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Punctuated! For! Emphasis!

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Messenger: This is blasphemy! This is madness!
Leonidas: Madness? …This! Is! SPARTA!

Describe! Punctuated! For! Emphasis! HERE!!!


THIS. IS. DIALOGUE. TRANSFORMED. INTO. SPECTA- um, sorry about that issue. This is dialogue transformed into spectacle. It is normally used in Chewing the Scenery and with accordance to the Rule of Cool, and is a favorite handwave for Acoustic License. A person who does this often will come across as a Large Ham or just someone with No Indoor Voice. Done badly, it can torpedo a dramatic scene. Done well, it can be part of a Moment of Awesome, although rarely the only component.

Often it's done with exclamation points to invoke the dramatic power of an emotional character, who's showing that you'd better take him seriously.

For a character who's cool, calm and unfazed (but no less professional and serious) it is done with periods, sometimes to show being serious, others to show whomever just used the exclamation points that they're not impressed.

Many times invokes the Rule of Three. If so, can overlap with Worst. Whatever. Ever!. Sometimes a part of a Skyward Scream or Spelling for Emphasis. If each word is accompanied with an attack then it's a Punctuated Pounding. If the delivery ends with a swear, then it's This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!.

A frequent variant, notably in Anime & Manga, is when a female character articulates the end of a sentence on a quiet, seductive tone to tease a male one (heart optional). Just. Like. This. ♡

Often leads to the line becoming memetic. An interesting experiment is to go on a Memetic Mutation page and see how many of the entries aren't due to Chewing the Scenery, Punctuated! For! Emphasis!, or hilarious Narm (often because of the other two).


    open/close all folders 

    Advertising! and! COMMERCIALS! 
  • As is the case with many tropes, this one's even been used in advertising. Case in point? "Hot! Juicy! Burger!"
  • Used memorably in an ad for ADT Security Services, by a man who is very enthused that he can go on vacation! And finally! BE ABLE TO RELAX!!
  • My name is Joe, and I! AM! CANADIAN!!!
  • Visually done with every action movie trailer in existence: HEADS (random trailer footage) WILL (more random trailer footage) ROLL (even more random trailer footage)
  • All. Senior. Citizens. Should. Have. Life Alert.
  • Wrangler: Real. Comfortable. Jeans.
  • TI...MO...TEI note 
  • NOT! HAPPY! JAN! (fellow Australians will remember an ad for the yellow pages in which a company member forgot to put an ad in the aforementioned book and the manager/boss/whatever opens the window to see the member running away form the building and yelling out the line)
    • Which has made it the subject of a number of parodies.
  • Joseph! A! Bank!
  • The Bundeswehr (the German Army) and its ad slogan "Wir.Dienen.Deutschland." note .
  • FXX's Simpsons marathon: Every. Simpsons. Ever.
  • The Honeycomb Craver's "Me! Want! HONEYCOMB!"
  • In one Visa ad, a chef (and the rest of the restaurant staff) flips out when a guest, Zhang Ziyi, complains that her soup is too salty. Mayhem ensues.
    Zhang Zi Yi: The soup is too salty.
    The chef: It. Is. Not! Too! Salty!!!
  • Promos on Nick Jr. and Disney Channel do this all the time.

    Asian! ANIMATION! 
  • Weslie in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Rescue Across Time, upon learning that Wolffy's back to his old ways: "You're... still... catching... goats?"


    Comic! STRIPS! 
  • Over the Hedge: A Drill Sergeant Nasty demands twenty push-ups from R.J. and Verne. When Verne reveals his one push-up bra, which he uses to cover his alleged ears, the sarge asks "WHAT? IS? HAPPENING?"

    Pin! BALL! 
  • Early "talking" solid-state Pinball games could only talk this way, often combining it with Machine Monotone and Mad Libs Dialogue. With a few years, however,, it was now possible to include longer recorded voice samples, making this trope's use strictly an artistic choice.
  • Gorgar was the first commercially-release talking pinball.
    • "ME! GOT! YOU!"
    • "ME... HURT!"
  • Space Shuttle: "READY - FOR - LIFTOFF!"
  • Pin*Bot: "Pin*Bot - circuits - activated!"
  • The Getaway: High Speed II has "RED - LINE - MANIA!"
  • The Addams Family: "THE - MA - MUSHKA!"
  • Rush (2022): One of the voice clips that plays upon tilting the game ends with Ed Robertson angrily telling the player "Don't... shake... the... machine!"

    Pod! CASTS! 
  • RiffTrax makes fun of this trope, especially while riffing 300.
    Bill Corbett: Well, I think he certainly proved that THIS! IS! SPARTA!
    Mike Nelson: Yeah, his kids make fun of him cause when he's handing out stuff on the 4th of July he insists on saying, "THIS! IS! A SPARKLER!"
    Kevin Murphy: Or, when he's giving his car a tune-up and his kid asks, "Hey Dad, what's that small white thing with the metal at each end?" he always replies "THIS! IS! A SPARKPLUG!"
    Bill Corbett: Or, when he sits down to a meal of juice, toast, milk, and Trix cereal...
    Mike Nelson: Uh-oh, where's he going with this?
    Bill Corbett: And he looks at his bowl of Trix and he says, "THIS! IS! SPART OF A BALANCED BREAKFAST!"
    Kevin Murphy: Wow!
    Mike Nelson: You pulled it off; nicely done!
    Bill Corbett: Thank you very much.
    • Later, there's "This! Is! Dinner!"
    • And in the Twilight Rifftrax, "THIS! IS! Forks High School: Home of the SPARTANS!"

    Professional! WRESTLING! 
  • Being filled with barely-dressed super-manly-men, Professional Wrestling has a number of examples:
    • Shane Douglas: And they... can all... KISS! MY!! ASS!!!
    • And tomorrow night, Jazz will KICK! YOUR! ASS!
    • Whenever DX is together, Triple H is bound to ask the crowd if they're ready. Then, he'll clarify for them that he did, in fact, ask "ARE?! YOU?! REEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAADY?!?!"
    • After the requisite Michael Buffer schtick was concluded, Shawn Michaels would without fail conclude with this exchange.
    Shawn: And if you're not down with that, then we got TWO! WORDS! FOR YAAAAAAA!!
    Crowd: SUUUCK IIIIIIT!!!!
    • Triple H would like to tell you that "I!! AM!! THE GAME!! And I AM! THAT! DAMN!! GOOD!!!"
    • Diamond Dallas Page's catchphrase back in WCW: "You will FEEL! THE! BANG!"
    • Used by Pro Wrestler The Undertaker, though he doesn't shout each word so much as he treats each one like its own sentence. Oh, and he draws the last one. "Rest. In. PEACE."
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: "OH! HELL! YEAH!"
    • "RAW! IS! JERICHO!"
    • Booker T:
      • You didn't say that. Tell did NOT...just say that!
    • "ROB! VAN! DAM!"
      • He punctuates this by pointing both of his thumbs at himself.
    • Randy Orton will. Do. This. Quite. OFTEN~! Got a problem? Then meet the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment history: R. K.BRO!
    • Kane during The Undertaker's (kayfabe) funeral in 2010: "THERE! WILL! BE! VENGEANCE!"
    • Batista couldn't believe John Cena would STOOP! THAT! LOW! and resort to duct tape to win their Last Man Standing match.
    • Two examples from Michael Cole: "NOT! THIS! WAAAAY! NOT! THIS! WAAAAY! DAMMIT!!!" And of course, to our collective chagrin, "AND! I! QUOTE!"
    • Jack Swagger's "WE! THE PEOPLE!"
    • Brother Love:
    • Shawn Michaels did not sleep with that young intern. As a matter of fact, he was "UP! ALL! NIGHT!".
    • "I'm...going...full...force!"note 
    • When introducing his NJPW stable, Tetsuya Naito always ends with "Nosotros Los Ingobernables DE!! JA!! PÓN!!!
    • This trope is also present as part of Joey Styles' rant before leaving WWE: "WWE...CALLED ME! I didn't call this company because I needed a job. I didn't need a job. WWE...CALLED ME!"
    • Enzo and Cass have only ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOU! AND THEY'RE GONNA SPELL! IT! OUT! FOR YOU: S-A-W-F-T! SAWFT!" But before that, Enzo introduces himself with this trope in effect: "MY NAME IS ENZO AMORE, AND I AM A CERTIFIED G AND A BONAFIDE STUD! AND YOU CAN'T! TEACH! THAT!" With Big Cass in tow, he also adds "AND THIS RIGHT HERE? THIS IS BIG CASS, AND HE'S 7-FOOT-TALL! AND YOU CAN'T! TEACH! THAT!"
    • Braun Strowman:
      • GET! THESE! HANDS!
    • Make way for L.A. Knight. Yeah!

    Puppet! SHOWS! 
  • The Muppet Show: PIGS! IN! SPACE!
  • Sesame Street:
    • When Telly Monster is struggling to use a bubble wand for the first time...
      Telly: I will blow a bubble! I have to! For this! Is! Bubble-Fest!
    • In "The Monster's Three Wishes", after Cookie Monsters wastes his wishes on "big, bigger, and biggest" trucks to hold a million cookies, he's left without the desired million cookies. That leaves him with only one option...
      Cookie Monster: EAT! TRUCK!

    RA… DI… O! 
  • From Adventures in Odyssey: During the "Darkness Before Dawn" arc, Richard Maxwell crosses paths with middle-management villain "Jellyfish". After being kept in jail about half a year longer than his sentence should have lasted, he isn't happy. As such, he informs him that apart from cleaning up his act, one thing hasn't changed:
    "I. Never. Forget."
  • From the classic Barbara Frum interview on the CBC Radio show As It Happens: "WHAT! DID! YOU! FEED! THE! GODDAMN! CABBAGE?!?!"
  • Bleak Expectations: Pip Bin when his wife reminds him of the nursery rhyme "Undead Georgie felt no pain/Til Isabella destroyed his brain":
    Pip: What the hell. Kind of nursery rhyme. Is THAT?
  • Bob & Ray's "Slow Talkers of America" skit offers a nifty subversion of the trope, in that it's the relentless lack of drama that eventually sends the interviewer over the edge:
    Bob: (as president Harlow P. Whitcomb) ... the STOA... the Slow...
    Ray: Talkers of America, right. Now, you—
    Bob: ... Talkers...
    Ray: Of America!
    Bob: ... of...
    Ray: America! Of AMERICA!!
    Bob: ... America.
  • Cabin Pressure: "IT'S! A! CAKE!" (loud SPLAT!)
  • Journey into Space: At the beginning of every episode, a voice — either Guy Kingsley Poynter (Doc) or David Jacobs — intones "JOURNEY. INTO. SPACE!"
  • Lights Out: "!"
  • Lo Zoo Di 105: The usual response to Herbert's lame puns.
  • NPR's On The Media with Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield always ends with:
    Bob Garfield: "And".
  • X Minus One: The show's title would be announced as "X! MINUS! ONE!".

    Role! PLAYS! 

    Theatre! and! PLAYS! 
  • Portal 2: The (Unauthorized) Musical "You. Are NEVER! GOING! TO SPACE! Now SHUT UP! My god!"
  • Les Misérables:
    • Both Colm Wilkinson and Gary Morris tended to deliver their lines in Les Misérables this way: "MY NAME IS JEAN! VAL! JEAN!"
  • Elphaba does this at the end of Act 2 of Wicked when confronted by Glinda and told she can't go on behaving like this.
    Elphaba: I can do anything I want. I am. The. Wicked Witch. Of. The West.
    • Earlier, Galinda said to Elphaba, "You. will. be. POPULAR!"
  • The Phantom of the Opera: SO!!! IT IS TO BE WAR!!! BETWEEN US!!!
    • And then there's Raoul with his Call-Back to that line: "...but this time, clever friend, the disaster—WILL! BE!! YOURS!!!" Phantom contains relatively few spoken lines, but its melodramatic roots mean an unusual proportion of those that exist can be delivered in this fashion.
  • Anyone Can Whistle: "NOW — POINT — ONE!" This and several similar exclamations include the same musical Stings and vamp to fade.
  • Carrie the Musical: "He! Will! Burn! You!"
  • Hamilton: "Then stand, Alexander. Weehawken. Dawn. Guns. Drawn." "You're on."
  • The Fantasticks: "You'!" ("SORRY!")
  • Li'l Abner has this in the speech leading into "Oh, Happy Day":
    "Think of the unbounded horizons of science, when we can make all mankind look!" (Sforzando) "Act!" (Sforzando) "Think!" (Sforzando) "Feel!" (Sforzando) "Hope, desire, dream!" (Sforzando) "Buy, sell!" (Tremolo) "Inhale, exhale!" (Sforzando) "Exactly like those specimens over there!" (Fast segue)
  • Averted in Calderon's Life is a Dream.
    Clotaldo: Why, this is madness!
    Rosaura: Yes it is.
  • Much Ado About Nothing: "YOU! ARE! AN! ASS!"
  • The Prince of Tennis: TE... ZU... KAAAAAAAAAAA!!! (technically just one word with three syllables, but it's all in Luke C.'s delivery).
  • The Pirate Queen: "GIVE ME. MY SWORD."
  • Blood Brothers: "But a debt is a debt... AND MUST. BE. PAID."
  • Jesus Christ Superstar when Jesus sasses Pilate: "WHAT! DO! YOU MEAN BY THAT? THAT! IS NOT! AN ANSWER!"
  • The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals: "I DON'T! LIKE! MUSICALS!"

    Web! ANIMATION! 
  • FreedomToons: Bernie Sanders' speaking pattern is often portrayed as lethargic.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Strong Bad's "sage advice" to Homestar in the Strong Bad Email "do over", which is coupled with Punctuated Pounding as he's hitting Homestar over the head with a keyboard while he says it: "DON'T! EVER! DRESS! UP! As The CHEAT! AGAIN! PARSLEY! SAGE! ROSEMARY! And THYME!"
    • At the end of the "Non-Sequitur Champion" short, Homestar tells the Studio Audience on "The Show" "Until next time, as always: CHANT! WORDS! TOGETHER!"
    • In the SBemail "unnatural", King Bubsgonzola Supreme's roars turn out to be Bubs shouting "Don't! Eat! Mah! CHICKEN WIIIIIINGS!" slowed-down.
    • In "Jibblies 2", The Horrible Painting does this when it corners Strong Bad: "Come. On. In here!!"
    • On the original Podstar Runner animation, showing an iPod menu, at the end, Strong Bad finds himself inside the menu and pounds against the screen to get out, "LET me! OUTTA the! TINY! BOX!", then suddenly shatters the screen.
    • "DE! LE! TED!"
    • Homestar, to Strong Bad, in the first "Biz Cas Fri" short: "Rondleman, you crack me up. Crack! Me! Up!"
    • In "myths and legends," Homestar recounts how he caught footage of "A very. Scary. Monsterm'n."
  • Alfred's Playhouse: BUT! HAVE! DO! LOVED! MEEEEEE!!!
  • Awesome Series: WHERE'S!! MY!! WIFE!?
  • Red vs. Blue had Grif do this when he was out of breath, causing him to put emphisis on every word while he was sucking wind.
    • "Sir! We! Are going! To DIE here!"
    • "My name is Michael J. Caboose and I! Hate! BABIES!"
    • "My name is Leonard Church, and you will FEAR! MY! LASER FACE!"
  • From the beginning of Lazer Collection 3: Just. Pure. ENERGY.
    • Also this exchange between Genkins and Caboose after the former refuses to give up possessing Church.
      Genkins: Hmmmmmm, no.
      Caboose: Put. It. Down.
      Genkins: Or what?
      Cue Caboose attacking in a violent rage
  • This 8-Bit Theater animation: "HA... DO... KEN!"
  • DSBT InsaniT: Bill shouts "Dont! You! Dare!" when Alex is about to reveal his beta name in "The Camping Webisode".
  • Dreamscape: In the flashback in "Tale of the Unworld", Keela shouts "Sending! You! To! Oblivion!" before she shatters the Master of the Dammed's scythe.
  • "NoEvil": "Kid. Nap. Ing. Kidnapping!" Wrip's response to Calamity and Huey's wandering off in the after math of Corn's narrowly-avoided kidnapping.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: Marneus Calgar has had enough of his underling's crap, and tricks him with a supposed battle tactic, complete with steps...
    Calgar: Step 4! I! CAST! FIST! *Megaton Punch*
  • Battle for Dream Island: "I. AM NEXT LEVEL. MAD."
  • From the Grand Finale of Broken Saints: "SHUT... IT... DOWN!!"
  • Extra Credits: In regards to how to do Micro-transactions: "Never. Sell. Power."
  • RWBY: Although Salem initially deals with Oscar patiently and Ozpin with calm superiority, when they finally push her too far, she grabs Oscar's head with both hands and airs what truly frustrates her about her former lover with emphatic, staccato words: his determination to reincarnate and keep fighting her no matter what.
    Salem: Why. Do. You. Keep. Coming. Back?
  • Epithet Erased: During the Western arc, Ramsey - who's been pretending to be a Mundie to keep his Epithet secret from Percy - ends up dragged into a set of Power Nullifier cuffs anyway. He takes it badly.

    Web! SITES! 

    Web! VIDEOS! 



Alternative Title(s): This Is SPARTA, Punctuated Emphasis



A.C. is pissed off.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThisMeansWar

Media sources: