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Verbal Tic

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"This guy KONK! has a strange KONK! speech pattern KONK! Oh no, it's KONKtagious!"
Konk's toy description, The Legendary Starfy

An exceptionally (Narf!) odd Catchphrase used to the point it seems more like a bodily emission than speaking. This is often a single nonsense word added at the end of sentences, well past the expected formal variations in speech, eh? It can, ah say, it can also be a word, sound, or phrase that, like, shows up in various places in a character's dialogue. In Japanese, character tics that occur at the end of sentences are referred to as "kyara-gobi" (キャラ語尾, chara(cter) word/sentence ending).


This is also a common trope for Talking Animal or Little Bit Beastly characters, for show that they keep the animal noises while talking.

If a character's verbal tic slips (usually as a sign that things are serious), then it's Verbal Ticked. Contrast with Strange-Syntax Speaker, where the character is using language rules unknown to others. See also Character Tics (similar idiosyncrasies applied to physical behavior), Lyrical Tic (a musical variant) and Third-Person Person (a specific tic where the speaker refers to themselves in third-person).


Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • In the Motu Patlu episode "The Devil Toothpaste", the GermiGarmi Plus toothpaste has a tendency to say "Ding-di-ding!"

    Comic Strips 
  • Empty, from Dick Tracy, prefaced almost everything he said with "As a matter 'a fact".

    Films — Animation 
  • Megamind: The title character tends to mispronounce words like Metrocitynote , school (shool), and THE SPYAIDAR!!!
  • The Beast in Beauty and the Beast stutters when he’s frustrated.
    Beast: You wanna-you wanna stay in the tower?

  • Cheech and Chong, man. They constantly use the word "Man" wherever it makes sense, man. Sometimes twice consecutively, man.
  • James Taylor likes to throw in "baby" to pad out some empty space on a track, baby.
  • Pitbull says "dale" no less than 15 times in any song he's in.
    • Dale dale!
    • WHOOOOOOOWEE! He says this before just about every verse he sings.
  • Snoop Dogg's famous '-izzle' consonant-mangling.
  • James Hetfield of Metallica has a verbal tic that often shows up when he finishes a line-aaaaaaahhh. This verbal tic is so prominent, it shows up written into the lyrics on karaoke machines.
    • He also has a thing for singing YEAH.
  • Blondie tends to insert French (or French-sounding nonsense) lyrics into most tracks. They even did this with their gender-flip cover of Denise.
  • James Brown and Michael Jackson were known for their interjecting grunts in the middle of songs.
  • Insane Clown Posse are always fidn' to use the word "fidn'."
  • Would Frankie Valli have gotten anywhere without his trademark "Ay-yay-yay!"?
  • Bon Scott always ...paused dramatically before delivering the closing line of an AC/DC song.
  • Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 tends to say "BLEH!", "So!", or "Shuh!" before a guitar solo, depending on the album. ("BLEH!" on 'Half Hour of Power,' "So!" on 'Does This Look Infected,' and "Shuh!" on '13 Voices.')
  • Mark E. Smith of The Fall had a habit of adding "-uh" to lines.
  • James LaBrie of Dream Theater has had the ever increasing criticism about his live performances, especially due to the fact that he pronounces every vowel as an "a", and fails to enunciate the words during songs.

  • Cacophony from Jemjammer calls others "my dear" and "my love" quite often. Her compatriot Jylliana doesn't like it too much.
  • Rudyard from Wooden Overcoats tends to start sentences with, "Now, look here...", even when answering the phone.
  • On The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show, Don Durbridge, the man who has become slightly odd and is now going around randomly shouting "Biscuits!".
  • Because they often involve watching reconstructions or listening to audiobooks instead of being able to watch the episodes properly, Who Back When host Ponken will typically review Missing Episodes of Doctor Who by himself, rather than make his co-hosts have to go through them. When hosting alone, Ponken notes he has a tendency to overuse words like "anyway".

    Puppet Shows 
  • For Niles Standish on Crank Yankers, "Let me just ask you" or "Let me ask you this" and "Yes, yes?"
  • Harry the Bunny has a tendency sometimes to say "Mm-hmm" or "Mm-hmm, mm-hmm."
  • The Skeksis Chamberlain in The Dark Crystal has "Hmmmmmmmm!"
  • Policarpo Avendaño on 31 Minutos has a tendency to say "Top-Top-Top" to the infinity, no matter what is happening.

  • Neddie Seagoon (Harry Secombe) from The Goon Show frequently fills the time the audience laughs at someone else's joke at him by simply going whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat... until the laughter fades.
    • Please... don't do that with your head on.
  • On Hello Cheeky, a parody of David Frost started every sentence with "Hello", a reference to David Frost's alleged Catchphrase "Hello, good evening and welcome".
  • Secretary Mildred Murfin in The Men from the Ministry has a habit of saying "righty-ho" in the place of "right away". Also Mr. Crawley from the neighbor office always forgets names of basic everyday things and calls them "Whats-It's-Names."

  • Keiji Tanaka of Survival of the Fittest did this with "Like (something) and stuff". A lot. As in 'At least once in almost every sentence,' a lot.
  • Mitchell, in the MSF High Forum and MSF High IRC, has an interesting one, in AIM chat and IRC. He tends to surround "action" posts with "8action8". This is due to a incorrectly working shift key, which doesn't register his attempt to post "*action*".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer: The Skaven have a habit of repeating some words (in their language, repeating a word adds emphasis to it) and call other races as (name)-things, like "Man-things", they do yes-yes. As shown in the novel Grey Seer, they also often put words together when speaking in Queekish (kill-slay, traitor-meat, see-smell etc.). Jeremias Scrivener speaks the same way when challenging Thanquol in Queekish, so this seems to be a trait of the language.
  • In Legend of the Five Rings, a race of rat-people known as Ratkin tend to repeat random words when speaking Rokugani. Towards the end of their regular appearances in the story, this was scaled back as the players were getting sick of it (although some of their later appearances retain the quirk).
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, some players (and DMs) who roleplay kobolds tend to have them saying "meep!" with almost every line, often with a fair amount of Hulk Speak for good measure.

  • 12 Angry Men, you know what I mean *sniff*?
  • Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler features a primary character who ends most of his sentences with "What?" but, for the life of me, I can't seem to remember his name, even.
  • In Henry V, Fluellen sticks "look you" into every other sentence.
  • Ye Gods Zaneeta and Tommy from The Music Man, jeely cly!
  • Garry from Noises Off frequently ends sentences in "...Do you know what I mean?" or "You know." This is only when he isn't actually saying his lines.
  • Cześnik, one of the characters in the Polish play Zemsta ("The Revenge"), has a Verbal Tic of "mocium panie" (approx. translated as "my dear Sir"). In one of the most famous scenes, he dictates a letter to his servant, who ends up putting the Verbal Tic all over the letter.

    Web Animation 
  • The Old Baton Man from Alejo y Valentina, an Argentinian web cartoon, ends all his lines with "viteh", which in heavily accented Buenos Aires Spanish translates to something like "see?".
  • FreedomToons:
    • Ben Shapiro: "And the idea, and the idea..." This tic idea is expanded in "Thanksgiving With Ben Shapiro", where almost everyone in Ben's family ends their sentences with "folks". Even Ben's infant son does this.
    • Dave Rubin has "Regressive" and "I agree with that!"
  • Luke in Professor Layton and the Malignant Growth:
    • BASEBALL!!!
    • I'M 42!!!
  • Rumble Red, the old-timey Great Gazoo knockoff from Homestar Runner, frequently ending sentences with "...rumble?" Then there's Homsar's "AAaaAAaaAA..." and drawing out vowel sounds in words.
  • In A Day With Bowser Jr, Fawful has the same Engrish speaking pattern as he does in the games.
  • In TGQTSBFH, there's Crazy Yoshi's Dad, who has Pineapple Shouting Disorder.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Glory Hound Cato Sicarious can't say "I" without putting "Cato Sicarious" right after it, even when stressed.
    • Cyberdong the Tech-Priest (40kTheories' character) cannot say anything without pronouncing it like a question?
    • Oooaaa~ Kadus of the Raven Guard seems to start most of his sentences with an oddly pleased sound.
    • Many of the Lockwarden's statements end in a sunglasses emoji to match is own visor😎.
  • Acedemy Sugoi Seiun has Kumo say "kyu" after (almost) every sentence.
  • Tissues from Inanimate Insanity uses the word "guys" in almost every sentence he says.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: The Epic Skatepark Owner has the propensity to say (and sing) "bro!" at every opportunity. He also uses “dude” quite often.
  • The Kobolds of Unforgotten Realms often say "kobold" when they're talking. Or for (seemingly) no reason. All a person has to do to speak the "language" of the Kobolds is to say nothing but "kobold".
  • Raku-chan from Neko Sugar Girls is a Cat Girl who uses "nya" excessively in her speech.
  • DSBT InsaniT:
    • Here's the thing! Here's the thing! Perry often repeats a small phrase twice before saying what he wants to say, in stereotypical parrot fashion.
    • Bee pronounces "S's" as "Z's", going with the whole "buzzing bee" thing.
    • Knobs adds "do" before any words with an "or" in them. For example, "stdoor" instead of "store".
  • Plasma Ball from Brawl For Object Palace has random, brief moments of spazzing with electricity while speaking. These spazzes actually have a canon name, "zaps."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Spoon Speaker, Tic Talker, Needs More Desu


Powerpuff Girls Z

Mojo Jojo catches himself in the habit of saying "-mojo" while in disguise.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / VerbalTic

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Main / VerbalTic