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Trrrilling Rrrs

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Enrrrique Mas: You can call me...Enrrrique!
Rrrose: ...No, I don't think I can.

Forrr added emphasis in yourrr worrrds, speak with rrrolling Rrr's to show yourrr contrrrol overrr yourrr dominion.

Usually the Hammy Evil Overlorrrd will constantly rrroll his tongue. Forrreign people arrre also frrreqently porrrtrrrayed in media to speak like this. This is occasionally justified because the Rrr is prrronounced like this in severrral languages and dialects (think Slavic language in generrral, Italian, Dutch, Afrrrikaans, most Norrrdic countrrries, some Gerrrman and Trrransylvanian dialects, Scots, and cerrrtain Spanish worrrds), otherrr than in English. Also frrrequently employed when the speakerrr is rrrelated to felines in some way, imitating a cat's purrring.

In Japan, it's a marrrkerrr of a) being rrreallyyy angrrry orrr intentionally rrruude; b) of being a Japanese Delinquent such as a Bōsōzoku or yankii; orrr c) someone trrrying to imitate one.

Not to be confused with the way pirrrates constantly say "Arr!". Comparrre Sssssnake Talk. The feline connotations of this trrrope is a Subtrrrope to Animal Species Accent.


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  • "Rrrruffles have rrridges". You prrrobably have to be of a certain age to rrrremember that ad campaign.
  • The Tim Horrrton's Donut/Coffee shop in Canada occasionaly has a contest called "Rrrrolll up the rrrim to win." Bonus points for those who can rrroll the R's.
  • Rrrrolling Wrrrrriter!
  • There was a Taco Bell commercial where these two lions were talking about the latest roast beef burrito. The one said to the other, "No, say it like Ricardo Montalbán." So the other lion says, "Okay. Carrrrne asada."
  • There's a Zaxby's commercial in which two ladies are engaging in increasingly over-the-top trilling in an effort to outdo one another. It culminates in "Have you met my friend, RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrRR... Ricardo?" note 

    Anime and Manga 

    Audio Books 

  • The Japanese comedy group Rahmens, in the Italian version of their language-class skit. "Tokyo... Osaka... Ibarrraki!"
  • Greg Behrendt once made a joke about how Jesus Christ is always depicted as having rock-hard abs, and he says that he wants to train every day so that he can be "rrrripped, like Jesus."

    Comic Books 
  • Catwoman tends to do this, in reference to a cat's purr.
  • The villain Katastrophe from Empowered. (It's not an accent, rather him purring to fit in with the sabertooth theme. Although sabertooth tigers probably are unlikely to purr.)
  • In Bone, Roque Ja the mountain lion often has his name mispronounced as "Rock Jaw". A correction he makes in his very first scene implies that the only difference is that, to say his name correctly, you roll the R. If true, this means that the speaker does this every time you see his name spelled correctly.

    Fan Worrrks 
  • This Ponyville strip.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, there are characters from the barely-there but hinted at canonical region of Rimwards Howondaland. The convention evolved thet White Howondalandian cherecters spoke Morporkian in a way thet, on the page, comprissed their vowel sounds from "a" to "e". Just to emphasise their particular ethnic origin. Doing this consistently with every quirk of a South African accent would, as Pessimal points out, make their discourse hard to read, even if it was phonetically accurate. Of course, one quirk of South African English - and Afrikaans - is rhoticity - the Trilled R. This would elso be herrrrd to rrrrread if ixprrrrissed phoniticelly. Pessimal suggested it should be taken as read and the reader could infer the general concept from the "a - e" thing. This is lampshaded in a discussion about Rimwards Howondalandian Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes. One observer remarks about her magnificently rolling R's. Another, who was privileged to see her in a dress from behind, agrees. note 
  • A subtle one occurs in Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z Abridged episode 26. After transforming into his final form, Freeza, who up until now has spoken with a somewhat posh accent but not really rolled his R's, gets a brief trill down his tongue whilst showing his satisfaction at killing dende, the group's White Mage.
    Freeza: Oh, I feel rrreal good about my life right now...


  • The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland does this.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, gryphons both hissss their essess and trill their arrrs. Skandranon of the Mage Wars trilogy can and usually does speak carefully and deliberately to make his speech as articulate as any human's, but when he's tired or angry, or trying to convince someone that he's feeling that way, he reverts.
  • Outcast of Redwall gives us the spy Wrrrraith.
  • The Lady of the Green Kirtle in The Chronicles of Narnia gets as her introduction: "Good day, t-r-r-avellers," she cried out in a voice as sweet as the sweetest bird's song, trilling her R's delightfully.
  • The Grand High Witch from The Witches, along with Vampire Vords; it's said to be derived from a Norwegian accent as witches originated in Norway.
  • The Gonnagles of the Nac Mac Feegle tend to roll their Rs in their battle poetry, and even in casual converrrsation.

    Live Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: Osgood Conklin on occasion, just to be all the more pompous.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Seventh Doctor turns this into an art form as a means of underlining Sylvester McCoy's status as the first Scottish Doctor, which leads to extreme Narm when he has to face Rrrrasillon and The Gods Of Rrrragnarrrok.
    • The number of r's he can put into a word such as "rrrrrule" is one of the hammier qualities of the Delgado incarnation of the Master. In The Daemons, the daemon he summons tries to do it too, but there's really no competition.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Elves have the sophisticated Welsh Accent, and therefore they will pronounce many words with a rolling "rr": "Galadrriel", "Elrrond", "Durrin", "Halbrrand" and so on.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Gavin Millarrr.
    • -rrrrrrr.
  • The Two Fat Ladies frequently do this. Lampshaded in the show's intro: "Grrrrab that crrrrab, Clarissa."
  • Batman (1966):
    • King Tut.
    • The Joker, particularly when he enunciates "Batman and Robin."
    • Both Catwomen, especially Eartha Kitt.
  • Blackadder: Played with in Blackadder Goes Forth:
    George: I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with R.
    Baldrick: Army.
    Blackadder: For God's sake, Baldrick, "army" starts with an A. He's looking for something that starts with an R. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
    Baldrick: Motorbike! Motorbike starts with an rrrrrrrrrrr, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
  • Fez on That '70s Show: "You know how he rolls his Rs? He did that in my mouth!"
  • In Greetings From Tuscon, a whole episode focuses primarily on the fact that one of the daughters can't roll her r's despite being Hispanic.
  • Rico in Hannah Montana does this a lot. In one episode, he trills for so long that he actually passes out.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Dr. Chaotica in the holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton, as he's an Affectionate Parody of 1930's sci-fi Film Serial supervillains.
    Dr. Chaotica: I'm afrrraid your SEC-cretarrry has alrrready been prrromised to Queen ArrrrACK-nia as a SUPrrreeeeme sACKrrrrifice!
  • In El Chavo del ocho, Doña Clotilde ("La Bruja del 71") does this whenever she mentions "Don Rrrramón".
  • In the Granada TV Sherlock Holmes series, Jeremy Brett, as Holmes, occasionally trills his Rs for emphasis.
  • Square One TV: On their Dragnet parody, "Mathnet," one story has a character (played with an Orson Welles-like Large Hamminess), Mr. Stoutman, who once said, "If you had asked me yesterday, the answer would have been a rrresounding yes!"
  • Stephen Fry does this on occasion when presenting QI. Brrrilliant!
  • In The Office (US), Dwight does this when announcing the names of his garden party guests, ostensibly because he interprets this as a "fancy" way to say things:
    Dwight: Misterrr Rrrrrrrrobert Califorrrrrrnia!
  • Toei's Supaaaaaaa Heeeeeerrrrrrrroooooo Time prrrrograming block intros from Magirrrrrrrangerrrrrrr and Hibiki to Gekirrrrrrrrangerrrrrrrr and Kiva.
    Supaaaaaaa Heeeeeerrrrrrrroooooo Time! Starts now.
  • Castle: In "The Final Nail", Beckett interrogates a suspect with a thick Slavic accent (Beckett's response was unscripted; Stana Katic did it by accident, but the producers decided to Throw It In):
    Hasberg: Mrs. Westlake, she find ring. She call to me to come there. And then she say, "sorry to accuse." She crrry.
  • On the British archaeology program Time Team, Dr. Jonathan Foyle occasionally did this when addressing Field Archaeologist Raksha Dave.
  • Father Ted: Bishop Brennan had to be in Rrrome tomorrow for an audience with the Pope!
  • Kamen Rider Build: The Sclash Driver gets this, courtesy of Norio Wakamoto providing the voice for it. Kamen Riders Cross-Z Charge and Grease's transformation calls end with "BURRRRRRRAH!!!" while Kamen Rider Rogue's ends with "ORRRRRRRAH!!!" Additionally, Cross-Z Charge's Finishing Move has "RRREADY GO! LLLET'S BRRREAK!/FINISH!"
  • When Mike Myers was a cast member on Saturday Night Live, one of his recurring character skits was Stuart Rankin, an angry Scot with exagerrated R's. But it really peaked in the final appearance of this skit, when Stuart sought therapy with "Phil McCracken, Scottish Therapist" played by Patrick Stewart:
    McCracken: You arrre suferrrring frrrom what most therrrrapists call angerrrr... but what we Scottish therrrrapists call ANGERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
  • Blake's 7:
    • Secretary Rontane in "Seek, Locate, Destroy": "...this one vulnerable, lucky man is still frrree to cause havoc."
    • Mad Scientist Egrorian in "Orbit": "This is a grrrreat honor for us."
  • Crisis on Earth-X. Paul Blackthorne hams up his Nazi Alternate Self, Kommandant Lance, especially rolling his Rs.
    "So these arrrrrre....the herrroes!"
    "Well I know how much you enjoy executing rrrulebrrreakers..."
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace. Todd Rivers as Dr. Sanchez.

