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Unusual Euphemism / Live-Action Films
aka: Film

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  • The Crucified Lovers: Otama the maid tells Osan, the mistress of the house, that Ishun the master has been trying to have sex with Otama by saying "the master wants to buy me clothes."
  • In Lockout, Snow uses the inventive phrase "toss my caber!"
  • In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Ron Burgundy does this quite a bit, at one point saying "Son of a beesting" and, more oddly, things like "Great Odin's Raven!" or "Knights of Columbus, that hurt!"
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  • In Galaxy Quest just before Jason and Gwen are forced to go through the Chompers? She says "screw", but it's obvious she's saying something else...
  • In Alien Nation, the aliens use the term "sykes", which is later revealed to translate as "excrement cranium". Coincidentally, the main human character is named Sykes...
  • Annie Wilkes, the insane villain from the film (and novel) Misery, replaces all swear words in her vocabulary with childishly bizarre words or phrases such as 'cock-a-doodie' or 'dirty birdie.'
  • Seen early on in Almost Famous: Anita tells her mother to "Feck off"; when their mother reacts as to the actual swear, William (eleven years old at this point) comments that she said "feck". "What's the difference?" "The letter "U".
  • In One Fine Day, George Clooney's character does this in order to discuss romance with his psychiatrist in front of his young daughter, leading to lines like, "I just want to find a fish who isn't afraid of my dark chocolate layer... and of course she'd have to love my cookie too."
    • Perhaps lampshaded when it doesn't work. When talking about a woman in whom he is not really interested, the daughter later explains to the love interest that "He wants a fish who'll love his cookie, and she's not the type."
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  • W.C. Fields movies. Fields was the grandfather of this trope, since he wrote his own movie screenplays under bizarre pseudonyms. Phrases like "Godfrey Daniels!" littered his movies so that he could get around the censors of the day.
  • In Splash, the tour guide who first sees the naked Madison shouts "Bocce Balls!"
  • Johnny Dangerously. Romon Maroni is a Sir Swearsalot who delivers Cluster F Bombs that are entirely composed of unusual euphemisms such as "cork-soakers," "farging" "somanumbatches" and "icehole." Everyone reacts as if he's swearing profusely.
  • In the first Spy Kids movie, Carmen reacts in dismay in one scene with "Oh shiiiiiiiiiitake mushrooms." Also done in the sequel. "You are so full of..."
  • Idiocracy. Since most businesses have been converted into brothels, whatever their previous product was, is now used as a euphemism for sexual acts. For example, in Starbucks lattes are really handjobs and H&R Block now has "adult" tax returns.
  • In one of the more famous examples that has since passed into common usage, the king of Swamp Castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail makes repeated reference to his son's fiance's "huge...tracts of land". Amusingly enough, he meant it literally at first (this being the reason he arranged the marriage in the first place), then began using the phrase euphemistically while expounding on her other...* ahem* ...assets.
    • This euphemism is carried over into Axis Powers Hetalia — Ukraine's Gag Boobs are often referred to (even in canon) as her 'tracts of land'.
  • Sex Drive has "visiting my grandma" as a euphemism for having sex.
    • Incidentally, this is also a Shout-Out to a skit in The State, in which a character mentions visiting his grandma, his tablemates tease him by suggesting that he has sex with her, and then he coolly admits it.
  • In the clean, nice Utopia of 2032 in Demolition Man, you get a 1 credit fine for swearing, so people use 50s era euphemisms like "Jeese louise" and "jeepers"; the main character uses this to his advantage — when he's unable to figure out how to operate the 'modern' toilets of 2032, he stands beside the nearest microphone and swears a blue streak at it until he has enough swearing tickets to use in the washroom.
  • Subverted in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen when the group are on the moon, and the queen (just her floating head) comes to save the Baron and friends from the cage. All the while, she is moaning and making odd noises. The girl (Sally?) asks what's wrong with her, to which the Baron replies "the king is...tickling her feet". Strangely enough, it soon cuts to the king and the queen, in bed, under the covers...and it turns out he IS in fact tickling her feet...
  • Pineapple Express:
    Dale: I'm sorry, that sounded really mean... just to hear that, that sounded really mean.
    Saul: No, I see. The monkey's out of the bottle now!
    Dale: What? That's not even... a figure of speech.
    Saul: Pandora can't go back into the box - he only comes out.
  • In Om Shanti Om Om Kapoor frequently yells "Fish!" instead of the more obvious alternative.
  • The original version of Bullet Proof Monk was rated R, when they revised the film to PG 13, they were forced to rename the character to Mr.FUN Ktastic as opposed to his original, more obscene moniker. The other result of this is that to avoid makeup costs, they simply glued a large gold chain to his chest to cover up his now un-PC tattoo.
  • Cats & Dogs had Butch exclaim "Son of my Mom!" for finding out Mr. Tinkles plot. It counts as a Parental Bonus.
  • Used for an Overly Long Gag in Carry On Dick (1974) where the others are repeatedly trying to explain to a reverend that the only known fact about highwayman Dick Turpin is that he has a big (bleep). The Reverend's reply would indicate that an Unusual Euphemism had been used, and that he was Comically Missing the Point; e.g. "I cannot believe it's Jake the Woodcutter, for he's the only one around here with a big chopper!" To be fair; the Reverend's replies were probably a case of Obfuscating Stupidity since he was Dick Turpin.
  • The antagonist of The Marx Brothers movie Room Service is fond of "jumping butterballs".
  • A young Thora Birch brought us "yabbos" as a completely unbelievable euphemism for breasts in Hocus Pocus.
    • The word for "apple" in every Slavic language is something like "yabloko." It's not hard to get to "yabbo," and then "yabbos."
    • According to IMDB, "yabbos" was used in ''National Lampoon's Animal House for breasts in the phrase "major-league yabbos."
  • A memorable example occurs in Labyrinth, when Sarah uses her lipstick to mark a tile on the ground while finding her way through the maze. As she leaves, a little goblin pushes the tile up, cusses angrily in gibberish, and ends with the colorful "Your mother is a fraggin ardvark!" before flipping the tile around and slamming it shut. Or something of the sort.
  • Used in the 1994 movie Threesome when a character reveals what he has found out about the main character.
    Stuart: Eddie is a proud homeowner. A homeboy. Homo Erectus... A fag.
  • In Caddyshack the famous final line by Rodney Dangerfield was "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid." In television it's changed to, "Hey everybody, let's all take a shower," which doesn't sound like anything Czervik would say.
  • The on the Quotes page from The Lonely Guy is a subversion in which Steve Martin's character is writing a romance novel. It's supposed to illustrate how awkward he is at romance in general.
  • A Christmas Story,
    • when Ralphie's father is fighting with the furnace, or about anything else, he utters a string of jibberish which could sound like curses. Evidently, they listened to those bits over and over, slowed down and speeded up, to make sure there weren't any dirty words sounded out by mistake or otherwise.
    • Ralphie says, "Oh fudddddddddddddge!" when he drops the lugnuts. The narration makes it clear that he didn't really say "fudge," but the "eff dash dash dash" word.
    • When Ralphie loses control after being bullied once too often, he whales on Scott Farkus while nattering gibberish like his old man. The writer made Peter Billingsley memorize the nonsense syllables, perhaps out of fear that a recognizable word might slip out in the excitement.
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You:
    Kat: Well, now that I've shown you The Plan, I'm gonna go and show The Plan to someone else.
    • When asked later by Patrick how she distracted the teacher, she replies that she dazzled him with her "Wits".
    • There's also the brilliant TV-edited "the squid hath hitteth the fan."
  • Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory gives us "coming of age", which seems to have something to do with lying. The insane vagueness of the phrase allows the Incognito Cinema Warriors XP crew to have a field day sliding it into different contexts.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve has no idea what "fondue" is and thinks it's got some kind of dirty meaning in French.
  • In Spartacus, Depraved Bisexual Crassus indicates his interest in his slave Antoninus by means of a metaphor involving oysters and snails. Antoninus gets the point...and runs off to join Spartacus's slave rebellion.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • Ford exclaims "Oh Belgium!" at one point while under fire from the Vogons. This is a nod to the American version of the book, in which Belgium is mentioned to be a strong swear word everywhere except Earth.
    • Also played with when Zaphod is running around, yelling "Hummakavula!" Once the group meets the character, Arthur says, "So that's Hummakavula. I thought [Zaphod] was just swearing."
  • Up in the Air: An example that's about business euphemisms instead of sex, but is very unsettling: "Career Transition Counsellor". He helps your transit into unemployment.
  • In an early scene in The Empire Strikes Back, C-3PO tells R2-D2 to "switch off" at one point, which is clearly meant to sound like he's telling him to "shut up".
  • Subverted in the film Drive Angry: Piper pulls a come-hither move on a bar employee and tells Milton she's off to "paint her nails." Cut to the bar guy literally painting her toenails; he even lampshades it by asking, "Are we going to do it?" However, this could arguably be a form of foreplay.
    • Well, she did initially tell him that it would depend on how well he would do her nails...
    • "Aim for their tires."
  • In Dirty Dancing, when asked how the performance went at the other hotel, Baby (innocently) tips off Penny that she and Johny had sex with the line "I didn't do the lift, but it was good". she might not have meant it as a euphemism, but it was one.
  • "Are you out of your Vulcan mind, Spock?"
    • Also, only a pissed-off Spock could make "Live long and prosper" sound like "Eat shit and die".
  • In the 1933 adaptation of Little Women, Jo is constantly reprimanded for bursting out with 'Christopher Columbus' when astounded, surprised, or angry.
  • Remember the Titans: When Petey tries to explain to the girls ogling Sunshine that he's gay:
    Petey: I don't want to be the one to break y'alls hearts, but Sunshine's from California.
    Girl: Yeah, a California dreamboat.
    Petey: No. Sunshine is from California. He's a Californian.
  • Deadpool (2016): After breaking his fist on Colossus's metal face, Deadpool spits out "Canada!", making it sound very much like a curse. Of course, it could be yet another reference from the medium-aware Deadpool to his actor's nationality.
  • The 1927 film It is nothing but this. Characters constantly refer to the protagonist as having "it", which is a euphemism for "sex appeal". Even the theme song, "She's Got 'It'", uses it:
    She's got 'it'
    And plenty of it, brother
    She's got "it"
    I never saw another have so much of such-and-such
    Well, she's really not exquisite but after all what is it
  • Bullshot. During a WW1 air battle Captain Bullshot Crummond salutes his Worthy Opponent, only for the dastardly Hun to respond with what's described by The Narrator as an "ancient Teutonic gesture".
  • In John Wick: Chapter 2, The criminal/assassin society in the movie is full of unique euphemisms for their activities.
    • The High Table is the 12 member council of criminal lords that controls all the world's assassins.
    • Accounts Payable is the branch of the Continental that records and issues the bounties.
    • Markers are favors that must be repaid no matter the circumstance. Refusing to redeem a Marker (or trying to harm someone who holds your Marker) is grounds for being declared Excommunicado, at a minimum.
    • The Sommelier is the guy in charge of the Continental's armory. He has a variety of euphemisms that refer to various types of weapons that he sells, to the point the his dialogue with John Wick sounds like their at a wine tasting. He's also an actual sommelier.
    • Excommunicado means that an assassin is officially expelled from the assassins' underworld, being unable to draw on the resources or establishments that cater to the Continental network.
  • Mythica: "Fyke" is used rather than the f-word in the series.
  • In the network TV airings of Good Morning, Vietnam, Cronauer's observation that a superior officer is needlessly uptight is bowdlerized to said superior being "in more need of a 'real' job than anyone else..." instead of the film's reference to fellatio.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home: When asked by Fury how well the black suit fits, Peter answers that it's tight around the "shooters" and visibly stretches the crotch area.
  • In the spoof film Epic Movie, a parody of Mystique drags the main character Peter into tent to have sex with him. After making out for a bit, she asks him what he likes in a woman, since she's a shapeshifter. He asks for "Big Hooters with Silver Dollar Nipples" (Bigger breasts), "a Ghetto Booty, like, a lot of junk in the trunk" (a larger ass), a "Mamabrow" (Unibrow), and "Big Flabby Grandma Arms/Bingo Wings like a fat blue Britney Spears" (A fat and flabby old grandma body type). Definitely some odd phrasing...and odd requests in general...

Alternative Title(s): Film


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