Mad Libs Catchphrase

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Sweet...something of...someplace!
Hermes, running out of ideas on Futurama

A Catch Phrase that's slightly different every time - the same phrase structure, but with one or two words different each time it's used, either completely at random or somehow related to the current situation. Perhaps the most famous is Robin's "Holy ____, Batman!"

Subtrope of Catch Phrase and a prime source for the "mutation" part of Memetic Mutation - turns of phrase like "X is the new Y" which behave this way are sometimes called 'snowclones'. Unrelated to Mad Libs Dialogue.

NOTE: Examples should be formatted like a "Mad Libs" page, with the missing word or phrase made as specific as possible. We want [plural noun] who [verb] them to understand the [abstract noun], after all! Blank lines appear when the gap can be filled with pretty much anything.

Examples of Mad Libs Catchphrase include:

Anime and Manga

  • Nozomu Itoshiki, Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: "I'm in despair! [The subject of today's episode] has left me in despair!"
    • Or, with the recent change to the manga's translator: "It's hopeless! I've lost all faith in [subject of today's chapter]!"
  • Codename: Sailor V: "[suitable person/group] may let you but I won't!"
    • Updated in the followup as "[person] may forgive you, but I/we won't!"
  • Karin: "[The subject of today's episode] is embarrassing!"
  • Himawari! has two. Yusura describes things being "[adjective] like a(n) [animal]". Azami has "According to my information, [useful information]. Also, [useless trivia]."
  • Soul Eater: Crona's "I don't know how to deal with [whatever is in front of hir at the time]!"
  • Eyeshield 21, Monta: "[verb] MAX!"
  • Gintama: Katsura occasionally twists his catchphrase of "It's not Zura, it's Katsura" into "I'm not a [noun], I'm Katsura" or "I'm not [adjective], I'm Katsura".
  • Pokémon's Team Rocket's mottos, particularly in Sinnoh. Bulbapedia has a complete list. They're too long to put here, though "Listen, is that a/n [adjective noun]/[noun] I hear?" "It [verb]s to me loud and clear!" is a common one.
    • Cilan has "It's _____ time!" in the Japanese version, originally starting with tasting time, we have now had various times including, but not limited to, fishing time, science time, detective time, and unbelievable time. The dub does this to a lesser extent, with "evaluating time" being his default catchphrase instead of "tasting time".
      • Possibly due to either almost missing it or perhaps really loving it (or both) the dub has been adding extra "It's _____ time!" phrases for Cilan starting from Facing Fear with Eyes Wide Open. They added two extra along with "It's lunch time~!" and "It's fishing time!" these being "It's fishing wrap it up time!" and "It's Pokéball time!" and they've continued to do so with the following episodes. Plus, it's not just that, but TPCI has also been having other character imitate Cilan's phrase.
  • Black Butler: "A Phantomhive butler that can't do [insert ridiculous task here] isn't worth his salt!"
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: This Mad Libs Catchphrase has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations!
  • Shakugan no Shana: "My [adjective] [noun], Margery Daw!"
  • Aika Granzchesta from Aria: "[something] wa kinchi", which can be rendered in English as "[something] is forbidden".

Comic Books

These [ethnic group]s are crazy!

Fan Works

  • Devlin Carter from the "Future Imperfect"-era stories of Undocumented Features frequently says "I'm not very [situational quality one], but I am [situational quality two]"; this is often Self-Deprecation, as he frequently displays both qualities. A few examples:

"I'm not very smart, but my memory's good."
"I'm not very good with computers, but locks like me."
"I'm not very rich, but I am a gentleman."
"I'm not very strong, but I'm dext'rous."
"I'm not very brave, but I am loyal."


  • Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges) in Airplane!:

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit [habit]!

  • Stephen King example: "M-O-O-N, that spells [topic]!" from The Stand.
  • Father Malius' "No sex", "No parking", "No STV" etc. from Happy Hell Night.
  • In Rubin and Ed, Ed Tuttle has his increasingly nonsensical references to things being either "[adjective] as a well-digger's ass" or "[adjective]-er than a well-digger's ass".
  • Bobby Boucher's Mama in The Waterboy:

[X] is the devil! (or "debil", as she says it).


  • Children's fantasy novel series Fablehaven has Seth's "You mean awesome [topic]," as well as his tendency for replacing various unsavory-sounding adjectives with "awesome" if it piques the interest of his inner Nightmare Fetishist.
    • Another novel by the same author, The Candy Shop War, has Pigeon's "I just like to read books about [noun]!"
  • Sgt. Jackrum of Monstrous Regiment: "Upon my oath, I am not a [adjective] man." Which, to her credit, is the truth.
    • Also, each of the Tiffany Aching books includes several variants on this exchange between Rob Anybody and Daft Wullie:

Rob: Wullie, ye ken I said I'll tell ye when there were times ye should [sound advice to help Wullie in social situations]
Wullie: Aye, Rob.
Rob: Well, that was one of them times.

