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Talkative Loon
aka: Word Salad

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"Wonderful! Time for a celebration! Cheese for everyone! Wait, scratch that! Cheese for no one! That could be just as much of a celebration if you don't like cheese, true?"

When TV characters are meant to be completely, irretrievably unhinged, and it's inconvenient (as it would be in 95% of television scenes) to have them exhibit typical deranged behavior such as detached wandering, violent outbursts or obsessive drawing/crocheting/self-mutilation/etc, the general method for conveying their insanity is to have them constantly spout rambling incoherent phrases, e.g. "The avenue is clear and we must use it to convert the extra limbs... not yet, though, not until the pastor has been distracted, or do they have the right parts? White fish elephant man which was lettuce matrix!"

Quite transparent and distracting, for the most part.

Talkative Loons can sometimes actually be misunderstood Waif Prophets; it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. If the talkative loon happens to be a beautiful young woman, she may also be The Ophelia. Occasionally some Infallible Babble might slip out of them, but Sturgeon's Law applies to the remaining ninety percent, and there's no way to tell which is which.

Talkativeness that takes the form of a single phrase repeated ad nauseam is a Madness Mantra. Note that this sort of behavior is a real symptom of certain real mental illnesses, particularly schizophrenia (psychiatrists call this kind of talk from a schizophrenic patient "word salad" or "schizophasia") but it is far from universal, even in schizophrenics. In the real world, the insane do not, as a general rule, identify themselves quite so easily and conveniently. Of course, the character exhibiting this might not be crazy at all — just brain-damaged, perhaps suffering from aphasia. The neurologists Broca and Wernicke, working separately, both identified specific types of aphasia at around the same time, and proposed that they resulted from damage to very specific areas of the brain, which was confirmed by later work; those areas of the brain now bear their names, and were the earliest scientific proofs that specific neurological functions are localised in specific areas of the brain rather than being distributed throughout. (However, it has also been discovered that if damage to Broca's area is slow-acting, as in the case of, say, a tumour as opposed to trauma, nearby regions can take over the specialisation, which lends some support to the contrasting idea of neuroplasticity.) In short, if someone you know suddenly struggles to understand or form meaningful sentences, rapidly getting them to a stroke specialist and/or neurologist is a far better idea than an involuntary psychiatric hold.

See also Word Salad Philosophy and Cloudcuckoolander. May sometimes overlap with Motor Mouth if they both talk too fast and too much. If they're the main characters, try Through the Eyes of Madness. A similarly disjointed title is a Word Salad Title; the musical equivalent is Word Salad Lyrics. Can often be caused by Intoxication Ensuing. The babble they spit out might include an Ice-Cream Koan occasionally.

Not to be confused with what you get if you cross Miss Chatterbox with Shirley the Loon.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Graham Specter from Baccano!, who combines this with Warrior Poet. Damned if we know what the hell he was talking about half the time.
    • His friend Ladd Russo, who is even more insane, falls into this category, spitting out a stream of nonsense about boxing while repeatedly punching a random Lemure so hard he has no face left when Ladd's finally done. When the two actually encounter each other later in the series, they spend the whole fight shouting loopy monologues at each other.
    • The Light Novels introduce Christopher Shouldered, a murderous homunculus prone to melodramatic monologues on innocuous things like nature and umbrellas.
      "Umbrellas are incredible. I daresay I respect them, yes. Think about it: The umbrella is the pinnacle of mankind's collective wisdom, the result of its effort to block the great natural phenomenon known as rain. More than any other part of technology, this must be a clear symbol of defiance against nature. I suppose clothes might be up there too, as a way of fighting against nature's changes in temperature, but they're seen as so essential that they don't feel very defiant, wouldn't you agree? But the umbrella! Now, that’s a different matter entirely. Can't you feel the will of the person who made it, shouting 'I shan't let you get me wet, you damn rain!' at the heavens? And so efficient as well! Who would have thought a frame of wire and a little bit of cloth would be able to stand against rain, that which soaks everything on Earth?"
  • Dragon Ball Super: Zamasu often preaches long dialogues or makes long boasts about how awesome he is. This goes so far that when his quotes are adapted into video games, they go on way longer than any other character.
  • In The Five Star Stories, Paltenon combines this with Jive Turkey. It must be seen to be believed.
  • Kaizo from Katteni Kaizo has a tendency to spout weird and ridiculous things that only pertain slightly to the situation at hand.
  • Several points in Paprika, when characters are being pulled into ranting at Spider-Man, the other half was the voices in his head talking to him.
  • Everyone in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo... except when they aren't.note 

    Comic Books 
  • The main character of Doom. Sample quote: "Knock knock who's there ME! Me me me me me me me me." It gets worse. At least in the first few pages of the book, the Space Marine had the excuse of being under the influence of a berserker pack — the rest of it, not so much.
    "At this particular moment in time I don't think I've had a healthier or more deeply felt respect for any object in the universe than this here shotgun..."
  • Batman: Some incarnations of the Joker are like this to some degree. The more harmless versions of the character tend to fall into this a lot, while the Darker and Edgier versions exploit it to lull their victims into fatally underestimating them.
  • The New Guardians has Snowflame, a blathering lunatic whose words tend to blur together thanks to his addiction to cocaine. And this isn't any mere street-level addiction either, this is "inhales a mound of cocaine the size of a pillow and proceeds to emit psychic fire" levels of addiction. He is actually remarkably coherent when he's not high, but the more he partakes, the more he talks and the weirder said talk gets, probably due to the real-life side effects of cocaine (including hyperactivity, uncontrolled chattiness, and erratic behavior).
  • A story arc in Tintin (consisting of Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh and Tintin: The Blue Lotus) has the bad guys shooting people with poisoned darts to make them go mad; pretty much all of the victims become this.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), when Eggman goes insane, he tends to do this, combined with a Madness Mantra of "I hate that hedgehog!".
  • Deadpool, who ever since losing his sanity and gaining knowledge of the reader is always rambling to the point of confusing other people.
  • The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Gwenpool, being a comics fan actually transported into the Marvel Universe, is a meta gal who is always talking to the audience, no matter if it's some observation of what happens or just some weird randomness.

  • The Stealth Parody Kingdom Hearts fanfic "Lexaeus Loves Hot Topic" consists of mangled conglomerations of text from My Immortal and the belowmentioned Those Lacking Spines. How ironic.
    "I don't like limpid tears and I have to, invoke the ass," Xaldin shook his amazing voice..
  • Mocked in the Demyx chapter of the Kingdom Hearts-based parody fic Those Lacking Spines as a crutch which many authors rely on for "random" humor.
  • The Riddler in Challenge of the Super Friends: The End becomes this after an encounter with the story's Eldritch Abomination.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, there are three examples:
    • The Pyar gods sound like this as the power of the white key fades.
    • John babbles random nonsense in the Hungry Sea; George is concerned, but Ringo dismisses it as "Just John bein' John." He's wrong.
    • And the Last Wizard is cursed to be incoherent until someone tells her that she's cursed to be incoherent. The previous two examples were her manipulating the Con Fusion, the telepathic MMORPG that the four were unknowingly in, so that once the four found themselves back in the real world, they would figure out the nature of her curse and how to break it.
  • In Today, Tomorrow, and Forever, Derpy has a disability where she speaks in incoherent sentences. This is enough for Child Services to take her daughter Dinky away.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The daughter in Dark Floors is one of these, having been driven insane by living the same horrible loop again and again.
  • The Twist Ending to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari reveals that that the entire story up to this point has been the insane babbling of one of these.
  • Jeffrey Goins from 12 Monkeys, a former mental hospital patient that never shuts up and is so unhinged he forms a terrorist group. Or rather, an Animal Wrongs Group who releases the inhabitants of a zoo, showing that he is indeed crazy.
  • Out Cold has Stumpy, who constantly spouts off rants and anecdotes that are self-contradictory, nonsensical, or otherwise insane.
  • In Shine, David, to an extreme extent. As an adult, he is constantly rambling on about random things.
  • In Return to Oz, Tik-Tok becomes this when his thinking runs down.
    "Little girls and talking hens make chickens fly the coop!" note 
  • In DISCO (2017), Rudy has a habit of rambling and jittering like a spastic weirdo, especially funny since he gets nervous about socializing. Definitely fits Doug's usual Large Ham performances.
  • Firestorm (1998): Packer the serial rapist is a motormouth, and infuriates Shaye to point that he asks Packer if he ever shouts up.
  • Frankenstein Island: Jason, who is being kept imprisoned as a permanent blood donor for Van Helsing, has gone mad from the isolation, and starts rambling anytime someone talks to him; usually ending up quoting long passages of Edgar Allan Poe.
  • The Viewaskewniverse's Jay, who never shuts up and is often out of his mind (weed is probably to blame).
  • Day of the Evil Gun: This is the act Jimmy Noble puts on as part of his Obfuscating Insanity: aimlessly rambling and randomy repeating and pluralizing certain words.

