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Word-Salad Humor

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"Many combolations, Elizagerth! I hope you get all of my... particles."

Using Inherently Funny Words, Non Sequitur or random gibberish to humorous effect. Often used in Surreal Humor. Contrast with Word-Salad Horror (unless dealing with some extreme Black Comedy).

The (usually derisive) phrase "monkey cheese" is also sometimes used to describe such humor.

Occasions in which Word-Salad Humor may be employed:

Please eat my delicious magnesium sandwich while reading the examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • Rowntree's "Randoms" campaign had people dropping the names of the various shapes of the sweets into otherwise normal dialogue.

    Comic Books 
  • The Happy Noodle Boy one-shot comics in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez.
    • Jhonen Vasquez's works in general have a lot of this.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In addition to his usual gross-out humour, the infamous ComicsNix also makes heavy use of this trope. Typically, he'll use a mish-mash of completely unrelated and often obscure words to describe something or someone, occasionally hiding exactly one relevant term among them.

  • In Ocean's Twelve, the conversation between Danny, Rusty, Linus, and Matsui is a collection of gibberish that everyone understands... except Linus.
    Rusty: A doctor, who specializes in skin diseases, will dream he has fallen asleep in front of the television. Later, he will wake up in front of the television, but not remember his dream.
    Danny: If all the animals along the equator were capable of flattery, then Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en would fall on the same day.
  • Happens unintentionally in the AI-written short film Sunspring. The plot includes such gibberish lines as "Well, I have to go to the skull!" It's also quite hard to figure out the plot because of the word-salad dialogue. Pretty much all that is distinguishable is that there is probably a love triangle between the three characters, one may or may not have gone to space, and he at least contemplates suicide.
  • Mars Attacks!: The first attempt in translating the Martian language results in this. It's unclear if this was a case of Translation Trainwreck or if the Martian leader was just messing with the Earthlings. The translation was "All green of skin... 800 centuries ago, their bodily fluids include the birth of half-breeds. For the fundamental truth self-determination of the cosmos, for dark is the suede that mows like a harvest."

  • Dream, vision, hallucination, revelation and/or brainwashing sequences in Illuminatus! and its spinoffs tend to be either this or Word-Salad Horror, although they are frequently both simultaneously, combining imagery from everything from The Bible and Classical Mythology to Masonic lore, Occultism and the Kabbalah to H. P. Lovecraft, pornography and Krazy Kat with Arc Words chosen seemingly at random and very clever yet completely nonsensical wordplay.
  • Several books have the Bursar of Discworld's Unseen University lapsing into this during particularly bad points in his Ridcully-induced mental instability.
    "Why certainly, I'll have your whelk! How do we do it? Volume!"
    • This is also the primary method of speaking of Foul Ole Ron, hence why he sometimes associates with Gaspode as a "thinking-brain dog." When not assisted by the dog, he says things like "Buggerit, millennium hand and shrimp." This also causes some puzzlement during Ron's short-lived attempt to work as a newsie in The Truth, as he calls out things like "Hoinarylup" and "Squidaped-oyt!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Many of The Muppet Show's musical numbers were acapella non-verbals arranged for a song-like quality. Especially funny when done with characters whose speech is incomprehensible. Even moreso if the original is in a language the audience doesn't understand anyway.
  • Taken to its logical conclusion by Eric Idle in the Rutland Weekend Television sketch 'Gibberish', which takes a typical television interview, then simply removes the dialogue and replaces it with random silly words. The sketch with Henry Woolf was then reprised with Dan Aykroyd for American audiences on Saturday Night Live.
    "I see. Rapidly piddlepot strumming Hanover peace pudding mouse rumpling cuddly corridor cabinets?"
    "Sick in a cup! Toejam whisper tap Sunderland shower-curtain, ice wallpaper cups grounchingly rubber king wrapped butter kissing-feathers definitely pheasantry daughter successfully douche dinner-bottom."
    "Machine wrapped with butter?"
    "Machine wrapped with butter."
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet just loved this trope, with segments featuring Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak just saying a single word, such as "pants", back-and-forth to each other for no reason.
  • From Monty Python's Flying Circus (one of a vastly enormous number of examples):
    Raymond Luxury-Yacht: That's not my name.
    Interviewer: I'm sorry, Raymond Luxury Yach-t.
    Raymond Luxury-Yacht: No, no, no. It's spelled Raymond Luxury-Yach-t, but it's pronounced 'Throat-Warbler Mangrove'.
    Interviewer: You're a very silly man, and I'm not going to interview you.
  • In Gilmore Girls, after Lorelai has just pointed out to Emily and Rory that both "oy" and "poodles" are very funny words
    Lorelai: In fact, if you put oy and poodle together in the same sentence, you'd have a great new catch phrase, you know? Like, oy with the poodles already. So from now on, when the perfect circumstances arise, we will use our favorite new catch phrase.
    Rory: Oy with the poodles already.
  • The "Alex Trebek Has Gone Insane" segment of Conan. Through creative editing, Trebek ends up saying things like "J.Lo is slang for someone who communicates by extrasensory means with other Japanese yeast exports."
  • The Whose Line Is It Anyway? game "Foreign Film" revolves around this, combined with As Long as It Sounds Foreign. Whatever the chosen language is, English loanwords will make their way into the ensuing word salad.
  • Dawn Lazarus, a semi-recurring character on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update segments, is a meteorologist who speaks just intelligibly enough that you can sort of tell she's talking about weather while still making no sense whatsoever. It's generally implied that this is due to stage fright:
    "Hap! Pertipitations, gonna have it, and if I'm you, cancel it that picnic and get it lumbrella. Woo! And the map, we got it wet from here all the way and here. And... That's that sky!"
  • The "penny tees" worn by characters in iCarly (and its Spin-Off Sam & Cat) display phrases such as "Rubber Toast," "Coffee Noodles," "Poodle Juice," and "Angry Towels."

  • Zabadak:
    Karakakora kakarakak
    Shai shai skagalak
  • Bulbous Bouffant by The Vestibules takes the surrealism inherent in the sound of words and eventually turns it into a kind of poetry.
  • The song "Hubba Hubba Zoot Zoot" by Carumba.
  • Comedy music act Worm Quartet's lead singer (and sole member) Shoebox has numerous songs that consist entirely of syntactically correct gibberish. If you listen long enough, things like "my prostitute has evaporated" almost start to make sense.
  • "Drinking Out Of Cups" by Dan Deacon, a spoken word piece that later became better known when Liam Lynch (The Sifl and Olly Show) made a short animation to go with it. Passages like "Who's this guy? Mr. Balloons? Mr. Balloon hands?" and "I'm in love with the seahorses. They're fuckin' unreal. I love them, they're like all the clocks..." were the result of him acting like a macho Long Islander stereotype and spontaneously responding to things he saw while watching a TV on mute.
  • ""Francium" sung by Hatsune Miku.
  • GFOTY from PC Music loves revelling in this, with a portion of surreal-ness is her tendency to construct her imagery, lyrics, and even entire songs like someone with an extremely low attention span. Her skits from her Dog Food mixes with fellow label-mate Spinee also run off this:
    Spinee: My leg's on fire, can you help? I absolutely thought that turkey neck was the perfect ingredient.
    GFOTY: Why didn't you hire the fireman? I hate your own leg anyway, this is your own fault.
    Spinee: At least we're in the safe room. I'm bleeding over the last vat of dog food! I think we can still sell it, I don't think anyone will notice.
  • "It's Dark!" by GHOST/Ghost and Pals is a Vocaloid song whose lyrics largely consist of this.
    Is it possible? Can it happen?
    Canít have the crunch without the munch
    Itís like a good relationship
    You donít want an unhealthy crumch

