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Rambling Old Man Monologue

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Kung Lao: The past is gone, master.
Bo'Rai Cho: You remind me of another student. He-
Kung Lao: What is it with old men and boring stories?

What? You want me to describe Rambling Old Man Monologue here? Well it was back in 1946, when I had just gotten my first tractor for the farm. My sister was getting ready for her first date, with Bob down the street. I remember when we'd used to play catch in the Wilkins' backyard, and had to run off every time their dog...

The tendency of an old person to go off on a long-winded rambling speech about no subject in particular at the drop of a hat. Somehow the old man never seems to actually get bored, though for some reason he has a hard time staying on topic, mixing in admonitions of today's youth with fond recollections of the past, anecdotes about fashion, detours into politics, and pretty much any other subject imaginable. If things get really bad, he'll start repeating himself.

This is Truth in Television, but in fiction it's usually Played for Laughs, only rarely acknowledging that this is a likely symptom of becoming senile.

Related to But I Digress. Occasionally the result of the old guy being a Motor Mouth. Sometimes invoked intentionally by an old person who wants to hold the floor. Occasionally combined with elements of When I Was Your Age... and Glory Days. Compare Grumpy Old Man, who usually only indulges in this trope when he's angry. An example can be found here.

Compare To Make a Long Story Short and Elderly Ailment Rambling.

Examples in media? Why, sure, I'll give ya some examples, sonny! Now, let me see, where to begin... Well, I suppose if we're talkin' media, it all really starts with the first drawings on the walls of caves...

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga? Like those shows made in Japan? Lemme tell you of the time I fought the whole Japanese army during the war, armed with nothing but a toothpick and a broken boat oar... 
  • Gender-Inverted in Servant × Service; where it is the old women that likes to engage in long ramble to the welfare office staff. The only named character of this type, Mrs Tanaka, really loves to complain about her daughter-in-law to Miyoshi.
  • A Filler episode of the Soul Eater anime is one long one by Excalibur. It is the most nonsensical episode of the series.

     Animated Films? Very good! Nothing like a full-length cartoon. Of course, back when I was young, all the animation was done by hand! 

    Live Action Films? Back in MY day, those films only cost a quarter, and they let you come back as many times as you wanted before the theater closed for the day. Why, you could get a whole bushel of pop-o-corn for a nickel, you could! 
  • Early in Beetlejuice, Adam runs into his hardware store, saying hello to the old barber next door, who starts talking - when Adam leaves, the barber is still talking...
  • In Crackerjack, Stan is usually the coolest of the old folks in the bowls club, but give him an excuse and he will go off on a long and boring lecture about the most famous game of bowls ever played: that played by Sir Francis Drake on Plymouth Hoe on the morning of his battle against the Spanish Armada and how, on being warned of the approach of the Spanish fleet, Drake remarked that there was plenty of time to finish the game and still beat the Spaniards.
  • In I'm Not Rappaport, Nat Moyer is a master of this, but is so eloquent that he actually gets people to listen to him, at least until their brains finally catch up and they realize a lot of it is nonsense. He often uses it as part of his Bavarian Fire Drill tactics.
  • Abraham Lincoln has a habit of breaking into anecdotes that sometimes don't have any relevance to the topic at hand. Other times they're quite calculated to produce an effect.

    Literature? Kids these days don't know good literature if it bit them in the ear! Did I ever tell you about the time I hit the Kaiser with a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird when he tried to steal my button collection? 
  • In Nineteen Eighty-Four, when Winston Smith asks an elderly prole what life was like before the Party, he's unable to get a straight answer because the man keeps lapsing into these.
  • Arly Hanks: Pretty much everyone in Maggody talks in long-winded rambling fashion, young or old. This makes questioning people insanely frustrating for Chief Hanks, or anyone else who wants a straight answer for that matter.
  • Mark Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County. The entire story is an old man's rambling. The narrator is looking for an acquaintance named Leonidas W. Smiley, and asks an old man named Simon Wheeler about him. Wheeler says he doesn't know Leonidas but does know a Jim Smiley. He then proceeds to tell the narrator the story of the jumping frog. When that story ends, Wheeler tries to tell the narrator another story about Jim's one-eyed crow as the narrator attempts to escape.
  • Dave Barry Slept Here says that people who lived through The Great Depression will spontaneously start talking about how hard conditions were back then until well after their listeners get bored.
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Iliad has Nestor, the oldest and wisest of the Achaean kings, is well-known for giving advice. However, this advice will surely be nestled in with him talking about his past exploits that he can relate to the situation at length. Similarly, the The Odyssey has Odysseus' son Telemachus visit Nestor in hopes of getting information that can help Telemachus find out his father's fate. Nestor receives and entertains him lavishly but has little of substance toward Telemachus' goal to say...but still never stops talking so much that Telemachus urges Nestor's son Peisistratus to let him leave as soon as possible.
  • The poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock reads as the ramblings of a lonely, forgetful, indecisive fellow.
  • Mr. Wojakowski in Connie Willis' Passage has a tendency of rambling off into WWII stories when he should be talking about his Near-Death Experiences. Then again, his WWII stories are mostly made up...
  • Pyramids: While in Ephebe, Pteppic and Ptraci go to a symposium where Copolymer, the Greatest Storyteller in the World, is speaking. Sadly, however, Copolymer is well past his prime, and his attempt to tell the tale of the Tsortean War is a rambling, incoherent mess. All the philosophers listening are moved to tears regardless.
  • Older Than Radio: Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, from 1798. The entire poem is the titular Ancient Mariner (seriously ancient) telling a young man on the way to a wedding how he came to be cursed...though he is actually compelled to do this rather than just rambling on senilely to anyone who will listen.
  • Purdy in the Warrior Cats series. Fans love it, characters get annoyed by it.
    Purdy: Do you ever miss hunting?
    Mousefur: As much as you would miss talking if your tongue fell out!

    Live-Action TV? I didn't have a TV back in my day! When we wanted entertainment, we'd gather around the radio and tune in for the weekly thrillers. Least till my pa sold the radio to buy a tractor and a few cows for the farm. 
  • Rowley Birkin QC from The Fast Show.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Captain Picard recalls a seminar where the elderly Dr. Fesbender went off one such speech. It was really quite hypnotic. (-notic notic notic notic)
    • When Scotty appears, now a man well into his hundreds, he has a tendency to do this. Unfortunately most of the crew is too busy to listen, leading to him being an annoyance to Geordi and the unfortunate crewman showing him to his quarters. The only one who really has the time and desire to listen is Picard, though Geordi does eventually learn to appreciate his experience as well.
  • Cliff does this sometimes in The Cosby Show, such as his lecture about the use of the line "Throw down that box" in his favorite Western.
  • The defining trait of Uncle Colm in Derry Girls. The actual content of his stories is often quite interesting, such as the time the IRA invaded his home and stole his van. But his droning voice, his rambling style, his fixation on insignificant details, and his tendency to loop back on things he's already said all combine to make everyone in the show feel any time in his presence is sheer agony. This has actually been weaponized by other characters against a bigger problem or even bigger annoyance.
  • In Game of Thrones Grand Maester Pycelle launches into a lengthy reminiscence about all the kings he's served. It's implied this—along with his exaggerated frailty—is to make people underestimate him, as well as him being Properly Paranoid in this City of Spies; given that he ends this monologue by lavishly praising the current king.
  • President Bartlet on The West Wing had a tendency to do this, though it was more about showing off his personal knowledge than encroaching senility.
  • A courtroom sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus had a little old lady called in as a witness, whereupon she promptly starts rambling about nothing in particular. When the lawyer realizes she's not going to let him get in a word in edge-ways, he has her removed from the court, still rambling. ("Don't you talk to me about bladders, I said...")
  • In Only Fools and Horses, Uncle Albert has a tendency to tell long rambling stories about his experiences in combat during the Second World War. Usually prefaced with "During the War..." which causes the other characters to immediately tune him out.
  • In one of Kamen Rider Fourze net movies, the very first Kamen Rider lapses into one of these right after being befriended by Gentaro, going on for hours about his life story, martial arts training and stuff.
  • F Troop: Trooper Duffy often begins telling his epic tale of being at the Alamo, "backs to the wall, shoulder-to-shoulder with Davy Crockett..." He never gets to finish it, as he's usually interrupted, but it's implied to be one the other troopers have heard many times before.
  • During a period of The Sopranos while Tony has had a falling out with Dr. Melfi, he briefly tries to enlist Hesh as a surrogate, but it doesn't work since everything Tony tries to confide just gets Hesh started on a rambling anecdote.
  • Seinfeld's portrayal of Real Life New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner may well be the patron saint of this trope. A Running Gag was that he would monologue in a Motor Mouth style until his interlocutor, typically George Costanza, backed all the way out of his office. (One episode additionally had Steinbrenner sending Costanza to negotiate with Fidel Castro, only to reveal Castro as essentially a Cuban version of Steinbrenner.)
    Steinbrenner: Uh huh, I understand what you're saying, George, and I know what it's like to be financially strapped. When I was a young man in Cleveland I use to hitchhike to work. One time I got picked up by a bakery truck. You think that stuff smells good? Try being cooped up in the back of one of those babies. I couldn't look at a donut for the next two years. Well, not that I was ever one for the sweets. Sure, I like a cupcake every now and then, like everybody else. You know, I like it when they have a little cream on the inside, it's a surprise. That's good, plus the chocolate ones are good too. Sometimes I just can't even make up my mind. A lot of times I'll mix the two together, make a vanilla fudge.
  • The Office (US):
    • Michael is unaware that Phyllis's Uncle Al's rambling is due to dementia. "I listened to you for half an hour even though most of that stuff went right over my head."
    • Michael invites Robert Dunder to speak to the employees. Dunder's rambling story flits from subject to subject until Michael kicks him out.

    Music? Ah, that reminds me of the good old days, listening to the big jazz bands at the concert hall. Of course, I'm not allowed into the concert hall after I fought that possum for a scrap of Satchmo's shirt, but it was WORTH it, by gum! 
  • "Old Blevins" by The Austin Lounge Lizards is the tale of young man trapped in a bar listening to Old Blevins deliver one of these. He realises that if he does not return home and patch things up with his girlfriend then he is in danger of turning into someone just like Old Blevins.
  • 'Rambling Jack Elliot' earned his nickname due to this tendency. He wasn't old at the time, but nowadays...
  • "(Everybody's Free To Wear) Sunscreen" by Baz Luhrmann is basically one of these -albeit an unusually self-aware one- with musical accompaniment. It was lifted verbatim from Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor's album "F♯ A♯ ∞" and the EP "Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada" both feature songs with a shopkeeper or merchant of some kind, named only as Blaise Bailey Finnegan III, rambling about what he thinks is wrong with society, his annoyance at a speeding ticket and telling a judge to fuck off...and then reading out a poem that plagiarises Iron Maiden lyrics.

    Radio? We used to call those things the "talk boxes!" Back during the war, we'd tune in between shifts to hear how our boys were doing over there. Why, I remember how much we cheered when news broke that we'd landed at Normandy, let me tell ya... 
  • Ben Withers, the town constable in Lum and Abner, frequently got like this, to the extent that he would get everyone around him so confused that they would lose track of the subject too.

    Video Games? I didn't have any newfangled video games to pass the time! If we wanted action, I'd get my toy peashooter out and play Cowboys n' Injuns with my brothers! Couldn't play that game today, of course. Somethin' about dissonant value? I dunno. 
  • EverQuest had an NPC called Old Man McKenzie. The official description of him is: "Old Man McKenzie, a frequent patron of the taverns in the Plane of Knowledge, thinks you adventurers have it too easy these days! Back in his day they didn't have all this fancy armor and magical weaponry, they relied on their wits and not a little luck to survive! Think you've got what it takes to survive in McKenzie's Gold era?"
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Jolee Bindo is prone to telling long and strange stories about his career as a not-quite by-the-book Jedi, sometimes lapsing into riddles and metaphor along the way. He's very aware he's an old man with a lot of long stories, and is quite meta about the whole thing. His stories make more sense when you know he knew who the Player Character was all along, but didn't feel it was his place to say anything at the time.
    Jolee:: I'm old! I'm entitled to be enigmatic when I want to be! Now where was I...
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Listening to such an old lady ramble on (and then fall asleep as she does so) is a way to skip ahead in time if you don't have the Song of Double Time, though if you manage to stay awake and listen to the whole story, you earn two Pieces of Heart out of the ordeal. The nice thing about it is that the stories she tells are actually kind of interesting and provide background on Termina, including the Festival of Masks and the Four Giants that serve as Termina's guardians.
  • In Anachronox, this is one of the party member's explicit abilities.
  • One sidequest in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door required you to listen to one of these (from Petalburg's mayor, old man Kroop). The reward wasn't very good.
    • In the previous game, Merlon has a tendency to speak for exaggerated lengths of time. But most impressive is his ancestor Merlar, who speaks to Mario at such length about seemingly unrelated events that it allows a stone frozen in ice to thaw while Mario falls asleep.
  • Old Man Andrew of Mega Man Zero lapses into this. Every so often he asks you questions to make sure that you're paying attention. Answering correctly is required to get certain collectibles.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has Grandpa Sea Monkee. After finding him as part of the Sea quest line, you can ask him about a number of topics, most of which provoke a long, confused, and tangent-filled anecdote about Grandpa and his childhood friends. However, if you ask the right keywords, he'll provide information that unlocks various new item drops or advances the quest.
  • Borderlands 2 has one in The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler DLC from Grandma Flexington, the grandmother of Mister Torgue. Listening to her extremely long-winded monologue is a sidequest and a test in patience since not only can you not leave her tiny fenced-off area without failing the quest and having to start over, but she'll even ask you a question to see if you were listening, which will also fail the quest if you give the wrong answer. Your reward is, of course, one dollar. Afterwards, there's a "Raid Boss Difficulty" version of the mission, where she goes on an even longer monologue, although this one at least breaks up the monotony by sending you on a fetch quest partway through, and the reward is significantly better (a purple-rarity Torgue weapon).
  • Final Fantasy X-2: Listening to Machean's excruciatingly long-winded expositions without interrupting him or skipping the cutscenes nets you precious points towards 100% Completion.
  • LISA has Nern Guan, who, when initially met, would seem to be an Exposition Fairy who begins explaining the origins of the Flash that drove humanity into its current state...before going on a tangent about several incidents involving his (now-dead) wife ("God rest her soul"), and a trip to the dentist's. He later joins you, and uses these ramblings as skills to aid your party and give enemies various status effects.
  • Ultimate Custom Night has Mr. Hippo. Any time you're killed by him, you're treated to 1 of 4 long, rambling monologues that are completely unskippable.
  • In the original version of Donkey Kong Country, you could visit Cranky Kong to get tips for the game. Unfortunately, those tips were buried in Cranky Kong's long, rambling monologues.
  • Zigzagged with Old Mudtooth from Remnant: From the Ashes and Remnant II. The various stories he tells when prompted are actually generally pretty coherent (despite his occasional tendency to nod off in the middle of them, requiring you to wake him up again), but they're still quite rambly, and in several cases either obviously inaccurate (when describing events from the first game in the sequel) or blatantly contradictory (when explaining where he got the name "Mudtooth" from).

    Visual Novels? Never heard of 'em. Back before the War, we'd go to the drugstore and get ourselves some "penny dreadfuls" for light readin', but those had words in them, Troper, not digital pages! 
  • Ace Attorney games:
    • Wendy Oldbag does these so fast that they're sometimes unreadable. In one case, Edgeworth raises an objection to interrupt her, and the Judge sustains the objection.
    • Also Grumpy Old Man Victor Kudo from the third game, who, while not as bad, occasionally has trouble getting to the point in his testimony, and in one questioning sequence, the only way to get information out of him is to politely sit through his rambling.

    Web Comics? Well ain't that interesting. You're saying I can just go on the internet and read comics without havin' to worry about getting ink on my hands? Why, that reminds me of the time I fought my best friend Tommy for an issue of Superman... 

    Web Original? My ma always told me every web spun by a spider is unique, so they should ALL be original! Unless those spiders are cheatin' by copying off their neighbors. Like the way my friend in school was caught cheating by copying my homework. But I sure fooled him, I did! 
  • In Homestar Runner, this is how Senor Cardgage communicates.
  • Jerma985:
    • Let me tell you the story...of me old bones, it started in the video titled "The Story of Me Old Bones", where Jerma kept repeating the line over and over with little tidbits of stories without an actual story whenever he was on the boat. Jerma handwaved it in that Old Booty McScruffleBeard died of scurvy before he can ever finish his story.
    • It all started in New Joisey, in "Jersey Boys In Sentry Town", when Jerma tried to get Star to tell his story about how STAR_'s apartment was a jungle. Then STAR_ lazily started it off with "It all started in New Jersey!" then Jerma just rolled with it and cranked the trope effect up to eleven with the line, it then became a running gag throughout the video. Justified in that both of them were sleepless, according to the description.
  • Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on Twitch and YouTube. He loves doing this as a means of wasting scammer time, particularly with his elderly characters Granny Edna and Billy Maizear. And whoa be to any scammer who tries to interrupt or talk over one of these monologues, as it will generally cause him to start over from the beginning. Sometimes it does result in them Rudely Hanging Up, though, so he tends to often do it only once the scammer has been well and truly baited into expecting a big payday.
  • Lenny, a chatbot designed to waste the time of telemarketers, recordings of which have found popularity on YouTube is basically this on a loop. The creator stated on Reddit that he basically just tried to think of what would be the worst nightmare for telemarketers to have to listen to.
  • Weaponized in Naruto: The Abridged Series, by the Hokage, with "Old Man Monologue Jutsu!"
  • Pirates SMP: In the treasure quest "The Old Man", the titular old man rambles to the player-character taking the quest about a Heron faction member sailing off to explore the Ice Wall surrounding the Ecclesiae Sea some years ago and never returning, before walking off and "laughing manically to himself". The quest's starter instructions enclosed in the monologue are about twice or thrice as long as any other quest's initial instructions, but by following said instructions, it can be found that The Cuckoolander Was Right.
    As you approach the Town Questboard, a scrawny old man hobbles up to you.
    "Word in these 'ere Faction Isles is you're looking for adventure, for treasure, eh? Well, if you're willing to sail to the back end of beyond for ye dinner, this be the quest for ye! Long, long ago, a much grander and finer ship than ye probably have set sail for what many call 'the Great Border', an expanse of a sheer ice cliff, towering into the sky. Too cold for anyone to approach, with terrible creatures under its icy waters.
    "A Heron faction member once caught wind of this 'ere legend, and set sail to see it for 'emself, though they never returned… If ye want an adventure, ye could always set sail on the same headings they took that fateful day so many years ago. BUT DON'T BE BLAMING ME WHEN YER WASHED UP ON SOME GODFORSAKEN ICE SPIKE, EATING YA TOES 'CAUSE YE AIN'T GOT NOTHING ELSE TO FEED YA.
    "Anyways… if ye know where Obelisk Island is, that be the start of this 'ere adventure, as the Heron faction member set off from there directly eastwards till 'e could sail no more, most likely. If ye don't know where Obelisk Island is, then ye not be any pirate worth setting sail after 'im, are ye!"
    The old codger finally walks away, laughing manically to himself… what a weirdo…
  • Seinfeld - "The Twin Towers": George Steinbrenner makes an appearance, so of course the topic of his speech meanders from commemorating George's heroism to selling T-shirts with slogans about bugs.
  • In The Movie of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Yugi's grandpa launches into one of these that turns into a Long List....that continues after the credits, and reemerges in another special!

    Western Animation? Like that mouse on the TV that wears pants? Which reminds me of the time my father tried to put a coat on a cow in the Old Country...of course the cow was having none of it, but my father was insistent on protecting the animal from the cold! 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh does this several times, as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Played for humor and heavily lampshaded in Danny Phantom at the end of "Doctor Disorders", where Tucker gets stuck staying in a hospital room with an old man explaining how many things they didn't have when he was growing up. All done in the most patronizing tone imaginable.
  • Grandpa Reg in Phineas and Ferb is prone to these. His not-so-old son, Phineas and Ferb's dad Lawrence, seems to have inherited the tendency (although he's less likely to completely forget what he was talking about).
  • Played to a T on Animaniacs in the Warners short "Chairman of the Bored". Ben Stein plays a late middle-aged dullard named Francis Pumphandle ("But everyone calls me Pip"), who upon meeting the Warners at a party begins a long-winded, rambling anecdote involving Bob Barker, cheese balls, and orchids, and remains firmly oblivious to their increasing desperation to shut him off or escape. Naturally, once he does finish his story and leave, they beg him to come back.
    • They also host a talk show and interview an elderly animator who talks for so long that they practically die of boredom. They finally decide to leave, leaving behind dummies of themselves with automatically nodding heads. The old man never notices, and even drifts off to sleep periodically only to wake up and woozily continue talking.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • In one episode Grandpa Wolfe shuffled along with his walker along the sidewalk in front of Rocko's house, rambling on and on... right up through nightfall.
    • In another episode Rocko, Heffer and Filburt go on a fishing tour with "Two-Patch" Crappie Jack (who's got wooden arms, legs, and even eyes). Crappie Jack is so busy with his rambling sailor anecdote that he fails to notice he's sailed off in the wrong boat, leaving Rocko and friends to fend for themselves.
      Crappie Jack: He let out a scream 'twas heard in Davy Jones' locker! And Mickey Dolenz's locker, too, and Peter Tork's locker! All The Monkees had lockers.
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Take This Ed and Shove It", Eddy imagines himself and the people around him as seniors, and Old Edd at one point goes on a ramble transitioning from jawbreakers locked in a desk to a cat he owns or owned.
  • In Rugrats, Lou Pickles (Tommy's grandfather) often does this. He also seems to have a strange fixation on the number fifteen while telling these tales.
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture", Mermaid Man's attempt to give a Rousing Speech to Spongebob ends up turning into an incomprehensible ramble:
    Mermaid Man: Listen, kid, this reminds me of Episode 902. We were surrounded: the Kelp Thing was to our right, and there was broccoli on the side. But if there's one thing I remember, it's how to forget! The rain in Spain stays mainly on the... SPACE! The final countdown! Skip to the... skip to the... loo, my darling! Loo! [dramatically collapses in SpongeBob's arms] Now get out there, and let's finish this movie, kid.
  • Abraham "Grampa" Simpson from The Simpsons is a master of these. The one from "Last Exit to Springfield" involving tying an onion to his belt ("which was the style at the time") is the most famous.
    "We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville? I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. "Gimme five bees for a quarter," they'd say. Now where were we? Oh, yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones."
    • "In fact, I got a real funny story about that. Actually, it's not so much funny as it is long...."
    • In "Thursdays with Abie", after Homer saves his father's life from an insane journalist who wants to kill and eat him, Abraham rewards his son by declaring he has earned the right to his "first ramble", which suggests that telling such bizarre anecdotes is actually something of a tradition for Simpsons men. Homer responds by launching into the following:
      "The year is 1946. In a war-torn world, a single flower blooms, and that flower is an angry Japanese monster named Godzilla. Fortunately, there was one man who could help...Colonel Tom Parker. The Colonel took this monster, cleaned him up, and put him on stage under the name "The Rolling Stones". The first concert was a sellout with many many, many people eaten, but those that survived RAVED about the undeniable harmonies and brutally honest lyrics of what they had just seen...and out of the wreckage of that concert crawled the woman who would later give birth to me...not once, but FOUR times, because in those days, if they didn't like the way you looked, they would send you back in to bake a little longer. After four times, they just decided to cut off my tail, but you can still see the British Museum! Which, interestingly enough, is in France! Not the France you're thinking of, but a MUCH better one, filled with palm trees and leprechauns. But I digress. In fact, I used to be a professional digresser, but I don't want to get off the track, so I'll tell you about the time I was a professional digresser. The year was 2021 and I had just returned from a brief vacation where I had eaten more than my fill of tacos. Not the tacos you're thinking of. Did I ever tell you about the time that I started Gracie Films?"
    • In the episode "Double, Double, Boy In Trouble", Abraham implies he may actually be deliberately exaggerating his rambling stories and just making them up for his own amusement because he believes nobody actually listens to him: when "Bart" (actually Simon Woosterfield) responds with shock and pride to hearing that his grandfather shot a buffalo, Abraham then turns around and expresses shock that "Bart" was even listening to his ramble, and complains about now having to actually finish the story.
      "You mean I have to think of an ending to this nonsense?!"
    • Adding credence to this theory, Abe invokes and exploits this in "Meat is Murder". His old friend Augustus Redfield appoints Abe to his company's board of directors, and when his children file a vote of no confidence against him, Abe casts the deciding vote in Redfield's favour. Redfield then admits that he saw the no-confidence vote coming and only reconnected with Abe to get his tie-breaking vote. Seeing his friend's true nature, Abe immediately launches into a particularly bizarre ramble that convinces everyone present that he's not mentally competent to vote, causing his "no" vote to get scratched off.
    • In "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish'", Abe is one of the many grandparents that students in Bart's class brought in for Grandparent's Day. When it's turn to speak about his life, he starts one of these stories. Notably his story is not only unbelievable, but told to other people who would've been around during this time frame who could call him out on it. For added absurdity, both Germany and Austria had abolished their monarchies years before his story took place, so neither would've even had a kaiser at the time.
      "My story begins in nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say 'dickety' 'cause the Kaiser had stolen our word 'twenty'. I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles. ... Now, I'd like to digress from my prepared remarks, to discuss how I invented the 'terlet' (toilet)!"
      Mrs. Krabappel: "Terlet?!" Ha!
  • Wilbur Cobb in his appearances on The Ren & Stimpy Show. The episode "Prehistoric Stimpy" is based around Cobb telling the duo about fictional prehistoric creatures based on the two animals and ends with him yelling "and the kid on the top bunk died!". It turns out he's just a crazy old bone-polisher who claims to be a tour guide and harasses visitors.
  • Rodney's grandfather in Squirrel Boy has a habit of delivering these. One of these becomes the episode "Gumfight at the S'Okay Corral".
  • Moldy van Oldy in Erky Perky is a senile old bug who loves to talk and talk for hours, sometimes about actual events, sometimes nothing more than senseless ramblings.
  • Disenchantment: Grampo the Elf has a tendency, what with being an old man, to launch into these, usually getting distracted by thinking about his past sexual exploits, much to everyone's irritation when he's trying to say something important. In the first episode alone, he starts on one telling Elfo about his mother, and apparently fell asleep halfway through.
  • The Patrick Star Show: In "The Lil' Patscals", GrandPat's entire story to Patrick is long and boring. He starts off by talking about playing kick-the-can, then going into specifics over the advantages of each type of can he used.

    Real Life? Real life will sneak up on ya, sonny! You gotta have reflexes like a cat! But not like our old barn cat. Ol' Sleepy, we called him, because he was always lazing about, didn't even try to catch rats. Oh, but he was such a good kitty, he was... 
  • In 2011, 80-year-old ex-Senator Alan Simpson—no relation—starting going off on these kids today during a TV appearance on Fox News. Here's how it was reported on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me in that week's Lightning Fill in the Blank segment:
    Peter Sagal: In a rant on Fox News this week, former Senator Alan Simpson made references to kids today and their fondness for blank.
    Mo Rocca: Their fondness for horse and buggies.
    Peter Sagal: No. (laughter) Kids today and their fondness for Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg. (laughter) We also would have accepted The Enema Man. Let me explain. Simpson was complaining, in his crotchety way, about senior citizens who insisted on getting their social security checks, and he kind of got off track. He said, quote, "If they care at all about their children or grandchildren, and sometimes I doubt that—I think, you know, grandchildren now don't write a thank-you note for the Christmas presents, they're walking on their pants with the cap on backwards listening to The Enema Man and Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg, and they don't like them!"
    Tom Bodett: Isn't that beautiful?
    Peter Sagal: It's like all of America is his lawn and he wants us off it.


Video Example(s):


The Goodglove

In "Furious Scammer Faces His Worst Nightmare" by Kitboga, the scammer wants the date of birth of Kitboga's Ethel Goodglove character ("Granny Edna") in order to create an e-mail for her that he can control. Ethel, however, is far more interested in going off on a rambling tangent about how her unusual last name came to be.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / RamblingOldManMonologue

Media sources: