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Self Demonstrating / R. Lee Ermey

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That's Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey to you, maggot!

I am Gunnery Sergeant Ermey, your Senior Trope Instructor. From now on, you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir", do you tropers understand that?

Sir, yes sir!

Bullshit, I can't hear you, sound off like you've got a pair.


I was born on March 24, 1944, towards the end of World War II–and for those of you who thought it was easy to save the world back in 1918, World War I was just practice!–and served in the United States Marine Corps as a drill instructor in 'Nam, which was just practice for yelling at you for being the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the Goddamned common courtesy to give him a reach-around! As an actor, I got my big break playing the type of character I was famous for being in real life, when you were just a glimmer in your mother's eye, in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Compared to me, my character was a sadistic and foul-mouthed son-of-a-bitch whose training methods ended with one maggot driven insane and the son-of-a-bitch dead at the hands of the same fucking maggot! And in case you were wondering, many of my lines were unscripted, and you have Kubrick himself to thank for it–especially since he doesn't normally allow his talent to improvise as though they were on the Reduced Shakespeare comedy circuit!


And thanks to my performance, I am now the poster child for Drill Sergeant Nasty–and don't you fucking forget it, numbnuts!–and landed myself roles in other movies, as well as a slew of voice-over work–my distinct gruff voice makes me ideal for hardass military types, and don't you dare call me a Regular Army Clown for it, I'm dead serious!–and ultimately a hosting job for several History Channel programs about the military, including Mail Call and Lock n' Load–history programs as only a drill sergeant could do them. I was also House's father, an abusive ex-drill sergeant! I'll bet he could suck a golf ball through a garden hose while on the job!

And in case you were wondering, maggot, I retired as a Staff Sergeant. However, in 2002, I was given an honorary promotion post-retirement–the first in Marine Corps history, mind you!–to Gunnery Sergeant by order of the Commandant of the Marine Corps "in recognition of [my] continuing support to Americans in military service, and of [my] service as an unofficial ambassador for the Marine Corps."


I may have died on April 15, 2018 from complications from pneumonia, but that's no excuse! What part of "once a Marine, always a Marine" is not registering here? Even now, I'm still one of the baddest men to ever grace the silver screen, and don't you ever forget it!

You got all that down? What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Did you not bring a pen, pencil or paper with you? Were you hoping you'd remember everything I've said up to this point? Well, I certainly hope your major malfunction isn't as a result of someone gouging out your eyeballs and skullfucking you in the brain, because you're going to need a very good brain, you twinkle-toed cocksucker!

Preseeeent... TROPES! Associated with me!

  • Adam Westing: Do you think I'm funny? How about when I parodied myself on Saving Silverman? Or that toned-down, yet still fucking nasty, portrait of the former drill sergeant as a therapist that I did for Geico?
  • Ascended Extra: You may be too shitbrained to know this, but I wasn't Stanley Kubrick's first choice for the role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket–in fact, his reason for wanting me on board was accuracy advice. But then I did a demonstration on how to portray a Drill Sergeant Nasty, chewing out the camera for fifteen straight minutes, through a hail of tennis balls and fucking rotten oranges, never once moving, changing my expression, or repeating myself. I ended up getting the part by yelling at Kubrick, "YOU STAND UP WHEN I TALK TO YOU!!!" Kubrick—a shitstain who's used to getting his whims served up on a silver platter—found himself doing so automatically, and the rest is history!
  • Badass Biker: As I proved on Lock n' Load, even on the back of my bike I'm damn good with guns, and you damn well had better remember it!
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows
  • Cast the Expert: Like I said earlier, I was so fucking good at being a Drill Sergeant Nasty I got my most famous film role by showing Stanley Kubrick how it's done and not letting either of my balls drop off even as I faced both Tennis Ball Hell and Rotten Orange Hell at the same fucking time! Even before I dealt with that limp-wristed sissymary, I was already using my military experience to perform in movies like The Boys in Company C and Apocalypse Now.
  • Defictionalization: 15 fucking years of awkwardness followed my iconic performance as a Gunnery Sergeant (E-7), because I had retired as a Staff Sergeant (E-6), and yet thanks to said iconic role people mistook me for an actual Gunnery Sergeant! Then the Marine Corps graciously promoted me to Gunnery Sergeant for my continued service promoting the Corps and its values. After I had already retired! That means they made me the first Marine in history to be promoted post-service! Because you're goddamn RIGHT they did!
  • Determinator: I got knocked off the road once, but not out! I flashed my light for hours hoping someone would find me, and someone did!
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: I am the undisputed master of this type, and have even been typecast in such roles on film and television! And don't you fucking forget it, sweetheart, or I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck!
  • Fountain of Expies: Like I said before, I am the walking, talking example of what popular culture assumes a Drill Sergeant Nasty is! That's why lots of other TV shows and movies pattern their drill sergeant characters after me. I'll admit those writers and producers have good taste, but nobody, and I mean nobody, can pull off the drill sergeant character as well as I do! You got that, numbnuts?!?
  • Large Ham: What do you expect when Typecasting lends to the Drill Sergeant Nasty role nine times out of ten? You don't get good at that job by sitting back and being subtle, maggot! Think I'm kidding? Count the number of exclamation points on this page!
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: When I'm not in "Marine Mode", I'm just a big ol' teddy bear... Too bad all YOU pukes are gonna get IS the Marine! Now drop and give me twenty, maggot!
  • No Indoor Voice: You think you can be one of the baddest men in all of cinema and be QUIET, maggot?! Of fucking course not!
  • Semper Fi: Once a Marine, always a Marine, maggot! I cut my teeth in Vietnam, so I know what the fuck I'm talking about here! Hell, I was the first Marine in history to be promoted after retirement! (The only other such person you might know of is Captain Sir Thomas Moore from across the pond, promoted to Colonel on his 100th birthday for doing his part in the fight against COVID-19!) Do you know what kind of badass gets promoted after he leaves the job? Because I sure as shit do—there's a damn good reason my ashes are buried at Arlington!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Full Metal Panic!, in addition to being named for Full Metal Jacket, includes an episode where the protagonist takes up a Drill Sergeant Nasty persona when coaching a rugby team; in the English version, he even does a spot-on impersonation–minus the voice, of course–that would've made me proud! He's no maggot, but I'll bet that chickenshit bleep censor operator had a good time trying to be funny by censoring his sailor mouth!
    • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! did the same, but adapted my words for Magical Girl training! Just listen to this disgustingly sweet take on my words, and you maggots will not soon forget that every language, both literal (e.g. English and Japanese) and figurative (e.g. the language of love), has its own way of getting my message through to the local unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit!
    "If you are able to overcome my intensive training, your entire demeanor will become that of a Magical Girl. You will become a friend to all, sprinkling love and smiles with a magical stick in your hand. But until that day you are a mob character. You are the least important character in the cast."
    "Do not speak unless spoken to! You will say 'hanyaan' at the beginnings and ends of the nonsense spewed from that bloody tongue!"
    • Is this a Japanese English phrase book? Whatever it is, it features a cute Army girl whose dialogue consists of nothing but uncensored Full Metal Jacket character quotes. And I certainly hope her sister is older than she looks, let alone that she knows what the fuck she's saying!
    I rike you. Come ova to my house and fuck my shista.
    • For more anime fun with me, check out those cut-away pictures of my Full Metal Jacket character that appear in Pani Poni Dash!! No detail spared! The animators are clearly qualified to draw my likeness, and I do not want you for even one miserable second to doubt it!
    • The guys writing Green Lantern have even paid tribute to me with a Green Lantern Drill Instructor character who is me if I was any softer at my job!
    • They even quote me in Starcraft–bother the driver of the Siege Tank enough, and he'll ask, "What is your major malfunction?"
  • Throw It In: I was actually lucky to be allowed to adlib a good portion of my lines in Full Metal Jacket, considering that Stanley Kubrick was behind the camera.
At one point, though, we took a break so I could explain what a "reach around" was to Kubrick. He asked, I delivered, and he laughed his ass off! That's how that line got in the final cut!
  • Trope Codifier: If there's a Drill Sergeant Nasty character in your work, numbnuts, and I'm not him, chances are he was inspired by me!
  • Typecasting: If I'm not a Drill Instructor in a motion picture, it's Goddamned likely my character acts like one!
  • Younger than They Look: I was only 42 at the time I worked my military magic on Full Metal Jacket. 20 years and one Geico commercial later... I still look the fucking same, and don't you deny it, sweetheart!

Next! List the tropes associated with my shows! Quickly!

  • Bullet Time: What the fuck did you expect when you saw all those guns on Lock n' Load?
  • The Cameo: On the Artillery episode of Lock and Load, the hwacha, an ancient Korean multiple rocket launcher, is mentioned and shown being fired. It's the exact same one that the MythBusters Build Team constructed, as shown by the mismatched wheels, but they don't deserve credit in my book, because they are pukes! They are the lowest life forms on Earth! They are not even human fucking beings–they are unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit!
  • Does Not Like Spam:
    • In Mail Call, I apparently make it fucking clear that watermelons are my "sworn enemy", and are good only for target practice, both there and in Lock n' Load. However, as I once said, some people think I don't like watermelons. Well, that's not true - I just believe you gotta kill it before you eat it. Honestly, I have nothing against watermelons! It's just that heads are so much more expensive. Of course, I did tell Private Snowball that he wouldn't like that (in addition to fried chicken) watermelon isn't served on a daily basis in my mess hall.
    • I HATE Gumballs, they cause tooth decay!! Gumballs are good only for being shot up! I drove that point home with an uzi to several jars of them! Remember, kiddies: GUMBALLS ROT YOUR TEETH.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Yeah, I got one, numbnuts, and it's called Mail Call.
  • Hand Cannon: There was one Lock and Load episode where I fired a .44 Magnum and got knocked down in the process. I'll admit that my Goddamned awkward crouched position that I was in didn't help my case, as it put me off balance and knocked me over. In another episode, I used a .44 Magnum in a test, despite that caliber not being around when the feature I was testing was invented. I used it just because I like it better, and don't you fucking forget it!
  • More Dakka: Look, Lock And Load is about firearms. What the fuck do you expect? This is especially true when I do episodes on machine guns, including the one and only, genuine, original hand-cranked Gatling gun!
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: In one episode of Mail Call, I noted how doing this is a good way to lose your fucking teeth. Your teeth can't handle it? Don't use them to pull the pin unless you got a tooth that REALLY needs to be removed! But as I'm no dentist, I'm afraid I can't help you there, numbnuts!
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: For your ignorant ignoramuses' information, I was not acting out of character for praising Forrest Gump! That boy learned right away what most of these smart-alecky recruits need a good ass-kicking to learn, namely that your mission is listen to and act on your commander's orders! My praising him was to show the rest of those lowlifes what they're supposed to be doing, and that they might earn it too if by some miracle of God they actually pull it off! I don't change my tone of voice though, because I do not tolerate backsliding under any circumstances!

"Semper Fi." (salutes) Carry on.