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The Problem with Pen Island

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"I was in a bookshop and I said to the assistant, 'Excuse me, what's this "psycho the rapist" section?' She said, 'It's pronounced "psychotherapist".'"

Some names and titles are stored in a way that is not case-sensitive, but doesn't allow spaces to separate words. So how do you tell one word apart from the next? If you're not careful, you can end up with names that are quite... odd. Thus, this trope.

Differs from Scunthorpe Problem in that the Scunthorpe Problem is about computers making these mistakes before humans can see them; this is about humans making these mistakes because other humans didn't catch them earlier.

Compare Mondegreen Gag, which applies to spoken language rather than written language.

If what words they're supposed to be are clear, but the way they're supposed to go together isn't (eg. Does "big blue and red dog" mean a big dog that is red and blue, or two characters named "Big Blue" and "Red Dog"?), that's Ambiguous Syntax. If the words and the way they're supposed to go together is clear, but the meaning isn't (eg. Does "bright blue ball" mean a ball that is bright blue, or a ball that is blue and glowing bright?), that's Double Meaning.

The trope's title originated from Battle for Dream Island, when Pen was discussing to Eraser, about when he wins Dream Island, he’d rename it “Pen Island”, no spaces, all caps. Which would look like “PENISLAND”.

See this page for the hilarity that could arise from trope names. Also known as scripta continua.


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  • Sega's catch phrase in all their US advertising (from 1992 to 1995) was "Welcome To The Next Level". Except they usually displayed it in all-caps, without spaces, and with the letters forced into a 5-by-4 grid. Their official magazine, Sega Visions published a fan letter (possibly sarcastic, possibly serious) asking what "Welco Metot Henex Tlevel" was supposed to mean, and why it was plastered all over Sega's ads.

    Anime & Manga 
  • A weather girl in Gintama is named Ketsuno Ana — the Japanese phrase "ketsu no ana" means asshole.
  • In Naruto, Darui fights opponents with a weapon that seals the speaker when they state their most commonly used word, or if they go too long without saying anything. Though he figures out not to say the word ("darui" itself in Japanese, translated to "dull" or "drab" in English), his saying the phonemes in order ("and I'll" or "timid rabbit") cause him to get sucked in anyway. His dying apologies for not catching this and failing cause the word "sorry" to become his new most commonly stated word, saving his soul.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei:
    • This trope gives us the title of the series, as the characters in Nozomu Itoshiki's name, when written horizontally, smush into the character for "zetsubou" ("despair"). It's no surprise the guy's depressed. Worse, Nozomu's siblings don't fare any better:
    • Enishi Itoshiki's name becomes "zetsuen" ("disinherited") making reference to the fact he was an unseen character for much of the work's run.
    • Mikoto Itoshiki's name becomes "zetsumei" ("Death"). The guy is a doctor and his private clinic struggles thanks to this.
    • Rin Itoshiki's name becomes "zetsurin" ("peerless") but it's commonly used as a sexual slang. She only wants to get married so she can lose the surname.
  • A variation appears in YuYu Hakusho.
    • Kuwabara, Hiei, Botan and Kurama are facing Kaito, who can make it so that if anyone, even himself, says a specific word- "Hot" at the moment- their soul will be sucked out of their body. When Botan goes for a drink, Kuwabara asks if they can share it with "each other" and loses his soul even though he didn't specifically say "Hot" (in the manga, he asks for "two shots" of orange juice). Kaito points out that he has no control over how his powers are applied, and simply saying the syllables for "hot" is enough regardless of context.
    • In the Latin American dub of the anime, since Hot translates into caliente, Kuwabara loses his soul when he jokingly asks Botan to look for sunglasses due to how the room's heat makes it look like the Sun was inside ("busca lentes de sol").note 
    • In the Brazilian dub, the forbidden word is "Quente" (Portuguese for "Hot"). When Botan gets the drinks, Kuwabara comments "Quem te viu, quem te vê" (a slang used when someone does something they don't do usually). This is notable because he manages to break the rule twice before Kaito's power kicks in.

    Comic Books 
  • In the days when comic books were lettered by hand, smudgy printing could cause characters to run together. Most problematically, a capital L next to a capital I can end up looking like the single letter U, causing words like CLINT and FLICK to wind up looking like certain four-letter words. Fortunately, this problem was eliminated with the use of computer printing.
  • Played with in Condorito, with the character Ungenio, who is all the opposite to "un genio" (a genius).
  • Fables spinoff "Jack of Fables" would sometimes be listed in Previews as "JACKOFFABLES".
  • Millie the Model: The potential for issues with the word 'FLICK' mentioned aboved is the reason why Millie's photographer boyfriend having is nickname changed from 'Flicker' to 'Clicker' early in the feature's run.

    Fan Works 
  • This moment from Chapter 16 of A Cure for Love:
    Sometime ago, Matsuda had left a post-it on one of the laptops in which he'd accidentally managed to wedge a biro into the CD drive in an attempt to extricate something.
    "Pen is stuck in drive"
    Only the 'pen' and 'is' were written too close together. L now had a 'penis stuck in drive' post-it stuck on his laptop screen. He was considering framing it.
  • In one side story to Sombra The Highly Unmotivated, Sombra seeks a job at a mattress store. The employee he encounters has a nametag that reads ASS. MANAGER RICHARD. Sombra calls him this verbatim intially, then mutates it through Malicious Misnaming until by the end he refers to the employee snidely as 'Dick Ass Man'.

    Film — Animated 
  • Not really an obscene example, but results from the general pattern of this trope for the film Antz. Look at the title and the movie, and it's easy to think that the title is just a faux hip way of describing the colony of ants that the movie is about, however adding a space makes the second interpretation a bit clear: Ant Z is the main character, and the title is really a Character Title. When the movie first came out, the title was written with the Z off axis, making it a bit more obvious to people who had seen the movie and seen the title again afterwards. Newer box covers for the DVDs keep the spelling Antz, making it seem like a straight case of Xtreme Kool Letterz.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Beast of Yucca Flats is largely narrated instead of having dialogue, and the narrator recites in a flat monotone that causes this on more than one occasion. Most infamously, the lines "A man murdered. A woman's purse" comes out as one sentence ("A man murdered a woman's purse").
  • The Clint version shows up in Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis, courtesy of Clint the assassin.
  • Cooties: Clint writes his name on the chalkboard as CLINT but puts the L and I too close together, prompting some embarrassment.
  • In Election, Reese Witherspoon's character, Tracy Flick, makes cupcakes with her last name (FLICK) written on them in icing. So this fits, because she was FLICK-ing a teacher at the beginning of the film. And the long, lingering, close-up on her PICK FLICK election badge.
  • In Girl, Interrupted, Lisa refers to therapists as "ther-rapists".
  • The title of the 2017 comedy film Girls Trip, which also reads as "Girl Strip".
  • God of Love: When the magic love darts fail to work on Kelly, a despondent Ray winds up jabbing a bunch of women (and one man!), acquiring a whole harem following him around. Somehow he winds up at a Scrabble tournament. The woman he's playing takes three tiles off her row and shows Ray the remaining four, which spell "DOME". When a confused Ray says "Dome?", the woman hurriedly separates her tiles so they read "DO ME".
  • Prior to the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, one associated hashtag on Twitter was for the villain Doc Ock. As hashtags lack spaces, it's unfortunately rendered as #docock.

  • A classic prank involves getting someone to read aloud the phrase "Owah Tagoo Siam". ("Oh, what a goose I am!")
  • George Carlin lampshaded this on his album, A Place For My Stuff: announcing an evening television lineup, he gave a program title as "Ranger Dan and His Big Dog, Dick . . . or Ranger Dan and His Big Dog-Dick."

  • Older Than Print - One of the medieval exempla speaks about a bishop who practices nigromancy and — being encroached by his enemies — consults the devil about what course of action he should take: Should he seek escape? The demon responds: Non, sta secure; venient inimici tui suaviter et subdentur tibi (No, rest secure; your enemies will come humbly and subdue unto you). The bishop follows the advice, and in effect his castle gets captured and he himself gets burnt at stake. Before he dies, the devil — in response to the bishop's cries of being deceived — interprets his previous advice thusly: Non sta secure; venient inimici tui sua vi ter et subdent ur tibi (Don't rest secure; your enemies will come in thrice their strength and will set fire unto you). note 
  • The Casefiles of Mr JG Reeder is a reprint of three Edgar Wallace books. It appears to be based on the Project Gutenberg text, which in turn contains a number of OCR errors. Most notably, the software seemed to have some difficulty telling the difference between "burn" and "bum".
  • The protagonist of the Iain Banks novel Espedair Street was one Daniel Weir; listed in the school register by surname followed by first initial.
  • In Hellspark by Janet Kagan, the eponymous planet was named based on this principle as a statement on the mutability of language. The natives purposefully alternate between pronouncing their planet "Hell spark" and "Hell's park".
  • In Jago, Susan works for a paranormal research organization called IΨT, pronounced like "Eyesight", but on typewriters or word processors where the psi symbol is unavailable it's rendered as IPSIT, which results in a scene where a character pronounces it "Ip-Sit".
  • In Lolita, Villain Protagonist Humbert Humbert comments on this is in respect to "therapist"/"the rapist". He would know.
  • In Stephenson's Quicksilver, King Charles II ennobled Knott Bolstrood when naming him Secretary of State. He was granted the title "Count of Penistone" note  mostly because that would force him to write "penis" whenever he signed his name. (In case you're wondering, the word is supposed to be Pen/Is/Tone.)
  • In one of the Ramona Quimby books, Ramona tries to get her dad to kick his smoking habit, so she draws a NO SMOKING sign to put on the front window. But she tries to fit both words on one line, runs out of space, and has to put the line break in the middle of "SMOKING". When Dad gets home, he sees the sign and wonders who "Nosmo King" is.
  • In Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov, there was a school with a policy of having students sign their reports by first initial followed by last name. This rule was given an exception in the case of a young Olynthus Dam.
  • A book entitled A Steroid Hit the Eart about misprints includes several examples like this. One highlight is a story from the filming of an episode of Z Cars, in which the opening line of the script read "Inspector Lynch is sitting at his desk, his penis in his hand."
  • Of legendary status in Germany is the story of a book its author wanted to call "Der Urinstinkt" (The primal instinct). The publisher objected to this because of the similarity to "Der Urin stinkt" (The urine stinks).
  • In Witches Abroad, Nanny Ogg misreads a sign that says "Hotel, No vacancies" as "Hotel Nova Cancies".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in Arrested Development with "Tobias Fünke: Analrapist" (Analyst/Therapist). Tobias insists that it be pronounced "Ah-NAL-rap-pist", but it's hard to read it as anything but what it says on his business card, even when compressed into a single word.
    Buster: (gasps as he reads the card)
    Tobias: Don't worry, it isn't pronounced like that.
    Buster: It isn't the pronunciation I was worried about.
    • In season 4, it's revealed that Tobias's license plate reads "ANUSTART", as he is hoping to get A NU START. He also mistakes a methadone (here spelt "methodone") clinic for a "method one" acting class. On the other hand, after being in prison, he finally realized to some degree how he comes off and instead changes his title to "theralyst".
  • The broad, white, all-caps, sans-serif credits font used in Barney Miller was not kind to writer Theodore J. Flicker.
  • There is a The Benny Hill Show sketch where Benny Hill is a sign painter and he's painting a door for a therapist, and he paints "JOHN SMITH, THE RAPIST" instead of "JOHN SMITH, THERAPIST".
  • In one episode of Castle, when a murderer writes a message on a wall and the word "psychotherapist" is too long to fit. Castle reads it literally "psycho the rapist".
  • The Australian show The Con Test uses this trope in its title. (The Contest)
  • In an episode of Golden Palace, Blanche orders personalised pens with the phrase "this pen is compliments from us to you". The vendor omits the space between "pen" and "is".
    Customer: Is this some sort of come-on?
  • The Prime Video menu card for The Grand Tour has, presumably intentionally, the #EngineeredHashtag #amazonshitcarshow.
    • That's still Clarkson, Hammond and May all right. Their choice of garments in one episode was a sweater labeled, "McLaren P1", a sweater labeled "E Type Jaguar" and a jacket labeled "NISSAN", respectively.
  • Used in the title of the series Ideal which is about, you guessed it, a drug dealer.
  • Jeopardy! itself once did a session of categories inspired by SNL's "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches—which included a category for "Therapists".
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:
  • Used on Lowdown with a subeditor asking Alex if Brad Pitt has actually been convicted of rape when an unfortunate line break changes "Brad Pitt's therapist" to "Brad Pitt's the rapist".
  • Midsomer Murders: In "Strangler's Wood", the way a name written in a diary is spaced causes Barnaby to initially read it as "Draycott" rather than the correct "Dr Aycott".
  • Used to great effect in the short-lived TV show, Miracles, where a message is repeatedly found scrawled near the site of unexplained events reading "GODISNOWHERE", leading to an in-universe conflict of interpretations.
  • Monty Python deliberately invoked the trope with the title of their MONTYPYTHONSCRAPBOOK, which looks like "Monty Python's Crap Book."
  • On a Halloween episode of Night Court, the gang is led to believe that the ghost of a man who died before his case could be decided is haunting the courtroom. A medium conducts a seance and is apparently possessed by the spirit, and scribbles something on a legal pad while saying, "I want....I want...." On the paper is the word JUST, and below it, ICE. Dan says to the sky, "Just ice? Sure we can't get you a little Margarita mix, Ray?" Harry points out that what the spirit is probably demanding is JUSTICE.
  • In Not Going Out, Lee is incensed about a notice he found at the career's section of the library saying "Are you looking for a job, innit?", finding it Totally Radical to an insulting degree. His roommate looks at the letter and explains that it says "Are you looking for a job in IT?".
  • QI presented four of the websites — whorepresents, expertsexchange, powergenitalia, therapistfinder and penisland — and the panellists had to work out what they were really meant to be.
    • Discussed when comic book fan Jonathan Ross spoke about the Comics Code Authority: "Comics were investigated after a certain Doctor Fredric Wertham brought out a book called Seduction of the Innocent in 1954, calling for the introduction of a self-regulating body known as the Comic Code Authority, that had such ridiculous rules as, you could not use the word 'flick' in a comic for fear that the 'L' would run into the 'I' and Spider-Man would be saying, 'Look, he's got a fuck knife!'" The only problem with this statement is that the Code didn't have such a rule - while it certainly didn't condone vulgarity, it didn't regulate word usage to that demanding a degree.
  • In one episode of Raines, the eponymous character claims he read Dr. Kohl's card as "The Rapist" instead of "Therapist".
  • In Review, Forrest receives a request via twitter from the user "@bubblebaths" to review "there all is aching." This nonsensical request ultimately drives Forrest to the point of insanity and institutionalization. Ultimately it is revealed that the question was mangled due to a computer error, and in fact the request was from twitter user "@TheRealLisaChing," asking Forrest to review bubble baths.
  • Played with multiple times on Saturday Night Live's "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches:
    • At least once per sketch, Sean Connery (played by Darrell Hammond) misreads a category, usually to make it more sexual. It's strongly implied that he's doing it deliberately just to annoy Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell). Examples include: "An Album Cover", which Connery reads as "Anal Bum Cover"; "The Pen Is Mightier", which becomes "The Penis Mightier" ("Gussy it up however you want, Trebek. What matters is does it work? Will it really mighty my penis, man?"); "S Words", becomes "Swords" (this one counts as Early-Installment Weirdness, as that one stems more from Connery's apparent inexperience with the game, being it was the first sketch); "Catch These Men", which becomes "Catch The Semen"; "Japan-US Relations", which becomes "Jap Anus Relations"; "Who Reads", which becomes "Whore Ads"; "Let It Snow", which becomes "Le Tits, Now"; "Famous Titles", which becomes "Famous Titties"; and of course "Therapists" becoming "The Rapists". Alex Trebek attempts to correct Connery ("That's 'Therapists', not 'The Rapists'."), growing increasingly exasperated each time it happens.
    • Burt Reynolds (Norm Macdonald) got in on the act once, mispronouncing "a petit déjeuner" as "ape tit".
    • In one sketch, they imply the hell out of Connery's misreading instead because it involved a word you can't say on American broadcast TV. Trebek decides to just pick a clue from the category "Foreign Flicks", but before he can even read the answer, Connery buzzes in and responds with "Ursula Andress". After being asked for clarification, he responds, "Ursula Andress, Catherine Deneuve, and Charo, twice." At which point Trebek emphasizes that it's "FOREIGN FLICKS." note  To further drive the point home, Connery remarks later in the sketch that he had "thought of some more foreign ladies I snogged."
    • In one case, Connery simply opted to tape a piece of paper reading "Things Trebek Sucks" over the real category sign.
    • In a later sketch, Trebek announces that they've checked and double-checked all the categories to ensure there's no possible way for Sean Connery to make a sex pun out of them. Connery makes it happen anyway by crossing out letters with a marker while Trebek is distracted, transforming "I HAVE A CHARDONNAY" into "I HAVE A HARDON".
  • In a Red Skelton sketch, Red was supposed to be arranging letters on a movie marquee to read "IMA JACK AS SINBAD." A beautiful girl came by, Red stopped watching what he was doing, and it ended up as "IM A JACKASS."
  • In one Three's Company, Janet thinks Jack's girlfriend is a prostitute, but she's actually a psychologist. The confusion culminates in Janet reading the woman's business card as "The rapist!"
  • Top Gear:
    • Done with writing logos on car doors in such a way that they look like something else when the door is opened. Namely "Larsen's Biscuits", "Peniston Oils", "Amerdea du fromage, ("Merde du fromage" is roughly French for "shit of cheese", but the idiomatic meaning is closer to "bloody cheese"), "C'est les bien chat!", "Sophartel Industrie", Restaurant petit entree", Coq joli yaourt aux fruits" ("Happy Rooster fruit yoghurt" which becomes "cock yoghurt"), "Snorksan", "Buy Butter Sturdy", "Poole" and "Ask your doctor about a tetanus booster".
    • The Hover Van was designed at a facility in Penistone whose sign was mounted on a gate in such a fashion that it had to be split in the middle. It was the "Top Gear Penistone Engineering Workshop".
    • The Ambulance Challenge features the rather makeshift "Top Gear Poorly People Assistance Headquarters".
    • In the India Special, they place large signs on the sides of the train (which later separated upon arriving on a train station) which read: "The United Kingdom promotes British I.T. for your company" and "Eat English muffins".
    • There was a Top Gear Live Event with car soccer played with white Reliant Robins. The names of the two teams were written on the sides, of course in such a way that something else came out when a door was opened: When Saturday Comes and The Titans.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Frank Reynolds names his club after his girlfriend Shadynasty (pronounced Shuh-Dynasty). A patron looks at the sign and wonders what "Shady Nasty" is.
  • In The Thick of It, Nicola publically shows her support for Liam Bentley, but due to some miscommunication on Terri's part, the camera zooms in a little too close on the poster, making it out as "I AM BENT", which is British slang for moral corruption.

  • Also in Britain, a run-of-the-mill bog-standard women's magazine was called Closer by its publishers. On at least one occasion, the capital "C" of "Closer" has been obscured by elements of the cover design or lead picture, so that name might have been a mistake. Or perhaps not. Like its sister magazines and imitators, Closer is targeted at women in the lower social demographics—the low price, editing, and advertising within the pages makes this clear. So the front-page error that obscures the "C" might well be perceived as rubbing it in, or as a snide joke perpetuated by the designers at the expense of the targeted audience...
  • Covers of the British SF/Fantasy magazine SFX often are examples (perhaps deliberately invoked) of this trope. When a cover subject's photo is placed in front of the magazine's logo, it looks like the magazine's logo might actually be SEX. One letter to the editor informed the magazine that a picture of Chris Evans as Captain America: The First Avenger on the cover and having the 'F' obscured led to that issue being put with the "gay interest" magazines in his local newsagents.
    • Referenced in the title of David Langford's collected SFX work: The SEX Column And Other Misprints.

  • The band name Alexisonfire can be read in about ten different ways, depending on punctuation or spacing between letters.
  • Susan Boyle celebrated the release of one of her albums with the Twitter hashtag #susanalbumparty.
  • A label on a Bob Dylan LP once (in violation of standard typesetting) broke the title "Mr. Tambourine Man" across two lines as "MR. TAMBO- / URINE MAN". This provided the inspiration for a line in They Might Be Giants' song "Weep Day": "It's samba time for Tambo and weep day for Urine Man."
  • "Phones Ex" by The Fitness.
  • Invoked by Nicki Minaj in her song "Super Bass." You see, Miss Minaj is known for having a large butt...
  • Italian punk rock band Prozac+ released an album named "Miodio", which can be read alternately as "Mi odio" (I hate myself) or "Mio dio" (My god).

    New Media 
  • The most famous example is possibly a collection of URLs that were found to be... failures in some way. Try to figure out what they are before highlighting the spoiler:
  •, a very popular database of baseball players and their statistics, lists players by the first five letters of their last name and the first two letters of their first name. No problem, except for Boston Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis. The result: YoukiKe. Yeah. They changed his entry real YouklKe, which isn't much better. Particularly unfortunate because Youkilis is Jewish.
  • Here's a top 10 list of them.
  • The URL to the official website of Repo! The Genetic Opera, as noticed by quite a few people, is Apparently noticeable enough that 'repo-opera' is now a redirect.
  • It's been noted a few times that the url for the section of the Arlington Cemetery site about the Tomb Of The Unknowns ends in tombofun.htm — as in Tomb O' Fun.
  • Inactive now, if you looked in the upper left corner of your computer when visiting that site, it even said "Fuck You TV Tropes".
  • is about menswear, not an enthusiastic affirmation that men swear. To confuse matters, posts photos of stylish men with profanity-laced captions.
  • is the personal page of Larry Sanger, one of Wikipedia's creators; not a page on how angry Larry is.
  •, a Star Wars database famous for its action figure photo archive.
  • sounds like some guy's Hentai collection, but is in fact the site of an animation company run by a man named Michael Sporn.
  • A Turkish designer named Adil Işık has a clothing line named after him. Of course the website would be "Adil Işık" followed by ".com". However, Turkish letters can cause trouble in URLs, so it's written as instead... and "Adil'i sik" means "Fuck Adil".(Not as in "Man, fuck that guy.", but as in sexually violate him.)
  • America Online's font in the early 90's made lower-case "m" almost indistinguishable from lower-case "r" and "n" together (known as "kerning" or more humorously "keming"), giving fuel to early Internet Trolls to create fake names to "post as" anyone who had the misfortune of merely having a lower-case "m" or "rn" in their username. For instance "Mama" could be copied as "Marna" (And vice versa) and look exactly the same - even if you looked closely.
  • is a photograph site, not a site about hearing boobs.
  • is a entertainment site, not a site about movies& games reviews.
  • The day of the death of Margaret Thatcher, one of the first hashtags to spring up on Twitter was #nowthatchersdead, created by a website critical of Thatcher. This spurred confusion among Cher fans, mostly Americans, who read it as "Now that Cher's dead." Soon other Twitter users, including comedian Ricky Gervais, started mocking these panicked fans.
  • Mrs. Edna Fry's second book, How To Have An Almost Perfect Marriage is frequently plugged on Twitter with the hashtag #HowToHaveAnAlmostPerfectMarriage. She has occasionally "accidentally" rendered this as #HowToHaveAnalMostPerfectMarriage.
  • With Hurricane Sandy, CBS was promoting their group "CBS Cares". They averted the obvious "CB scares" by having the redirect to their website page which used an underscore for a space "cbs_cares".
  • Regretsy has pointed out an Etsy store called scarfarts - they sell scarves, so it's meant to be read as "Scarf Arts", not "Scar Farts".
  • A cheese shop founded by Ms Liz Godsell seems somewhat blasphemous at
  • At, you cannot hire temporary workers while your employees are on strike, only taxicabs.
  • This discontinued blog is about art and videogames and the name is meant to invoke "Pixels at an Exhibition". Not the blasphemous-sounding "Pixel Satan Exhibition"!
  • The site is devoted to taking trips to Las Vegas; it has nothing to do with a Street Fighter character's side job.
  • is a magazine site that's "All Women's Talk", not a commentary that women tend to be stalkers... but its listed title actually is All Women Stalk, making it potentially a Lampshade Hanging.
  • is "Class Dojo" not "Cl Ass Dojo" is a site for keeping track of your classes behavior, not to train your butt.
  • is, of course, about the store, not about a strange adventure that involves bed, bat, hand, beyond...
  • Here's a huge list of them.
  • is the website for a documentary about Muppet performers, not an informative guide to obsessively researching Muppet guys (i.e. "Muppet guy stalking").
  • Website is actually about art, not flatulence.
  • The restaurant Porto Fino in downtown LA has a website at the url There is no such thing as the Port of Inod, nor does this site have anything to do with a three-letter acronym.
  • Anu's kitchen might want to pick a better name for their restaurant.
  • Ladie's Skintimate shaving gel is the unexpectedly gross "Skin Tim ate".
  • A New York restaurant called Han Dynasty has been the butt of jokes for its website, (also a case of the Scunthorpe Problem, because "handynasty" sometimes gets caught by porn filters).
  • A site selling "Fagas Straps", a type of strap used in making furniture, has the unfortunate URL of  And just to make it worse, they don't even sell Fagas Straps anymore, having replaced them with their own similar product when Fagas Straps got too expensive for them to keep stocking. So now is a Non-Indicative Name for both of its meanings. Surely there are people out there who could put this URL to much better use.
  • Turboanalisis, Inc is a worldwide supplier of parts and services to the aviation industry ("Turbo Analisis", a play on Turbo Analysis), not a group of Middle Eastern Terrorists specializing in high-speed sodomy ("Turbo Anal ISIS").
  • Some administrators of top-level domains defy deliberate exploitation of this trope, known as domain hacking. In particular, the Cook Islands prohibits any potentially profane use of its .ck domain, which didn't go unnoticed by Nathan Barley. Also, the Christmas Islands revoked the infamous "" domain in 2004.
  •, a website by religious speaker Bill Gothard.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One Dilbert strip had a woman asking the Pointy-Haired Boss for her email address to be something other than the standard first-initial, last-name format. The boss denied Brenda Utthead's request.
  • There is a Pearls Before Swine strip where Pig protests against a department store because he thinks "they have an entire section devoted to men using profanity".
    Goat: It's "menswear", not "men swear".
    Pig: Oh.
    Rat: Hey, this looks like a fun, [CENSORED] section.

  • Programmers tend to abbreviate things in their code. This combined with the subject matter makes it possible to find combinations of letters and digits that look identical in certain fonts. Which can become quite the mess given that computers are fully ok with having both a variable called CLINT and one called CUNT that may be used for nearly the same thing. This is one of the reasons why programming is always done with monospace fonts.
  • Apache Maven (a build manager for Java projects) uses a file called pom.xml (not porn.xml) for configuration.
  • Splitting a string, say a domain name, into smaller words of a dictionary, is a typical problem of algorithms. There are efficient solutions to it that use a technique called Dynamic Programming.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In July 2017, WWE held a PPV entitled Great Balls of Fire. Appropriately, there were several moments where wrestlers' heads were positioned in camera angles to obscure the title on the arena's ribbon displays to say "EAT BALLS". Meanwhile, when Big Cass entered the stage, his head blocked a "C" on a giant screen behind him.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In Johann Strauss's comic operetta Die Fledermaus, the governor of the local prison asks Frosch (the jailer who was on duty the previous night) if anything unusual happened, to which Frosch replies "Nichts, würdig Herr Direktor." ("Nothing, worthy governor.") The governor, however, hears it as "Nichtswürdig Herr Direktor" ("Unworthy governor"), and thinks he's being insulted until Frosch clarifies the statement.

    Video Games 
  • The box art for the games in the Akiba's Trip series write the name in all caps and with no space between the S and the T, deliberately making it readable as "Akiba Strip". And it actually is a game about taking people's clothes off. (Because they're vampires who disintegrate in sunlight, you see...)
  • A popular fan-made van paintjob in All Points Bulletin could be read differently whether the side door was open or closed: it said "Ice Cream For Myself And Overachieving Children"
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons has more than a few players literally call their island Pen to purposely invoke this trope.
  • Like the "Flicker" example everywhere, Armored Core 4 and for Answer features a part called 09-FLICKER, which is a flashbang in rocket form. Pretty appropriate in both forms, as getting hit removes your ability to lock on to enemies for a certain time, and with mechs typically moving at blinding speeds, as well as the NPC enemies who do equip them are known to be That One Boss, you are seriously boned.
  • Crow gets confused in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey: "A real therapist he was... or wait maybe it was 'rapist'..."
  • There's a mod/cheat utility program for Dwarf Fortress called Dwarf Therapist. This is not particularly funny until you notice that the URL for the program;
    • Embraced, however, in typical dwarven fashion by the game's community, who regularly refer to it as "Dwarf TheRapist".
  • Overlapping with "Blind Idiot" Translation is the infamous scene in Final Fantasy VII where the guard scorpion is way harder then it should be due to the game giving you confusing information, namely, at one point it says "attack while its tail is up! It will counterattack with its laser". While not ungrammatical, the formatting (the text saying "attack while its tail is up!" appeared in a different box from "it'll counterattack with its laser!", which made it sound like the first sentence was an imperative rather than part of a warning not to attack") made a lot of player do the exact opposite of what they were trying to say. (Why they didn't just add the word "and" to the beginning of the second sentence to disambiguate it is a mystery.)
  • Final Fantasy IX has a similar and very prevalent example. There is a giant tree which serves as the source of the Mist that covers the world, as well as being a story dungeon. The tree's name is Iifa (pronounced "ee-fa"), which is clearly displayed on-screen as you enter the dungeon. However, the game text uses sans-serif fonts, and the tree is referred to as the Tree of Life many times. As a result, many players misread the name as "Lifa" (as in "life-a" - the font used for normal dialogue makes "Iifa" and "lifa" look identical), and a lot of the walkthroughs on GameFAQs also refer to it by that name.
  • Kirby's Epic Yarn. Go ahead and count how many people first saw this as Kirby's Epic Yam, made possible due to general knowledge that Kirby likes to eat things, and the fact that most sites render text in Arial which makes "r n" look like "m" (technically the same problem as the AOL entry under New Media, above). Unsurprisingly, most of the people who got the title wrong originally misread the title at forums or gaming news sites who use proportional sans-serif fonts like Arial.
  • The final form of the Final Boss of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is named DethI (with an uppercase "I" at the end and pronounced "Death Eye"), but since an uppercase "I" looks identical to a lowercase "L" in many fonts, its name is often mistaken for "DETHL." Even the encyclopedia on the official Zelda website made this mistake.
  • The original Metroid had the cheat code NARPAS SWORD. It doesn't stand for any particular sword, but rather "NAR Password" - the space was due to how the password input worked. There are various theories as to what NAR means, including "North American Release"note  and "Not A Real", or being short for Toru Narihiro, the programmer who converted the game from disk to cartridge.
  • Pokémon:
    • When Pokémon Masters got its name updated to Pokémon Masters EX, it trended on Twitter. Unfortunately, the hashtag didn't have any spaces or capitalization, making it look like #pokemonmastersex.
    • The Trading Card Game, at two points in its history, released cards known as "Pokémon ex," whose names are that of the Pokémon with "ex" or "EX" added to the end. This resulted in cards named "Gyarados ex," "Aurorus EX," and "Ninetales EX."
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police:
    • The game has a relatively innocent example in season two. Sam and Max discover a new garage in their neighborhood called "Pimp Le Car". Max asks "Sam, what's a pimple car?"
    • In the episodes after Max is elected president, a suspiciously out of place ice cream truck becomes parked opposite Lefty's. It reads "Secret Serv Ice Cream". Max doesn't catch on to the double meaning, but Sam does.
  • In Star Fox 64, stages you've already beaten in your current route are represented with two-letter abbreviations on the map screen. Most players' first time through the game will be spent on the Easy path, where the first four stages are Corneria, Meteo, Fortuna, and Sector X. As The Runaway Guys pointed out, this leads to the unfortunate abbreviation COMEFOSXnote .
  • The visual novel Therapist: Mind Manager exploits the double entendre between "Therapist" and "The Rapist". The game's protagonist is an intern psychologist, while his most important patient (from a story standpoint) is a manipulative and self-confessed sex offender, hence the title can refer to both.
  • Valve Software: Gabe Newell's email is ''. While not very conspicuous in text, it provides a fun soundbite when Gabe himself reads it in-game. Apparently, he is not too fond of this, opting for the letter-by-letter approach in later commentaries. This just made it worse.

    Web Animation 
  • In Battle for Dream Island, Pen states that if he were to win Dream Island, he would name it "Pen Island, no spaces, all caps!" He probably doesn't realize it, but he's naming it PENISLAND.
  • In the Strong Bad Email episode "web comics", Strong Bad gets a message from one "Gunkiller", presumably meant to be read as "Gun Killer". Since Strong Bad deliberately misnaming anyone who emails him is a Running Gag of the series, he refers to the sender as "Gunk iller" instead, which he later shortens to "Gunky".


    Web Original 
  • Chuggaaconroy originally intended for his screen name to be read "Chugga A. Conroy", but the lowercase caused it to mutate and become pronounced "Chugga-conroy", which was adopted early on.
  • A Drew Gooden video discusses this as an inside joke between Drew and his wife Amanda. They once saw an ad for I, Tonya on Instagram, with the username being itonyamovie. Amanda read this as "it ony a movie," as if the account was downplaying how important the movie was. Drew later says "It ony a movie" to shrug off the bad Christmas movie he's watching.
  • For one episode, Jacksfilms' "Your Grammar Sucks" series became "Your Grammar's Awesome", in which he highlighted comments from YouTube and other sites that were relatively free of grammatical and spelling errors but were humorous for other reasons. Once he announces the title of the video, the backdrop changes from a wraparound text reading "YGS" to one reading "YGA". The fact that the background subsequently appears to read "GA Y" has to be deliberate, especially because the very first comment he reads is "homosexuals are so gay", while most of rest are insults directed at himself or his channel.
    • In another video, he talks about how the title of Air Buddies could be misinterpreted as Air Bud Dies.
  • Sometimes the Midnight Screenings will lead to funny pictures with truncated signs, such as Deepwater Horizon, The Disappointments, and Going In Style.
  • Reddit subreddit r/keming and this website chronicle failures of kerning, or spacing between letters.
  • Done intentionally with the site which is a blog telling the story of a cartoon princess duck named Slütsof and her adventures in the kingdom of Stâgram, of course! The site got a good bit of publicity when Instagram sent the owner a Cease & Desist letter. His reply was just as cheeky as the site itself.
  • Smosh:
    • In one of the "If Apps were real" skit, they use Siri to direct them to a pen store called Pen Island. Instead, Siri takes them to a place called Penisland.
    • In a music video called "PEN15", they feature a club called the People Eliminating Nefariousness club, that usually keeps their member count to 15. That's right, "I <heart> PEN 15"! Though once Ian sees that his shirt also read as "I <heart> PENIS"...
      Ian: FFFUUU–
  • This appears to be a Running Gag with Quackity's appearances on various Minecraft servers. His faction on SMPEarth directly employed this trope, being named Pen Island, and most of the characters he plays in Tales From the SMP have names based around lewd puns, including and not limited to a Lower-Class Lout named Drew P. Wiener and a bandit named Jack Kanoff.
  • Also from Tales From the SMP, Sapnap's character in the episode "The Maze" is named "Mike Hunt" and prefers to be referred on a Full-Name Basis rather than a First-Name Basis.
  • Channel Awesome is inconsistent with abbreviating or not in URLs (Angry Joe is "aj" but Diamanda Hagan is fully spelled out). One is a deliberate aversion of this trope, as Todd in the Shadows goes by "tis" instead. (And hilariously/appropriately, Brad Jones is "bj".)
  • On This Very Wiki, a past version of the Laconic page for this trope (circa 2011) consisted of " that The Problem With Pen isLand is a valid link to the exact same page."
  • There is a person on YouTube with the account name Micioonthet, who once had to make a video explaining that his name is supposed to be read as "Micio on the T" and not "Micioon Thet".
  • In 2008, someone named Shawn W tweeted an invitation to a Super Bowl party, but mistyped it as "Superb Owl party" — and promptly created one of the Internet's most enduring running gags (likely helped along by the fact that owls are cool). The subreddit r/superbowl, for example, is dedicated entirely to owls. The joke has since leaked into other media, becoming a frequent means of Writing Around Trademarks on The Colbert Report, as well as a category on an episode of Jeopardy!, and also showing up in What We Do in the Shadows (2019), where the vampires end up being disappointed by the party they're invited to.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers has the "Wharf Arts Center", which gets called "War Farts Center" a few times.
  • In Farzar, the character, "Bazarack KillDieDeath", starts up a website and calls it, "" but when he tries to register it, he discovers the domain name is already taken by three old ladies, named Kiki ("KK" as a nickname), Illdi, and Edeath, who made their website a Bazaar (which KK mispells as "Bazar") for arts and crafts, (abbreviated to "AC"), thus giving them ownership of the domain name, "".
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Bridle Gossip", Twilight Sparkle misreads a book titled "Super Naturals" as "Supernaturals".
  • On The Simpsons, Lisa finds an old videotape seemingly labeled "Bart sad." It turns out to be a commercial that he starred in as a toddler, at which point she realizes that the title is "Bart's ad," albeit with the apostrophe missing.
  • Inverted in an episode of Squidbillies.
    "No, no, I'm not a therapist. I'm The Rapist. A lot of people make that mistake."

    Real Life 
  • Yes, Pen Island is real. There are actually two Pen islands: East and West Pen Island. They are part of several uninhabited Arctic islands in Nunavut, Canada. West Pen Island is actually a spit, rather than an island. East Pen Island is situated off the shore of Ontario, a few kilometers southeast of Manitoba, and no, it's not a swallow.
  • Pen Island is also a store that sells custom fountain pens. As far as we can tell, it's a joke website, but that's only because we're too scared to order a commission.
    "We Specialize In Wood".
    • They actually do sell pens, but they most definitely picked the domain name on purpose, and change up their innuendo every so often. They didn't use to specialize in wood, but did mention big black ones in the past.
  • The word "blog"; the original term is web log which was misread as we blog
  • Ladies and Germs, we present No, not an incredibly avant-garde and offensive gay porn site, but a purchased domain name for a company which sells "Fagas straps" as well as other furniture supplies.
  • Once upon a time, there was a suite of educational software called "ViaGrafix". Cue many school bookkeepers wondering why they were being billed for something called "Viagrafix".
  • Dord was listed as a synonym for density for a few years in Merriam-Webster's New International Dictionary. When an editor tried to find the etymology of the word, he couldn't find any evidence that "dord" was actually a word. It eventually transpired that the source of "dord" was a slip of paper, reading "D or d: cont./density", which was intended for the entries for upper and lowercase 'd'. This phantom word propagated across dictionaries for a few years afterwards. (There actually is such a thing as a "dord", being an ancient Irish musical horn.)
  • Actor/comedian Donald Glover's Twitter account used to be donglover (mentioned here).
  • ABC Amber LIT Converter is abbreviated in the url as "abclit."
  • On the Stanley Cup, 1944 Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant Manager Frank Selke (yes, that Selke), is listed as simply "F.J. Selke (Ass Man)", which goes to show that the modern NHL comes by its appreciation of butt humor honestly.
    • Assistant trainer Arc Campbell is listed as "Arc Campbell (Ass Train)".
  • "Assistant Captain" (of a sports team, for example) can and has been abbreviated as "Ass Captain".
  • In German:
    • Duschlampe (shower lamp) and Du Schlampe (you slut).
    • Urinstinkt (primal instinct) and Urin stinkt (urine stinks).
  • This can be an issue in solving crossword puzzles since one has to guess the number of words in the answer. And even with the right number of words, guessing where one ends can be difficult.
  • A non-naughty but amusing one comes from the early days of the crossword puzzle in the U.S. Margaret Farrar, a prolific editor, once clued "Make ___: succeed." She intended the answer to be A GO OF. Unfortunately, because there are no spaces in crosswords, this looks exactly like A GOOF. She received a letter saying "Make a goof means succeed? You really made a goof on that one." Puzzles probably have numerous other examples, and because the type of people who make and solve them are inveterate punsters, there have also been puzzles based on playing with the format. For example, cluing, LADIESFIRST with "Mad scientist's threat to destroy California?" (L.A. DIES FIRST.)
  • An odd form of Damn You, Muscle Memory! which led to this trope popping up happened when users used to the file name limits of MS-DOS (and by extension, Windows 1.0 through 3.11) switched to using Windows 95 and later. They'd first keep naming their files as if they were still on the older operating system, then gradually stop abbreviating words in the file name, but still not use spaces, before finally using the long file names the way they were intended. The middle stage is where this trope cropped up. For example, a Doctor Who reference image might be named "doctorwhoref.png", and while the user might not notice anything odd about it when they email it to someone to use as reference material, they're likely to get a snarky comment about the file name when they next hear from the recipient.
    • Use of spaces in filenames remains awkward on command-line UNIX systems, keeping this problem around, though CamelCase or underscores_as_spaces or dashes-as-spaces can be used to avert it.
  • One shop which fronts onto London Road in West Croydon used to be a video rental store called Flickers, and it had a painted advert on its rear wall (above the railway tracks) which can still be seen from Tamworth Road. It can be very startling when one sees it for the first time, and mistakes the LI for a U...
  • This is supposed to say "Flickering lights", but with such a curvy font, and with the capital L and capital I so close together, well....
  • The Urban Legend of the Chevy Nova's alleged failure in Latin America hinges on this. The claim is that since "no va" is Spanish for "it doesn't go", people didn't want to buy a car with that name. While the idea that customers would automatically conflate one word with two is absurd enough, where this fits the trope is the fact that "nova" itself is a word in Spanish. And if you were to say "my car won't go", you'd say no funciona or no marcha, not no va. There's also the fact that no va (depending on the dialect) normally means It doesn't combine or it doesn't mix. However, people in Spanish-speaking countries did make the association... as a kind of pun ("¡Mi Nova no va!" "¡Jajajajaja!").
  • In Brazil, there's a brand of baby diapers called "Pom-Pom", and the font used doesn't help. It is at least awkward enough for English-speakers, since in Portuguese, "pornografia" is abbreviated "pornô".
  • Under certain fonts, the word "click" actually looks like "dick".
  • God is Now Here:
    • Deliberately invoked (and subverted) by the Denver-based evangelical organization GODISNOWHERE. They've had a booth at the Capitol Hill People's Fair and the Taste of Colorado in Denver for well over a decade, and they count on atheists reading the phrase as "God is Nowhere", and then attempt to evangelize them when they come visiting what they think are like-minded individuals. Atheist booths will warn newcomers about this.
    • This has shown up on actual church billboards, followed by "(read it again)", which doesn't guarantee a different interpretation, especially if you're driving past it.
    • Both of these are derived from an older evangelical joke about an atheist professor who keeps such a poster in his daughter's room throughout her childhood and is baffled when she converts to Christianity. (In search of a closer and more communicative parental relationship, perhaps.)
  • The video store MEGAFLICKS probably should have been more careful with their font choice, as should Kids Exchange. Because the font used makes it look like they instead say MEGAFUCKS and KIDSEXCHANGE respectively. Whoops.
  • License Plates:
  • Because many companies use the "first initial, last name" setup, it can lead to some issues with names that are traditionally common in one part of the world but are less so with immigration. Examples include:
    • Maho: a common Japanese surname, innocent enough unless a person happens to be named Ivan or Irene.
    • Steve Hitchin.
    • Others of note: B. Lowman, U. Ho, T. Watkins, F. Uckermann, "Y. Oda", Y. Ou.
    • Former NASA manager Scott Pace had the awesome-sounding e-mail address
  • A now-defunct British telecoms company gave their employees computer user names consisting of their surname followed by their initials. They did not deviate from this with K.S. Wan. This was particularly noticeable because computer printouts always featured the owner's user ID in enormous letters.
    • This practice is by no means isolated. Many colleges and universities around the world use this scheme as well. For example, the University of South Australia- although they also append a three digit number to the end of the name, which could arguably make things worse if a certain number combination should appear.
  • Megan Finger, a student at Central Washington University got the "last name, first two letters of the first name" treatment.
  • Fairly common in Swedish thanks to people forgetting the rule that compound words have to be written as one word. Some classic examples include "Rökfritt" (No smoking) being written as "Rök fritt" (Smoke freely), "Djupfryst kycklinglever" (frozen chicken liver) as "Djup fryst kyckling lever" (profound frozen chicken lives), "Kassamedarbetare sökes" (tellers wanted) as "Kassa medarbetare sökes" (crappy co-workers wanted) or "brunhårig sjuksköterska" (brunette nurse) as "brun hårig sjuk sköterska" (brown hairy sickly caretaker).
  • Comedian Billy Connolly relates to travelling by now-defunct American air carrier Trans-World Airlines. A stewardess, who had evidently been taught this by rote, smiled and asked "Sir, would you like some of our T.W.A. coffee?" Without missing a beat, Connolly smiled back and said "No thanks, miss. But I'd really love to dip my tongue into your T.W.A. tea." The stewardess missed the joke entirely and Connolly got his cup of tea...
  • British TV personality and sports commentator Stuart Hall decided to invest in a travel agent's shop bearing his name. Unfortunately, the stationery had all been printed and the shop sign readied to go up before somebody noticed the thing with Stuart Hall International Travel.
  • More than one person has looked at the company name Samsung and jokingly wondered "What did Sam sing?"
  • There was once a candy bar called HITS. It was quickly pulled when someone noticed what a row of them on the supermarket shelf looked like: HITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHITS.
  • The Wig and Pen had this problem while advertising that they were open for business.
  • Small town of Kappeln in Germany has an even smaller quarter "Espenis". note . To add insult to injury, "es(s)"="eat!". So its name is literally "Suck My Dick"...
  • The New People building in San Francisco labels the floors to indicate what is on each floor. The 3rd floor is labeled "3F ARTS".
  • One early test case session for the Apple Macintosh's operating system ended with users complaining that the OS was calling them a dolt. It turns out that rendering the word Do It! in a san-serif font and with too small a space between both words is a bad idea (aside from the implication of the other meaning of do it). It was quickly changed to the industrial standard "OK".
  • Crossed with Snipe Hunt — one midwestern church camp needed a sign at the entrance to the cabin areas warning RVsnote  off, since those roads were too narrow for large vehicles to maneuver easily. Instead of NO RVS BEYOND THIS POINT, the sign maker misplaced a space and gave them NORVS BEYOND THIS POINT. "Norvs" turned out to be a good way to keep the junior campers in their cabins after lights-out, so the sign was kept.
  • This unfortunately named veterinary hospital in Brazil, PetSanus.
  • When getting a cake with a custom inscription, it's probably best to either phrase things very carefully, or make sure your baker has good handwriting and piping skills. A little bit of stray icing is all it takes for "HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLINT" to convey a rather different meaning than intended.
  • In fifteenth-century France, there was a young woman who helped turn the tide of the Hundred Years War and free France from English rule. Her name was Jeanne Darc. However, somewhere along the line, people got the idea that her name was Jeanne d'Arc, translated as Joan of Arc, despite the fact that there has never been such a place as Arc in France. And only someone of noble lineage, which she was most definitely not, would have a last name like d'Arc (actually, the change in spelling may have been prompted by a desire to "improve" her origin).
  • Chinese in general does not have spaces at all between their characters. Older texts, until about 100 years ago, didn't even have punctuation. Notably, newspaper headlines still traditionally do not use punctuation, which leads to this headline in Hong Kong which can theoretically be read in 18 distinct meanings (granted, most of those meanings are obviously absurd).
  • In Hong Kong, there is an assessment called Territory-wide System Assessment, or TSA (no, not that one); The 全港性系統評估 for primary school students to test their academic skill. It may look innocent in English, but if you read it in Chinese and separate the words into 全港-性系統-評估 (Territory-wide Sexuality Assessment), it's not so innocent as one might think! This happens a lot because the character 性 can be used as a suffix meaning something like "-natured" to turn a word into an adjective, but by itself, also means "sex".
  • Stanford University's shuttle bus system has routes like the X (clockwise around campus), the N and O (night-owl service), and the SE (Shopping Express, which goes to a local shopping center). A recent bus stop redesign had the route names in alphabetical order, leading to one unfortunate stop being labeled NOSEX.
  • Similar to the 'Dilbert' example above: doing an e-mail with two initials, first six letters of surname ends up tragic with Mary E. Cummings.
  • A joke in Chinese has somebody whose name is 珠月坡 (Zhu Yuepo) gets called 猪肚皮 (pig's belly skin) instead. The words 珠 and 猪 are pronounced the same, and 月坡 and 肚皮 are written with the same strokes, but with the left part of 坡 moved onto 肚. (Compounding the problem is the tendency of some fonts to not disambiguate between the moon radical and the meat radical.)
  • In mathematics, Boole's rule is a method of numerical integration. It's also known as Bode's rule, after a widely propagated typographical error.
  • A number of new Asus motherboards come with a feature called ProbeIt (Probe-It) which allows advanced users to take voltage readings on the motherboard using an external multimeter. Due to how Asus absolutely loves using san-serif fonts in their manual, it's easily rendered to some people as Pro-belt. However, in clever marketing parlance, the brand works either way- those who get the name right knows that it's a strip of exposed points where you can use a multimeter to probe the various readings of the motherboard, while those who got the name wrong will believe it to be a strip (a belt if you will) where professionals can use a device to check the status of the motherboard.
  • The book company 10 Of Those (written as have apparently had so many people inquiring about their '100 ft hose' that they have a picture of one on the wall in their office.
  • A Galerie au Chocolat brand of hot chocolate mix came with the phrase "hot" written in large font stretching to both sides of the package. Put on a shelf together, it unintentionally spells out "thot"note .
  • The right-wing and somewhat insular British political party UKIP posed its leaders for photographs under a banner that said UKIPUKIPUKIPUKIPUKIPUKIPUKIPUKIP.... as was pointed out, the word "PUKI" in many related East Asian languages such as Malay has Country Matters associations. To a Malay viewer or a Tagalog speaker, the wise and great British politician Nigel Farage is sitting under a banner with the word "PUKI" eternally repeating. And a less demotic word for "Country Matters" in Malay is "Faraj"...
  • Kongmoon is a prefecture-level city in the southern Mainland Chinese province of Guangdong. It's also the Cantonese pronunciation for the Mandarin word for "anus". This is why the only 4-year college there is called Wuyi University (lit. University of the Five Towns), after a widely accepted term for a cultural region largely coterminous with Jiangmen.
    • For reference, the city is written 江門 and "anus" 肛門. It's also noteworthy that while 江門 and 肛門 have the same tones in Cantonese and can both be romanized in Jyutping as gong1 mun4, they're pronounced Jiangmen and gang men respectively in Mandarin. In most places outside China, the city of Kongmoon is better known as Jiangmen.
  • A McDonald's in Yass, Australia has billboards advertising its existence on the surrounding roads. Unfortunately, whoever designed the billboards had the bright idea to put the double-arch logo next to "Yass". In other words, "my ass" is open 24 hours.
  • What Top Gear did with doors sometimes happens in real life. Here are 30 examples. The leaders of the Pendennis luxury yacht shipyard actually went with their own door joke for charity.
  • "Crazy English" by Richard Lederer (a book about how English is really weird) lists a (possibly apocryphal) story about a G.I stationed in Italy during World War 2 who saw a sign which read:
    • "TOTI
    • EMUL
    • ESTO"
      • It apparently took him some time to realize it said "to tie mules to"
  • One photo on the Internet shows the back of a fire department's medical vehicle with its doors ajar, normally reading "Fire Medic Unit". But as noted by quite a few pranksters, the letters' spacing lets you read the more piratical phrase "Fire me dic unit!".
  • Supermarionation is a technology, invented in the 1960s, for making marionettes whose mouths move when they are "speaking". The word is a portmanteau of "marionette" and "animation". To a modern reader, however, it's hard not to read it as "Super Mario Nation", despite it predating the video games by several decades.
  • In a four-letter code system for classes and modules, Chinese Literature has been known to be abbreviated into CLIT.
  • While companies that make handcrafted products are certainly justified in describing them as "artisanal", using that word in a web domain can backfire, because it can also be parsed out as a Dadaist bit of Toilet Humor commentary on artistry—Art is Anal Cheese, Art is Anal Wine Cellars, Art is Anal Talent, Art is Anal Tattoo, Art is Anal Pasta Tools, etc.
  • One game store had the habit of placing price stickers on the top right corner of game boxes, and then they came across Drill Dozer with expected results.
  • One older Twitter user by the name of Dani G. German decided to use her full name as her handle, writing it in all lowercase letters and with no spaces, as was traditional at an earlier time in the internet's history. However, it didn't seem to register to her at first that this made her handle look like a racial epithet, leading to quite a bit of ribbing online by people baffled at the tone-deafness of it. Eventually, Ms. German caught on to the problem and adjusted her handle to capitalize the D and two G's. Her profile's banner also says "LIBERAL" in giant letters to emphasize the fact that she isn't a white supremacist.
  • * In the late 1990s, Microsoft released a precursor to Windows Update known as the Critical Update Notification Tool. When they caught on, they renamed it the Critical Update Notification Utility.

I should probably get off of TV Tropes and get back to practicing some calligraphy...oh no! My penis gone!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pen Island, A To M


Smosh's old outro clip

An example of Smosh's outro clip about between 2010 to 2015. Though this one also has some hypocritical humor in there.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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