The call letters of a television or radio station can sometimes spell out funny names, often beginning with either "W" or "K" (assigned to stations east and west of the Mississippi River respectivelynote ). This trope applies to stations in fictional media where call letters spell something humorous. If the name is a slight variation (or Take That) to a real station, it may overlap with Writing Around Trademarks. May also overlap with Meaningful Name, if the call sign describes the content of the station.
- The major radio station in Astro City is KBAC, which stands for 'Kurt Busiek's Astro City'; the original full title of the book.
- Cat City 2 has the news channel CINN, which is a pun on CNN and "cin", the Hungarian onomatopoeia for a mouse squeaking.
- The Kentucky Fried Movie segment "A Fistful of Yen". In the stronghold of Dr. Klahn, the protagonist finds a microphone with the station name "KLAHN" on it.
- Perhaps more ironically appropriate than punny in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. When Jane Drebin storms out on her husband Frank, leaving him standing there alone, a DJ on a background radio announces "KSAD: sad music, all the time".
- Even though it is set in New Mexico (west of the Mississippi), the radio station in The Vast of Night has the call letters WOTW (War Of The Worlds) instead of something beginning with a 'K'.
- Played with in Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame series, where telepathic dragon Ellegon amuses himself by beginning broadcast telepathic messages with the words "This is radio K.A.R.L., the Voice of the Emperor."
- Monster of the Year: Mike and Kevver's favorite radio station, with its DJ Skip Toomaloo (and which ends up sponsoring the titular Monster of the Year contest), has the callsign WERD.
- The Bugaloos. Uptown's only radio station is KOOK; disc jockey Peter Platter and his talking microphone often argue over whether or not a new song is a smash hit.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing on the soundtrack of The Brain That Wouldn't Die:
Tom Servo: You're listening to KPORN—sleazy, slutty music all morning long.
- Sesame Street. In an episode from the early nineties, the all-dog radio station WUFF broadcasted out of the Fix-It-Shop.
- WKRP in Cincinnati has WKRP itself - in-universe it's a homophone for "carp" but it's can also be read as "crap" - plus their crosstown rivals WPIG, "those swine!" note
- World's Dumbest.... Anytime the show has a skit involving a news or radio station, inevitably, the call letters will be WDUM.
- Remember WENN: WENN is of course a pun on "when", which works in-universe, but even more so out-of-universe (as the series is unabashedly nostalgic about the "Golden Age" of radio in the 1930s-40s).
- In the first two seasons of Martin, the titular character worked as a DJ at a radio station called WZUP, which was a play on his well-known "Whazzup?" Catchphrase.
- Frasier: The title characters works at KACL, which is meaningless in-universe but refers to series creators David Angel, Peter Casey and David Lee. Several episodes mention a rival station that uses the letters KPXY and is colloquially referred to as "The Mighty Pixie".
- Harry Chapin's ballad I am the morning DJ is sung from the point of view of an aging jock who is considering packing it in to become a record-store owner. His station is called WOLD.
I am the morning DJ, at W*O*L*D;
Playing all the hits for you wherever you may be.
The bright good-morning voice who's heard but never seen;
Feeling all of forty-five going on fifteen!
- They Might Be Giants: "The End of the Tour" from John Henry mentions "a girl with a crown and a scepter / who's on WLSD".
- "The Nightfly" by Donald Fagen is about a DJ on a jazz station called WJAZ.
- In Adventures in Odyssey, a radio station for children operates with "KYDS", named "Kids Radio".
- In Duke Nukem 3D, one level is set on a radio station named KTIT. Duke, being Duke, immediately puns "tits" from the name.
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories has a radio station called LCFR. Add a few letters and you get "Lucifer".
- Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work: Patti has to infiltrate a building of K-RAP Studios which is a radio station.
- The second episode of Sam and Max Save the World, "Situation: Comedy", takes place mostly at television station WARP.
- The hip hop radio station in the Saints Row series is called KRhyme.
- KPET in Newshounds.
- The All-New Popeye Hour had an episode called "W.O.I.L.", in which Olive Oyl and Bluto ran competing radio stations, with the respective call signs WOIL and WBLU.
- The American Dad! episode "A Smith in the Hand", as part of its theme about Stan discovering masturbation, has him taking over television station W-ANG.
- Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! used KRUD as the main TV station of San Zucchini.
- BoJack Horseman has MSNBSea (instead of, naturally, MSNBC).
- Courage the Cowardly Dog: The radio station the Bagges listen to is WDIL, which is a play on creator John R. Dilworth's name.
- In The Fairly OddParents episode "MicroPhony", Timmy wishes for his own radio station named KTIM to challenge Vicky and her babysitting service during summer vacation.
- Some episodes of Garfield and Friends feature the TV station WBOR.
- "DJ Jon" features KDUM Radio.
- Looney Tunes:
- A number of shorts feature station KFWB, an actual radio station that started its life on the Warner Bros. lot, and still operates today.note
- The 1988 TV special Bugs vs. Daffy: Battle of the Music Video Stars has Bugs running radio station WABBIT, while Daffy ran rival station KPUT.
- On Rugrats, the grandfather character liked to listen to K-OLD: "Music for the old and the old at heart."
- The Simpsons:
- Springfield's talk station is KBBL (KBabble).
"No sports, no rock, no information. For mindless chatter, we're your station."
- In the Latin American translation of "The Joy of Sect", once the Movementarians employ lawyers to take over KBBL in the middle of an expose by Kent Brockman, the line of Brockman appreciating the Leader being his new boss was changed from him saying "Leader is the owner of KBBL" to "Leader is the owner of K-LLE-C" ("callese", "shut up") showing even more the Orwellian power of the cult.
- The episode "Colonel Homer" features the country station KUDD ("Don't touch that dial! You've got KUDD (cud) on it!")
- Another episode had a station called WKOMA (or coma), which described their station as having sedate and relaxed music (which is apparently what it feels like to be in one).
- Springfield's talk station is KBBL (KBabble).
- On Sitting Ducks, Ducktowns radio station is named KDUCK.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- The episode "Mid-Life Crustacean" has the oldies station KOLD.
- "And now, back to KRUD with all of your personal YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH STEALING MY CAR hits!"
- WordWorld has a radio station, call letters WORD.
- The Beany and Cecil short "The Wildman from Wildsville" has the title Wildman paint a "crazy test pattern" on Cecil's face. The station's name on the test pattern is KOOL.
- Very much Truth in Television (or Truth in Radio), as demonstrated here.
- Up until the early 2000s, a radio station in central Wisconsin went by the callsign of WIZD. You can read that as either "Wizard" or "Wizzed".
- As seen in the page image, KRAP radio broadcasts out of Washington, Missouri.
- Then you have the oldest radio callsign in the United States: WATD (At The Dump). No points for guessing where their broadcast tower is located.
- A sister station to Seattle's NBC station KING is cleverly named KONG.
- The station formerly known as KOME. "Don't touch that dial, it's got 'KOME' on it!"
- Lorenzo Milam, one of the pioneers of non-commercial community radio in America, had a reputation as a Cloudcuckoolander with an oddball sense of humor (for example, his handbook for starting a station was titled Sex & Broadcasting). This was reflected in some of the call letters he chose for his stations: KRAB, KBOO, KUSP.
- In the United Kingdom, 96.7 KLFM is not an American-themed or American-sounding radio station, despite the KLFM name, but an abbreviation of King's Lynn FM. It was chosen for brevity, rather than any American call-sign purposes. However, since the Bauer Media buyout of KLFM 96.7 in March 2019, the name may become an Artifact Title, as rumors abound that it may rebrand to Hits Radio Norfolk & Cambridgeshire, itself an Overly Long Name. (Although, legally speaking, it covers part of Norfolk and part of the English Midlands, so the station's abbreviation KLFM makes it a Non-Indicative Name anyway!).
- The PBS & NPR station in the Philadelphia region is WHYY.