  • Discworld:
    • Foul Ole Ron's catchphrase "Millennium hand and shrimp" (the result of feeding a travesty generator with a Chinese restaurant menu and They Might Be Giants lyrics) became something the books are famous for. Due to his talking dog that no one believes isn't him talking, he has occasional lucid comments in the gibberish.
      • Another talkative loon is Mrs. Tachyon from unrelated series Johnny and the Bomb, who used Ole Ron's catchphrase on at least one occasion (though she isn't actually mad. It's just that her mind is everywhere and everywhen at once. Her thoughts are apparently perfectly lucid).
    • The Bursar of Unseen University has been known to turn into a talkative loon after overdosing on his nerve medication, saying things like "Why, certainly, I'll have your whelk! How do we do it? Volume!" while waging war on The Fair Folk.
    • Hex, a machine, can go into such nonsense typing whenever he's not working right, including error messages like "+++ Divide By Cucumber Error +++ Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++"
      • Its catchphrase "+++ Redo From Start +++" looks like another example of this, but is actually a Shout-Out to a very obscure and badly-worded error message that was occasionally returned by 1980s home computers. (That would be Microsoft Basic, when you feed it invalid input.)
      • Flipping it around, HEX once managed to get a lucid remark out of the Bursar during one of his downswings when Ponder programmed it to behave like one of those "therapist" computer programs, and it repeated the Bursar's gibberish as though it was a coherent statement it wanted the Bursar to expand on. The Bursar accused it of making fun of him, and Ridcully cheerfully declared that it had "out-Bursar'd the Bursar".
  • The Weavers in the Bas-Lag Cycle, in addition to being gigantic spidery Eldritch Abominations with a thought process no human can truly understand, talk like this all the time.
  • Stephen King:
    • The Black Comedy short story "Lunch At The Gotham Cafe" is about a waiter who starts talking like this and trying to stab the diners.
      "That dog of yours is so much rage. All the radios of Coney Island don't make up to dat dog, you motherfucker!"
      "I rot you, you abominations! I rot you and all your trulls!"
    • A less funny example occurs in 1408: Enslin briefly becomes this while in the room.
  • Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz Series has a character whose magic power is to talk in utter nonsense. It makes him an excellent spy, since he can arrange to be literally unable to reveal information no matter the torture without actually having to kill himself. No one knew that he was sometimes delivering prophesies, and can be understood by someone wearing the proper pair of glasses. Rutabaga.
  • Finnegans Wake: The entire book is one long Talkative Loon rambling.
  • 1635: The Eastern Front: When the head of the USE gets a severe concussion during a battle, he starts speaking gibberish like this.note  This sets in motion the events in The Saxon Uprising.
  • Eilonwy from The Chronicles of Prydain has shades of this: a smart, strong-willed, witty and romantically attractive girl, who nevertheless rambles away a lot, uses strange similes, likes to walk around without shoes and is generally a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Invoked in a Sherlock Holmes story in which the Big Bad tries to infect Holmes with a deadly tropical disease. Holmes takes to his bed, refuses to eat, and starts rambling incoherently in front of Watson. It's all play-pretend on Holmes part, justified by "Watson, I had to make you believe I was truly sick, or you wouldn't have been able to play your part convincingly in my little Batman Gambit".
  • In The Hunt by Stanisław Lem, a lunar mining robot is damaged by a meteor shower, causing it to go on a berserker rampage. It also broadcasts a radio signal, which consists of random mining-related phrases:
    "Aximo-portable talus! A wall with encystation — repetition from the headland unnecessary — the access at an azimuth of — multicrystalline metamorphism..."
  • In Piers Anthony's Prostho Plus, a number of important citizens from an alien race started talking like this when a tarnish buildup on their fancy new gold inlays interfered with the electronic signals sent by their silicon teeth.
  • Solomon Shafto from The Pyrates, with a hey-diddle-die-hey-diddle-fol-derol-do.
  • The anonymous poem "Tom o' Bedlam," described by one literary critic (Paul Fussell, Jr.) as embodying "a happy, harmless, and verbally inventive brand of insanity". The most often-quoted passage borders on the visionary:
    I know more than Apollo,
    For oft, when he lies sleeping,
    I see the stars
    At bloody wars
    In the wounded welkin weeping.
  • In Little Dorrit, Mr. F's Aunt speaks entirely in non sequiturs. People can sometimes figure out what she means, such as that she has taken an intractable dislike to Mr. Clennam.
  • In Vampire Academy, Alice, the oldest human feeder in the Academy, tends to ramble on and is thought to be crazy.
  • Poor Mark Smeaton in Wolf Hall. Thomas Cromwell doesn't torture him into confessing an affair with Anne Boleyn in this narrative, but he does have his Psycho Sidekick shove Mark into a dark closet full of pointy thingsnote  and leave him there all night to imagine worse. When they haul him out in the morning to ask who her other lovers are, Mark babbles out the name of every Englishman that he knows — he winds up accusing her of adultery against Henry, with Henry.
  • The usual reaction of characters in Malazan Book of the Fallen to Iskaral Pust is stunned silence, since he just won't stop babbling nonsense, interspersed with important information. Even Shadowthrone, his personal patron deity, can't shut him up during an audience.
  • Danganronpa Zero: This is how Junko Enoshima is portrayed. Since her varying sprites from the game would be difficult to describe in prose, the light novel supplements this with this trope. She talks in really strange stream-of-consciousness rants that change subjects every few sentences. She can go from talking about how she just murdered someone to how a recent summer blockbuster underwhelmed her to the kind of people who fixate on her bust to the economy… all in words that even she herself has some trouble following.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The people of Trinity struck by Merlyn's plague on American Gothic (1995) suffer from this.
  • In the Ashes to Ashes (2008) finale, Jim Keats flirts very closely with Talkative Lunacy. He suddenly gets incredibly chatty and incredibly baffling. Likewise, in episode 6 of series 3, Thordie comes across as either a chatty, deranged Sam Tyler, or a very clever man — although you'll have to wait until the finale to find out which.
  • Sometimes the Hybrids in Battlestar Galactica (2003) just babble: "Mists of dreams drip along the nascent echo and love no more. End of line."
    • Sometimes they're prophetic: "Find the hand that lies in the shadow of the light. In the eye of the husband of the eye of the cow."
    • Sometimes Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Throughout history the nexus between man and machine has spun some of the most dramatic, compelling and entertaining fiction."
  • The various shopkeeper/hairdresser/other-occupation characters played by Stephen Fry in A Bit of Fry and Laurie. "Good day!" "One of a goodness it is indeed!" is just a start...
    "Mr. Dalliard? Mr. Dalliard, I've gone all peculiar now!"
  • Actual word salad is used in Boston Legal, when Alan Shore has a breakdown. He doesn't even realize he's doing it, and looks up at everyone's confused faces and asks, "What?"
  • Drusilla (and, briefly, Spike) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also the ward full of Glory's "brain-suck" victims in the Sunnydale hospital, and Tara, who got brain-sucked late in the season and was later restored. All three examples also had some degree of prophetic or otherworldly knowledge.
    • However, when Spike was out of it, some of his babbling was actually just him talking to the First, who nobody else could see or hear but him.
    • In the season six premiere, "Bargaining: Part One", the Buffybot that Willow programmed to impersonate Buffy (since she's dead) says "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, Bingo!" after she slays a vampire. When asked about it, Willow replies "I don't know, I was trying to program in some new puns and I kinda ended up with word salad."
  • Burn Notice: In "Signals and Codes", Michael is approached by a schizophrenic man named Spencer who despite being a pattern-seeing computer genius also believes that Michael is a member of a secret group of guardian aliens fighting against the forces of darkness. At the end of the episode, he's on medication and Sam's gotten him a job with a cryptographer friend of his, so the babbling is a bit lessened.
  • In CSI: NY's "The Triangle," about Bermuda Triangle-like events happening around the Empire State Building, a mentally disturbed young man is wandering the streets, having a conversation with himself about hearing frequencies. Later, the investigators spot him interacting with a suspect on video camera footage and track him down. While Stella & Danny question him, he jabbers away. When they're done, he wanders off having his frequency conversation again.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor occasionally comes across as this, particularly the Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh.
    • "The Stolen Earth": Dalek Caan has been reduced to a babbling lunatic due to his warping back into the Time War to rescue Davros; the trauma destroyed his mind.
    • Amy Pond gets like this a bit on her first exposure to the inside of the TARDIS.
    • "The Doctor's Wife": Idris does a bit of this. She's not crazy, though; she's just the soul of the TARDIS trying to deal with being human, having a body, experiencing time in a linear fashion for the first time in forever, and trying to not fall victim to House.
  • Farscape:
    • Stark was a Talkative Loon who later claimed that he was only pretending to be crazy, though he was still pretty unhinged for the rest of the series.
    • Also, the rest of the universe considers Crichton to be one as well, and upon learning that there is an entire planet where he's considered to be normal ("Erp"), Moya's crew resolves to avoid it like the plague.
  • River from Firefly seems like a Talkative Loon, but her Waif Prophet nature means that the seemingly-random statements are actually prophetic — she just has trouble rendering her insights into something comprehensible to everyone else. (Of course, sometimes she really is just being crazy.) Also interesting in that River tends to wander around, act compulsively, and suffer violent outbursts, in addition to her rambling.
  • In Heroes, Hiro starts speaking in just fanboy references after getting his memories jumbled up. He's just about to be committed to the loony bin until Ando realizes that Hiro is attempting to tell him something and pieces the references together.
  • In the House episode "Failure to Communicate", a patient finds himself suffering from aphasia after hitting his head, saying a bizarre combination of synonyms, rhymes, loosely-connected words and similar-sounding words instead of the words he intends to say.
    Doctor: Do you understand what we're saying?
    Patient: Of golf!
  • Pappy McPoyle from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is quite obviously insane, as his first appearance consists of him ranting incoherently about how all the McPoyles sprung from his loins, and although one of his babies tried to eat him, he ate him first. Things somehow get even weirder the second time he shows up.
  • Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen calls everyone "Dave", keeps offering to sell pegs to people, adeptly speaks gibberish, spouts bizarre non sequiturs like "This is just a saga now", and will haunt the viewer's dreams forever.
  • The Man in the High Castle: After his capture, the Man in the High Castle produces an endless stream of random gibberish while in his cell, causing the Nazis to wonder if he's actually speaking in code.
  • Though one could arguably describe Hawkeye of M*A*S*H of being this all along, he became this, in spades, for the first few parts of the series' finale. At one point, B.J. realizes Hawkeye's past talking to once he starts rambling about kids' booties.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", Buddy has clearly lost his mind after being Moonface's captive for so long, joyfully asking Moonface's new victims if they want to sing with him or brought any candy with them before Moonface comes back. Ellen eventually shuts him up with a well-placed blow to the head.
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, the E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease sketch. "And the thing about saying the wrong word is, A, I don't notice it, and B, sometimes orange water gibbon bucket of plaster."
  • Omar White from Oz, although how much is insanity and how much is just an inability shut up is open to debate. Even so, the inability to stop talking even when you know what you're about to say is going to land you in trouble is probably indicates some kind of mental problem.
  • One of these shows up in the fourth episode of The Pacific, pacing back and forth all night and flying an imaginary plane.
  • Bridge from Power Rangers S.P.D. slips into this from time to time. Sometimes it even seems intentional, like when he uses it to interrogate a prisoner.
  • Arguably, Livia on Rome. There's a scene where she and Octavian have S/M sex, and once they're finished Livia starts talking. "I like birds. But I don't like eggs. There's something quite sordid about eggs."
  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Cox's often gives long rants whenever he is criticizing/insulting someone, and they go so long that a few characters even get bored and sidetracked when he's still ranting.
    • In "My Last Chance" Dr. Cox is ordered by Dr. Kelso to do 24 hours of community service and he gets getting paired with Denise Lemmon, a very talkative paramedic who can't shut up, often bringing up her son as the topic. It's initially Played for Laughs, and Dr. Cox later rants to her about how she can't stop talking, it's then Played for Drama when he realizes shortly after that Denise's son has been dead. Feeling remorseful, Dr. Cox feels compelled to listen to her and he later visits her with his own son as well.
  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Babel" has the entire cast succumbing one-by-one to a virus which causes them to speak this way. At first it's just funny, until they can no longer run the station properly due to being unable to communicate with each other, and it's also revealed that the virus is potentially deadly.
  • Woody, the main protagonist of the series Sun Trap has a talent for aggravating people no-end with his incessant nonsense. A recurring theme is that he can get away with almost anything by bewildering anyone in his way. His jabbering has even been weaponized and can cause heart attacks in people suffering from stress, as demonstrated in the final episode of the first season.
  • Hugo Miller from the Warehouse 13 episode "13.1" is like this, as the result of a combination of Literal Split Personality with Brain Uploading.
    Myka: Do you know, every former Warehouse agent we meet is either crazy, evil, or dead?
    Hugo: [on first meeting them] I know who you are. You're President Ulysses S. Grant and the snowman. You've come because it's Arbor Day, and there aren't enough zippers to go around.
    Myka: Well, at least he's not evil or dead.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Crazy Mary Dobson promos tend to be coherent. Crazy Mary matches tend have a constant stream of squeals and grumbles that may or may not be related to anything she's doing.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Xaositects, or Chaosmen, one of the factions in the Planescape setting for Dungeons & Dragons, talk in "Scramblespeak", where all the words are mixed up. Except when they don't — if they always did something, that wouldn't be chaotic.

  • Some of Samuel Beckett plays naturally have a bit of this, being absurdist works.
    • Lucky from Waiting for Godot. There is a thread of logic running through his one monologue, but his point gets so lost in tangents, digressions, lists, Purple Prose, and general nonsense that he makes next to no sense and causes actual physical revulsion in his listeners.
    • See also Not I. The subject is, in fact, a mute woman who has a lot to say about her traumatic life, but who would understand that from the rantings alone?
  • Ophelia, from Hamlet. Interestingly, some of what Ophelia says does mean something. When she hands out her flowers, each one is symbolic of various things. For example, violets were symbolic of innocence and she explains that they all vanished when her father died. Hamlet himself invokes this trope while feigning madness.
  • Subverted and played straight in King Lear. Edgar protects himself from a mistakenly vengeful father by pretending to be a madman and raving about "the foul fiend!" Lear begins to babble as his daughter's abuse drives him farther into madness. The Fool is the Only Sane Man, with the possible exception of Edmund.

  • Vezon from BIONICLE:
    Vezon: Where are we going? Why are we going? Are we going at all, or just sailing in a big circle? Or is it a spiral? I went down a spiral once: a big stone tunnel that went down and down and down, and ended in Zyglak. Whoever built it had no decorating sense at all.

    Video Games 
  • Deltarune: Spamton G. Spamton is a living spam email who takes the form of a puppet-like sleazy salesman. He seemingly-randomly pops out of a dumpster in Chapter 2 and accosts Kris with a twisted, stuttering, typo-laden rant that alternates between hilarious and disturbing, offering to make them a [[BIG SHOT]] in exchange for their [[HeartShapedObject]].
    Spamton: IF YOU'VE [[Lost Control of Your Life]] THEN YOU JUST GOTTA GRAB IT BY THE [[Silly Strings]]! WHY BE THE [[Little Sponge]] WHO HATES ITS [[$4.99]] LIFE WHEN YOU CAN BE A [[BIG SHOT!!!]] [[BIG SHOT!!!!]] [[BIG SHOT!!!!!]] THAT'S RIGHT!! NOW'S YOUR CHANGE TO BE A [[BIG SHOT]]!! AND I HAVE JUST... THE THING... YOU NEED... THAT'S... [[Hyperlink Blocked]].
  • There's a guy outside one of the safehouses in Grand Theft Auto IV who can rant for quite a while without repeating himself. "They put robots in the drinking water!"
  • This happens to the Colonel generated by the AI GW at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    "I hear it's amazing when the famous purple-stuffed worm in flap jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw-blink on Hara-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!"
  • Advisor Glade from Beyond the Beyond flies into this after the heroes show him up by proving the identity of Big Guy Samson:
    "The pickle nation will rise again! The chickens will perish!"
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has Mistress Therena, a councilor of House Telvanni. She has "not aged well" according to her associates. She's prone to long, rambling, incoherent rants about random stuff from her early years. This can be entertaining, unless you need to get something out of her, such as her quest reward of Daedric equipment or her vote to make you Telvanni Hortator during the main quest.
    • Oblivion: Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, is this in the Shivering Isles expansion. While he's capable of somewhat coherent conversation (He's the one giving you missions, so the specifics are usually decipherable), he's prone to outbursts on completely random tangents. Many of the residents of the Shivering Isles (his realm) are Talkative Loons. In fact, check the entire Madness Tropes section, there's likely someone embodying it in the Isles. The most Talkative Loon of the Isles, in this case, would be the beggar Bolwing. ("I'll kalikrak the findoo, I will. You terratet it! Gal bursten it...Raney Roo! Raney Roo!") Unless you get Big Head's fork or become Sheogorath, in which case he becomes comprehensible, and indeed, quite eloquent.
    • There's a particular Game Mod for Skyrim that replaces all the loading screen tips with... Uncle Sheogorath's Really Helpful Hints and Tips. Which are about as absurdly nonsensical as you'd expect from "help" offered by the Daedric Prince of Madness.
  • In Eternal Darkness, this is the eventual fate of Maximillion Roivas.
  • Portal:
  • The Big Bad of EarthBound (1994) turns out to be a Talkative Loon, having literally gone mad with power by the time of the endgame. And since he still is an imposing villain, he's creepy instead of funny.
    Giygas: Ness! Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness...
  • Liz and Ard from Wild ARMs 2, although arguably this is due to an abysmal translation rather than the characters actually being crazy. This is particularly the case for Liz; his(?) dialogue was a stylistic choice created by translating his dialogue literally from Japanese. The result is nonsensical and even confuses the main characters.
  • Some hobos in Kingdom of Loathing, especially Hodgman the Hoboverlord, whose dialogue is randomly generated. A sample:
    "Which... PORCH swing? Tell me which porch swing. Growl... Where's... The Pope?"
  • In Baroque, the Horned Girl at first appears to be a Talkative Loon, saying random things, like accusing the seemingly-mute lead character of saying what she's thinking, or complaining about her twitching eye. It's actually something much, much more disturbing. She's actually saying what the main character thinks in her presence; she doesn't have any thoughts of her own or a sense of self.
  • Albedo from Xenosaga. He makes many biblical and literary references on varying topics, particularly in the infamous "Ma Belle Pêche" sequence. What's worse is that he actually has a point and it is not entirely mindless ramblings when looked deep enough.
  • The Enemy Chatter of the unhinged, ADAM-addled Splicers in BioShock ranges from hilarious to disturbing. Dr. Gilbert Alexander/"Alex the Great" in BioShock 2 makes them look sane.
  • Oghren from Dragon Age: Origins may not actually be a loon, but damned if he doesn't sound like one on many of his drunken tirades.
    Oghren:...But that dog ruined it when he stole my pants. Well, I'll show him! I don't need my pants anyway!
    Warden: Oghren, you're wearing your pants.
    Oghren: But the dog doesn't know that. It'll be his sodding downfall.
  • Tom Redwood a.k.a. "Red" from the Penumbra series, as well as Dr. Richard Eminiss (who quickly turns out to be anything but humorous).
  • In Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, a "Blind Idiot" Translation of Pokemon Crystal Version, every single NPC is one, especially your rival. They all ramble on about god knows what in sentences full of grammatical errors, spelling errors, and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
  • In Odium, this happens to Medusa when he goes insane. The beginning of his rant is actually a quote from "The End" by The Doors.
    "Ride the snake, ride the snake, the snake is long, seven miles, ride the snake, ride the snake."
  • Part of the fun of playing a Malkavian in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is that all your dialog options turn you into this, with a sprinkle of Mad Oracle if you pay attention to what you're saying to people.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption has Dev/Null.
    "I'm not Dev/Null. I am a rock! Am a rock!"
  • Boyd Cooper from Psychonauts. While perfectly capable of carrying on a lucid conversation, when he's not actually doing that, he's constantly muttering to himself, because he's trying to work out all the connections in his conspiracy theory, and the inside of his head is the only place he's got left to write on. Boyd's rambles are actually the result of a lot of separate phrases being randomly selected. Stand there long enough in idle and you probably won't hear him make the same connection twice.
  • In Jables's Adventure, the majority of the mushrooms in the forest spout nonsense like "If your hand is bigger than your face, you can go to outer space!" But a few of them are a little more helpful, like the one who informs you, "Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms don't make you super, they make you crazy. Ahahahahahaha!"
  • Jack Lupino in Max Payne is like this due to being stoned out of his mind on Valkyr.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Anghel Higure hallucinates and talks purely in fantasy-cliches, imagining himself to be a fallen angel and the player character to be a reincarnated goddess pursued by demons, particularly the evil wizard in the infirmary. A surprising number of the things he says are accurate metaphors for the plot points of the "Bad Boys Love" route.
  • Left 4 Dead 2: Ellis, who tends to talk about his friend Keith while blowing the brains out of zombies.
  • The psycho bandits from the Borderlands games spout semi-nonsensical threats like "Time for my pound of flesh!" or "You're going to be my new meat bicycle!" as they attack.
    • In Borderlands 2, they reach Deadpool levels of crazy, being able to break the fourth wall, shouting things like "I WANT MY HIT POINTS BACK!" and "Death gurgle!", as well as evidence that the bandits do care for each other... somewhat.
    • As a Psycho himself, Krieg pretty much speaks in nonsense by default. With Raving Retribution however, he'll end up going on some rather lengthy and utterly nonsensical rants. His short film shows that he is seemingly unable to communicate his thoughts into coherent sentences, to the great frustration of his sane side.
      Krieg: Look at me when I scream at your soul! You loud sacks of filth and sour cream can hit me with your pain pinatas all day, but you'll never take the jellied fantasies of my wasted youth! My stomach is clear, and MY MIND IS FULL OF BACON!
    • Here is a video of Krieg's quotes. It's basically twenty-seven minutes of complete nonsense, meat, and blood, interspersed with rare moments of sanity from his inner voice and a few incoherent screams and insane laughter.
  • Mass Effect 2 features Mordin Solus, a brilliant medical professional who is "like a hamster on coffee".
  • Starsiege has a Cybrid campaign, neatly averting No Campaign for the Wicked, where you and three of your fellow AI pilot giant robots against humans. Unlike most of the human pilots, though, your fellow Cybrids are a bunch of weirdos and highly chatty ones at that. The peak in both talkativeness and looniness goes to pLaGUe-DoG, an advance scout who got captured by humans, analyzed and experimented on, then dumped on a garbage rocket fired into Cybrid space. As a result of all this, he is a complete mess and a word-salad-spewing Shout-Out machine, described as "very loyal, but very random", and suffering from Funny Schizophrenia, Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!, and loads of Cloudcuckoolander moments. Imagine the mind of a hyperviolent Junkion in the body of a death-dealing terror machine, and you pretty much have pLaGUe-DoG.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, heroes suffering from the Irrational affliction will act randomly while spouting nonsensical (and often alarming) things.
    Houndmaster: Of course the hound talks, it's the one that told you it could!
    Jester: MWU-HA HA HAAAAAA!
    Leper: Return of Spring. Call down the galleons. Nightly.
  • The Boss in Saints Row 2 says a number of silly things when high or drunk.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Homsar is like this nearly all the time:
      Homsar: Hi, Wonder Mike! I'm Homsar, the captain of the gravy train. Climb aboard — I've put my best foot flowered. Pshoooooo!
    • There's also Senor Cardgage (with the 'Senor' deliberately mispronounced), who's basically a malapropism-prone creepy old homeless guy who resembles a tall, pot-bellied version of Strong Bad with a bad combover:
      Senor Cardgage: Alonzo Mourning to you, Myrtlebeth. Say hello to my tacklebox.
    • In the Strong Bad Email "caffeine", Strong Sad becomes a hyperactive Talkative Loon after Strong Bad slips coffee into his orange juice, saying things like "I don't even watch football! I can't remember my legs!" and rambling about "wood-davers".
    • Homsar and Senor Cardgage even indulge in a competition of this very topic in fan club. Following a contest to see who sold more merchandise in the Homestar Runner Store, Homsar was officially declared the "Non Sequitur Champion", and Senor Cardgage had to try and make a coherent statement on "The Show". It took him three tries.
      Senor Cardgage: Grape... Soda... Banked?
    • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has a different take on Homsar. After tinkering with some ancient artifacts, Strong Bad is able to have an actual conversation with Homsar, and it turns out the loon is actually an eloquent speaker and quite intelligent in his native tongue. Strong Sad, however, just hears both talking in gibberish.
    • Another such character could be the Drive-Thru Whale, a disembodied drive-through speaker that spouts nonsense like "Sever your leg, please, it's the greatest day," and "Pour gravel on your stump please, ma'am." (over a bunch of static, naturally).
    • In "Strong Bad Classics", Strong Sad babbles nonsensically while high on anesthetic after having his wisdom teeth removed.
      Strong Sad: You can't brother me down, Mrs. Strong Fast. I favorited you on my Facebroach!
  • Lacey from Lacey Games, with often illegible lines like:
    Lacey: first they dominated the ceiling of my room but then i started seeing them everywhere bugs and bites and dirt and ash and vomit where they shouldnt have been they were all cloudy but crisp and very jumpy and i wanted to suck it all inside of me like a reverse frog dissection and end it all for once
  • Object Shows
    • Taco in Inanimate Insanity is initially introduced as such, screaming "SOUR CREAM!" as her catchphrase and other incoherent sayings on a regular basis. Then it turns out that she was Obfuscating Insanity to win audience sympathy.
    • Object Connects has two examples, Journal and Lantern with the former going on nonsensical tangents about her make-believe world while the latter deliberately invokes Word-Salad Humor which sounds so forced and on-the-spot because he's faking it like Taco and both exclusively use funny, equally insane nicknames for everyone such as "Meanypants", "Orge" and "Pizza Shoe-Box".
    • Baguette from Epic Jungle Show's Show Within a Show "Fight or Fall" constantly drifts from one completely random and unrelated topic to another in a Motor Mouth fashion. This was due to Enforced Method Acting on Baguette's voice actor since they weren't given a script for the character and had to make up lines on the spot in one take.
  • Petey is like this on The Toad Show. He is always yelling random words that only he knows what they mean like "I can flack the majjiger" and "I derfted macow". See here.
  • In Ultra Fast Pony, Discord is perfectly capable of making sense when he needs to, but he just prefers to spew gibberish.
    Discord: I've taken the liberty of impending sobriety!
    Celestia: Okay, look, Discord, I get that chaos is your thing, but can you please just make sense this one time?
    Discord: Make sense? Oh, why make sense when you can make pan trees! That's trees that are shaped like pans, not actual pantries, because that would just be silly!

  • An essential part of many Dada Comics. Chef Brian from Ctrl+Alt+Del, for example. Curiously, Chef Brian is actually somewhat comprehensible in this comic, in a completely roundabout way... mostly.
  • Narbonic has Dana, the last of the insane superintelligent gerbils. Also, Dave briefly becomes a Talkative Loon after his Science-Related Memetic Disorder finally catches up with him. It doesn't last very long, however. And he still remembered to fill the pool. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Penny Arcade has Catsby and Twisp, as seen in this comic. This may help explain their unexpected popularity.
  • Mr Square: Most, if not all of the Sheep's speech falls into this pattern. In this comic, he declares that the main character (who is right in front of him) was kidnapped and taken to "the twenty third century to fight the trees".
  • No Need for Bushido has a blind Taoist potentially world-ending priest, who often speaks in platitudes like, "Just as the snake, once stripped of its slippers, is helpless to defend itself from the ever-growing Viking threat."
  • Girl Genius has Tarvek Sturvoraus babbling things like "We must stop the moon from eating the mushrooms" in the grip of a deadly fever.
  • In A Modest Destiny, Morris becomes one of these when he falsely believes that he committed a mass murder in his sleep and refuses to sleep afterward.
  • While Doctor Hobo in VG Cats is not an example, his Chaotic Neutral angel most definitely is. In the one strip we saw him: "Woof! I'm a cow!"
  • Largo in MegaTokyo comes off as this quite a lot, between his l33t sp34k, technobabble, and constant paranoid beliefs that zombies will be taking over the area (which later turns out to be more or less true). All of this coupled with the fact that he doesn't speak any Japanese usually leads to him being arrested by the police (it was also implied to have have something to do with being handcuffed by mounties and deported from Canada).
  • Lok of Juathuur tends to talk and whine a lot to whoever visits him in his realm. This happens rarely.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Enor, when Elan casts Lesser Confusion:
      Enor: Variable-speed corn muffins! Peanut butter fish filets! Hey, that sounds good.
    • This turns out to be one of the symptoms of Belkar's Mark of Justice, between "throwing up everywhere" and "collapsing into unconsciousness".
      Belkar: Be very quiet, Mr. Scruffy! If we make any noise, the magical Cart Fairy might not take us on the enchanted trip to Happy Fun Sunshine Land!
  • Bob and George: George, after being trapped intangible in his own past through time travel shenanigans with no way out except more time travel shenanigans, engages in what Rush refers to as "incoherent babbling".
    "Bad monkey! No I don't want your canteloupe! Sell your crack to another puppet, Snoop-Doopy!"
  • Downplayed with Emperor Palpatine in Darths & Droids, in the part corresponding to Return of the Jedi: It might seem at first that his lines are just navel-gazing existential angt, but really he's insane (due to being haunted by the ghost of Anakin Skywalker) and spouting things like H. P. Lovecraft quotes — not inherently incoherent, but borderline to completely Non Sequitur in context.

    Web Original 
  • This Tales From the Pub sketch, from the creators of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. This one, too.
  • Caboose from Red vs. Blue — actually, thinking about it, everyone in Red vs. Blue fits this trope.
  • This cat, who is popular on the Internet due to his constant mumblings which apparently sound like if he's saying "Oh, Long Johnson..." as well as other random stuff like "Oh, Don Piano" and "All the livelong day".
  • The Nostalgia Critic is normally an insightful and eloquent, if swear-happy, reviewer. Not the case when something works him up though; chipmunk noises are often formed.
  • JonTron often throws in completely incoherent ramblings in a pseudo-Bill Cosby fashion to the reviews. Even going so far as to rate Donkey Kong Country Returns six golden bananas plus out of Shigeru Miyamoto. And this is meant to be an accurate description of what is 'Like the best game for the Nintendo Wii like ever'.
  • The Reddit forum /r/nocontext evokes this by taking Redditors' comments out of context. Of course, often It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Javafrog on The Funday Pawpet Show is a weirdo who says things that, while sometimes topical, are not always coherent. His ratio of rational things to outright nonsense is skewed heavily in favor of the nonsense.
  • raocow's Let's Plays are filled with some of the most bizarre and surreal commentary one would ever hear. It's compounded by the fact that he's a Quebec native for whom English is a second language (although he is reasonably fluent, he does have some odd turns of phrase) and is highly prone to Buffy Speak. However, he seems to drop it the more frustrated he gets.
  • Also from the Let's Play world, ProtonJon during his LP of Kaizo Mario World Special Stage 2, a combination of this and Angrish:
    "Would you just JUMP!? For the love of Batman... JUMP! Bill Cosby! Is angry! Stimpy! I need... SPACKLE!"
  • Caddicarus can be like this in his videos, as he's a Trigger-Happy, non-sequitur-spewing, Sensory Abusing, rapid-fire reviewer.
  • Flamingo is one of these, as he's basically the american Roblox Youtuber equivalent of Caddicarus.
  • PewDiePie will at times lapse into nonsensical rambling or even singing during his Let's Plays, especially during moments of nervous tension in a game, while being chased by an enemy, or after a particularly effective jumpscare.
  • Chapter 2 of The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles features the drake, who lives in the Toronto Opera House and speaks in a mix of banalities, pointless anecdotes, and Unsound Effects while constantly shifting team loyalties.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Beware the Creeper", the Joker inadvertently creates the DC Animated Universe version of the Creeper, a superhero who's yellow, super-strong, agile, and crazy enough to scare even the Joker.
  • The Creeper is just as crazy in his appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, with him reciting old catchphrases and TV memes in-between jabs.
    The Creeper: Knock, knock! Who's on first? Third base! To cross the road! Newman! That's what she said!
  • Blitzwing's Random face in Transformers: Animated. The rest of him's more coherent.
  • Played for Laughs in The Critic by Jay Sherman's father Franklin: "I didn't ask to be Secretary of Balloon Doggies. The Balloon Doggies demanded it!"
    "I've just invented the Fishmobabywhirlymagig. It'll be bigger than the Badgerblaster!"
  • Gibson gets his worst fear in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go... which is to be a Talkative Loon.
  • Brak from Space Ghost Coast to Coast and The Brak Show (the full title of which is Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak, which gives you a pretty good idea what he's like). Some of his favorite topics are his own name, beans, and encouraging people to "Hail Brak!", a request with which they comply with astonishing consistency.
    • In a previous show (Cartoon Planet), Brak is also infamous for his bizarre songs, like "I'm driving down highway 40 in my pick-up truck" — which is just this line, repeated over and over in various ways — and, naturally, a song dedicated to beans of all kinds.
  • GIR, from Invader Zim, with gems like "Can I be a mongoose-dog?" and "Why is his head so big? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy is his head so big?"
    • "It was me! I was the turkey all along! Meeeeeeee!" The fact that he was disguised as a turkey for the last one makes it abundantly clear where the "loon" part of this trope appeared.
  • Happens to Eddy quite a lot in Ed, Edd n Eddy, and is pretty much Ed's default mode post-Flanderization.
    • This is hilariously subverted in one episode, when Ed finds himself with no pants on and makes a shockingly mature and insightful comment on the complexities of women. When Eddy asks if he's feeling alright, Ed promptly go back to his crazy state, shouting "HUG ME!"
  • In the Legion of Super Heroes (2006) episode "Brain Drain", Brainiac 5 spends most of the episode spouting word salad after an update of his cybernetic systems goes awry. Some of his babbling actually references bits of Superman mythology still unknown to Superman himself. Some of those are further obscured by word-substitutions. Other parts, however, are purely random.
  • After trying to get water from a cactus which turns out to be hallucinogenic, Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender becomes this in his ensuing Mushroom Samba. "It's a GIANT MUSHROOM! Maybe it's friendly!"
  • A few old Looney Tunes cartoons employ this trope, particularly the ones featuring Daffy Duck. He sometimes is more of a musical loon, either singing something completely out of nowhere ("Oh I'm jutht wild about Ha-rry, and Harryth wild about meeee!") or making up his own lyrics to songs ("Oh when they say I'm nutsy, it sure givth me a pain, puh-leath path the ketchup, I think it'th going to rain!").
  • In Back at the Barnyard, we have a strange flashback from Abby, after Otis compares another character to the 'crazy uncle they've never had'.
    Abby: Right... I never had a crazy uncle...
    [Flashback to a young Abby standing there, staring at her uncle]
    Abby's Uncle: The Easter Bunny has betrayed me! We gotta close the beaches! We can't close the beaches, we're a summer town! GET THESE TURTLES OUT OF MY HEAD PLEASE! Aaand, Lindy!
    • We later see him singing and dancing in another flashback.
  • Quite a few animated shows have depicted Kids Say the Darndest Things-era Bill Cosby as one, including The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Boondocks (where he gets kidnapped for about 5 seconds before the kidnappers just bring him right back because he will not shut up.)
    Bill Cosby: [in The Simpsons] Kids, they listen to the rap music, which gives them the brain damage. With their hippin' and-a hoppin' and-a bippin' and-a boppin', so they don't know what the jazz is all about! You see, jazz is like Jello Pudding... no, actually it's more like Kodak Film... no, actually jazz is like the New Coke. It'll be around forever!
    Bill Cosby: [in Family Guy] Here I go, down the slope! Oooh, I'm goin' zip zop zoopity bop!
  • From Beavis And Butthead, Beavis' alter-ego, The Great Cornholio.
    Cornholio: "I have a portfolio in my bunghole! With my óleo!"
  • The Tick: The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight from "The Tick vs. The Tick"
    EMBWBAM: And so he says to me, he says: "You wanna be a baaaad guy?" and I go: "Yeah baby! I wanna be bad!" I says, surf's up space ponies! I'M MAKING GRAVY WITHOUT THE LUMPS! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Pinkie Pie of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can veer into this, to the point that it's actually weaponized in "The Last Roundup".
    Pinkie Pie: Pickle barrel, kumquat, pickle barrel, kumquat, pickle barrel, kumquat, chimicherrychanga!
    Applejack: Make it stop!
  • Pinky from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain is like this quite often, especially when Brain asks "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?". Examples can be found here.
  • In Men in Black: The Series, the telltale sign that a quick clone is about to break down is that they begin babbling nonsensically.
    Quick Clone Jay: That's right! Don't want none of the king's men putting egg shell in my little red tugboat. When flapjacks fly, yum-yum, gotta clip the toenails, the tweet-tweet...
  • Heffer turns into this in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Boob Tubed" after he sits too close to Rocko's new TV and it literally eats his brain: "Makes a great meat substitute for undershorts!"
  • Similar to the Rocko example above, Stimpy of The Ren & Stimpy Show becomes one in "Blazing Entrails".
    "Diddle diddle fiddle piddle poodle piddle poodle racky sacky want some seafood mama."
  • One episode of ChalkZone has Mother Tongue, a talking tongue who turns her audience into this when she licks them; anything they try to say afterwards comes out as vaguely-similar-sounding word salad.note  Licking them again makes them go back to normal.
    Random audience member: My poodle's cleaning my belly button?
  • In a Pinky and the Brain segment from Animaniacs (2020), Julia is attempting to participate in a presidential debate while being controlled by Brain's short-circuiting Mind-Control Device and Fighting from the Inside.
    Julia: I have been manipulated by a tyrant [ZAP] but isn't the real tyrant high-fructose corn syrup? That's why my platform is to [ZAP] EAT THE CHILDREN! [feral scream]

The mosquito zaps a kumquat into pawns.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Word Salad


Coral Wedged In Your Lobe

Upon learning that SpongeBob has been promoted to 'co-cashier', Squidward complains to 'Mr.' Plankton, refusing to deal with SpongeBob's jabbering all day and insists on a 'less yellow' view. Plankton gives him a grey one.

How well does it match the trope?

4.79 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / MotorMouth

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