  • The Beatles rrroll up, roll up for the "Magical Mystery Tour".
  • Rrrammstein. Even Germans make fun of Till Lindemann's use of overly theatrical rolling R's.
  • Gorillaz bassist Murdoc tends to do this in interviews.
  • John Lydon from the The Sex Pistols.
    • "Anarchy In The UK".
    • "God Save The Queen".
      Lydon: They made you a MORRROOON.
  • The singer from Specimen does this a lot.
  • Miss Lotte Lenya was famous for this.
  • The singer from the Tiger Lillies does this very often in live performances.
  • Two words: Nina Hagen. Then she goes and covers a Rammstein song, and rolls an R for an entire measure.
  • Tony Bennett.
  • Billy Stewart, in "Summertime".
  • Japanese singer Shiina Ringo.
  • Morrrrissey likes doing it on his live albums, even when there isn't an 'r' to begin with.
  • "Shabondama" by Morning Musume.
  • IAMX singer Chris Corner often rolls his R's in songs.
  • Rin Kagamine. "Don't MyList Me!" It's really subtle, but once you can hear it, it's really awesome.
  • Rrrroza Rrrrymbaeva will roll her Rrrrs a lot, as seen in "Love Has Come". Not that it's a bad thing in any way.
  • Eartha Kitt.
  • Kraftwerk: "Wirrr sind die Roboterrr" on The Man-Machine.
  • The Comedian Harmonists, a German A Cappella band active during the 20's and 30's, because that's how people used to sing back in the time of the Weimar Republic.
  • The Present Day singer Max Raabe, because he is basically a walking homage to the music of that era.
  • Luke Spiller from The Struts loves to do this.
  • In Merv Griffin's '40s novelty hit "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts", he does this on one of the choruses. ("Rrrroll or bowl a ball...")
  • "Rubber Biscuit" (originally by The Chips, later covered by The Blues Brothers) has one of these at the end.
    "What do you want for nothin'? Rrrubber biscuit?!!"
  • Peter Steele does it very often.
  • Christopher Lee doing the dramatic narrative parts for Rhapsody of Fire.
  • A trademark of Édith Piaf when she sang.
  • Cerys Matthews of Catatonia.
  • BUTAOTOME vocalist Ranko used to roll her R's frequently, but has toned it down a lot after the release of Getsumen Tansa in December 2015. She still does it occasionally.
  • Joakim Brodén of Sabaton does this a lot.
    An offerrrrr of surrrrrenderrrr
    Saigo ignorrrrre contenderrrr
  • Ghost's song "Rats" has Cardinal Copia dramatically rolling the R's when he sings "(Them) R-r-r-rats!" in the chorus.
  • The Ice Nine Kills song "Wurst Vacation" is based on the movie Hostel, in which American tourists visiting Central Europe are kidnapped and tortured to death. Spencer Charnas took the film's Central European setting as an opportunity to do the song as a Rammstein homage, complete with a reasonably good imitation of Till Lindemann's rolled Rs.
  • Bad Brains' "Redbone In The City" has HR extending the r sound in the title drop - fittingly the whole song seems to be an Affectionate Parody of the Sex Pistols.

    Prrrofessional Wrrrestling 
  • Alberto Del Rio. Or, as he's introduced by his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, Albertooo del Rrrriooo.
  • Brock Lesnar, introduced by his personal advocate Paul Heyman as Brrrock Llllesnarrr.
  • Introduced by the Singh Brothers, the modern day Maharrrrrrraja, Jinder Mahal!

    Puppet Shows 
  • The leaderrr of the Errrdman Gang in the Thunderrrbirrrds episode "Thirrrty Minutes Afterrr Noon".

  • On Car Talk, the hosts once had a caller they referred to as "Rrroberrrt Burrrns!" (Probably no relation to the famous poet, but they joked about it a lot.)

    Tabletop RRRPG 
  • Paranoia:
    • The Acute Paranoia adventure "Me and My Shadow (Mark IV)" has two encounters with Communists who trill their R's.
    • Clones in Space has the McShmegegus of Shmegego.
      "...the shimmerrring currrtains through which ye ha'e passed on yourrr explorrration of the ship."

  • When the Reduced Shakespeare Company assumes fake Scottish accents to perform Macbeth, they inevitably fall back to simply trilling their R's. A lot.
  • In the 1979 BBC productions of Richard II and Henry IV, Jon Finch did this all the time when playing a suprisingly hammy Bolingbroke/Henry IV.
  • In The Soldiers Tale, the cadences of "The Devil's Song" have trilled R's coinciding with snare drum flourishes, though the effect is partly lost in the English translation.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Parodied in Limozeen's hair metal cover of Sloshy's emo hit song "We Don't Really Even Care About You." At one point, Larry Palaroncini sings "We don't rrreally even care," but a minute later changes it to the tongue-twisting "Rrre rrron't rrreally rrreven care!"
    • Also parodied in the Cheat Commandos short "Next Epi-Snowed," when Agent Chimendez takes the lead on the Commandos' catchphrase.
      Chimendez: Let's rrrrrrock rrrrock on!
      Everyone else: Ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-rock ruh-ruh-ruh-rock on!
  • "Rrraquelle", being who she is, sometimes does this in Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.
  • Cruddy Cat Food in The Grossery Gang webseries trills to sound like a cat purring.

  • Grim-Eyes in Digger used to do this, especially when dealing with that pesky Earrrrth Rrrrat.

    Web Orrriginal 

    Westerrrn Animation 
  • Many of Jim Cummings' characters do this.
    Moosk: Purrrrre Polyesterrrrr
  • Dr. Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog does this all the time:
    Robotnik: Sonic fell for it! Tails is ours! I'll have to give myself a PRRROMOTION!
  • Scrooge McDuck, another Scottish character, often does this on DuckTales (1987).
  • In an effort to show how perfect her Spanish is, Peggy Hill does this way too much.
  • Principal Luna from Class of 3000 does this, but then again, he's Latino.
  • The early Looney Tunes short Daffy Duck in Hollywood features a pig movie director with a thick German accent named von Hemberger, a parody of Josef von Sternberg voiced by Herman Bing (see "Film" above), who keeps doing this.
    • Bugs Bunny imitates an elderly Scotsman: "Poachin' rrrrrabbits on m' prrrroperty! I'm displeased, Mac Rrrrrrrary!"
  • Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons:
    Willie: Bonjourrr ... ya cheese eatin' surrender monkeys!
    • Sideshow Mel fits this trope to a tee, combined with his theatrical British/Shakespearean accent and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. "Offi-sahs, you have arrrrrrrested an innocent man!"
  • The "Grrreat and Powerful Trrrixie" from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law has a trilling R and a trilling M:
    Phil Ken Sebben: And as a reward for hard work people get-
    Harvey Birdman: Promotions!
    Phil Ken Sebben: Prrrromotions!
    Harvey Birdman: And raises!
    [awkward pause]
    Harvey Birdman: Uh, promotions!
    Phil Ken Sebben: Prommmmotions!
  • This is all Phineas and Ferb's pet platypus Perry can do.
  • Rose in the remake of Bill & Ben, The Flowerpot Men.
  • Lokar does this in Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • Mr. Herriman from time-to-time in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • Paul Winchell's voice of Dick Dastardly makes judicious use of trilling Rs, especially where words that start with "R" come up or when he uses his catchphrase "Drrrrat and double drrrrat!"