    New Media 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In general, characters often insert bizarre malapropisms randomly into otherwise normal dialog.
    • In the Strong Bad Email "funny", Strong Bad's idea of answering an email in the "funniest way ever" is to tape a blank diskette to his forehead and dance around while talking gibberish like "the crazy squeaky guy".
      Strong Bad: LEEKO LEEKO LEEKO! I'm a squeaky guy! I've got squeaky pants! Come check out my squeaky-pants dance!
    • The characters Homsar and Senor Cardgage seem to only ever speak this way. The SBEmail "fan club" had a debate over which of them was the "non-sequitur champion".
      Homsar: My name's Millions, and I'm the son of a Chipwich!
      Senor Cardgage: Carageenan, Montlejohn. Can you detect me to the nearest bus stamp?
  • LOLCats seems to revolve around extracting humour from posting pictures of cats alongside AOL-speak.
    • The earliest "Caturday" pictures had proper language and were still plenty funny, making this another instance of Flanderization.
  • This is the appeal of most YouTube Poop.
  • The Llama Song. Llama llama cheesecake llama tablet brick potato llama.
  • Spam poetry, composed of the randomized text which spammers use to trip up filters. The "Hello Muscle palace" message here is an example.
  • Shitposting has become the generally accepted term for this sort of humor on the major hubs of social media.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin discovers this and his dad demonstrates his discovery.
      Calvin: Hey Dad. Know what I figured out? The meaning of words isn't a fixed thing! Any word can mean anything! By giving words new meanings, ordinary English can become an exclusionary code! Two generations can be divided by the same language! To that end, I'll be inventing new definitions for common words, so we'll be unable to communicate. Don't you think that's totally Spam? It's lubricated! Well, I'm phasing.
      Father: [making the peace sign] Marvy. Fab. Far out.
    • Another golden example is when Calvin is asked to explain Newton's First Law of Motion in his own words, and he writes, "Yakka foob mog. Grug pubbawup zink wattoom gazork. Chumble spuzz."
  • Zippy has run on this trope for thirty years now.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In satirical comedy puppet show Spitting Image, the "I never met a nice South African!" song is pretty well known. What has been forgotten are the sketches that book-end it to either side, about a truly not-nice South African called P.W. Botha, who at the time was Head of Government in The Apartheid Era. President Botha is seen addressing a rally and delivering some truly nonsensical soundbites. The trope is weaponised by deliberately juxtaposing the utter nonsense with one sensible claim that nobody with a brain believes for a second.
    My fellow South Africans, I feel it is time for me to tell you the facts as they really are. One: Bananas are marsupials! (huge cheer) Two: cars run on gravy! (huge cheer) Three; Salmon live in trees and eat pencils! (huge cheer) Four: Reform in South Africa is on the way! (hugest cheer of all, segue to That Song)

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • George Carlin (in a list of everyday expressions that make no sense):
    "In your own words." You know, you hear that a lot. In a court room or a classroom, they'll say "tell us... in your own words." Do you have your own words? Hey, I'm using the ones everyone else has been using! Next time they tell you to say something in your own words, say "Niq fluk bwarney quando floo!"
  • Steve Martin suggested teaching a child to speak incorrectly as a prank. The child would then go to school and say things like, "May I mambo dog-face to the banana patch?"

  • In Dogg's Hamlet by Tom Stoppard, most of the characters speak a language called "Dogg", which consists of English words given different meanings.

    Video Games 
  • Periodically used in Borderlands 2, where a staggering number of enemies and one playable character are classed as "Psychos". There's even a random bandit death line where the casualty will claim to have "made you a salad - out of words".
  • In Drawful, the object is to draw pictures based on a prompt, usually a bizarre one such as "magic smell" or "too many pies".
  • One of the villains in superhero parody Spandex Force is the aptly-named Professor Aphasia. He weirds the player character out so much that after his first appearance, the box on the side which slowly reveals a picture of the current chapter's villain as you gather clues to their whereabouts remains blank.
  • Control introduces a character named Fra in the AWE DLC, a shapeshifting alien from the moon that hitched a ride to Earth before getting captured by the Federal Bureau of Control. It can speak in a passable human voice and seems to comprehend the idea of language and emotional inflection well enough, but its understanding of syntax is a hot mess. Much humor is derived from captors and interrogators getting frustrated with its incomprehensible sentences in spite of its oddly chirpy, persistently friendly demeanor.
    Interrogator: Where are you from?
    Fra: Jumble grand! Up and loose and heavy treats sandwich!
    Interrogator: Jesus Christ, does anyone have any idea what this thing is saying?
    Fra: (mildly offended) Hotly! Dirt arrange you!
  • Superliminal: One of Dr. Pierce's messages is played with the words in the wrong order, but read out as if it's exactly the way it's supposed to be.
  • The Jackbox Party Pack: While a lot of games at least have the potential for this if things are going downhill or you forget what you were saying, Job Job leans particularly hard into it, since you have to assemble your answers from words other people used. This can lead to winning rounds on the strength of answers that consist of tangentially related gibberish, as long as the answer you're up against is worse.

    Web Comics 
  • Occurs frequently in White Ninja Comics
  • The Chef Brian strips from Ctrl+Alt+Del most definitely qualify as this. The phrases he says are sometimes almost comprehensible, so it's not entirely random, but altogether it makes no sense. The first one was apparently created as filler, and late at night, but it quickly became popular.
  • There's a wizard in Mandatory Roller Coaster that sells bizarre ingredients with which to create even more bizarrely named spells.
  • Twisp and Catsby from Penny Arcade are a high class cat and demon(respectively) who live in an absurd world, and Twisp manages to exhibit Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness while only saying one word at a time. They were originally created as a parody of nonsensical things, but again, the fanbase became instantly attached to them.
  • Known as Random-Access Humor in Sonichu. It's horrendously unfunny, even when compared to other examples of Word-Salad Humor.
  • In Mr Square this is most everything "the sheep" says, but a prime example is when Mr. Square makes "Gutter Muppet Glitter Cakes."
  • Ozy and Millie, occasionally. Usually from Millie. "Armadillo! Armadillo! The cheese from Zimbabwe has lugubriously flattened my popcorn!"
  • The non-Anglosphere countries of Polandball speak Engrish by default, but some authors exaggerate it to make dialogue full-fledged world salad, as seen here.
  • Thinkin Lincoln: George Washington tried this once just to see if it's funny. It was.
  • Used as a tactic in Crimson Dark, when the Nargun Exchange Controller refuses to speak to Whisper. Whisper responds by rattling off a crazy salad of terrorist and advertising keywords, creating a barrage of low-level alerts that the Controller finds too irritating to ignore.

    Web Original 
  • Phonetic "translations" of foreign-language songs misheard into the listener's native language often fall into this. "My loony bun is fine Benny Lava!" "Distort that tart in my nub!"
  • Speaking of "phonetic translations," YouTube's auto-generated subtitles are an absolute goldmine of hilarious gibberish when used on videos done in different languages. To a lesser extent, it even does this with English as well.
  • Weebl & Bob: "Badger, badger, badger, badger. Mushroom, mushroom! Snake!"
  • Awesome in Kansattica does this sometimes.
  • Botnik Studios a series of reviews, scripts, and more using a predictive text emulator.
  • Some of the answers in Tims Chemistry Exam fall into this trope, such as "fork + shoe = spleen".
  • Bad Lip Reading, a YouTube channel that essentially does elaborate gag dubs of pop music videos (and later, also clips from films and TV shows), uses a lot of this kind of humor. Witness Rebecca Black singing about gang fights and chicken, Ludacris claiming to be "a magic man with a magic goose", and Miley Cyrus wanting to "get dumb and bang a wizard".
  • @Horse_ebooks, at first glance, is a Twitter bot that tweeted random, broken sentences from ebooks. Initially, its tweets were about horses, with its creator running a number of similar bots that focused on other subjects (in a rather pathetic attempt at advertising a shady ebook website), but Horse_ebooks ended up being the only one still standing, as it seemed to have a talent for creating entertaining nonsense that inspired people to write fanfiction, draw comics and make posters. During its run, it was followed by over a hundred and fifty thousand people. It was eventually revealed to be part of a Viral Marketing campaign (along with Pronunciation Book) for the FMV adventure game Bear Stearns Bravo.
    • As it turns out, Horse_ebooks was originally a legitimate advertising bot, but after one of Bear Stearns Bravo's creators bought the account from its original creator, the new owner preceded to personally come up with and type out every single tweet. For over two years.
  • Songs to Wear Pants To: Andrew Huang and fellow YouTuber Gunarolla have a series of shorts called "We Are What You Tweet", with dialogue submitted by viewers via twitter. Conversations full of wacky non-sequiturs ensue.
  • raocow uses this all day. Less so now than in his earlier videos, which he thinks came off as forced.
  • In The Nostalgia Critic's review of Godzilla (1998), he was annoyed by the movie treating the line "That's a lotta fish" as though it was a gut-busting joke, and declared even just having the line be "poppity pop pop pop" would have been a funnier joke.
  • The SCP Foundation has Dr. Spanko. It's a talking corn crake that speaks entirely in word salad. As an added bonus, all of this word salad is spoken at 90+ decibels! The site describes it as speaking "a language tangentially related to English". As an example, it refers to gummy worms (its favorite food) as "stranglefruits". In addition, it randomly places in the word "cack'.
    Dr. Spanko: Cack! Am christened Herr Doktor Spankoflex. Am colloquially namesplapped with Essy-Pee twothreethree and Steven, am complicate across the state.
  • The vast majority of the popular jokes on Tumblr fall into this category. It's sometimes even used for insults, which can and often does lead to Narm.
  • Bam Ham City
  • "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?" leading to a thread filled with Reaction Shots from other posters trying to decipher it.
  • Ultra Fast Pony discusses this in the episode "So Random!" Pinkie considers it the ultimate form of humor, but Cranky isn't impressed.
    Pinkie: What are you talking about? Everyone wants to be my friend, I'm hilarious! Chicken strudel!
    Pinkie: Why won't you laugh, you, uh, you stone-hearted... No, cold-hearted! No... you don't even have a heart! You have a stone... made of cold.
    Cranky: No, you're not funny. You're just saying random words in a funny accent and thinking that's the same as comedy.
  • Robo-Rosewater, a Twitter bot that creates random Magic: The Gathering cards. Some of them actually make some sort of twisted sense. Some of them...are this.
  • Yahtzee opened his review of Driver: San Francisco with one of these:
    Wanna hear something crazy? Titty fuck labrador swimming up the Nile.

    Western Animation 
  • Rejected's first sketch basically consists of a man saying "Mah spoon is too big" in various inflections, then an anthropomorphic banana appears and yells "I am a banana!", followed by a vacuum cleaner noise. It still manages to be hilarious.
    • "Tuesday's coming. Did you bring your coat?" "I live in a giant bucket!"
    • "Hey, do you want to go see a movie?" "I'm feeling fat and sassy."
    • "I am the Queen of France."
  • Pinkie Pie, a character in the cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is well-known for being prone to quirky, nonsensical, random behavior, sometimes resulting in Word Salad-esque lines. The trope appears in an obvious form during "The Last Roundup", in which Pinkie Pie tortures Applejack with inane babbling until she confesses.
    Pinkie Pie: Isn't that just the funnest thing to say? Pickle barrel, pickle barrel, pickle barrel! Say it with me: pickle barrel kumquat, pickle barrel kumquat, chimicherrychunga!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has examples like "If I'm lucky, one day Mr. Talent will rub his tentacles on my art!" (The title itself would probably count, if it wasn't a concise description of the protagonist.)
  • Invader Zim, being another Jhonen Vasquez work, has it all over the place. Radioactive rubber pants, anyone?note  This is especially prominent with GIR, who will blather on about whatever "thought" enters his "mind," often about food. And then there's Zim's complete failure of an insult in "Backseat Drivers From Beyond The Stars."
    "You stink, Dib! Go home and shave your giant head of smell WITH your bad SELF."
  • Several recurring gags in Phineas and Ferb began this way. Case in point: "Klimpaloon, the magical old-timey bathing suit that lives in the Himalayas."
  • Rick and Morty: The Plumbus, some kind of fleshy device/pet thing with no known function, gets a How it's Made-esque video about its manufacture that amounts to a lot of this in quick sucession, as every step involves more and more words that make less and less sense.
  • From the Adventure Time episode "The Other Tarts":
    Royal Tart Toter: This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.
  • Family Guy has Floyd Wetherton, a "horribly disfigured" former boxer who provides "barely intelligible commentary."
    Floyd Wetherton: Well... the match lasting up until about the particular inaccuracy, par-particular unusually that should be the ultimate determining factor in about the twelve-round experience. Heart of a champion, margarine hat.

    Memetic Mutation 
  • A semi-legendary post at the 4chan in response to a trailer for The Conduit: "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"
    • You've got to be kidding me. I've been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It's just common sense.
  • This infamous rant from a Mexican lady is a notable Spanish example. No one is sure of exactly what she was on, but the result is a nonsensical string of words that has been memed to no end. Even if you don't speak the language, the utterly confused look of the poor person translating the speech into sign language at the bottom tells you everything you need to know.
    "Lady Coral": El coral... blanco, o el ambiente que estamos manejando lo estamos contaminando de una manera ignimi, im, inimi,inimaginablemente inigmanteTranslation attempt 
  • Shitposts. They range from this, heavily edited pictures/videos, or a combination of the two.
  • Steamed hams but all of the words are in a random order is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It consists entirely of Word Salad, with about half the lines consisting of one word before another character talks.
    Chalmers: I'm well ham. *walks away from the house*
    Skinner: Wonderful. Um,
    Chalmers: Say
    Skinner: Aurora Hamburgers
    Chalmers: Were grilled
    Skinner: Chalmers
    Chalmers: Hams
    Skinner: Steamed Exercise.

  • Durwood Fincher, a.k.a. "Mr. Doubletalk", has this as his main shtick. He pretends to be giving people serious interviews, but he mixes in Non Sequitur phrases with complete gibberish. His interviewees are usually too polite to comment on the nonsense, so they try to give legitimate answers to the gobbledygook. Perhaps best illustrated by his Catchphrase: "What, if any, and if not, how much?"
  • Have you ever had a dream like this?

    Real Life 
  • Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. This was a sentence devised by linguist Noam Chomsky to illustrate a grammatically correct sentence that made no sense. It's also hilarious.
  • Because they can speak human words and understand sentence syntax, but usually donít quite get the context of words when used in longer sentences, parrots will often do this.
    • This white cockatoo goes into a protracted rant consisting mostly of coherent nonsense and non-sequiturs that appear to have been constructed out of a combination of words and full sentences it had learned. Notably, despite how random the sentences seem to be, the bird makes it somehow combine together into a complete, albeit bizarre, narrative!
      "I can't work, I got four bed rats! I CAN'T WORK! A bed rat. I like the coke, a dry coke, then call Sarah, FOOTBALL'S ON SARAH! GO ON THEN, WALK FOREVER, PORK PIE! I thought I let them go, a dead rat, them four bed rats then called Sarah. I got angry! I punched Paul the rabbit, poor bed rat. 'FOOTBALL' said Paul, then Brian let roar! I won't get my bed by a bat. I can't talk, they can't blow a hairdryer. I can't do it."
    • Petra the parrot figured out how to use Alexa, and gradually made her own 36 item shopping list, which includes such things as trash, fire, Fed-Ex and chicken.
  • People who talk in their sleep often do this.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Word Salad Humour


"Levigate Mike Pence Bail"

DougDoug tests the limits of ChatGPT, an AI text generation software, by having it attempt to solve all puzzles in Pajama Sam, all the while acting in character as the main character of the game. With the way that the AI works, it builds off of its own responses and unintentionally makes itself become "more British," which is Doug's term for how it trains itself to get more and more verbose. That, coupled with the AI's weakness to logic puzzles, makes everything go off the rails.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / WordSaladHumor

Media sources: