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Verbal Tic / Live-Action TV

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  • Model/actress Misa Kikouden appears often on Japanese TV, spoofing the Kawaiiko phenomenon. Her Kawaiiko parody, an airhead Genki Girl calling herself Hakyuun, can hardly finish a sentence without throwing in a cutesy nonsense phrase (e.g. "Pakyunwa" or "desu nyo" or the occasional "Kyuiin!" borrowed from the titular character from Steel Angel Kurumi).

  • James Carville played a rather exaggerated version of himself on 30 Rock that ended every sentence with "Cajun style".
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  • Clifford from All The Small Things can barely speak a sentence without replacing a noun or verb with "thingy" or "whatsit".
  • John Cage, Ally McBeal's resident Bunny-Ears Lawyer, would stammer "P-P-Poughkeepsie!" whenever he got nervous.
  • Penelope Taynt, Amanda's number one fan please, on The Amanda Show ends most of her sentences with "please", to the point that her Amanda-themed website is She was taught always to say please when asking for things, and she's constantly asking to meet Amanda.
  • Randy from American Idol used to call the contestants "dawg" a lot. He probably made a conscious effort to stop after sketch comedy shows Flanderized the phrase in their impersonations of him.
  • Angel: Whenever Lorne finishes a sentence he refers to the person he's talking to as some kind of endearment, often a foodstuff: Pumpkin, Angel-cakes, Kiwi, Sweet potato, Muffin.
    • "And stop calling me pastries!
    • This extends to curses, as well. "Aw, fudgesicle!"
    • Back on Pylea they used to call him "fragrant tuber".
    • Backfires when Lorne telephones a coded message for help ("Say 'hi' to Fluffy for me!"), which Fred interprets as just another nickname for someone in Angel's group.
      Fred: (to Gunn) Who's Fluffy? Are you Fluffy?
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    • Or Harmonica/Harmonita, in Harmony's case.
  • Babylon 5. Londo Mollari would say "Yes?" at the end of many sentences, yes?
  • Batman (1966)
    • Catwoman, like anime catgirls, laced virtually every sentence she spoke with some variety of catlike vocalization.
    • Penguin's muttering "wah-wah" chuckles.
    • And the Otto Preminger version of Mr. Freeze often said "Wild!"
    • The Joker: "Ooh-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!"
    • The Riddler: "Ee-hee-hee-hee-hee!"
    • Chief O'Hara: "Begorrah!"
    • The arch-criminal "Egghead" had a nagging habit of using every single word beginning with ex- or ag- he could think of and substituting "egg-" as the prefix. Should have been egg-xtremely annoying, but it egg-tually kind of grew on you.
  • Penny of The Big Bang Theory calls people "sweetie" all the time.
    • Sheldon Cooper's "Bazinga". His nervous habit of making a half-snort, half-giggle, when overcome with his own wit in the middle of an otherwise unfunny joke.
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  • Big Brother Brasil had Igor and his "Tá ligado?", which translates to something like "Get it?", and has been made fun of a few times.
  • General Melchett in Blackadder goes Forth. Baa!
    • The various incarnations of Flashheart. WOOF!
  • Bones has Caroline Julian, cherie.
  • Boston Legal: Bunny-Ears Lawyer Denny Crane. Denny Crane. Denny Crane.
  • Yo, Jesse from Breaking Bad, bitch. The other druggie characters also toss it out occasionally.
  • Robot Buddy Twiki from the 1970s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was infamous for his "Bidi-Bidi-Bidi" tic.
  • Burnistoun: Walter has a kyara-gobi style verbal tic where he ends most sentences with "anyway", even if it doesn't strictly make sense.
  • Ernie Brown Jr. of Call of the Wildman uses his signature Indian battle cry whenever he gets excited about catching a live animal, almost always followed up with a yell of "Live action!" once the animal is in the bag.
  • The Colbert Report: Stephen puts a harsh emphasis on the final T in "report" whenever he uses the word outside of the name of the show, where it's pronounced "repore" to match the silent T in "Colbert."
  • Actually, Reid from Criminal Minds does love correcting people by opening the sentence with "actually".
  • Horatio Caine of CSI: Miami tends to repeat sentences for emphasis. He repeats things... (Glasses Pull) ...for EMPHASIS. He also uses a lot of rhetorical questions, now, doesn't he?
  • Danny Messer of CSI: NY, Boom!
  • Jon Stewart's "New York Italian" voice on The Daily Show comes punctuated with "no disrespect" and "how you doin'" in places where they make no sense at all. "So I'm tellin' you, take your Salvation Army and your breast-cancer ribbons and shove 'em up Gandhi's ass! Boom!... no disrespect how you doin'."