    Rrreal Life 
  • The weak English "r" sound is actually quite rare among languages. The "r" is trilled in Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Polish, Greek, Finnish, and certain dialects of Norwegian and Swedish. Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and some Portuguese dialects have both a tapped "r" and a trilled "rr". The trilled "r" appears in dialects of other languages, such as Scottish English. French and German speakers don't normally trill the "r", but instead pronounce it at the back of the throat.
  • Ancient languages:
    • Proto-Germanic and Old Latin evidently had trilled "r"'s, as in Classical Latin and the northern and western branches of Germanic, Z merged with R. That's why we say to hear rather than to heaz, and talk of honor rather than honoz.
    • In Old and Middle English, the "r" was invariably trilled, but come Shakespeare's time the trill had largely disappeared and today only survives in a few dialects of Modern English, most notably Scots as mentioned below.
  • Some older Quebec French speakers use trilled "r"'s, as opposed to a guttural R, which is the standard in European French and modern Quebec French.
  • Esperanto, the Universal Language is meant to be pronounced with trilled R's, but native English speakers usually omit them.
  • Norio Wakamoto really loves doing this when he's voice acting ... and even when he's not voice acting.
  • Adolf Hitler often did it. Justified since he was Austrian - rolling Rrrrs is quite common among Austrians, Bavarians and Swissmen. But outside those places, you can't roll Rrrrs while speaking German anymore without reminding everyone of him, as the Reichstropen page points out. South African comic Trevor Noah ran into this after learning German as a native Afrikaans speaker.
  • Jon Gaunt.
  • Patrrrrick Stewart.
  • Brazilian sportscaster Galvão Bueno (yeah, that Galvão) is a great fan of Ronaldo, I mean, RRRONALDINHO! (Anyone who parodies him exaggerates his "Rs"). His usage of the trope regarding Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello was referenced and parodied in a commercial where a sandal saleslady is excited to meet Rrrrrrubinho!
  • Mexican sportscaster José Ramón Jiménez also used to signal the beginning of a match with "¡ARRRRRANCA la primera mitad!"
  • One possible way to identify someone from El Salvador is whether or not they roll their "r"s exaggeratedly at the end of sentences that end with words that end in an r. A longer trill correlates with high Salvadoran-ness.
  • Jack Black. Through the skies, he flies, he doesn't know the RRREASON why, but he flies... so high... you'll know that it's TRUE!
  • Everyone's favorite dirty old little lady, Dr. Rrrrruth Westheimer is known particularly well for this.
  • Christopher Lee was famous for this, along with his baritone and cool British accent.
  • Björk, as it's a feature of Icelandic.
  • Mixed Martial Arts announcer Lenne Hardt's signature announcing style involves rolling every R in each fighter's name, often holding them for several seconds. They didn't call her "PRIDE Crazy Lady" for nothing.
  • Tim Cur-r-r-ry
  • Bob Barker on The Price Is Right would do this quite often when saying the number three in any situation ("Thr-r-ree").



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Roll Your Rs, Trilling R, Trilling Rs


Santino Marella

Out of dissatisfaction with Ricardo Rodriguez's "introductioning" of his boss, Alberto Del Rio, Santino calls out his poor rolling of his Rs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / TrrrillingRrrs

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