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Caption providing witty aside.
Cubot: Idiotic statement!
Orbot: Eh, sarcastic remark.
Eggman: [sigh] Annoyed sigh.

Reference to Describe Trope Here.

Definition of the trope, explaining that the trope occurs when specific lines of dialogue are replaced by general and generic descriptions, giving the appearance of a template.

Explanation that the trope is often used in parody and Deconstruction to highlight patterns and clichés.

Origin of Trope Name. References to other, relevant tropes. Justification of reason trope was split from older, less well-written trope.

See also related tropes. Compare some similar tropes. Contrast conflicting tropes.

Mild warning that this trope is not to be confused with similarly-named non-trope page or similarly-titled and easily confused page.

A list of things that demonstrate the use of this trope:

    open/close all folders 

    Label of folder that lists Advertising examples 
  • Carlton Draught's Big Ad. It's a big ad. Very big ad. This ad better sell some bloody beer.
  • There's an Anti-Drug ad by the Partnership for a Drug Free America that depicts an argument between a mother and daughter that is entirely made of this trope.
  • During the Dr Pepper 10 commercial: "CATCH PHRASE!"

    Label of folder that lists Animation examples 

    Label of folder that lists Comic Strip examples 

    Label of folder that lists Fanfiction examples 

    Label of folder that lists Animated Films examples 
    Label of folder that lists Literature examples 
  • Not strictly self-referential, but Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart contains a "recipe" for an entertainment awards show, with lines like "Expression of gratitude to Supreme Being and to members of honoree's blood lineage".
  • This Is a Book by Demetri Martin, by Demetri Martin. Also his album, These Are Jokes.
  • Discworld:
    • In The Last Continent, Ponder Stibbons sums up the Nostalgia Filter with one of these:
      "You don't get proper fill-in-nouns these days—remember old 'nickname' ancient-wizard-who-died-fifty-years-ago-who-Ponder-wouldn't-possibly-be-able-to-remember? Now there was a chap who knew his fill-in-nouns."
    • In the City Watch series, it's a Running Gag that the watchman's oath of office is always given this way. We hear the full thing in Night Watch.
      "I comma square bracket recruit's name square bracket comma do solemnly swear by square bracket recruit's deity of choice square bracket to uphold the Laws and Ordinances of the city of Ankh-Morpork comma serve the public trust comma and defend the subjects of His stroke Her bracket delete whichever is inappropriate bracket Majesty bracket name of reigning monarch bracket without fear comma favour comma or thought of personal safety semi-colon to pursue evildoers and protect the innocent comma laying down my life if necessary in the cause of said duty comma so help me bracket aforesaid deity bracket full stop Gods Save the King stroke Queen bracket delete whichever is inappropriate bracket full stop."

    Label of folder that lists Live-Action Films examples 
  • Steven Soderbergh's Schizopolis contains a scene with a conversation between husband and wife that consists solely of this. "Generic greeting!" The movie plays with language a lot, including a character that speaks entirely in seemingly random phrases (like "nose army"). The conversation in genericspeak is repeated later from the woman's point of view, where the man's dialogue is dubbed in Japanese, which contrasts with her lover's dialogue, which is in Italian.

    Label of folder that lists Live-Action TV examples 
  • The theme to It's Garry Shandling's Show:
    This is the theme to Garry's Show
    The theme to Garry's show
    Garry called me up and asked if I would write his theme song
    I'm almost halfway finished
    How do you like it so far?
    How do you like the theme to Garry's Show?

    This is the theme to Garry's Show
    The opening theme to Garry's show
    This is the music that you hear as you watch the credits
    We're almost to the part
    Of where I start to whistle
    Then we'll watch "It's Garry Shandling's Show"
    This was the theme to Garry Shandling's show!
  • The Power Rangers S.P.D. once shouted "Battle Cry!"
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Robin has to report a Super Bowl news story without knowing which team won.
    The mayor of the losing team's city had to pay up, sending the mayor of the winning team's city fifteen pounds of a delicacy his or her city is famous for. Better fire up whatever type of grill, steamer, or fryer one might use to cook that delicacy, winning team's mayor!
  • On 30 Rock when Jack tells Liz that she's getting a talk show based around a book she wrote, she says "Spit Take! Are you serious?"
  • Person of Interest: In "If-Then-Else," as the Machine simulates one possible plan of action for Team Machine, it replaces the team's dialogue with generic descriptions of what they are saying to save resources.
    Reese: Coolly delivered sadistic warning.
    Fusco: Self-deprecating inquiry into the time necessary to infiltrate system.
    Root: Funny yet insightful retort.
    Finch: Mildly agitated declaration of mission completion.
  • Community:
    • In "Communication Studies", Jeff and Abed once stayed up all night drinking. The following morning, Abed is too hungover to think clearly and is unable to make the movie references he's known for. At one point, he responds to a comment from Jeff with simply "Movie reference."
    • In "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television", the first pitch for a seventh season is Abed's in which the characters are so self-aware that they talk in abstracts.
      Jeff: Abusively cynical one liner dismissing everything you just said.
      Britta: Absurd reaction.
  • This fragment of Polish morning show Dzień Dobry TVN done by Filip Chajzer parodying news reports about natural gas.

    Label of folder that lists Music examples 
  • "Title of the Song," by Da Vinci's Notebook, which is all about cramming in as many love song cliches in as possible into one song, in a parody of 90's Boy Bands.
    Title of the song
    Naive expression of love
    Reluctance to accept that you are gone
    Request to turn back time
    And rectify my wrongs
    Repetition of... the title of the song.
  • "Songwriting Workshop" by Tom Smith is a self-referential song about writing a song.
    This is the verse that sets up the premise
    Of why you have written a song.
    Say what you want, it's your song after all,
    But do try not to make each individual lyric line too long.
    Because it might not scan.
  • Morris Minor and the Majors: "This Is The Chorus".
    And this is the chorus,
    This is the chorus.
    It goes around and around and gets into your brain.
    This is the chorus,
    Our fabulous chorus,
    And thirty seconds from now you're going to hear it again.
  • "Hook" by Blues Traveler is a song about generic songs. Read just the first verse:
    It doesn't matter what I say
    So long as I sing with inflection
    That makes you feel that I'll convey
    Some inner truth of vast reflection
    But I've said nothing so far
    And I can keep it up for as long as it takes
    And it don't matter who you are
    If I'm doing my job then its your resolve that breaks
  • The Heeby Jeebies, parodying The Beatles:
    ''And now we come to the second verse.
    Which I'm singing right now.
    I dont know what I'll say in it.
    Ah well it's over anyhow.
  • The cover art of Flipper's Album - Generic Flipper.
  • "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long" by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
    Couldn't think of any lyrics
    No, I never wrote the lyrics
    So I'll just sing any old lyrics
    That come to mind, child
  • And similarly, King Crimson's "Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With."
    Then I'm gonna have to write a chorus
    We're gonna need to have a chorus
    And this seems to be just as good as any other place to sing it 'til I'm blue in the face
  • "Coin Operated Boy" by The Dresden Dolls
    "This bridge was written
    To make you feel smitten-er
    With my sad picture
    Of girl getting bitterer"
  • "The Grunge Song" by Radio Free Vestibule (NOT Weezer)
    "This is the part of the song that's really quiet
    we play very soft, it sounds like a ballad
    and we go back to the quiet part. Again."
  • "Punk Rock 101" by Bowling for Soup
    "Don't forget the delay...lay...lay
    On the very last word...word...word..."
  • From "Arica" by Tv's Kyle:
    Arica, this is totally the bridge
    To this musical pep-talk
    It really sounds romantic and self-important....
  • Brandon Muller's Linkin Park Parody is a mix of this and very pointed satire.
  • Psychostick's #1 Radio $ingle.
    "Well this is the part of the song where I talk about emotions
    And this is the part of the song where I sing about how I feel so cold inside.
    And this is where my producer told me to say "yeah.""
  • Jon Lajoie's parody of typical pop songs, called "Pop Song":
    "And now the token rap verse
    That doesn't make any sense
    But helps to get a small percentage of the urban music market"
    • Many of his works include elements of this.
  • Orange Goblin's Tosh Lines:
    This is the first line of my song
    Second line didn't take me all that long
    Third line and I'm about to lose control
    Fourth line is a lesson in rock and roll
    Fifth line is very much like the third
    Line six is the best you've ever heard
    Seventh line and we're getting near the end
    Eight line and that's your lot, my friend
  • This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers.
  • The Swirling Eddies: "This is the Title"
  • An awful lot of Mitch Benn songs use this as a form of satire, mixed with Hypocritical Humour.
  • deadmau5' albums Random Album Title, and possibly invoked with For Lack of a Better Name (the first album released after Random Album Title) and its title track, "Lack of a Better Name". From "This is the Hook":
    This is the hook. It's catchy. You like it.
  • MC Lars' "Generic Crunk Rap":
    Phrase about my car, rhyme about my crew (Volvo!)
    Rap about how much more crunk I am than you
    Rhyme about my rims, rhyme about my bling
    Chorus where I scream cause I don't know how to sing!
  • Von Dooley's "Shitty Pop Song":
    And now the next verse, you might think it's shit
    so I'll throw in a harmony to change it up a bit.
    This took me an hour and a half to make
    and honestly that's even pushing it a bit
    (pointless whisper)
  • Filter's Title of Record.
  • "Your State's Name Here", by Lou and Peter Berryman, is a song meant to be about any state in the US. Lou sings the regular parts of the song, while Peter sings the blanks Mad Libs Dialogue-style — without actually filling them in.
    Oh [Your state's name here], oh [Again], what a state.
    I have not been back since [A reasonable date].
    Where the asphalt grows soft in July every year.
    In the warm summer mornings of [Your state's name here].
  • Meghan Trainor's breakthrough album was titled Title.
  • Joan Jett had an album of mostly cover songs titled Album.
  • Blonde Redhead's official music video for "Silently" is just a series of text cards describing the events of a music video. (For extra weirdness, it's describing the plot of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" music video, rather than anything to do with the song itself.)
  • "Tosi Tarttuva Täytebiisi" ("Really Catchy Filler Song") by the Finnish band Allekirjoittanut.

    Label of folder that lists Newspapers examples 
  • When the Scottish newspaper The National wasn't allowed into Theresa May's press event during her November 2018 visit to Scotland, their front page had a blacked out silhouette of May overprinted with an explanation that they were therefore not going to cover the story at all. Below it was the headline "HEADLINE IN HERE HEADLINE IN HERE" and three subheaders saying "This is a subheading in here".

    Label of folder that lists Theatre examples 
  • "The Song That Goes Like This," from Spamalot.
    Once in every show
    There comes a song like this
    It starts off soft and low
    And ends up with a kiss
    Oh where is the song that goes like this?
  • [title of show] follows the spirit, if not the letter, of the trope. It's a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical.
  • In musicals, an eleven o'clock song is a show-stopping number which comes late in the second act, shortly before the show's finale. Ankles Aweigh has one titled "An Eleven O'Clock Song."
  • The Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies have the traditional "Welcome, Welcome" and "Goodbye, Goodbye" speeches. Each is two words long.

    Label of folder that lists Video Game examples 
  • Duty Calls, a parody FPS game, also an elaborate advertisement for Bulletstorm, uses these for pretty much every line of dialogue.
  • Sentinel in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 does this.
    • In the updated Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, taunting as Deadpool results in him saying "TAUNT BUTTON!" In the original, he says "This is my taunt!"
  • The Rubikon from Planescape: Torment uses this trope to deconstruct the concept of a dungeon.
  • Sam & Max Save the World: Episode Six: Bright Side Of The Moon:
    Sam: Random, but innocuous, comment.
    Max: Irreverent reply hinting at mental instability!
    Sam: You crack me up, little buddy.
  • The Facebook version of You Don't Know Jack has a Parody Commercial for "Glug Light Beer", which features Trivially Obvious statements like "Glug Light is a beer that you can buy and that you can also drink" mixed with a list of generic "things that guys do".
  • One of Salvador's catchphrases when Gunzerkering in Borderlands 2 is just "ONE-LINER!"
  • One of the guards that you kill in Asha's rescue mission in Saints Row IV shouts "Famous movie quote!" as he's dying.
  • In City of Heroes you wind up fighting a robot clone of local wise cracking Trick Arrow expert Manticore. The robot's text files are incomplete, so he winds up throwing error messages during his taunts.
    (after defeating someone) That sure was MISSING FILE ONE_LINER.TXT
  • On the third installment of WipEout, The Designers Republic decided to go all out with their brand minimalistic approach (think of their cover art for Tri Repetae but with text), which is why a lot of menu screens contain tons of "explanatory info" despite being fairly simplistic in their design. It has gotten so out of hand that the title screen literally says "WIPEOUT THREE TITLE SCREEN".
    • And if you wait a bit on it, you will see the obligatory DR credits, preceded by "WIPEOUT THREE LOGO" and "TEXT READS LEFT TO RIGHT".
  • SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium has "Victory pose!" as a subtitle to Yuri Sakazaki's... duh.
  • In Overwatch, one of Reinhardt's taunts is "Catchphrase!"
  • Pokémon Clover includes a ???-type Legendary Pokémon called Adesign found on An Island. It's a white square with "A DESIGN :^)" written on it, its cry is a guy saying "a noise", its Pokédex entry reads, "This is a design," and the only attack it knows naturally is "An Attack".
  • Splatoon 2: The Deep Metro's Telephone's "contemporary speech mode" is seemingly incomplete and as such, some of its vocabulary is instead spoken as [SLANG_NOT_FOUND] and or simply [ERROR].

    Label of folder that lists Web Animation examples 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The Show's ending chant from this short: "Chant! Words! Together!"
    • In "Marzipan's Answering Machine 4", Homestar's tries to tell a "TV joke" he heard.
      Homestar: Okay, okay. So I was watching TV, right? And there was this show with this guy and he was on TV, right? Okay. And so he makes this TV joke, and it, and it was so hilarious. Okay, it was like... okay, I can't remember what it was like, but it was a TV joke, and you know how those are.
    • In the Strong Bad Email "dullard", at one point Homestar tries to talk about an episode of "Popular Reality Show".
    • The "prank call" Strong Bad leaves in the SBEmail "personal favorites" is just him shouting "PRANK CALL!"
    • To a lesser extent, the SBEmail "the process," a Faux-To Guide for answering emails "like a true Strong Bad."
    • During the "Biz Cas Fri" segment in the SBEmail "other days," Homestar brags about his frag count in "Online Gaming".
    • In "Marzipan's Answering Machine 11.2", Strong Bad prank calls Marzipan posing as Bob Statesman, who's running for "Elected Official".
    • Homestar's grocery list in "love poems."
      "Amazing thing, amazing thing, amazing thing, amazing thing!"
    • This list.
  • Arfenhouse 2 starts off with a parody of badly-made Flash-animated versions of 8-Bit Theater that flooded Newgrounds at the time of its release:
    Fighter: Blatant ripoffs!
    Black Mage: Terrible echo effect!
    Thief: (garbled) Really bad voice-acting!
  • Metal Gear Awesome has this.
    "Cryptic metaphor!"
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, the Kai Abridged episode has Nappa giving a line like this:
    Nappa: Hilariously derailing one-liner!
  • Several examples from Ultra Fast Pony.
    • In "Copywrong", several characters describe what Aesops they learned from the episode. Photo Finish just says "And I learned... lesson."
    • In "Pinkie's Day In":
      Applejack: Yeah, but that's just a front. I mean, that's just a... Go away! Something about apples!
    • In "Faith to Faith", Applejack gives a succinct but scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech to an annoying side character. Which is then followed by:
      Pinkie Pie: Yeah, you sound just like
      Caption: I should do that more often. Saves me a lot of time.
  • Harry Partridge's Skyrim video has him wearing a blue shirt with the text "POP CULTURE REFERENCE".

    Label of folder that lists Webcomics examples 
  • Here's Penny Arcade's take, where they follow their basic formula using only trope names.
  • At the end of the storyline "Katurday!", Paz has a video game called A Video Game. (The Rant says it's actually an HD remaster of A Video Game.) The bonus page shows a magazine ad from when the original A Video Game was released, advertising such features as "Contains graphics" and "Players allowed".
  • Garfield Abridged.
    {Garfield lies motionless amidst a pile of food scraps and entrails.}
    Jon: CONTEXT
    {Jon points at Garfield, angrily.}
    Garfield: WITTY RETORT

    Label of folder that lists Web Original examples 
  • This review of the Doom map "Temple" is written this way (it's essentially a normal review, but with phrases like "Side note mentioning that" tacked on the beginning of every sentence).

    Label of folder that lists Websites examples 
  • The Editing Room's scripts are full of characters who bluntly state what their role is in the movie.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1234-J, a.k.a. "An SCP". It is captured due to displaying anomalous properties, and interactions with researchers have resulted in [DATA EXPUNGED]. It is contained in a containment chamber which is to contain precautions which aid in its containment, and should it breach containment, personnel are to take necessary actions to recontain it. No fewer than a specified number of staff may enter the containment room at any time. The discussion page has many comments in the same way. Including those who complain users are turning it into an Overly Long Gag.
  • CollegeHumor:
  • The Daily WTF has a recurring "Error'd" feature on Fridays with reader-submitted snapshots of computing slip-ups. The "failure to replace placeholder text" is a common one.
  • This article from The Hard Times about nerds outraged that their favorite IP is attempting to diversify the cast.
  • This Kotaku article.
    Videogame Article
    A minimum of 50 characters to encapsulate the article for SEO purposes

    Label of folder that lists Web Videos examples 

    Label of folder that lists Western Animation examples 
  • American Dad! parodied James Bond movies' tendency to name female villains with Double Entendre by having Francine play Sex Pun in "Tearjerker".
  • On one Space Ghost Coast to Coast DVD commentary, the writers mention once trying to get this joke into an episode, but the network didn't get it. It would have gone something like this:
    Space Ghost: Grandiose statement!
    Zorak: Pithy comment.
    Moltar: Exasperated sigh.
  • Gravity Falls
    • In "Fight Fighters", one of the adjectives in Rumble McSkirmish's ultimate combo with a very long name is the word "prefix".
    • When Soos is trapped inside a pinball machine during his story in "Bottomless Pit!", he follows up Mabel and Dipper's signs of amazement by literally saying "Hushed exclamation of wonder!"
    • The only way Grunkle Stan can think of to get out of a bad date in the episode "Dreamscaperers" is to yell "Non-specific excuse!" and run away. In the same episode, the incantation Gideon uses to summon Bill Cipher is "backwards message" repeated backwards.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Storm", everyone shames Gumball for breaking up Alan and Carmen, despite agreeing with Gumball that Alan and Carmen's relationship sickens them, calling him things like "home wrecker" and "couple splitter". All Sussie can think to shout it "Names! Names! Names!"
  • BoJack Horseman has the Running Gag of "Generic <insert year and genre> song", including '80s New Wave, '90s Grunge, and 2007 auto-tuned, all replete with Funny Background Events of intentionally outdated references.
  • In Rick and Morty, after becoming the President of the Citadel, Evil Morty makes a New Era Speech where he says that this is the time to make cold, calculated speech with sinister overtones where he talks about politics, order, brotherhood and power.
  • Total Drama: Amy says "loud cough of interruption" in order to make her sister, "Samey," stop talking.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race: Geoff and Brody, in a failed attempt to rescue Sanders and Macarthur from Komodo Dragons, shout "Battle Cry!"

    Label of folder that lists Real Life examples 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Article Title, Template Gag, Trope Name Injokes


Rata talks about Watts

Rata's final thoughts on the Watt archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh! consist of him simplifying his usual format for summing up archetypes at the end of every video of his.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (17 votes)

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