  • The Defenders (2017):
    • Daredevil (2015)
      • James Wesley has such an ingrained habit of insisting that Wilson Fisk be referred to as his "employer" rather than by name, that he finds himself doing it in needless situations, long after everyone knows who his employer ("sorry, old habits") is.
      • Frank Castle has a habit of punctuating his statements with "you know," "yeah," and "hmm." Sometimes piled on top of each other.
      • Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter is so devoid of natural empathy that he falls back on variants of "It's hard. It's really hard" drilled into him by his therapists when he tries to empathize with another person.
    • Jessica Jones (2015)
      • When under the influence of the combat-enhancing 'Reds', Will Simpson occasionally will-occasionally will repeat a word or phrase twice in quick succession, usually when-when trying to lie.
      • Jeri Hogarth has a habit of answering questions with "It's complicated" if she's being untruthful or dodgy.
  • Debra, from Dexter, tends to swear by Jesus when she doesn't know what to say in a surprising situation.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The First Doctor, William Hartnell:
      • Had a habit of ending many if not most of his lines with a "hmmm?", plus interjecting the terms "young man", "my child", "my dear boy", "dear child", etcetera, into seemingly every third phrase.
      • Had a habit of mangling his companion's name ("Chesterton" becomes Chatterton, Chesterfield, Chessington, Chesserman etc.)
      • He's occasionally a Malaproper — for example, in "The Myth Makers", when the Trojans think he is a god; "I am not a dog!... a god!"
      • In Season 3 and 4, he tends to make an excited sort of "eh-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-" chattering noise before speaking, usually when he's trying to interrupt or cut off someone, which he tends to do a lot.
    • Zoe tends to begin a lot of her sentences with "well".
    • The Fourth Doctor says "weeeeell", "Oh, hello-oo!", generally extends low vooooowels whenever he can get away with it, and has a habit of drawing out the last syllable at the end of his sentenceeeeeees. He also overpronounces the name of his home planet, "Gallifrey", pronouncing it much closer to "Gallifree". Also, as his general speech is usually rather on the loud side, when he wants to emphasise something he instead drops into a slightly alarming loud whispering tone.
    • The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, tended to roll his R's, leading to a deeply unfortunate incident when he encountered aliens known as the Gods of Rrrrrragnarrrrrok. Oh boy. Lampshaded in the Big Finish poem "The Feast of Seven":
      As Christmas Day turned into night
      A game of Scrabble caused a fight
      the Third had Seven's head in lock
      'There aren't ten 'r's in "Ragnarok"!
    • The Eighth Doctor liked monosyllables. "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!" "No, no, no, no, no..." "Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace!" Like that. Generally when he was excited, really thinking, or, as one character in the Expanded Universe observes, when he was distressed.
    • And Ten uses "brilliant" every few sentences. He also says "weeeell" a lot, similar to the Fourth Doctor.
    • Chantho, an alien in "Utopia", begins every sentence with "Chan" and ends it with "tho". When asked why she does so, she explains that to not begin and end her sentences thusly would be her species' equivalent of profanity.
    • Information: The Host from "Voyage of the Damned" cannot begin a statement without first saying "Information".
    • The Eleventh seems to use a lot of more generic verbal tics, in the manner one might when trying to stall while they puzzle out a half-formed thought.
    • In "Time Heist", Psi's brain augmentations cause him to repeat repeat repeat himself when he's stressed.
      "Well, what is our prob- prob- prob- problem?"
      "Why would he be lyi- lyi- lyi- lying?"
  • Ernest P. Worrell, the Jim Varney character, ends a solid half of his sentences with "you know what I mean?".
  • Ann Bryce in Ever Decreasing Circles has a habit of repeating phrases three times when she is upset about something and trying to suppress it. The fact that her husband Martin invariably draws attention to her verbal tic while remaining unaware that he is nearly always the cause of it doesn't help her mood.
  • Family Ties has Mallory's boyfriend, Nick who whenever he enters a room or when someone introduces him, he utters "aeehh".
  • At one point, Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords is described as possessing a verbal tic of "Wut" by his friends. This is rarely, if ever, demonstrated in the show.
  • In Friends, Chandler occasionally emphasizes the word "be". This is lampshaded and made fun of more times by the other characters than he's done it.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jaqen H'ghar speaks in a highly stylized fashion. He always speaks in the present tense and always refers to everything in the third person, such as saying, "A girl gives a man his own name" instead of "You gave me my own name." Speaking in the third person seems to be an affectation of the Faceless Men. Arya picks it up in Braavos and occasionally indulges in it later on.
    • Missandei refers to herself as "this one", as all slaves do in Astopor. She stops doing this after she becomes Dany's translator.
  • Count Blah from Greg the Bunny, blah. It even extends to his writing:
    Gil (reading) "Greg the Bunny is a filthy old sock, blah" (sarcastic) People, if you don't sign your names, we're not gonna know who wrote it!
    Count Blah That one's mine, blah.
    Gil Yes, Blah. We're all aware of your ridiculous verbal tic.
    Blah Hey. Blah me!
    • And his wife's tombstone read "Beloved Wife, Blah. R.I.P.B."
  • Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's House of Fools has Bosh, whose sentences usually end with "you twat".
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Robin calls Ted out on his goofy laugh whenever he sees a naked woman.
    • Robin herself: in one episode, Ted learns that his students made a drinking game out of her interviews, doing one shot every time she says "but, um". And it's only then that Ted notices she does it all the time.
    • Another episode dealt entirely with everyone noticing their respective annoying verbal or character tics.
  • Guerrero from Human Target adds 'dude' to the end of a lot of his sentences, dude.
    • He even says that to his boss, Ilsa Pucci. If you haven't guessed, she's not a dude.
  • Guppy on iCarly, which sometimes doubles as Pokémon Speak and Catchphrase.
    Guppy: Happy birthday!
  • The title characters of Jeeves and Wooster have all the same tics as they do in the short stories. Jeeves' tic becomes especially prominent in a scene where Bertie pulls him into a Call-and-Response Song (after the following dialogue, he still mouths the word "sir").
    Bertie: I don't mean to be overly critical Jeeves, I mean, I know you're doing your best...
    Jeeves: Thank you, sir.
    Bertie: I just think that perhaps we could dispense with the 'sir' at the end of every line. You know, shows the proper feudal spirit and all that, but I'm afraid it doesn't play merry hell with the rhythm of the thing.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • In Kamen Rider V3, two of the generals have this: Doktor G refers to the hero as "Kamen Riiiiiiiiii-der V3!" and Marshal Armor referred to Destron as "Deeeeestron".
    • Sonozaki Wakana of Kamen Rider Double tends to make a "tch" sound when irritated.
  • In the American version of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon goes to Café Hon in Baltimore, MD. The restaurant was actually well liked and even famous by the locals' standards, and celebrated Baltimore's eccentric 60s fashions and trends. He's actually impressed by the food, which is rare for this show. The reason it was failing? The owner had tried to copyright the local Verbal Tic of "Hon" and the City was having none of that nonsense. It takes the owner abandoning the term to get the restaurant back to working order.
  • Lie to Me: Cal Lightman wants you to consider him as well, love.
  • Desmond on Lost is almost guaranteed to end his sentence with "brotha" when he's initiating a conversation with someone.
  • Brick on The Middle occasionally whispers the last part of his sentence to himself.
    to himself
  • Modern Family:
    • Gloria tends to start a lot of sentences with "Ay".
    • Jay, when exasperated: "Ah, geez."
    • Mitchell, in disbelief: An "Oh-my-God"-esque "No my God!"
    • When upset, angry, or frightened, Cam tends to shriek words in a really high, feminine voice. At one point, an OnStar operator hears him freaking out over the phone and mistakes him for Mitchell's wife.
  • Pepe the King Prawn from Muppets Tonight almost always ends his sentences with either "okay" or "alright".
  • From No Heroics episode 2:
    Timebomb: Powers are against pub rules.
    Fusebox: ...prules.
    Timebomb: What is this shit you're doing?
    Fusebox: It's a nervous tic— word fusion... wusion.
    Timebomb: It's fucking annoying.
    Fusebox: Sorry. Bad habit... babit.
  • Rumpelstltskin from Once Upon a Time belongs on this list with his "dearie".
  • Munter from Outrageous Fortune uses bro about once every sentence, occasionally more.
  • Alfie Solomons from Peaky Blinders cannot go more than a few sentences without adding, "Yeah?" somewhere in there. He also constantly refers to people as "mate".
  • Hercule Poirot, no?
  • Nerdy Harold from The Red Green Show has a tendency to punctuate sentences with odd sounds like "Whaaa", which is amplified when Ranger Gord turns him into a character in his animated educational films.
  • One Round the Twist episode had a ghost dog inflict one of these on Pete when he touched it, without my pants. It made his life very difficult, without my pants. In case you hadn't guessed, yes, he ends all his sentences with the phrase "Without my pants," without my pants.
  • Scrubs:
    • One of J.D.'s girlfriends constantly says "That's so funny" any time someone says something. To make matters worse... she never even laughs.
    • A patient once complained about Turk constantly using the phrase "that's what I'm talkin' about". ("But sometimes that is what I'm talkin' bout?!")
    • Dr Cox and his syllable elongation ("I re-e-e-e-e-a-a-lly don't have time to repeat myself.")
  • Martin Short's SCTV and Saturday Night Live character Ed Grimley, I must say!
  • More informed by Vic Mackey, but in the premiere of the fifth season of The Shield, it's revealed that the newly promoted Captain Billings ends all his daily roll calls with "and so forth."
  • Skins: "She's thin, she's blonde, she says 'Wow!' a lot!"
  • Teal'c of Stargate SG-1 uses "indeed" rather often. Not that he ever noticed before Ronan tells him.
  • Dr. Phlox from Star Trek: Enterprise has one at the end of his sentences, hmmm?
  • Boba Fett in The Star Wars Holiday Special, friend.
  • Super Sentai
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger's Small Annoying Houseplant Mandora Boy de gozarimasu desu!
    • The Engines in Engine Sentai Go-onger. All of them have a verbal tic, usually the last syllable of their name. Speedor, for example, usually says "doru doru!". It's also onomatopoeia of their vehicles' sounds, in some cases ("doru" doubles as the drrrrr! for engine revving, for example.)
    • Several Monsters of the Week mimic this, as is Sentai tradition (though Go-Onger has every monster do it.) Oddly enough, the leading villains' verbal tics occur nowhere in their names: Kitaneidas '-zoyo', Kegalesia '-ojaru', Yogostein '-nari', and his father Yogoshimacritein '-narina'.
    • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has an example of a Verbal Tic battle; in one episode, Luka turns into the Boukengers' Pokemon Speaking ally Zuuban and uses his tic to annoy the Dogormin, who respond with their own tic "Dogou".
    • In Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Utusemimaru, a samurai from 400 years ago who, when freed from a villain's shell, talks in a manner consistent with someone of his stature from that era, including referring to red ranger Daigo—or King, as he asks his team to call him—with the honorific King-dono and ending his sentences with "de gozaru."
    • The Bakuryuu of Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger all have a verbal tic based on a syllable from the Japanese pronunciation of their dinosaur species' names. For example, Tyrannosaurus says "tyra!" and Triceratops says "kera!"
    • Garu of Uchu Sentai Kyuranger is a downplayed example. He has one that mimics the sound of a wolf's growling, but he doesn't use it nearly as often as other examples of the trope-garu.
  • On This is Wonderland, Alice mutters to herself a lot. Swear words often come into it.
    Rude Man: Hey, I heard that!
    Alice: Bite me.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Fire: Chukaen, Ukaen, and Sakaen have the tendency to end all of their sentences with "de shii (C)", "de aru (R)", and "de eru (L)" respectively. This is a gag based on the fact that they always stand in that formation, with Chukaen in the center, Ukaen on the right, and Sakaen on the left.
  • J-Roc from Trailer Park Boys, know what I'm sayin'?
  • Brazilian comedian Mussum, of Os Trapalhões, liked to add the suffix "is" to words - i.e. turning heart into "heartzis". And apparently when he got the advice to do this, he asked "What if I have to say 'pena'?" This works in Portuguese exactly as it does in English.
  • Ultraman Z: The series' Big Bad, Celebro, is a Puppeteer Parasite who operates by hijacking random members of the JADF to operate freely on Earth. Celebro's hosts could be detected however by the creature's favorite catchphrase, "Kiete Karekareta". note 
  • In Vera, DCI Vera Stanhope has the habit of addressing almost everyone she comes in contact with as 'pet' or 'love'.
  • The Vicar of Dibley's Jim would start every sentence with ''. In one episode it is revealed his wife starts her sentences with 'Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes...'
    • At the start of the series finale, Jim tells the village council how he went on Deal or No Deal, where his Verbal Tic cost him 100,000 pounds. He ended up with 50p.
      Jim: So I said "No, no, no, no, no ... Deal". And for some reason I cannot begin to comprehend, they thought I said "No, no, no, no, no ... No deal".
  • Viewers of The West Wing have sometimes noted with frustration that the characters say "yeah" and "okay" a lot more than people do in Real Life. To a lesser extent, the same applies to "you know". Or... they say these things just as much as people do in Real Life, only we're not used to hearing it represented in TV or other media so it seems excessive.
  • Strangely for real people in an improv show, Whose Line Is It Anyway?'s Wayne Brady has a strong tendency to start song lyrics with the word "because", whether or not an explanation of something follows.


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