      • Eventually subverted as:

Rob: Wullie, ye ken I told ye that sometimes ye say exactly the right thing?
Wullie: No, Rob, I dinna remember ye ever saying that tae me.
Rob: Well, if I had, this would be one of them times.

  • In the Tom Swift series, Mr. Damon would repeatedly utter the phrase: "Bless my [noun]".
  • In the Tom Swift, Jr. series, the author wrote this enough that it became a joke known as a Tom Swiftie: [statement] Tom said [adverb related to the statement]. An example of a Tom Swiftie: "We must hurry," said Tom swiftly.
  • In the narration of The Gallagher Girls novels, Cammie tends to provide emphasis in the form of "Yes, actual [blank]age." For example: "Yes, actual smileage."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: In A Dance With Dragons, Reek tries to remind himself of his name (he also has the Catch Phrase, "I have to remember my name") with the help of the Madness Mantra "Reek, Reek, it rhymes with [word that rhymes with reek]." He also uses it on Jeyne: "Jeyne, Jeyne, it rhymes with [rhyming word]." The latter is usually "pain".
  • P. G. Wodehouse's Psmith would often add emphasis to a statement thus--"The cry goes round: '[statement]'."

Live-Action TV

CJ: I didn't get where I am today by [action/behavior].
CJ: Neither I, nor Mrs CJ, have ever [action].
Jimmy: Bit of a cock-up on the ____ front.
Tom: "I'm not really an ____ person"

  • Robin from the old Batman TV show:

Holy [object], Batman! (The "Batman" itself is optional.)

I'm a doctor, not a [profession].

Could [noun] be any more [adjective]?

Cute. Cute [noun].

  • Family Matters: Urkel, in response to some insult or threat from Laura: "Ha! Yesterday you said [more severe version of Laura's line]! I'm wearin' you dowwwwwwn, baby!"
    • Also, "Shhh! Not while I'm [verb]ing!" with a menial task like pouring or stirring for the verb.
  • Kenan from Kenan and Kel:

Kel, bring a X, a Y and a Z and meet me at [place]. C'mon, [nickname]!

    • Once performed in meta-joke form as "...bring something, something, and something else, and meet me there."
    • Subverted when he asks Kel to bring him coffee with sugar, and Kel returns with Sugar and Coffee, two hyperactive talk show hosts from another recurring sketch.
  • Get Smart had several of these:
    • "This is KAOS! We don't [action] here!"
    • "Ahh, the old [extremely specific noun] trick. That's the [number]th time this [month/week]."
    • "That's the second [adjective]est [noun] I've ever seen!"
    • "Don't tell me [bad news]." (someone tells him) "I told you not to tell me that!"

"[Outrageous statement.]"
"I don't believe you."
"Would you believe [slightly less outrageous statement]?"
"How about [totally lame statement]?"

  • The Pushing Daisies narrator: [Person] was [number] years, [number] weeks, [number] days, [number] hours and [number] minutes old when [event].
  • From The Colbert Report: "I don't see race. People tell me I'm white, and I believe them because [humorously observed benefit of being a member of the racial majority].
    • "Great [noun]? Or GREATEST [noun]?"
  • Boy Meets World: For at least half a season early on, it seemed every episode gave Cory a chance to declare, "I'm [whatever's being discussed] Boy!"
  • Sue in Glee: "Do you think this is hard? Try [[[Refuge in Audacity]]]. That's hard!"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:

"It's Jim Henson's [proper noun] Babies!"
"[Noun] of the Ollllld West."

  • Top Gear, regarding the Stig: "Some say [humourous "fact"]. And [different humourous "fact"]. All we know is he's called the Stig."
  • Leverage has several, the most common being Nate saying, "Let's go steal a [thing you couldn't possibly steal]!"
    • Also Elliot, "It has a very distinctive [characteristic]," when asked how he knows what something is based on a sound/feel/etc.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O:

Ryutaros: Mind if I [verb]? Can't hear your answer!

  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?'s US version featured, at the start of every show, Drew Carey introducing the plot by saying "Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway, the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter. That's right, the points are like [thing that doesn't matter]."
  • Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor wears a [item of clothing] now. [Items of clothing] are cool.
    • "[Adjective] [noun], [same adjective] [different noun]" For example: "New mouth, new rules" and "Big Bag, big laptop", both from 'The Eleventh Hour'.
    • "The [gendered personal noun] who waited."
    • New from Series 6. The Doctor: "Imagine/It's like [an idea]. Actually, it's nothing like that, but if it helps..." (as in:

The Doctor: Imagine a great big soap bubble with one of those tiny little bubbles on the outside.
Rory: Okay.
The Doctor: Well it's nothing like that."
then later:
Amy: Wait, so we're in a tiny bubble universe sticking to the side of the bigger bubble universe?
The Doctor: Yeah. No! But if it helps, yes.

[Assistant]: [Wacky intro phrase]! It's time to [verb] your [alliterative and anatomical noun]! Here he is, the [synonym for "leader"] of the [alliterative scientific noun], the [another leader synonym] of [another alliterative scientific noun], the [semi-famous person] of the [rhyming semi-scientific phrase], the one, the only...the Beakman!
Ding ding ding DONG!
Beakman: You [verb] 'em, I'll [rhyming verb] 'em, let's [obscure but real dance]!

  • "I'm (name) from (applicable Disney production) and you're watching Disney Channel!" Doubles as an Ad Bumper, going to the next show.
  • One of which is Hannah Montana, who had her own catch phrase. When someone say something surprising, Miley would respond with "[General Description of Person] say whaat?" Such as "Mean Girl say what?" to the Alpha Bitch, "Songwriting daddy say what?" to her dad, "Teenie Weenie Meanie say what?" to Rico, "Big Blonde Sack of Drama say what?" to Jake Ryan, everybody had their own version.
  • On Project Runway, judge Michael Kors will frequently describe a terrible outfit with some variant of: "She looks like a [adjective] [[[Always Female]] occupation] going to [social event] in [geographic location]."
  • Psych: "I'm Shawn Spencer, and this is my partner [ridiculous fake name for Gus]." Also, "Gus, don't be [a/the] [noun phrase]."
  • Sports Nation's Colin Cowherd opens every episode with "HELLOOOOOO nation! I'm Colin Cowherd, that's Michelle Beadle! This is SportsNation, the show that [insert topical reference here]."
  • Sesame Street ends every episode with "Sesame Street was brought to you today by the letters __ and __, and the number __." The letters and number are those which were most prominently featured in the episode.
  • The BBC Sketch Comedy Sorry I've Got No Head has several of them.
    • "Nothing's free these days." "Except for those free [thing]."
    • "Remember [person]?"
      • "He would have loved that [singer]."
      • "So what happened to [same person]?"
    • "I think I picked [country] by mistake. Is that a problem?"
    • "Do you have trouble [everyday action]? [More specific rephrasing]? Well, that's because you're using a [random object] instead of [object normally used for task]!"
    • "You're going to use your time machine to go into the future and see [something] so we can go to the [building] earlier!"
    • "It's got 10 [safety gear]. 11's too many. 9, and I might as well go jump off a cliff."
  • When he fronted Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Mark Lamar frequently used "People criticised [group's song], but I [mild compliment]. I say [compliment]...I [mild insult]. I say I [insult]...what I mean is I [Really Scathing insult, often involving self-torture]. Having said that, [vague compliment]."
  • In Red Dwarf, perilous situations would often result in the Cat exclaiming, "That's it, we're deader than [outmoded item of clothing]!"
  • Schneider from One Day At a Time would frequently dispense some bit of mangled wisdom or advice by prefacing it with either "Please always remember, and don't ever forget..." or "Don't ever forget, and please always remember..."

Professional Wrestling

  • The Rock had a few of these, most commonly "Why don't you [noun/verb] your ass on out of here!" and "I'm gonna take your [noun], shine it up real nice, turn that sumbitch sideways, and stick it straight up your candy ass!"


  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: The chairman always ends the episode with some phrase including Fate, Time, Hope and Eternity. In the Film Club round (titles of film suitable for an audience of [profession/interest]), Graeme Garden always finds some variation on the title Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and in the Songbook round (songs suitable for [profession/interest]), Barry Cryer often finds a variation on Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
    • Also, this, with the default being "and points mean prizes". Usually half the audience would shout "Prizes!" as usual, and half the audience would shout whatever noun the chairman had said.

Chairman: ...And points mean [noun]. What do points mean?
Audience: [NOUN]!

  • Car Talk: "...and even though [NPR personality has an unpleasant reaction] whenever they hear us say it, this is NPR."
  • On Hello Cheeky, Denis King always introduced himself with "Hi, fans! Denis "Nickname" King here!". Then there was this, which everyone got to deliver at one point or another -- "Meanwhile, in a [location], not a thousand miles from [noun related to location]..."

Tabletop Games

  • In Exalted, Sidereals can use special prayer strips bearing one of twenty-five Scriptures to enhance certain of their abilities. The Scriptures come in five sets of five, each set associated with one Sidereal caste/aspect of fate/astrological house, and the final line in each set except for Journeys is a perfect example of this trope.
    • Serenity: "Love is [Koan]."
    • Battles: "Survival is [noun]."
    • Secrets: "To know the world is to [verb] it."
    • Endings: "'There's always an ending,' said [someone or something]."
  • In another Exalted example, the description of each of the Sidereal castes in their particular sourcebook starts with "Life is [noun/phrase relevant to the caste's purview]". Likewise, the description of each of the Terrestrial (Dragon-Blooded) elemental aspects in their sourcebook starts with a two-word sentence: "[Element] [verb which that element does]s."

Video Games

  • "That's the second [adjective]est [object] I've ever seen!" - Guybrush Threepwood in Monkey Island. (See Get Smart, above.)
    • There's also "I'm Guybrush Threepwood, mighty [profession]." Usually, it's pirate.
  • "I HAVE [noun]!" - Fawful in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Throughout, it's "fury", though at one point, he says "I have fright!" The phrase gets more varied in Partners in Time, and even further in Bowser's Inside Story.
  • Left 4 Dead: Francis' "I hate [thing(s)]". Except vests, or Steam.
    • "I ever tell you about the time my buddy Keith--"
  • Team Fortress 2:

Engineer: Spy's sapping my [noun]!

[Subject] [Verb]in' mah [Object]!

    • Also:

Anyone: That [class]'s a Spy!

  • Doc Louis in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!!! "What's your favorite kind of ______? Mine's chocolate!"
  • Commander Shepard from Mass Effect. "What can you tell me about [topic of interest]?" / "What do you know about [topic of interest]?"
  • Sanger Zonvolt of Super Robot Wars. "I am Sanger Zonvolt, the sword that smites [noun]!" Usually he smites evil (or cleaves it in Japanese), but special enemies have it replaced with something relating to them, such as God. At one point, he even Mad Libs his Evil Twin's catchphrase.
  • A cheat for Age of Empires III makes the name of a unit's killer pop up above the victim, with "'d!" on the end, as a shoutout to Teen Girl Squad. Shot by a cannon? Culverin'd! Shot by American Militia? Minuteman'd! Get run over by the carriage on the end of a train? Caboose'd! And so on.

Web Comics

"Stay good, [character], stay good!"

"and there [he/she] goes. The [person] HASS the [object]"
"the ____ ruse was a DISTRACTION. [pronoun] [has/have] the [object]."
"you have to [verb] it [different verb]-ways!"
"[Subject personal pronoun] [appropiate conjugation of "be"] the star. it's [direct object personal pronoun]."

TT: I feel like you've said something like that before.
TT: Different statements, but in that exact syntax.

T-Rex: Today is a good day I think for [activity].

  • In Rusty and Co, Rusty's is "Eat [metallic object]?"
  • The Tiger Knuckle school from How I Killed Your Master will readily announce that a hundred of something are as one to a Tiger Knuckle disciple.

Web Original

  • Teen Girl Squad: "Ow! My [body part or attribute]."
    • This is usually caused by the "comic"'s trademark cathphrase/running gag: "[noun]'d!!!" This descended from the first strip's use of "Arrowed!!!", and includes "404'd!!!", "MSG'd!!!", "Cerebellum'd!!!", and "Late 360 shove-it to boneless...'d!!!"
  • The main series, Homestar Runner, also has some. For instance, there's Homestar saying "Best/worst [number] bucks I ever spent!" Other examples can be found on the wiki.
  • Today I Die: In a surprisingly beautiful usage, a Mad Libs Catch Phrase forms the skeleton for the game's poem.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series: "Screw the [plural noun], I have [plural noun]!"
  • Ask That Guy: [Looks up from his book] "Oh! [Foreign, or just made up, greeting]! Didn't hear you come in."
  • Blogger Beware has a really weird one. At first he started out making reference to people disappearing halfway through the book (generally under "Platonic Boy/Girl Relationship"), and it happened so often it started mutating until eventually, every entry would make reference to someone, doing something, halfway through some event.
  • Whenever Bailiff Jesse Thorn swears in the defendant and complainant in the Judge John Hodgman Podcast, he asks whether they'll "abide by the judge's ruling, no matter how insane/offensive/onerous/etc. it may seem."
  • The Annoying Orange has "I'm not [adjective], I'm an Orange".
    • Also, Hey [noun]!" "What?" "[noun that kills previous noun}"
  • On Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This?, safety is whatever host Jory Caron says it is.

Jory: Here at Jory Caron Laboratories, [something about safety].

  • EPICMEALTIME: Every episode is closed with "Next time, we eat [X]", where [X] is something ridiculous and inedible.
  • Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time also has a "Next time" at the end of almost every episode.
    • "[cooking technique], if you want to. We won't; this is REGULAR!"
  • The House to Astonish podcast always opens with "And in the week when [genuine news event], we ask [strange comics tangent]?" E.g. "And in the week when UBS Bank lost almost 2 million dollars to a rogue trader, we ask: is Uncle Scrooge's money bin now the only safe haven for your money?"
  • Tobuscus opens every episode of Cute Win Fail with the phrase, "Hi, I'm Toby Turner. [Improbable statement], and this is 'Cute Win Fail'." Said improbable statement is then used as a Running Gag in the remainder of the intro.
  • Pay Me, Bug!: Grif Vindh likes to take a word or phrase he just said, and... "clarify" it by adding "and by [word or phrase], I mean [short rant that includes the word or phrase]."

"It's fascinating," Grif said. "And by 'fascinating,' I mean 'isn't it fascinating how little I want to go back?'"

  • One of random generators in the collection of Last Gasp Grimoire RPG blog is "David Lynch Ominous Statement Generator", so it produces vaguely similar gems like «The caves plot revenge. Repent: they’ll whisper you your fate.»

Western Animation

"[episode theme] Day can be a very dangerous day."

  • From Futurama, Hermes' "Sweet [noun] of [rhyming location]!"
    • "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back" even had him traumatised (his office having been destroyed just before an inspection) and mutter:

"Sweet... something of... some place..."

"Is it just me or [clause]?"

    • Phoebe had one as well: "[Noun] never [whatever the current noun is doing] at my old school." Usually [noun] is "we" or "the bus."
    • And Dorothy Ann has one too: "According to my research, [plot-relevant fact]."
  • Dr. Drakken of Kim Possible. His usual Catch Phrase is "You think you're all that, Kim Possible! But you're not!" But he often changes it, especially if she has something new, or brought someone else with her:

"You think your ____ is all that, Kim Possible! But it's/they're not!"

"You were a worthy foe. You were indeed all that!"

    • Also, when Kim was beaten to the punch by Team Impossible.

"Kim Possible! You think you're all that! But they are!

  • Tom Slick: "There's no such word/phrase as [word/phrase] in racing."
  • Eric Cartman: "I'm not fat; I'm _____!"
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man (and Real Life!): "They just don't make [noun] like they used to."
  • Garfield and Friends: "Whoever invented [noun] should be drug out into the street and shot." (It's usually "Mondays".)
  • Grouchy Smurf: "I hate [whatever we're talking about]!"
  • Quest from World of Quest: "I hate [whatever he's about to destroy]!"
  • Father Time from Histeria!: "The time, [time period]. The place, [place]."
    • Pepper Mills, after getting an autograph: "Hey, you're not [media celebrity]!"
    • Whenever someone (usually a historical figure) asks when Big Fat Baby last got a new diaper: "(Remember/You know) when [ancient historical/geological event happened]?" "... yeah." "Before that."
  • Whenever he was injured, the Dark Lord Chuckles, the Silly Piggy would let out an agonized groan of, "Oh, my little piggy [body part]".
  • Bugs Bunny has been known to alter his familiar "What's up, Doc?" to fit the situation. Examples:

[facing a knight in armor] "What's up, Duke?"
[dealing with Daffy Duck's greed] "What's up, Duck?"
[hearing a baby cry] "What's up, Pediatrician?"

"Ahh, Perry the Platypus, how [adjective beginning with a negative prefix]. And by that I mean COMPLETELY [same adjective without the prefix, even if it's not a real word]!!"

    • Subverted to hell on more than one occasion though...

"Ahh, Perry the Platypus, your timing is unexpected. And by unexpected, I mean..... um..... unexpected. What are you doing here? This is my week off."

Raphael: I got your [adjective] right here!
Splinter: As the wise [Ancient Asian scholar] said; [clause related to his son's foolish actions].

Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Pinky: I think so Brain, but [non sequitur question mentioning a set of Noodle Implements]?

    • And:

Pinky: (After hearing Brain's plan) Egad brilliant Brain!...oh wait... no, but/what if [questions part of the plan]?

"You know who ELSE [part of what the previous character said]? MY MOM!"

Other Media

Waldorf: What do you think of [noun]?
Statler: I think it's [negative adjective which is also a pun]!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!