Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Blunt Metaphors Trauma

Go To

Basic Trope: Characters screw up idiomatic terms, usually due to being Literal-Minded or a non-native speaker. Yet the common way is to swap a word from that idiom without changing the context (which would be harder to translate than the exact words).

  • Straight: Alice pets the fur on her new white mink coat, and says "This is wonderful! I look like a million currency!"
  • Exaggerated: Alice makes anything beyond basic sentences sound like Engrish.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice thinks her queen sized bed was made to fit a real queen's measurements.
    • Alice says she feels like a snow duchess in her white mink. Bob smiles and says that's close enough.
  • Justified: Her native language actually has similar idioms to English. It's just that the words differ.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice can understand all the terms in a William Shakespeare play, but can't get simple verb-subject sentences.
    • Someone tries to pull a Fur and Loathing on Alice by asking her how many minks died to make her coat. Alice says that her coat wasn't dyed. Natural white fur garments merely use bleaching to keep the color from yellowing.
  • Subverted: Alice says she has a rabbit in her throat. Bob thinks she's mangling having a frog in her throat, but a rabbit did leap into her mouth.
  • Advertisement:
  • Double Subverted: After Bob mentions ways to get it out, he finally jokes it was trying to get to Wonderland, and Alice asks him not to go down that rabbit pit.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice's poetry book is a sight to behold.
    • Bob hypnotizes Alice, but she won't obey his trigger until he finally figures out she thinks he meant to break his fingers, not snap them. After getting Alice out of her trance, Bob has to go the hospital.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Alice speaks fluent English, even obscure idioms.
  • Enforced: The show is playing Follow the Leader to a popular character like this from another show.
  • Lampshaded: "Alice, how come you know the meaning of 'like a bat out of hell', but keep using a bird instead?"
  • Invoked: Bob tells her that the term "Kiss my ass" can be said with any body part, just to see if she falls for it. It pays off when she tells an annoying cashier to "Kiss my spleen!"
  • Exploited:
    • Bob hears Alice mangling an idiom, and since she has a foreign accent, he starts pitching his easy, guaranteed in two weeks or your money back, English course.
    • Alice deliberately avoids learning proper idioms because she loves the way Bob nearly falls over laughing when she misspeaks.
  • Defied: Alice will not use any English idiom until she looks up its meaning, so she knows exactly how and when to say it.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

Click the link to Blunt Metaphors Trauma, and you'll be there in a shine!

Example of: