Pokémon Speech" in Poland.

Compare with Smurfing, Speaking Simlish, Hulk Speak, Planet of Steves, Speech-Impaired Animal, Verbal Tic Name, A Dog Named "Dog", and Silly Animal Sound. One-Word Vocabulary is the supertrope, for a character that can say only one word, that isn't necessarily their name.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Aflac duck says "Aflac!"
  • Mtn Dew Kickstart's Super Bowl 50 commercial gave us the Puppymonkeybaby, who only says its name.
  • In Canada, Hubba Bubba bubble gum had mascots named Hubba and Bubba. While Hubba can talk, Bubba can only say "bubba."
  • The Little Caesars mascot says "pizza pizza!"
  • During The '70s, Wallace the Waffle Whiffer would only say, “Waffle! Waffle! Waffle!” Especially when Aunt Jemima waffles are being made.
  • Every character that speaks in Intuits TurboTax Free Edition ads can only say the word "free", just in case it wasn't clear enough to the audience that TurboTax Free Edition is, in fact, free.
  • The Budweiser Frogs each have their own syllable of Budweiser. One commercial at the end of their run reveals they can speak other words, but, unlike the other animals in their commercials, they stick to reading from the script.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon: The Series is the Namer and Codifier of the concept (even more than the games the series adapts), and with good reason: nearly all Pokémon can only say their name or parts thereof. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is a Doylist one: having each Pokémon naming themselves makes it much easier for viewers — especially kids — to remember who they are, an increasingly important factor for marketing considering the series started with over 100 Pokémon, and the list has only gotten bigger and bigger. It's worth noting that this tradition is less conspicuous in its native Japanese than it sounds when localized to English (mostly due to names generally consisting of fewer syllables, often rarely strung in proper order), and that the series has been aware of this and has poked fun at it since the first episode (one of Ash Ketchum's first lines upon meeting Pikachu is "Is your name all you can say?")
      • The general exceptions to this rule are for the Pokémon that aren't supposed to be cute: Beastly and monstrous Pokémon, such as Charizard, simply roar, screech, trill, or bellow, Palkia being most well-known for reusing the distinctive call of the Varactyl from Star Wars Episode III. A few Pokémon are in-between; they make animal-like cries that sound vaguely like their namesnote , just like some real animals, such as Charizard (having a deep bellow sounding similar to its Japanese name "Lizardon") and Onix (having a guttural roar reminescent of its Japanese name "Iwark"). Others like Lapras make adorable cries that aren't their names, but are animalistic regardless.
      • Then there's the handful of individual Pokémon who can speak, the most well-known being Team Rocket's Meowth, who taught himself how to speak in lieu of actually knowing how to learn moves or do battle. Other notable exceptions include the Gastly from "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak", and the Slowking from the second movie Pokémon 2000. This also tends to be more common for Legendary and Mythical PokémonMewtwo and Entei can communicate telepathically, but others like Manaphy and Shaymin can speak very literally. On the other hand, Celebi just chirps.
      • A funkier form of exception is with some Pokémon whose cries sound nothing like their names. Krabby and Kingler say something like "cookie cookie", Staryu makes a deep "HYAAAH" sound, Surskit (or at least Viola's Surskit from the XY series) speaks entirely in a short "A" syllable. Sometimes it changes — Electabuzz began making a comical gurgling babble that sounds like it's being electrocuted before playing straight Pokémon Speak from Advanced onwards, but the first time Akujiking/Guzzlord debuted in Japanese, it started out straight (speaking using "ji" and "ki" syllables), but with its second appearance, it (and its Shiny variant) just screams "AAAAA" with an amusingly human-sounding voice.
    • Who says it's restricted to only Pokémon? Recurring character Mr. Sukizo's catchphrase in Japanese translates to "I like it!", based on the 好き/"suki" of his own name (this didn't translate to English, where his catchphrase is instead "Remarkable!"). Similarly, Lyra (whose Japanese name is Kotone) has the Verbal Tic "Koto ne?" ("Right?") in Japanese.
    • This is parodied in episode 29 of XY, where Kojiro's/James's Maiika/Inkay is disguised as Pikachu and imitates Pikachu's cry with its own "Ika" cry (and dropping the "Ma" syllable while doing so). People immediately take notice of the weird cry (and the obvious fact that it can fly).
    • The Rotom Pokédex from the Sun and Moon series is another subversion, speaking in fluent human language (ending his sentences with "Roto" in Japanese notwithstanding). This is a case of it being entirely engineered, as a normal Rotom still speaks Pokémon Speak, but the voice is largely based on the preexisting voice synthesis engine of a normal Pokédex. The specific device was engineered to allow for Rotom (a Pokémon that likes to possess electronic devices) to easily access said engine and communicate through it.
    • It's unclear how straight the Legendary Golems/"Regis" play this, as most of them do speak their names, but their voices skip, garble, and glitch as if coming from some kind of malfunctioning synthesizer. Registeel in particular speaks in odd tones that sounds vaguely vocal, but it's so drastically warped that it barely sounds like its own name anymore.
    • Kamitsurugi/Kartana is another odd subversion, as it's capable of human speech... but played in reverse. Most of its phrases are stock phrases of Japanese samurai and the word "cut".
    • Pokémon: Secrets of the Jungle has Tarzan Boy Koko use the same Pokémon name language as the Pokémon who raised him, Zarude. This is only around Ash and other humans, however, as shots without Ash have Koko and Zarude speaking normally.
    • While played straight in the anime and most other adaptations, the original Pocket Monsters manga subverts this with most Pokémon capable of talking, with the exception of Red's Pikachu, who plays it straight.
    • Mostly averted in Pokémon Adventures; again with the exception of Red's Pikachu, Pika, which plays it straight in rare occasions. The English Translation by Viz occasionally adds a few combat SFX that plays this straight, which is not present in the original Japanese language version. It makes sense, with the revelation that other existing countries speak other languages and call Pokémon different names.
    • This is averted in the animated trailer for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, where the Pokémon make regular animal sounds. This also applies to the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Animated Trailer.
    • Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations avert this, with it being a much closer counterpart to the games than the anime. Even Pikachu doesn't use its anime noises. This combined with the fact that Pikachu is shown using its game designnote  instead of its more familiar anime design caused a lot of complaints from fans who found it jarring.
    • Played straight in Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!. Hareta's Piplup, for example, speaks in "Pip"'s, "Lup"'s, and "Piplup"'s like the Piplup in the anime.
  • Zakennas in Futari wa Pretty Cure suffer from this, as do Uzainas, Kowainas, Hoshinas, Negatones, Akanbes, Saiarks, Zetzuborgs, Yokubarus, Oshimaidas, Nottorigas, Megabyogens, and Yaraneedas. There are some exceptions:
    • The butler zakennas which speak human language, only saying "-zakenna" to end their sentences.
    • The Nakewamekes could cry random things related to the object they possessed i.e a Vending Machine Nakewameke that yelled advertisements of soft drinks ("MADE FROM CONCENTRATE!", "ZERO CALORIES!") or in a particularly bizarre instance, a Nakewameke possessing a catching net that for some reason resembled a stereotypical mariachi spoke Gratuitous Spanish ("¡AMIGO!").
    • The Jikuchuus usually made puns off the object they resembled i.e a train Jikuchuu who claimed to be "too off the rails to be railroaded!".
    • The Desertrians could speak properly and said the name of the object they possessed (instead of their name).
    • There were also two instances of quiz-based monsters (a Negatone and an Akanbe) speaking normally and asking questions and answers. The last one actually shocked the girls as they didn't expected to be subject to an impromptu questionnaire in the middle of a battle.
    • While Ubauzos and Ranborgs usually speak like this, they can speak normally to say their Last Words when purified.
  • Chii in Chobits is named after the only word she could say at the time.
  • Doraemon movies tends to introduce new characters of either alien or supernatural origin, which can only say their own names. Notably Piisuke the titular character from Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur who speaks with a "Pi!Pi", the friendly alien Goro-goro from Doraemon: Nobita's Drifts in the Universe whose vocabulary consists entirely of "Goro-goro-goro!" and Nobita's pet Fuuko from Doraemon: Nobita and the Windmasters, a puppy-sized living Wind Elemental who repeatedly says "Fuu! Fuu!" (this is likely because she's born from wind and that's the sound the wind makes, but it does inspire Nobita to give her that name).
  • the Onbaa in the Naruto filler episode do this,
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Some Monsters of the Week in the original anime do this. (Those that don't generally have their name or part of it as a Verbal Tic.)
    • Chibi-Chibi was named the same way. In the manga, she got it because of Ikuko. Ikuko didn't remember Chibi-Usa anymore but found a teacup with her name on it which seemed to jog her memory. When she heard the doorbell ring, she ran to it thinking it was Chibi-Usa and muttered "Chibi... chibi..." in confusion when she saw the little red-haired girl instead. So she basically took the first word(s?) she heard and made it her name, since she was named by the time we saw her next. In the first anime, however, she just says "chibi" for no particular reason.
  • Lucy in Elfen Lied was named Nyu when Kouta and Yuka found her at the start of the series for the same reason as the above two examples. Gradually she learns to speak properly, and after a 4-month time skip, she is shown to be able to hold normal conversations.
  • Baby level Digimon, in most seasons. (Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Frontier had perfectly articulate Baby Digimon.) Various characters and season have had their share of Verbal Tics, however.
    • Shellmon from Digimon Adventure does this during its first appearance, but later drops it completely with its reappearances, now talking in coherent sentences.
    • The first Frigimon encountered in the series had a fondness for yelling his own name, but could speak just fine besides (especially after getting un-Brainwashed).
    • Meramon, when under the control of a Black Gear, shouted "Burning!" a lot, which in Japanese would have been "Mera," making it Pokespeak there. (In English, yelling "Burning! BURNING!" made him sound Ax-Crazy... which he was at the time, driven mad by his own flame burning him and being a bit scary.)
  • Chu-chu, the monkey-mouse type creature in Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • Several Zonders in GaoGaiGar can only say "ZONDAAAAA!!"
  • The dog Potato in Air, which can only say "piko" over and over and occasionally "pikori" (not his name, but same idea).
  • In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Sōsuke's Bonta-kun mascot-mecha can only produce the catchphrase "Fumoffu!"note  In the episode "The Hard-Sell Fetish", they catch a pervert with a mechanized horsehead mask in the park. The ensuing conversation goes like this:
    Pervert: Pony? Pony pony pony pony. Pony... pony, pony, pony, pony.
    Bonta-kun: Fumoffu, fumoffu.
    Pervert: Pony!
    Bonta-kun: Fumo!
    • This is all done only to be interrupted by Chidori with a slap from her Paper Fan of Doom to "Stop acting like you can understand each other!" In a later episode where Bonta-kun is hired to train ineffectual Yakuza, Chidori becomes his translator via an earpiece.
  • In s-CRY-ed after the Hammer is caught, and subsequently Mind Raped by the mainlanders all he ever says is "Hammer," "Ham," and he even once merely said "mer."
  • Boota in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a vocabulary of four words most of the time: "Boota," "Boo," "Ta" and "Oink."
  • Gainax is at it again: Chuck the dog... zipper... thing from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt can only say his name. Fastener, his Evil Counterpart, says his own name as well, but it sounds much more strained, so he often just devolves into growling and hissing noises.
  • The two-year-old boy Ikura Namino in Sazae-san can only say three words.
  • Bistro Recipe/Fighting Foodons, known to many as that Quirky Work where chefs turn food dishes into Mons, was rather odd about this. Some Foodons could only say their names, some could say their names and a series of stereotypical phrases (I.E. a British dumpling speaking only in "pip pips" and "tally-hos"), and some were able to speak a full lingual range.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Yusuke's spirit beast, Puu, is named after the only sound he can make before transforming into a giant blue eagle.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga Volumes 6-7, the Monster World characters Pau and Pokii say their own names.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the little Belowski's favorite monster, Mokey Mokey, says "Mokey Mokey!"
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, most of Yuma's syllable monsters speak only their name. For example, Gagaga Girl often says "Gagaga." His ace monster No. 39 Kibou'ou Hope and his evolutions are also prone to say "HOOOOOOOOPE!" or other parts of their names.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, many monsters say something that is connected to their names or appearance or outright sapart of their names.
  • Parodied in Tora Dora, where Ryuji gets so excited whenever it sounds like Inko-chan, his parakeet, is going to say her name. Inko-chan always stutters, then blurts out a word that is much more difficult to pronounce than "Inko".
  • Kabaji in The Prince of Tennis has never been heard saying anything other than "Usu" (Yeah)
  • In Hamtaro, the youngest hamster, Penelope, is known for only saying the word, "Ookyu", but later in the series, it became, "Ookwee".
  • Ichika's pet, or whatever it is, in Waiting in the Summer only communicates with various intonations of "Na." That's right: its whole language is one syllable.
  • Domo! is all Domo-Kun says.
  • Another reverse example in Ao No Exorcist - Shiemi's Familiar, a Green Man Sprout, can only make the sound 'Niiii!', so she names him 'Nii-chan'. Which is, of course, also a common contraction of the Japanese term for 'Big brother', making it a bit of an Ironic Nickname too, given his tiny size.
  • Most of the monster characters in Anpanman have evolved into this. Originally, Ankora would simply speak in the third person and Kaze Konkon spoke fluently, but now, they're reduced to speaking only their own names. Koankora, Ankora's child, is only a baby, so it's at least justified a little for him. Despite this, Poppo-chan, a baby train, used to speak fluently, adding "poppo" randomly to sentences or just saying it whenever. Now, "poppo" is the only thing she says.
  • Doskoi the sumo wrestler from the Dragon Ball Z movie "Bojack Unbound", even as he's being strangled to death by Bido the only thing he ever says is his name.
    • There's also Janemba, in his first form. His second form is so Ax-Crazy, he can't even speak coherently.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, Kyubey only says "Kyuppu!" for the first hour or so, to trick people into viewing him as a harmless sidekick.
  • All of the "Puchidols" in Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster.
  • Ojamajo Doremi: All of the fairies who accompany the main characters (Dodo, Rere, Mimi, Roro, Nini, Toto, and Fafa) say nothing but their own names for most of the series. It doesn't inconvenience them in the slightest.
  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, all Poyo can say is "Old lady!"
  • In Mamotte Shugogetten, Ru Ann the Sun Spirit can Animate Inanimate Objects, which causes them to talk like this (such as a sofa exclaiming "SOFA!").
  • In Jack and the Beanstalk (1974) when the palace staff members are turned into mice by the witch Madam Hecuba all they can say is "chu chu!", they even sing a couple of songs with lyrics using nothing but those words.
  • In Pikaia, both Pikaia and Black Pikaia are only capable of saying variants of their name. Black actually using "Blapi".
  • Tamagotchi:
    • In Miracle Friends, the Dreambakutchis, little creatures that Miraitchi and Clulutchi need to collect to return to the future, can only say "baku".
    • In the Thai dub, Pipospetchi can only say "pipo", which is placed over his binary speak from the original Japanese dub.
  • The alien invader Puchuus in Excel♡Saga... usually. It may be part of their disarmingly cute disguise. When they get hit/killed, they turn ugly and start blurting out Kansai gangster-talk (rendered as deep, crude English in the dub) or random English nonsense. Episode 22 features several who speak properly.
  • In Cells at Work!, the only thing the Cedar Allergens ever say is "Cedar."
  • Cosmo of Chainsaw Man can only say "Halloween!", and anyone she touches is also reduced to that single word of vocabulary. An encounter with Santa Claus shows exactly how this works: Cosmo actually possesses the sum knowledge of everything in the universe, and anyone she touches is automatically transported into her mind library, where their brain is overloaded with said knowledge so that it breaks their brains to the point that all they can think of or say is "Halloween!". It also shows that her thoughts are quite verbose.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Mop aliens in BoBoiBoy Galaxy are exceptions to the more usual Aliens Speaking English in the show. Surely enough, their entire vocabulary consists of the word "mop".
  • Mechamato: The Cone Konchos seem to have a limited vocabulary, only speaking the words "Kon" and "Koncho", except for their Token Good Teammate, who translates for them.
  • The lahms in the Mole's World animated series only say "bibo". There is an episode where Lazai's bibo-ing is translated in subtitles for the audience, however.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Paddi's pet egg, Eggy, and Tibbie's pet, Tibtib, can only say their respective names.
  • In the Roco Kingdom animated series, the pets, or at least Roco's pet Dimo, can only say their names. With Roco Kingdom being a mockbuster of Pokemon, this shouldn't be too surprising.
  • Simple Samosa:
    • The fried egg alien in "Anda Bhatija" is named Bua by Samosa in the episode's English redub, the reason being the creature only says "bua".
    • The bun bulls in "Bantantra Divas" make low-pitched "bun, bun, bun" sounds.

  • Stan Freberg inverts this in his track "John & Marsha", in which John and Marsha only say the other person's name.

    Comic Books 
  • In a Civil War parody, Wolverine speaks only in "Snikt" and "Bub". Almost everyone is able to understand him, anyway. Example.
    "Dammit, where's my Logan-to-English dictionary?"
    • Another parody, this one of Hulk Vs. Wolverine, has Deadpool talking to Wolverine, who responds in this way... until the very end, where he sings out "AND I'M WOLVERIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!"
    • The Boys has Groundhawk, a short man with hammers on his forearms in place of hands and is only capable of repeating "Gonna!". Garth Ennis does not like Wolverine.
  • Marvel Universe: Anyone who eats the flesh of another human being within the Canadian border turns into a being which can only scream "Wendigo" while battling.
  • Rover, the heroic Sentinel in the X-Men storyline "Here Comes Tomorrow" only says the word "Destroy!" Tom Skylark understands him perfectly. Rover also has a couple of appearances in Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), including an entire episode revolving around his relationship with Marrow, who spends most of her time with him trying to teach him more words...with absolutely no success.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The tree-alien Groot is only capable of saying the phrase "I am Groot!" (and occasionally very simple sentences like "Groot am ow"). Apparently he's very smart and if you're capable of hearing the slight nuances, he can provide a very detailed explanation. When saying "I am Groot!".
    • In Rocket Raccoon #5, Groot tells a story, making up the bulk of the comic, in which all forms of verbal and written communication are restricted to "I am Groot".
    • Note that this is Flanderization. Before Annihilation: Conquest, Groot was incredibly verbose (think a slightly nicer Doctor Doom in tree-form). Starting with Conquest, his vocabulary started dumbing down, until by the time of The Thanos Imperative, "I am Groot" was all he could say. In the run-up to Infinity Wars (2018), he regains his former verbosity.
    • Inverted in the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy (2020), where Groot speaks normally, but everyone else has a case of the "I am Groots".
  • In the original French version of Asterix and the Great Crossing, Obelix calls the turkeys "glubglubs". In English, he calls them "gobblers". Or "kluckkluckar" (cluck-clucks) in the Swedish translation.
  • Parodied in Super Mario Adventures: At one point, Friendly Floyd sells the brothers a Yoshi phrasebook... which isn't helpful as seen in the trope image.
  • Hitman has the demon Baytor, who is only capable of saying "I am Baytor!" Explained through the infernal hierarchy: those at the top are capable of full speech, those below them have to take up quirks like rhyming (such as Etrigan), and those below them are even more limited in speech, to the point that the lowest can't speak at all.
  • One Judge Dredd story is about aliens called Varks, that only say "Vark!"

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Kunyun in Crazy Trouble with Love part 10 is explicitly stated to only be able to say her name and her attraction to Chopper, who she thinks is a Gifter is largely because he can understand her when no one else can.
  • Zany To The Max has Narf the Mouse. "Narf!"
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Beat the robo-bird can only say his name.
  • In Hans Von Hozel stories The Beatles can only say "Liverpol".
  • In Gensokyo 20XX, Youmu was nicknamed "Muh" after the word she would mostly say, which is well, "Muh".
  • Parodied in Latias' Journey: While all of the poke-speak is translated to English for the sake of the readers' sanity, Chimecho is so stupid that it really is just saying its name over and over again.
  • The same gag is used on a couple of occasions in Ashes of the Past, with Whitney's Bidoof and James's Chimecho.
  • Friendship is Witchcraft's version of Rainbow Dash sports an unnatural fixation on the words "rainbow" and "dash" — frequently shoehorning them into conversation, using them in place of random words in her sentences, and growing bored with conversation that doesn't include them — in parody of her canon counterpart's Awesome Ego. In "Cute from the Hip," it gradually degenerates into this trope.
    Rainbow Dash: I always liked rainbows and all, but I was dashing nowhere in a dash. It wasn't until my very first dash that I rainbowed a rainbow need to dash. And rainbow: Dash rainbow dash rain-dash rainbow rain-dash dash!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • Mokuba goes through "Japanese Puberty." Which is? Thinking you're a Pokémon and speaking like one too.
    • There is also Zombie Boy who only ever says the word Brains over and over (don't worry, he comes with subtitles). He starts speaking normally in episode 37.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged uses it in the remix episode with Remix!Amy only being able to say her name, Blue.
  • Pokemon: Johto Quest: This trope is averted as the Pokemon in this series make generic animal noises. For example, Eddy is a sheep-like Pokemon and therefore it bleats like an actual sheep.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Abridged Series (by Pony Not Ready) does this with Kyubey only speaking in Poke Speak with subtitles. (Though Kyubey doesn't actually do this in the series proper).
  • A common joke in the Pokémon fandom is that Pokémon hear human language as this, as in this video.
    May and Rosa: Human human human! Human, human human human human.
    Bulbasaur: Huh. I guess they all talk like that.
    Charmander: Ugh. That is really annoying. How could anyone stand listening to that?
  • Pokémon The 'Bridged Series naturally likes playing with this trope. Several Pokemon speak like they do in the anime, while others speak perfect English.
    Pikachu: Pikachu... is my name.
    • One hilarious example of Pokémon Speak involves an Oddish whose cry (Of "Oddish!" naturally) is subtitled as "Fuck you." Then every single "Oddish" cry translates to the same thing, resulting in Pokémon Speak WITHIN Pokémon Speak.
  • Like Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations, the Pokémon in Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee avert this as well.
  • Downplayed in Jo Jo's Bizarre Married Life, where Iggy's lines are "Uggy, Uggy!"
  • Chapter 32 of Son of the Sannin has an "Elseworlds" omake that reimagines the Nine-Tailed Fox's attack reimagined as a Pokémon battle, complete with Gamabunta and Kurama only saying their names and with Minato and Tobi as their "trainers".
  • Infinity Train: Voyage of Wisteria: One of the cars, the Comm-Switch Car, invokes this on passengers whereas Goh's Pokémon are freely allowed to speak their names. Lexi is the only one who is unaffected due to their being an odd number of passengers and partners for the challenge and his paper powers would make him cheese it. While silly, this also becomes very important for the rest of the story. As Warbler, who doesn't have a mouth normally, can speak. [[spoiler:Her voice sounds like Grace Monroe, the leader of the Apex.]
  • Rise of the Minisukas: The titular Minisukas communicate by uttering "Baka" and "Anta Baka" (and sometimes "Baka Shinji". Or even Bakasuka) over and again.
  • Omoito: Before gaining sentience, Shanghai only "speaks" by saying her name.
  • Better Bones AU: Clanmew, the language spoken by Clan cats, often uses words for prey animals that mimic the sounds those animals make. This leads to them seeming to "say their names".

    Films — Animation 
  • In Chicken Little, a teacher who is a sheep has his students translate words into "Mutton". The students find this very boring because every single word translates to "baa".
  • From The Three CaballerosThe Aracuan.
  • A few of the robots in WALL•E, namely WALL•E himself, EVE, and M-O could only say a couple of words, one of which was their name.
  • About half the dialogue for Steve the monkey in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is just "Steve." Or to be more precise, "STEEEEVE."
  • The rather vicious looking dog in Over the Hedge was only able to say "Play?" when chasing R.J. and his wagon of food. That being said, the dog’s name isn’t "Play"- it’s actually "Nugent".
  • In Aladdin, all Abu the monkey can ever say, apart from some sporadic quasi-English gibberish, is a chittery "Abu!" (That is, when he's a monkey; when he's an elephant, all he can make are trumpeting sounds.)
  • In Team America: World Police, Matt Damon can only say "Matt Damon".

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Hodor, the gentle-if-limited giant, says nothing but his own name. It's eventually revealed to be the other way around; his real name is Walder, but everyone started calling him "Hodor" because that's all he says.
    Bran: Hush, Hodor, no more Hodoring!
  • Star Wars Legends: In The Wildlife of Star Wars, a number of alien animals, such as the galoomps of Tatooine and the hrumphs and blarths of Naboo, are named after distinctive sounds that they make.
  • The World According to Garp: After significant brain damage in World War II, Technical Sargent Garp requires constant care at a hospital and can only say "Garp." As time goes on, this is shortened to "Arp" and eventually, "Arrrrr."
  • Asmodeusssss and Balisssss in the Redwall booksssss.
  • In the Myth Adventures series, Gleep the dragon is named after the one sound he makes, "Gleep!" Subverted in that it just sounds like "Gleep" to the untrained ears of the other characters, in fact he's quite erudite as is seen when an adventure is narrated from his POV. A lot of the time, though, "Gleep!" just means "Gleep!" - it seems a dragon's vocal cords are the last thing to develop. And that dragons, like Trolls in the series, tend towards Obfuscating Stupidity when dealing with outsiders.
  • The Marcats in Christopher Anvil's short story "Experts in the Field" baffle the humans by behaving as if they are having a conversation, but all the humans can hear is each one repeating its own name.
  • Where's Wally? (or Where's Waldo if you prefer) has Woof the dog.
  • Oy the billy-bumbler from The Dark Tower actually does have the ability to speak, or at least to parrot human words. He's still named for his most common exclamation, however.
  • In the children's book Dinosaur with an Attitude the main character's pet Compsognathus can only say portions of its name right after hatchingnote , but it acquires fluency in its owner's language very soon. It reverts to this when it is annoyed, however (which is quite often, actually).
  • Eriond in The Belgariad. When he's first introduced, all he knows how to say is "Errand" in different tones of voice. The rest starts calling him Errand because they can't keep calling him "boy". Later on in The Malloreon he learns to speak properly.
  • The Arrandas in Galaxy of Fear find a child who appears to be a year old and only says "Eppon!", so that's what they call him, assuming it's his name. It is his name. Though it's actually "Weapon".
  • Amusingly, in The Magician's Nephew, Uncle Andrew is mistaken by the animals of Narnia to be named "Brandy", because that's the sound he keeps making.
  • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Salvation's Reach, Chaos warships keep broadcasting their names on repeat.
  • In The Trials of Apollo there is a karpos called Peaches who can only say the names of various fruits, peaches, of course, being the one he says most. Percy calls it "grooting", referring to the character from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
  • The Magic School Bus had a class-pet frog named Bella who did this. She escaped to a nearby pond and met another frog who, going by how he talked, was named Herman.
  • Ox, in Lair For Rent, was a brilliant researcher before his lab accident, and might still be, except that the accident resulted in him being unable to say anything other than "Ox". Later in the book, it's implied that his speech is actually being highly compressed in a way that just makes complete paragraphs condense to something that sounds, to humans, like "Ox".
  • Sneebs in The Wee Free Men is so-named because all he says is "Sneebs". But when he says it, you understand exactly what he meant, as though the words appeared in your brain without passing through your ears.
  • In Elric of Melniboné, Elric encounters a band of misshapen mutants that can each only ever name whatever animal they've come to resemble: "Pig", "Snake", and "Thing" - the last mentioned an ever-shifting mass of flesh, seemingly so ugly as to make Elric nauseous for looking at it. As it dies, it says "Frank", hinting this to have been its real name.
  • Star Trek Enterpris Relaunch: The Kalar of Rigel VII only tend to say "Kalar". If they say anything else, no-one's ever heard it, because "Kalar" is their battlecry. And they kill anything that's not a Kalar on sight.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All That: Lump Maroon, a recurring character, only says "Jupiter!"
  • Arrested Development:
    • Annyong is called this because he keeps saying "Annyong!" (which is Korean for "hello") to everybody. His real name is Hel-Loh.
    • Steve Holt is fond of shouting his own name as well.
  • Doctor Who: "The Waters of Mars" has Gadget the robot.
  • Hodor on Game of Thrones, like in the books. It's eventually revealed that Bran used his greensight and warg abilities to enter the mind of Hodor back when he was a normal boy named Wylis in the past, just as Meera is dragging Bran's catatonic body away from an army of attacking wights in the present. As Wylis is convulsing from the experience, he gets a glimpse of the future (from his point) and hears Meera screaming for Hodor to hold the door, while she escapes with Bran. The boy's mind, permanently damaged by Bran's warging, can only repeat that one phrase, eventually slurring it into "hodor". This happens just as the wights overwhelm present-day Hodor and kill him.
  • The Good Place: Derek is Janet's imperfect attempt at creating herself a boyfriend. He looks human (except for a dick that looks like windchimes) and is capable of the occasional semi-coherent sentence but usually just says variations of "Derek".
  • Binyah Binyah Polliwog from Gullah Gullah Island.
  • The British preschool series In the Night Garden... has every character (except for Igglepiggle and the Pontipines, who both make squeaking sounds) doing this. However, all of the speaking characters can also say "Pip pip onk onk" - roughly translated, "See you later, I'm sure".
  • Meow Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Henrietta meow meow combination meow meow meow meow meow Verbal Tic.note 
  • Mr. Blobby, the British children's craze of the 1990s, only communicated through repeated use of his name.
  • Long-running Canadian children's show The Polka Dot Door had a character called "Polkaroo" who just said "Polkaroo!" in varying tones. Averted in the successor series Polka Dot Shorts, where Polkaroo had full dialogue, albeit courtesy of the narrator, and without a moving mouth.
  • Saturday Night Live had a sketch based on a memetic Miss Universe clip where Aubrey Plaza played a contest pageant who basically only ̶s̶a̶y̶s̶ screams "FRANCE!" And one of the judges was Tony Hawk, whose only lines were "FRANCE!" and "TONY HAWK!"
  • Super Sentai:
    Sugozorg: Su-go-go-go!
  • Brazilian show TV Pirata had Barbosa, who could only repeat his name or the last word said to him.
  • A few in the Ultra Series
    • Ultraman: "Zetton..." was the "roar" of Zetton, the infamous final opponent of Ultraman, said in a very deep voice and usually followed a series of beeping and whirring noises.
      • The surreal extraterrestrials known as the Dada (yes, they're based on that Dada) had a loud zombie-like moan of DAAAAADAAAAAAAA!!!! They were shown to be speaking fluent Japanese (or English in the dub's case) as well.
    • The Kyrieloids from Ultraman Tiga only said "kiri" in repetition during their battles with Tiga, although they were shown to be capable of speaking Japanese as well.
    • The Dada would later be homaged in Ultraman Cosmos with a similar race called the Gigi, who could only say "GIGI GIGI GIGI GIGI!" Unlike the Dada, they wore Translator Collars in order to speak Japanese, which gave them all an identical-sounding masculine voice (leading to a funny moment when Captain Hiura is surprised to find out one Gigi is actually female).
    • Ultraman Z introduces a new alien enemy to the franchise, the Space Pirate Alien Barossa, whose dialogue consists almost entirely of "Baro, Baro, Barossa!" There are two different Barossas in the series however, whom were stated to be brothers, and the second can speak fluent Japanese.
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One has the Dodo Magia, who constantly utters "Dodo!"
  • Odd Squad:
    • Each of Oscar's twenty-five Oscarbots can only say their respective number. Season 2 would introduce Oona's three Oonabots, who avert the trope, as they don't speak at all aside from robotic-sounding laughter.
    • The evil photocopiers in "Friends of Odd Squad" constantly repeat "duplicate".
    • In "Happy Halfiversary", a Flashback shows a time when Otis attempted to set up a blender, only to have it go insane and start chasing after agents while repeating "blend". Likewise, the photocopier he tries to set up also goes berserk and starts chasing after agents while repeating "duplicate".
    • Downplayed with Otis as revealed in "Who is Agent Otis?" As a human raised by ducks, Otis could speak fluent English, but constantly uttered "Quack", as that was, generally speaking, his original name. When he betrayed his family and became the personal apprentice of Oprah, she gave him the name "Otis" and trained him not to say "quack" anymore. In the present day, he is able to speak full coherent sentences.

  • Hey! Jake and Josh
    • Since animals don't speak human or vice-versa in the Cool Kids Table game Homeward Bound 4, the players can only hear them say "human human human!" The only exception is the little girl who finds Jake the Deinonychus cute.
    • Being set in the Pokémon universe, this is naturally present in Pokémon World Tour: United, with Alan providing all of the Pokemon voices. However, this show takes the trope a step further with a Running Gag that, not only can Pokemon only say their own name, they also can only write their own name. One of Shannon Maynor's Word of Saint Paul comics has Private Psy taking a detective's exam and only writing the word "Psyduck" on it. When Rose's Togepi, Scramble, organizes Cobalt's backpack and writes down where everything is, it's a list with nothing but the word "Togepi" and variations of written over and over. This even holds true when Scramble gets hold of Rose's Pokedex and uses it to chat in Emma's stream chat during the Celadon Gym Battle, except in that case she also gets emojis.
  • The Adventure Zone: Balance has Davenport, who only says his own name. However, this is eventually revealed to be because the Laser-Guided Amnesia of the Voidfish, which erased everything he knew besides his own name.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • CHIKARA rogues Colony Xtreme Force were only capable of saying their names (Arctic Rescue Ant, Missile Assault Ant and Orbit Adventure Ant). Lampshaded by Dasher Hatfield on commentary during the Colony (Fire Ant and Silver Ant)-Colony: Xtreme Force (Missile/Orbit) match at Diamonds Are Forever on June 21, 2014.
    "When they left the Wrestle Factory, somebody told them that if they keep saying their names over and over eventually it will catch on and people will love them. It isn't working."

    Puppet Shows 
  • In Team America: World Police, Matt Damon never says anything other than his own name. This is allegedly because the creators thought the puppet they made looked too stupid to be able to say anything else. The man himself thought it was hilarious.
  • Sesame Street: the alien Yip-Yips.
    Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.... nope nope nope nope nope nope book book book book....
  • Mahna Mahna and Hugga Wugga of The Muppet Shownote , each of them originating from a specific sketch where they would Troll various other Muppets while singing/scatting/rhythmically speaking the syllables of their names.

  • Eyam Job on NoPixel communicates by only saying his surname, "Job."

  • Many software development libraries will fall into this as an anti-pattern. For instance, take this line from the config file for the "awesome" window manager on Debian:
    { "Debian," }

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the 6th edition Warhammer Armies Orcs book for Warhammer there was a brief mention on one page of the Waaagh-Waaagh tribe of Savage Orcs, living in the distant jungles of the Southlands. "Waaagh!" is the traditional Orc war-cry, which all Orcs tend to yell at the top of their lungs when charging into battle, but the language of the Waaagh-Waaagh tribe consists of only one word - Waaagh!, naturally - which differs in meaning based solely on the tone and volume with which it is shouted.


  • The international versions of the large electronic toys from the Transformers movieverse toyline are like this, in order to avoid language barriers. Instead of saying full phrases, the toys only say their names and non-language-specific terms (such as faction names).
  • Many Hulk toys say simply "HULK SMASH!"
  • The Nixels in LEGO's Mixels line only say "Nixel" and "Nix" ad nauseum. Their much smarter leaders avert this. Also, from the same series Murps (that's when a Fusion Dance goes horribly wrong and leaves a misshapen mix with the powers of both, but no control over them) can only say "murp" and laugh.

    Video Games 
  • Pokémon:
    • This trope is actually Averted in the main series of Pokemon video games, with some exceptions. Pokémon normally do not say their names, and they instead sound more like actual monsters or animals. Their typical NPC dialogue text consists of either garbled letters, random grunts/roars/squeaks/utterances (such as "Tralalalala" for Petilil, an Espurr hissing or growling, and a Fletchling chirping). In some Downplayed cases, their voices might sound a bit like their Japanese names, particularly Clefairy and Chatot. Another Downplayed exception is Bewear, whose voice sounds like a deep, muffled "Beware!". Meanwhile, Pokémon Legends: Arceus combines this with an Ascended Meme by giving Kricketune the dialogue "De-le-le wooooooooooop!", a reference to a memetic transcription of its cry.
    • A small number of Pokémon species play this trope straight in their NPC dialogues, such as Pikachu, Chansey, Lucario, and Azumarill. This does seem to become something of an Ascended Meme in later main series games, though, where quite a few NPC Pokémon say their names when spoken to. Similarly, a few Pokémon species have their NPC dialogues sounding similar to their Japanese names. Clefairy (Pippi) has "Pipipi" and Jigglypuff (Purin) makes "Pupupu". As mentioned above, the animated trailer for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 suggests that this isn't as standard as it is in the anime's continuity.
      • A very strange variant occurs with the NPC dialogue of Solgaleo and Lunala, the mascots of Pokémon Sun and Moon. Their primary pre-evolution, Cosmog, only says "Pew!" in text form, which obviously sounds nothing like its actual name. However, Solgaleo and Lunala instead say "La-liona!" and "Mahina-pea!" respectively, which are Hawaiian for "Sun-lion!" and "Moon-bat!", which are exactly what they are.
    • The starter Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow uses a digitized version of Ikue Otani's voice acting as its cry, but this only applies to the starter Pikachu. All other Pikachus whose trainer ID is not the same as the player's ID use the standard cry. In all games since Pokémon X and Y, all Pikachu have the voice-acted anime cry, but Raichu and Pichu still use their game cries. Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee also features a voice-acted Eevee. Partner Eevee's voice-acted cry would later transfer over to all Eevee in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
      • On top this, when a Meowth Gigantamaxes, it also demonstrates this trope- but ONLY when it Gigantamaxes.
    • In the Spanish translations of the games, all Pokémon have this. Whether this counts as Woolseyism or not is up to you.
    • The Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal bootleg, naturally, shows little regard for either version. Pokémon instead say random English phrases; Pidgey says "LITTLE STRAWBERRY ME BABY", Farfetch'd says "FEARFUL", etc.
    • Played straight in Super Smash Bros.; not only do most Pokémon say their names, but they're also joined by Yoshi, below. There are a few exceptions: Lucario, who can speak human language, presumably having something to do with Aura, or it could be the Lucario from the eighth movie; Charizard, who merely roars and growls (though if you listen carefully, it is crying out its Japanese name Lizardon); and Mewtwo, who speaks in the Japanese version and doesn't say anything at all beyond grunts and other wordless vocalizations provided by the Japanese seiyuu in the English version).
    • Hey You, Pikachu! and Pokémon Channel are full of this, even more so than the anime. Just take a look at this video.
    • Used for Voice Grunting in PokéPark Wii, but all of the Pokémon in the game can speak, the exception being one Roggenrola in the Tech Area who still only says his name, though it's translated anyway.
    • Pokémon Ranger Guardian Signs have Pokémon speak to a very small degree.
    • The use of Pokemon Speak frequently appears in spinoff titles; however Pokkén Tournament is largely a subversion. Besides the two Pikachu characters, the Pokémon use animalistic voices and light Japanese Pokemon Speak.
    • Averted in Pokémon Sun and Moon with the Dex Rotom. While he does bzzt tics, he speaks fluent English as well, mainly to make comments and direct trainers where to go.
    • In the first Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, every Pokémon is capable of Animal Talk. However, likely due to a misinterpretation of the wordplay surrounding its Japanese name (which translates to "That's the way it is", referencing the catchphrase of Japanese comedian Hayashiya Sanpei), Wobbuffet only speaks its own name. The sequel, Explores of Time/Darkness, preserves a version of the wordplay by having Wynaut and Wobbuffet frequently using the lines "Is it not?" and "That's right!" (the former being a translation of Wynaut's Japanese name).
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In Diablo II, various fallen repeatedly call the names of some of their greatest heroes (boss critters). Especially said bosses themselves, Rakanishu, Bishibosh, and Colenzo. Notably, when the PC approaches the Fallen to attack, they usually scream something like "Back off!"
  • In The Neverhood, Bill the Robot says only two words that sound like "Me/Big Bill."
  • In Atlantica Online, the Spartan character only says/utters/yells "Sparta!" as his battle quotes. Though he calls his attacks normally like everyone else.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • Yoshi stereotypically fits in this trope, despite 1) making other unintelligible noises and 2) there being several games where he is capable of full speech. Super Mario World, Tetris Attack, Super Mario 64, Paper Mario, Mario Party 3, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 are just some examples of this aversion, making this a Depending on the Writer case. A possible justification for everything except Paper Mario: According to the end of Yoshi's Island DS, one green Yoshi was born as a Star Child. He may, therefore, be the only one who speaks normally, implying that he's the main one you find in Super Mario World and Galaxy 2 and the one who translates for you in Super Mario RPG. "Yoshi" is also an expression of affirmation in Japanese, similar to the way an English speaker might say "All right!" or "Okay!", hence why he says it at the beginning and end of levels. In Super Mario Party, Yoshi's dialogue consists entirely of him saying his name. Translations are provided afterward.
    Yoshi: "Yoshi! Yoshi! (We'll win by working together!)"
  • Mone-chan in Yumeria only says "Mone" or parts thereof. (It is unknown whether or not "Mone" is her real name; it was (unsurprisingly) the only thing she said when asked what her name was.)
  • Fallout 3 has the "Gary" clones from Vault 108: "GARRRRRY!" "Gary?" "Evening, Gary." "Haha! GARRRRY!"
    • There's also Bingo, from The Pitt DLC. Jotun, one of the Paradise Falls slavers, could also count - while he does occasionally say other things, he mostly sticks to grunting or stating his name.
  • Domingo in the GBA remake of Shining Force. Happens again in Shining Force III with secret character Penn.
  • The Cobra Squad of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater love calling out their own names. Especially The Fear... THE FEAR!
  • In SoulCalibur III, which marked Amy Sorel's debut as a playable character, all of her speech (in one of Raphael's endings, and when she is selected by the player) simply consists of her saying her own name. She was given proper speech in the sequel.
  • In the Katamari series, the only noises that come out of most of the Cousins' mouths are fragments of their Japanese names when they get rolled up. The Prince just says random gibberish if you roll him up, though.
  • A Touhou Project meme attributes a mantra of this nature to Parsee Mizuhashi in fanart and comics. "Paru paru paru..."
  • Dragon Quest VIII has a scene after you beat a moleman boss of his subordinates speaking in nothing but "dig" and "dug." You can understand them just fine in the dialog box text, despite this.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey: "Bugaboo! Bug! Bug! Boo! Jimenez!" And in Shin Megami Tensei IV, Yaso Magatsuhi.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, Vyse's loyal dog... um, "huskra" is named Pow. note 
  • The Elite Mooks in Gears of War sometimes speak only their own name "BOOM" "GRIND" and the like.
  • In League of Legends, when Skarner stands idle in a bush, he does this. "Skar, Skar, Skarner!"
  • In Super Adventure Rockman Beat speaks only his name.
  • WildStar's Skeech frequently pepper their vocabulary with the word "Skeech."
  • In the X-Men arcade game, Wendigo comes off like this due to his voice clips consisting only of him yelling his name.
  • In World of Warcraft, Golgoss in Townlong Steppes does this as you summon him (Golgoss says: Gol... goss...).
  • Atelier franchise:
    • Domesticated punis typically just say "Puni" or "Punipuni" when talking to them.
  • In the Arland trilogy, the Chims do this.
  • Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy has Puniyo, a young girl raised by Punis (slime-like monsters) who can only communicate by saying "~Puni!". Her "Puni brothers" acts as a translator for the other party members.
  • In Warframe, friendly Grineer trooper Clem's vocabulary is limited to two words: "Clem" and "Grakata" (his guns).
  • In The Idolmaster SP, one of the Rank A communications involves discussing the possibility of an image change with your idol. During Ami and Mami's image change, if you suggest that they change the way they talk they respond by doing this.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order has Max Hass, a large brain-damaged Manchild only capable of yelling his own name in the care of the Kreisau Circle.
  • Professor Timothy from South Park: The Fractured but Whole is still limited to saying "TIMMY!" as he is in the cartoon. Subverted on his telepathic channel, however.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The Chao have done this starting with Shadow the Hedgehog. The way they talk is by repeating "Chao". This also includes Cream's pet, Cheese. They did this in earlier games as well but usually spoke in childlike gibberish.
    • In the Sonic Runners Halloween Event, the boos, the ghosts that appeared in the haunted stages in Sonic Adventure 2, communicate by saying "boo".
  • Fate/Grand Order: Fou the weird fluffy dog-thing only communicates by saying his name, or occasionally exclamations like "Kyuu!" Despite this, Mash seems to know what he's trying to say most of the time, and occasionally the narration will give the player a "special translation" of something Fou said when it's plot-relevant. He also shouts "Die, Merlin!" briefly when Merlin first shows up. He's Obfuscating Stupidity, and is fully capable of human speech, which he reveals in the grand finale of the battle against Solomon. In that same reveal, however, he also gives up his intelligence to save Mash's life, and afterward loses the faculty of speech for real.
  • Puyo Puyo:
    • The Puyos don't usually have a voice role, but on the odd chance they do, they say "Puyo".
    • Puyo Puyo Tetris has Sig's alternate voice in the Japanese version makes all of his voice clips entirely this, resulting in "Shigu!"
  • Marco and the Galaxy Dragon parodies this trope with a herd of cutesy unicorns. They start out saying "Unicorn", but quickly switch to punny variations like "You need corn" and "Unicorn soup". The same scene features a phoenix and a white tiger: they also say "Unicorn", much to Tera’s bewilderment.
  • The eponymous creatures in Bugsnax can only say their own names, much like Pokémon. Gets even sillier (probably by design) when you have a giant aggressive wedding cake-spider repeatedly yelling "Daddy Cakelegs!" as it chases you down.
  • A depressing variation in Disco Elysium where Don't Call Abigail of the Union of Moribund Alcoholics can only communicate by saying "don't call Abigail!"
  • In High on Life, after Gene's attempt to fix him, Lezduit is only able to say his name.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: "Eh! Steve!"
    • The Stinkoman 20X6 alternate universe also has Cheatball, a cutesy spherical version of The Cheat that is a clear send-up of Pokémon.
  • The kobold race in Unforgotten Realms. Though they do speak other languages, their own language is composed of nothing but "Kobold!" said over and over. And even when they do speak other languages, they pepper it near-constantly with "Kobold!" anyway.
  • In PokeAwesome, Venusaur is able to speak perfect English, but whenever he does he corrects himself with "I mean, Venusaur" in a parody of this trope. Pikachu sticks to the trope (though with a helping of Larynx Dissonance) up until he gets hit in the knee, at which point he drops it completely.
  • The Dota 2 Reporter: Dazzle and Nyx Assassin are portrayed with this, to comical effect.
  • Gridiron Heights: Both the 2023 draft special and the Season 8 opener have Indianapolis Colts QB Anthony Richardson making "pitches" for himself that consist solely of yelling his own name in an excited baby voice.
  • The aliens in Red vs. Blue speak in a language made up entirely of the words "honk" and "blarg." According to a deleted scene on the DVD, it works both ways. The Aliens are confused by the human language, as it all sounds like the word "gabba" over and over. They were, however, able to distinguish the word "suck", since they say it so much.
  • Inverted in an episode of Starter Squad, where Charmander and Bulbasaur come across two girls and asks them for directions. All they hear is "Human human human!", which the two Pokémon find annoying.
  • In the Peppa Pig parody, Poppa Peg, by Negas, Poppa's mother can only say her own name: "MOTHAFUCKA!" (With a very manly voice, too).
  • Perhaps predictably, given that it comes from the Trope Namer, but in DEATH BATTLE!, Machamp indulges in this during its battle against Goro. This stands out, however, for being the first Pokémon in the show to use a proper voice actor instead of recycled voice clips. During the battle itself, Goro gets annoyed when he finds out that the only thing Machamp can say is its own name.
  • In Zamination's animations, any Among Us Crewmate that appears can only say the word "Among Us".
  • Mike Salcedo’s short video series Alphabet stars an entire alphabet of anthropomorphic letters who can only say their own name.


    Web Original 
  • Uncyclopedia has articles on Steve "Developers! Developers!" Ballmer and Pikachu written entirely in this.
  • My Way Entertainment's parody of the Power Rangers features Red Ranger as Jose Canseco (an infamous baseball player from the 90s known for having an extremely large ego, openly admitting to steroid abuse, and compulsively lying), who is unable to go five words without screaming "JOSE CANSECO!".
  • BlogeSalming's portrayal of hockey player Phil Kessel is a moron who can speak nothing but his name. Later episodes have expanded Kessel's vocabulary but for the most part, retain the rest of the personality.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd: "Shit Pickle"
  • The Impossible Man has Kaijumon, a parody of Pokémon, that says their names. Then there's Ely the Chupacabra who says "Chupa. Chupa."
  • Pokémon Talk: In the first episode, Squirtle and Bulbasaur are discussing how Squirtle speaks, what with an Unexplained Accent, then:
    Bulbasaur: "You've always talked like, 'Squirtle, Squirtle'."
    * This trope is actually averted in Box of Danger's Pokémon The Abridged Series, though Ash takes a while to realize that.
  • The famous Pokémon example is conversed about in Retsutalk when slowbeef says that "when you're drunk, that is the funniest goddamned thing ever". It's then briefly parodied when Diabetus says when he gets drunk, that's how he talks to people.
  • This Pokémon parody of Ylvis' "What Does the Fox Say?" swaps the animal noises for this, resulting in some Department of Redundancy Department humor. It substitutes in Delphox's game cry at the last second.
  • On Neo Pokeforum this trope happens... sometimes. Some masters have Pokémon speak their names, while some have them grunt, growl and squawk like real-life animals.
  • Played for Laughs when the Game Grumps played Speed Runners, with Ross's impression of Markiplier (who's in the game as a Guest Fighter) is just him saying "Markiplier!" over and over while approximating Mark's voice. When this is brought up during one of Mark's own Grand Theft Auto V videos, he remarks "Apparently I'm a Pokémon."
  • The Adventure Zone has Davenport, a gnome who can only say his own name. Heartbreakingly justified in that Davenport was the captain of the secret mission against the Hunger. When Lucretia wiped the rest of the crew's memories of their century running from the Hunger, Davenport was so intensely affected that the only thing left to him was his own name.
  • The Happy Video Game Nerd: Nekbone the sock puppet shouts his name every few seconds.
  • Jacksfilms: One episode of YIAY is Jack responding to various "Me Me Big Boy" posts with the phrase "Me Me Big Boy".
  • The Warp Zone features a rap battle between Hodor and Groot, two of the most famous non-Pokémon examples of this trope. Subtitles are provided for the viewer's sanity.
  • Discussed in Vinesauce Vinny's stream of Bugsnax, itself an example of the trope, where he comments on a user's suggestion that bugs should say their own names in real life, just like the in-game Bugsnax. He implies that it'd make it more painful to watch them die but would also make cricket chirping at night a lot more annoying.
    Vinny: Cricket! Cricket cricket!
  • In the Cream Heroes series Kittisaurus Villains, Chuchu's dialogue is her saying 'Chu' with translation text. Lala's dialogue consists solely of 'Myah!' (a dead on impersonation of her meow), which also comes with translation text.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Felix the Cat (Joe Oriolo) cartoons, we have recurring bit-player Vavoom, an impish little boy who is only capable of saying his name, and saying it really loud. Interestingly, this becomes a source of conflict in "Vavoom Learns How To Fish"; Vavoom tries to warn a nearby town about a leaking Dam, but because he can only say his name in a way that literally blows people off their feet, they think he's harassing them and they try to capture and jail him.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the cartoon Hollywood Steps Out, Actress Ann Sheridan, known as "The Oomph Girl" is only able to say "Oomph".
    • The Roadrunner's name is changed to "Beep Beep" (in the Italian dub) or "Bip Bip" (in the French dub), thus making him this trope.
  • In Dora the Explorer most animals talk, but if Dora or her friends are being menaced by dangerous/creepy animals like sharks or snakes, they say "Sharks! Sharks! Sharks!", "Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!", etc.
  • South Park: Timmy can only say his name and a string of gibberish, as do his parents, Richard and Helen, due to being mentally handicapped. Strangely, in later episodes, Timmy seems to be more intelligent and can try to communicate complex ideas using different inflections and hand motions to augment his single-word vocabulary.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Being just a baby fairy, Poof usually says his name. But, he can also say other things, such as Timmy's name because he loves his godbrother dearly. Averted as of "School of Crock" when he undergoes a phase called "Pooferty" and starts speaking proper vocabulary.
  • The Oogle Boid from Rocky and Bullwinkle? Oogle oogle oogle!
  • The Flintstones: Bamm-Bamm gets his name from the only phrase he says as an infant.
  • Coco in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Frequently, the other characters repeat her lines à la Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: "Coco coco!" "Ripoff artist?!"
    • Sometimes the writers were more clever about it, like when an extremely sick Bloo made them think a ghost was loose in the house.
      Coco: (picks up a telephone)
      Wilt: A telephone? Who ya gonna call?
      Coco: Co-coco!
      Wilt: Nah, they went out of business years ago.
    • In one episode, everyone was wondering how to get a great room Mac accidentally gave away.
      Coco: (while talking in a clearly sinister tone of voice) Co-co Cocooo.. >_>
      Mac: Um, Coco.. I'm pretty sure if we did that, we'd go to jail.
    • Even her diary and a note she wrote reads "Coco coco coco cococococo." Pokémon Writing?
  • The Tick included the space alien races of the "Hey"s and the "What"s, each of whom had a language consisting of that said word. However, one of the What's was able to learn Earth languages perfectly, and the Heys had enough linguistic complexity to manage the four term fallacy.
  • In Justice League Dark: Apokolips War the character King Shark is only able to say "King Shark is a shark!" During his dying moments he reveals that he was able to speak full sentences the entire time, a fact which iritates Captain Boomerang.
  • In ˇMucha Lucha! the wrestler Snowpea usually only repeats his name. Except at the end of one episode, where he said the name of his MMORPG Author Avatar, "Rutabega."
  • The Tookie bird in George of the Jungle, both in the cartoon and the movie (where he becomes a toucan to further justify the name, yet still says "Ah ah, ee ee, Tookie tookie!").
  • The title characters in the short-lived Cartoon Network series Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto! had a vocabulary that mainly consisted of those three names, with different inflections to indicate their emotions.
  • This trope is parodied in a Robot Chicken skit where Pikachu and Squirtle are talking to each other.
    Pikachu: Pika! Pika Pika Pikachu! Pika Pikachu!
    Squirtle: Squirtle! Squirtle Squirt! Squirtle! Squir— WHAT THE FUCK AM I SAYING!? No, I mean it! This shit makes no sense at all!
    Pikachu: (whispering) Just say the line, Earl, or you'll get the gas!
    Squirtle: For the love of Christ, kids, go read a book or something!
  • Parodied in ReBoot, since no Pokémon parody would be complete without this. When the heroes reboot in the Pokémon-style game, Frisket becomes a Pikachu expy, where instead of barking he would say "frisket."
  • Bjornbot, Bjorn Bjornson's robot double from Robotboy can only say "Bjorn!!" (usually with as much pathos as TIMMMEH) - And "Ja!!" Since his only purpose is to be the world's greatest fighting robot, it is possible that Bjornson just didn't bother to program him to say anything else.
  • Guano from Kappa Mikey engages in this on Lily-mu.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Something similar happened to Dexter in the episode, "The Big Cheese", when he attempted to use science to cheat on a French test by uploading his vocabulary phrases straight into his brain. The audiobook he was using became stuck on "Omelette du Fromage", and when he awoke in the morning that was all he could say for the remainder of the episode. At first those around him were swayed by his apparent class and sophistication, landing him popularity, money, and sponsorship deals, but it also rendered him unable to speak the password to access his lab, which caused it to blow up.
  • Moe and Spewter in Mutant League. Of course, they are so dumb that all Moe can say is "Eat dirt," and all Spewter can say is "Dead meat."
  • Regular Show: The coffee bean only says "coffee", and he had Mordecai and Rigby sign a contract written in this way. Possibly lampshaded by the fact that his translator is Japanese. Same goes for the Cool Cubed. All he says is "Freeze!" Like the coffee bean, he has a translator.
  • The Transformers: In the season 2 episode Kremzeek, the little electrical creature can only say its name (Kremzeeeeeek!)
    • This is how Snarl and Swoop are voiced in the Japanese dub of Transformers: Animated.
    • In both the original Japanese and the English dub versions of Transformers: Armada, the titanic Decepticon warship/warrior Tidal Wave says little except for chanting his own name.
    "Tidal Wave... Tidal Wave... Tidal Wave..."
  • Snarf in Thunder Cats 2011 can only say his name and make animal noises, as a Casting Gag (his voice actress plays Togepi and Pichu in Pokémon: The Series), and a Mythology Gag to the original's Verbal Tic.
  • Secret from Young Justice (2010) speaks this way. Apparently, it's due to the circumstances surrounding her death: the last thing she saw before being murdered was the word "secret" on a neon sign.
  • In Superfriends, The Wonder Twins' pet/mascot Gleek communicated by saying only his name.
  • In Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), in the Bad Future, reprogrammed Sentinel Rover is only capable of saying one word with various inflections due to having been built from scrapped parts: "Destroy". At least until his Heroic Sacrifice, where he takes on several other Sentinels in order to help the others escape, eventually falling close to Marrow, the member he was closest to, and saying "Run".
  • Before she overcame her camera-shyness, Blythe's vocabulary in Littlest Pet Shop (2012) was reduced to just her name when put in front of a TV camera.
  • Adventure Time has James Baxter, a horse, voiced and animated by James Baxter, who can only say his name. He does a spectacular job as a motivational speaker regardless.
    Jake: He always knows just what to say to cheer a guy up!
    • Another episode featured two noodle-y like characters named Chips and Ice Cream that did this.
  • Bleep in Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space.
  • The Simpsons: In part two of 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?' when Mr. Burns wakes up all he can say is ‘Homer Simpson’. Even then he can’t remember Homer’s name.
    Dr. Nick: Now how are you feeling?
    Mr. Burns: Homer. Simpson Homer, Simpson.
    Dr. Nick: Hmm, that seems to be all you can say. When you were in that coma did you feel your brain getting damaged?
  • In Gravity Falls, Shmebulock the gnome can only say his own (unusual) name. Other gnomes (who also have more conventional names) speak English fluently. Discussed in one episode:
    Jeff: Is "Shmebulock" all you can say?
    Shmebulock: (Single Tear) Shmebulock.
  • Kuma (the Team Pet) did this in the first episode of DiC's Pole Position series but was dropped beginning with the next episode.
  • Quack Quack the duck from Kaeloo can only say "Quack".
  • In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, all Jethro ever says is "I am Jethro!"
  • Toot from Bottersnikes And Gumbles can only say his name. However, there's a twist: the show's official website states that this trait manifested itself following a very unfortunate and unpleasant incident with the Bottersnikes, essentially confirming it to have been caused by trauma.
  • On Mack & Moxy, the only thing that the Great Helpees can say are their own names.
  • Subverted in DuckTales (2017): initially it seems like the Wendigo plays this straight, saying 'wendigo', but it turns out he's actually saying 'when'd he go' because he's the Ghost of Christmas Past looking for Scrooge, who stole his time umbrella and left him stranded in the past.
  • In Theodore Tugboat, all Donald Dock can say is "Uh-huh", and all Jasper the Junk Dock can say is "Nope".
  • The Hollow: War one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is only able to use the word War.
  • A variation on Phineas and Ferb: In the episode "The Chronicles of Meap", the titular alien and his entire species can only say "Meap" unless they're wearing Universal Translator facial hair.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Temporal Edict", Vindor, the gigantic champion of the Gelrakians, only seems to say his own name, usually in a bellowing roar. Subverted when Ransom takes him down — Vindor admits that he just does it to play up the Dumb Muscle angle, and loves reading.
    Vindor: Stop! Stop! I submit!
    Ransom: I thought you only said "Vindor".
    Vindor: It's so the other guys think I'm strong and dumb, but I'm not. I love to read!
    Narj: The Moopsy drinks your bones!
    Moopsy: Moop-sy!
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: In the final episode, The Final Battle, the drones Vilgax has linked to the stolen Omnitrix to create a transforming army are only able to say the name Ben gave to the form they're in. Endlessly, and in a Creepy Monotone.
  • Wallykazam: The Grab Crab only ever says his name in various inflections, generally when either seeing something he wants to grab or actually grabbing it.
  • The Bee-Bees: Boo communicates by saying his name.
  • Smoogle, Nanny Smurf’s pet from The Smurfs (1981) mostly communicates by saying his name, occasionally he will say other words and can also vocally mimic any sound he hears.



Video Example(s):


Tim and Detective Pikachu

Tim can hear Detective Pikachu speak English, but everyone else hears him speaking his own language.

How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / TranslatorMicrobes

Media sources: