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Rapid-Fire Descriptors

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A character or a thing or an activity or a concept (anything really) is described using tons of adjectives or adverbs in one very long sentence that can be run-on in extreme cases. Hyphenated descriptors are often used to deliberately stretch the length.

Related to Purple Prose, but the former incorporates many more writing tropes (such as Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness) and doesn't always use this one. Sometimes it overlaps with Flowery Insults. This trope is very often linked to exasperation, and characters speak in this way to relieve their stress and vent their frustration. Some of the adjectives or adverbs may be uttered in Angrish. Some of them may be Perfectly Cromulent Words.

Large-Ham Announcer is likely to heap adjectives one after another and describe contestants with flowery epithets in this manner, too. May also happen with a Motor Mouth, for more emphasis on the "rapid-fire" side of things.

Often Played for Laughs. Compare Try to Fit That on a Business Card.


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    Comic Books 
  • A Flowery Insult from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl:
    "Stupid little puffy rat-midget cotton-tushed cootie infested freak of nature poo poo headed monstrosity of the seventh layer of heck pee pee breathed dookie eating pig loving crab like bow legged creepy ass bulbous headed smaller than a bread box hollow brained gopher licking intestine shaped bacon wrapped no soap using squid slurping botulism growing crotch scratching one balled accidentally birthed filth spreading juice producing greasy palmed fart leaking ball of crap shaped like a man."

    Fan Works 
  • Tantabus Mark II: From How the Tantabus Parses Sleep - Robbery, He Dreamed: When Moondog is talking themselves in Coranto's dream:
    "Such a smart, pretty, clever, funny, and all-around awesome tulpa, don't you think?"
  • Oversaturated World: This is how Ditzy described pizzas in Go, Emps! - And Keep on Going!: Calorie-crowded, heart-harming, sodium-stuffed, cancer-causing, fat-filled pizzas. Alliteration is an added bonus.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • From Episode 1:
      Yugi: Hey Gramps, can we please see your super-rare-awesome-chocolatey-fudge-coated-mega-super-card?
    • Exaggerated in episode 2:
      Yugi: Hey Gramps, can we please see your ultra rare-chocolatey fudge coated-sugar sprinkled-angelical-magical-fantastical-stupendously special-illegally sexual-genuinely-brilliantly-amazingly-goddamn-spank my ass and call me Suzy-mega-ultra-super card?
      Grandpa: What?
      Yugi: Show us your rare card.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Rise of the Guardians, Santa describes himself as "jolly, mysterious, fearless, and caring", before concluding that his Centre (i.e. his most important deep-down characteristic, a theme in this movie) is having his eyes be "full of wonder", which is why they're so large.
  • Hercules: When Phil argues with Hercules when telling him that Meg is working with Hades, with Herc refusing to believe him.
    Phil: She's nothin' but a two-timin'...
    Hercules: Stop it!
    Phil:, lyin', schemin'—!
    Hercules: SHUT UP! [swats Phil away, sending him flying into some barbells]
  • Robin Hood (1973): The song "The Phony King of England" describes Prince John as "sniveling, groveling, measly, weaselly, blabbering, jabbering, gibbering, jabbering, plundering, plotting, wheeling, dealing".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Becoming Jane:
    • Young Jane Austen uses the Purple Prose version of the trope in her piece written for her sister and read in her family. It's called "Advice from a young lady on the engagement of her beloved sister Cassandra".
      Jane: [reading] 'And pray, madam, what am I to expect in return?' — 'Expect? Well, you may expect to have me pleased from time to time.'
      Cassandra: [smiling] Is this who I am?
      Jane: ...'And a sweet, gentle, pleading, innocent, delicate, sympathetic, loyal, untutored, adoring female heart.'
    • Angered Jane writes about Tom Lefroy to her sister Cassandra as a reaction to a friend's advice: "Careful, Jane, Lucy is right. Mr Lefroy does have a reputation." — "Presumably as the most disagreeable, insolent, arrogant, impudent, insufferable, impertinent of men." Lampshaded. She then says to herself that that's too many adjectives and she cuts some of them with scissors from the letter.
  • Peter Banning in Hook finally learns to both defend himself and unstopper his imagination in a battle of insults with Rufio:
    Peter Banning: You lewd, crude, rude, bag of pre-chewed food dude.
    Thud Butt: [with the rest of the Lost Boys] Bangarang, Peter!
    Rufio: You... you man! Stupid, stupid man!
    Peter Banning: Rufio, if I'm a maggot burger why don't you eat me! You two-toned zebra-headed, slime-coated, pimple-farmin' paramecium brain, munchin' on your own mucus, suffering from Peter Pan envy!
  • This pattern of repetitive descriptors is used in the movie title of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. It's a Biopic about the notorious Serial Killer Ted Bundy.
  • Clark Griswold offers up a truly magical articulation that's bursting with these after he finds out he won't be getting his holiday bonus in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation:
    Clark: Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Dingo, the maiden from Castle Anthrax, gets "angry" with her identical sister Zoot for lighting up their grail-shaped beacon and luring Sir Galahad into their castle. She calls her "Bad, bad Zoot! Oh, wicked, bad, naughty Zoot! Oh, wicked, bad, naughty, evil Zoot!" She says she's a bad person who must pay the penalty! Which is spanking. All the maidens want a spanking. And after the spanking, the oral sex.
  • A Fish Called Wanda: Otto doesn't think much of Archie:
    Otto: You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, fuck-face, dickhead, asshole!

  • In Holes, Stanley's grandfather repeatedly refers to his ancestor, Elya Yelnats, as Stanley's "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great grandfather."
  • The demon of insincerity in The Phantom Tollbooth describes himself as "The long-nosed, green-eyed, curly-haired, wide-mouthed, thick-necked, broad-shouldered, round-bodied, short-armed, bowlegged, big-footed monster." As his name might indicate, most of those are Blatant Lies. He is round-bodied, curly-haired, and big-footed, though.
  • Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion opens with calling the Old Testament God "arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
  • The children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Vorst. Alexander repeatedly summarizes the events of his day by using the phrase "And I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Snow Scout pledge is a series of adjectives that goes down the alphabet. The Baudelaires wonder about some of the more contradictory ones (eg. how they can be "calm" and "frisky" at the same time).
    "Snow Scouts are accommodating, basic, calm, darling, emblematic, frisky, grinning, human, innocent, jumping, kept, limited, meek, nap-loving, official, pretty, quarantined, recent, scheduled, tidy, understandable, victorious, wholesome, xylophone, young, and zippered — every morning, every afternoon, every night, and all day long!"
  • In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Lili disguises herself as Bell and tries to pull away Hestia, who instantly sees through Lili's transformation magic before dropping this line:
    Hestia: You can impersonate Bell's cool looks, but you'll never have his pure soul! Because you're a conniving, butthurt, narrow-minded, stubborn, money-blinded cheapskate thorn in my side! Isn't that right, Miss Supporter!
  • In Princesses of the Pizza Parlor (the second book), there is this description of Claire:
    spotted only the biggest, brightest, shiniest, most colorful, distracting thing that her kitten-like attention span could latch onto.
  • Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks is a book of tongue-twisters, ending with this gem:
    When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle, this is what they call... a tweetle beetle noodle poodle bottled paddled muddled duddled fudddled wuddled fox in socks, sir!
  • Space Opera exaggerates this trope:
    Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery country called England (which was bound and determined never to get too excited about anything), a leggy psychedelic ambidextrous omnisexual gendersplat glitterpunk financially punch-drunk ethnically ambitious glamrock messiah by the name of Danesh Jalo was born to a family so large and benignly neglectful that they only noticed hed stopped coming home on weekends when his grandmother was nearly run over with all her groceries in front of the Piccadilly Square tube station, stunned into slack-jawed immobility by the sight of her Danesh, twenty feet high, in a frock the color of her customary afternoon sip of Pernod, filling up every centimeter of a gargantuan billboard.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Fawlty Towers: Basil lets out a few when an upper-class couple drive off in a huff.
    Basil: You snobs! You stupid, stuck-up, toffee-nosed, half-witted, upper-class piles of pus!
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the sketch "Mr and Mrs Git", the Gits have Unfortunate Names with tons of adjectives in a long string. A Snivelling Little Rat-Faced Git has a wife, Dreary Fat Boring Old. They have kids, you know, Dirty Lying Little Two-Faced and Ghastly Spotty Horrible Vicious Little (and Ghastly Spotty Cross-Eyed).
  • The Good Place, "A Girl from Arizona, Part 1": Angered Eleanor is heard muttering adjectives in quick succession, twice in a row, when ex-demon Micheal tries to persuade her to use Chidi for the experiment in their mission to save humanity from eternal torture.
    Eleanor: Stupid ethical reasonable argument. I wish you were a cake. Push you over.
    Michal: Are you still muttering?
    Eleanor: No-o! I stopped. Stupid good-hearing reformed demon.
  • Red Dwarf, "Blue": After Lister starts missing Rimmer and his quirks, Kryten arranges the full Rimmer Experience for the crew. After that, Lister is once again very fed up with him and calls him a scum-sucking, lying, weasel-minded smegger.
    Lister: I never wanna see or hear from that scum-sucking, lying, weasel-minded smegger in my entire life!
  • On Gilmore Girls, Rory uses her colorful vocabulary to chew Logan out for pulling a prank on her in the middle of a class.
    Logan: That's not a good look.
    Rory: I have no words.
    Logan: It was just a joke.
    Rory: Oh no, wait. I found some. Jerk, ass, arrogant, inconsiderate, mindless, frat boy, lowlife, butt-faced miscreant.
    Logan: "Butt-faced miscreant?"
    Rory: Why would you do something like that?
  • Community:
    • "Biology 101": Jeff described Pierce being kicked out of their study group as parting ways with their "closest, oldest, craziest, most racist, oldest, elderly, crazy friend".
    • "Basic Crisis Room Decorum": Annie loses it after their emergency meeting. The group pulled an all-nighter, trying to avert a crisis of a negative ad that their arch-enemy rival school wants to run against them. Most of those descriptors make sense in context.
      Annie: Have fun with your lying, cheating, dog-smearing, truth-blurring, trouser-swapping school.
    • "Wedding Videography": Frankie starts heaping adjectives when she tells Abed about stuff from her childhood/teenage years. Abed's filming their preparing to go to Garrett's wedding:
      Frankie: Annie and Britta told me to come over and get ready with them for Garrett's wedding. I didn't say no. Who says no to something like that? Who says no to something like that? A cold, off-putting, incompatible person. The kind of person that turns a sleepover into a stoning. I had rocks... thrown at me. Biblical, igneous, jagged, hateful, pointy, ninja rocks, and that's not gonna happen again.
  • Fleabag: Fleabag uses this pattern sometimes when she talks to other people or when breaks the fourth wall and talks to us, the viewers.
    • Describing heself in a humorous self-deprecation combined with genuine self-loathing: "I have a horrible feeling that I'm a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can't even call herself a feminist." (To which her father replies that she gets all that from her mother.)
    • Fleabag's rapid-fire description of her successful, highly strung sister: "The only thing harder than having to tell your super-high-powered, perfect, anorexic, rich super-sister that you've run out of money is having to ask her to bail you out."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • "The Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal, Death Defying Man", Sabu!
  • The Rock would sometimes address himself like this.
    The Rock: The Jabroni-beatin', pie-eatin', Hell-raisin', trailblazin', People's Champ!
  • Ric Flair is, by his own description, a "kiss-stealing, wheeling and dealing, jet-flying, limousine-riding son of a gun."
  • Chris Jericho had a list of insults reserved for women that wronged him, such as Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon (particularly during the Attitude/Invasion/Ruthless Aggression eras). He would call them "filthy, dirty, disgusting, skanky, brutal, bottom-feeding trash bag hoes".

  • The song "Hair" from, well, Hair, describes all type of hair there is.
    "I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty, oily, greasy, fleecy, shining, streaming, gleaming, flaxen, waxen, knotted, polka-dotted, twisted, beaded, braided, powdered, flowered and confettied, bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied."
  • The song "Poor Baby" from Company begins with Bobby's five female friends pitying him for being single. Of course, every time he does find a girlfriend, they never approve. The adjectives in rapid-fire pace are sometimes shared among them.
    All Women: Isn't she a little bit, well...
    [all at once]
    Sarah: Dumb? Where is she from?
    Amy: Tacky? Neurotic? She seems so dead...
    Susan: Vulgar? Aggressive? Peculiar?
    Jenny: Old? And cheap, and...
    Joanne: Tall? She's tall enough to be your mother.
    Sarah: She's very weird...
    Jenny: Gross, and...
    Susan: Depressing, and...
    Amy: And immature...
    Joanne: Goliath!
  • Cats: The bridge to the prologue song, "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats", bombards the listener with a list of all the types of cats:
    Practical cats, dramatical cats, pragmatical cats, fanatical cats, oratorical cats, Delphic Oracle cats, skeptical cats, dispeptical cats, romantical cats, pedantical cats, critical cats, parasitical cats, allegorical cats, metaphorical cats, statistical cats and mystical cats, political cats, hypocritical cats, clerical cats, hysterical cats, cynical cats, rabbinical cats.
  • King Lear: The famed "longest insult in Shakespeare", from Kent to Oswald:
    Kent: [Thou art] A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch.
  • The song "There! Right There!" from the Legally Blonde musical revolves around Elle and the rest of Brooke's legal team trying to determine if the prosecution's witness, Nikos Argitakos, is gay or not. If they can prove that Nikos is gay, they'll invalidate his claim that he was having an affair with Brooke, and damage the prosecution's argument that Brooke murdered her husband because she was unfaithful:
    Callahan, Elle, Warner, Vivienne, Brooke, Enid: That is the elephant in the room
    Well is it relevant to presume
    That a hottie in that costume
    Vivienne: Is automatically, radically—
    Callahan: Ironically, chronically—
    Enid: Certainly, flirtingly—
    Warner: Genetically, medically—
    Callahan, Elle, Warner, Vivienne, Brooke, Enid: Gay, officially gay
    Swishily gay, gay, gay, gay...
  • In My Fair Lady, Higgins expresses his opinion of women in A Hymn to Him:
    Higgins: They're nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags!

    Video Games 
  • Earthworm Jim has Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed Slug-for-a-Butt, the Big Bad of the first game.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon:
    • After you beat the Sasquatch Six's challenge in Super Bonus Round, Hunter says:
      You schooled 'em like a bunch of frost-bitten, flat-footed, molasses-eating, lead-pants-wearing, cross-eyed glacier-trolls riding slabs of plywood with sandpaper on the bottom!
    • After you free Bentley the Yeti by paying Moneybags enough gems, the latter thinks that he's a Dumb Muscle. Bentley then has this to say:
      Why, you brazenly avaricious, duplicitous, larcenous ursine!

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The website TV Tropes uses a ton of adjectives in its opening description of True Capitalist.
    Meet John Conquest, a.k.a. Thomas Albin, a.k.a. Adolf Ghostler, AKA Ghost, King of the Mexicans and ten-year-old boy ass, a racist, tiger shrimp-eating, flamboyant, morbidly obese, wheelchair-bound, diaper-wearing, baseball-loving, butter-guzzling, shapeshifting, bald, toothless, Canadian Jewish-Islamic autistic lizard transsexual midget Satanist, bureaucratic, draft-dodging communist San Hambonian Grinch.
  • Blogger Beware, reviewing the Goosebumps book Night of the Living Dummy III, has this to say regarding principal antagonist Slappy:
    Wow, no one likes this guy. Maybe the reason he wants slaves is he's lonely and needs a friend. Aww, it almost makes you feel sorry for the camera-smashing, art-ruining, vomit-spewing, kitchen table-sitting, child-beating, child-choking, worm-filled son-of-a-bitch.

    Web Videos 
  • Ozzy Man Reviews: In his Game of Thrones recap, Ozzy Man calls Daenerys' relationship with Daario Naharys a "loose hip-and-trendy you-go-girl culture toy-boy fling".

    Western Animation 
  • Samurai Jack: Jack meets a Scotsman on a bridge too narrow for them both to pass each other. It quickly devolves into name-calling, and then into fighting. In particular, there's this string of Scottish insults:
    The Scotsman: Whaddaya think of that, Mr. Pajama-wearing, basket face, slipper wieldin', clype-dreep-bachle, gether-uping-blate-maw, bleathering gomreil, jessie oaf-looking scooner, nyaff plookie shan, milk drinkin', soy-faced shilpit, mim-moothed snivelin', worm-eyed, hotten-blaugh, vile-stoochie, cally-breek-tattie" note 
  • At one point in the "Mrs. Toucanella Told Me" song in Horton Hears a Who! (1970), the birds describe Horton as "manic, depressive, retrogressive, recessive, and 'progressively, excessively, possessively, oppressively acquessive'."
  • Phineas and Ferb: In the song "Truck Driving Girl" from "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud, World", Candace is described as:
    a tire spinnin', gear grindin', clutch burnin', backfirin', paint tradin', red-linin', overheatin', throttle stompin', truck drivin' girl
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons: The short Big Heel-Watha describes the title character as a "flat-faced, pigeon-toed, knob-kneed, blubber-headed tub of lard".


Video Example(s):


Clark Griswold Freaks Out

Clark Griswold has a few things to say about his boss after he finds out that he's not getting a Christmas bonus this year.....

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / RapidFireDescriptors

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