Rhymes on a Dime

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"Why do I talk all the time, it's really hard to make these rhyme!"
Gruntilda, Banjo-Kazooie

The habit of certain characters to speak in Sublime Rhyme, for no apparent reason, all the time. This does not apply when the character is quoting/reciting, nor when they are rapping or their inner poet is deliberately igniting; only when they are speaking off the top of their head does this trope apply, that's what I said. I don't want to be rude, but must also exclude, literature written entirely in verse, like Shakespeare or Homer or worse.

A character need not speak in rhyme all the time, but it should happen often enough that excusing it is tough. Also, poetry or rap can be included, if all other modes of expression are precluded.

More often than not, I tell you what, a character who Rhymes on a Dime is a supporting character or hovers in the background, safe and sound. Also they tend to follow the trend of Urban influence, young and unsung.

Bonus rewards if you end with words that are usually "unrhymable", like "orange" or "purple"... you nurple! (See?)

If a person's entire language is based on this trope, then he could be a Strange Syntax Speaking dope.

May lead to a Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion. Or Rhyming List, which well, you know...

Examples to trample:

Anime and Manga, To Start This List With a Banga[edit | hide | hide all]

Bee: Noble beast, grab onto my arm, then I'll toss ya in the clock direction of ten.
Motoi: Don't sacrifice the truth for a rhyme, Bee! He went two o'clock!

  • Team Rocket from Pokémon speak almost entirely in rhymes and dated-but-still-catchy phrases. This is not to mention, of course, their Once an Episode recitation of the Team Rocket Motto, or their habit of stopping mid-action to sing songs based on popular tunes. This is likely meant as Parody, however, as it seems to be an emphasis on how cool Team Rocket really isn't.
  • Rave Master has Rionette, one of King's Palace Guardians.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior (being the English dub) had Magic Man, who spoke in nothing but rhyme.
  • Francine's a cat who likes to rhyme. In fact she does it all the time. Well, most of the time. And only in the English version.
  • In the Keroro Gunsou anime, Natsumi is horrified to find herself compulsively making bad rhyming puns (or "old man jokes") after being hit by Kululu's age-increasing gun.

Comic Books, Which Get Lots of Looks[edit | hide]

  • The Leannan Sidhe in Matt Wagner's Mage does the same thing.

"Don't you see, tiny boy, the trouble you're in? But I see you see not, in which case, I win!"

  • Mr. Bones of The DCU, originally; it's been quietly disposed of since then.
  • Len Wein had The Demon (Etrigan) start doing this in DC Comics Presents. Its later use by Alan Moore in Swamp Thing made it stick... sometimes with painful results when the author of the day is less than skilled at poetry.
    • Peter David did actually get him to rhyme orange... with "car hinge", since he was standing on a car door.
    • Depending on how intrusive Etrigan is, Jason Blood's (who shares a body with Etrigan) real curse is occasionally declared to be having to listen to the demon talk all the time.
  • In Batman #525, Mr Freeze's mooks, Ice and Cube, do this. At least Ice does, speaking after Cube and rhyming with what he said. (This was before Batman: The Animated Series' backstory for Freeze became Ret Canon'd into the comics).

Cube: Rappers, Ice, we ain't.
Ice: My lines, Cube, are too quaint?
Cube: Knock it off, Ice.

  • Superboy supporting character Roxy Leech had a friend with the appropriate name of The Poet.
  • The following exchange between two warriors occurred in Steve Rude's Nexus:

JACQUES THE ANVIL: I perceive that we are at a standoff. Feed me a line I cannot rhyme and we'll perform a hand-off!
JUDAH THE HAMMER: A line you cannot rhyme?
JACQUES: Make it quick and make it prime!
JUDAH: There's never any fruit in Clausius' loot. Won't you have -- AN ORANGE?
JACQUES: (curses in unreadable symbols)

  • The Rhyming Man, one of Mickey Mouse's enemies from comics in the 40s and recent storyline "The World To Come"
  • In an odd comic book adaptation, the RoadRunner had a group of sons? nephews?, and they all spoke in rhyme. One story, in fact, had him seeing through the Coyote's disguise (in a road runner suit) because he couldn't rhyme.
  • Dan Jurgens' run of Thor featured the Dark God Tokkots, who could split himself into two identical beings, so that on several occasions, one starts to speak, the other finishes.
  • Occurs in 'Shadowpact when Blue Devil is promoted to a Rhyming Class demon.
  • Subverted in Gotham Central. Driver and MacDonald are talking to a Doctor in Arkham about The Mad Hatter.

DRIVER: I thought he rhymed, all the time.
DOCTOR: No. He's not retarded.

  • Lobo once encountered some small aliens whose statements or questions ended with the sound "oo." What made it funny is that it was contagious. When they asked for fifty percent of his takings from a certain bounty in return for information:

Alien: How does that sound to you?
Lobo: Aaarrgh! It makes me wanna spew!
<starts hitting the aliens> Give me the info, or you bowbs are through!
Alien: No fifty, no info! We'll find someone who-- <gets clobbered>
Another alien: --will give us the fifty, not a cheapskate like you!
Lobo: I'll squash ya all into goo!
Bartender: Incredible. They've got him doing it too!
Customer: And you!

Fanfic Antics[edit | hide]

Groovy Movies[edit | hide]

Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can fuss.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss... I think he likes to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He's really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhyming now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: DYEEAAHHHHHH.

    • This is expanded on in the book, where Fezzik's love of rhymes is discussed at length.
    • Some people may have missed it, but the first exchange when Fezzik and Inigo reunite is also entirely in rhyme:

Inigo: I am waiting for Vizzini.
Fezzik: You surely are a meanie. Hello.
Inigo: It's you.
Fezzik: True!

  • The goblin Blix in Legend occasionally breaks into rhyme, presumably because fairy tale goblins are known for that.

Blix: Mortal world has turned to ice, 'tis a goblin paradise!

  • You jivin' motherfuckers would be spoilin' for a fight, if you forgot to mention a badass named Dolemite!
  • There's also Vince Fontaine, the jive-talking master of ceremonies at Rydell High's National Bandstand Dance-Off Contest in Grease.

Fontaine: Thank you fans and friends, and odds and ends! And now, all you gals and guys, a few words to the wise. You Jims and Sals are my best pals. And to look your best for the big contest, just be yourselves and have a ball; that's what it's all about, after all! So forget about the camera and think about the beat; we'll give the folks at home a real big treat. Don't worry about where the camera is. Just keep on dancing - that's show biz! If you're tapped on the shoulder, move to the side; let the others finish the ride. It doesn't matter if you win or lose; it's what you do with your dancing shoes! Hoo-hoo! Okay, cats - throw your mittens around your kittens and awa-ay we go!

  • This is Bullhorn's entire schtick in Black Dynamite. He's stopped later on though, when he can't think of one.

Bullhorn: You're an overweight corn-fed fool with a lot of muscle mass, but now it's time for Bullhorn to get up in that ass!!

Literature, Which May Be Bitter or Pure[edit | hide]

  • Natalia Line from Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack! always speaks in rhyme when she's nervous.
  • Many fae type creatures in fairytales and literature speak in rhyme, including, but not limited to:
    • The faeries in Heroes Of Middlecenter (who explode if they fail to rhyme)
    • Puck and some of the other lesser Fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream speak entirely or almost entirely in rhyme, while Titania and Oberon mostly don't bother. This may or may not be intentional.
  • In The Fellowship of the Ring, Tom Bombadil speaks in rhyming verse so often that the index of poems in The Lord of the Rings doesn't bother to list his verses individually.
  • In The Wise Man's Fear, two of the characters have an entire unscripted rhyming conversation, and in The Name of the Wind, Kvothe does a Badass Boast like this. It's actually good poetry. Justified Trope, He's a musician.
  • The children's book The Wonderful O is full of this, since the premise is that the villains ban one rather vital letter of the English language. So, naturally, they must demonstrate the difficulties this creates in poetry and verse.
  • In both the book and movie versions of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Thimbletack the brownie rhymes at almost all times.
  • In The Viscount of Adrilankha Ibronka and Röaana do this as a game.

-Is it something living?
-The answer no I am giving, and it is not the sky.

-I have to wonder why. Can I hold it in my hand?
—You can hold it while you stand. (And so on.)
  • Gurgi from the Prydain Chronicles often likes to speak with "rhymings and chimings".
  • Not does the oracle Uyulala from The Neverending Story only speaks in rhymes, but she appears to not be able to hear any spoken speech that isn't rhymed, as well.
  • The demon that gives the wizard Ebenezum his allergy to magic in A Malady of Magicks, speaks in this manner, although his rhymes are pretty bad.

"Alas, you humans are out of luck,
For now you face the demon Guxx!"

    • Wow, that rhyming really suxx.
    • A good thing, as if he could rhyme well (or had the self-control to ignore comments to the contrary) he'd be unbeatable; each rhyme he gets out acts as a combination generic counterspell and powerful self-buff, and they stack. In context he's a lot more frightening, up until the end of the third book when the collected wizards manage to spread the allergy to magic to him, forcing him to only declaim in (rather decent) blank verse.
  • The 13 Clocks slips in and out of rhyme, but manages to make it work even at the most dramatic moments:

"I have no tears," said Hagga. "Once I wept when ships were overdue, or brooks ran dry, or tangerines were overripe, or sheep got something in their eye. I weep no more," said Hagga. Her eyes were dry as desert and her mouth seemed made of stone. "I have turned a thousand persons gemless from my door. Come in," she said. "I weep no more."

"Prof is short for prophet, my man. I never fall because I see it all!"

Live Action TV, worth just a Fraction of Thee[edit | hide]

  • Eulabelle the black maidservant, from Horror Of Party Beach (Mystery Science Theater 3000), uses occasional but ubiquitously pointless rhymes as homilies:
    • "You don't see me sittin' around moanin' and groanin' all day."
    • "What are y'all doin' sneekin' and peekin' in the dark for?"
  • The announcer from Judge Alex.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun featured Laurie Metcalfe as a character who always rhymed her sentences with whatever someone else had just uttered. Dick found this charming at first but later discovered it was incredibly annoying and made it impossible to carry on a normal conversation with her.
  • Moonlighting, in which Agnes DiPesto does this when answering the phone.
  • Mrs. Benson in iCarly has a series of silly, and occasionally morbid rhymes to help her through her daily life.

Mrs. Benson: You won't get respect if your back's not erect.
Mrs. Benson: When temperatures get too high the elderly start to die.

  • Baron Harkonnen in the Syfy miniseries of Dune.
  • A magic mirror in The Tenth Kingdom speaks entirely in rhyme and will only answer questions that are put in verse as well. This leads to Tony and Virginia having to come up with...interesting questions on the spot.

"Our mirror's smashed, what can we do? Where the hell are the other two?"

  • This happened to Murdock in an episode of The A-Team where he had to give an injured B. A. some of his blood. Murdock uses this new tendency to try to convince B. A. that he will go insane after receiving the blood.

Murdock: You'll start hearin' thing you don't see, and rhymin' your words...just like me." *cheeky (and slightly maniacal) smile*

  • How could we possibly avoid mentioning Pro Wrestling great "Superstar" Billy Graham, the sensation of the nation and the number-one creation? He was filled with the desire to inspire, and took on all contenders and pretenders.
  • Alton Brown of Iron Chef America often delivers his closing address in poetic, or at least rhyming, style.
  • In an episode of Legend of the Seeker, all women are expected to do this in the presence of the Margrave. To do otherwise would be disrespecful. Cara, at first, has trouble doing this when pretending to be a princess whose skill at poetry is legendary. She does spout a few rhymes later (mostly about torture and murder) and another one later, while turning the Margrave into a punching bag. Zedd, dressed up as a duchess, has no trouble rhyming. Even more impressive, the Margrave's sister is able to rhyme while sobbing at the top of her lungs.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? had the Carnie from "The Tale of Laughing In The Dark", who played the trope for all the creepiness it was worth:

Carnie: It's the most fun in the park, when you're laughing in the dark.
Carnie: Pick the right door and you'll go free, pick the wrong door and there he'll be.

Hate Master: "Would you give in already?! Doing this is no snap! It really isn't easy talking all the time in rap!"

  • The following exchange from the Friends episode "The One Where No-One's Ready":

Ross: We can't be late. It starts at eight.
Phoebe: He could not, would not, want to wait.

Real Life, Which Is Full of Strife[edit | hide]

  • Nipsey Russell could pull off a couplet at just the drop of a hat. Name me another talented person who could ever do just that.
    • Wayne Brady?
    • Most of the the guests on both versions of Whose Line Is It Anyway? had a knack for this, not just Brady. Josie Lawrence was particularly good at this.
    • I could argue, I guess, but it's not worth the ink; I'll just say it's not quite as hard as you think.
  • Aside from the refrain, "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies was almost entirely off the cuff.
  • Reverend Jesse Jackson when speaking publicly always has a rhyme of some kind.
  • If you're a Knick fan, you're used to hearing it from Walt "Clyde" Frasier.
  • Rappers in general.
  • Jian Ghomeshi, the host of the CBC radio show "Q", opens each show with a monologue containing numerous rhymes.
  • In recent times, in the email segment of the O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly will read clever limericks on television sent in by viewers.

Theater (By Playwrights With Names Like Peter of Exeter)[edit | hide]

Theme Park Rides, Which If Not Cleared By the Safety Inspector Can Have Their Dark Sides[edit | hide]

  • Madame Leota speaks in rhyme in The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney Theme Parks, as she was conducting a seance and magic typically rhymes. In the movie, she seemed to be speaking a prophecy, and spoke normally to Jim at times. In the game, she only does this when preforming her Exposition Fairy duties.
    • Haunted Mansion Holiday uses rhyme for the entire narration, though this is done to follow the style of Tim Burton's original poem, which was in turn based on The Night Before Christmas

Video Games, With Their Pretty "Whoa" Names[edit | hide]

  • Gruntilda, the villain of Banjo-Kazooie. She stopped talking like this in the sequel, at the insistence of her sisters, but returned to full form in Nuts & Bolts. Probably because her sisters weren't around to nag her anymore.
  • Merlee from the various incarnations of Paper Mario.
  • Dragon Age: Origins includes a talking oak tree that speaks in rhyme and makes an Incredibly Lame Pun when asked about it. Namely, that this probably makes it a "Poet-tree".
  • Epros in the RPG Okage Shadow King. The other party members do not approve.
  • The Red Caps in City of Heroes speak like this. At one point their leader Snaptooth can be seen shouting at one of them to stop.
  • The song "A Pirate I Was Meant To Be," from The Curse of Monkey Island, is sung by pirates who Rhyme On A Dime. The only way to end the song and escape the puzzle is to end a line with the unrhymable word "orange."
    • To be fair, one of them does rhyme it with "door hinge", but the others realize it wouldn't fit in with the song, so it ends anyway.
    • There is also an extended swordplay puzzle (Insult Swordfighting) where combat is mostly verbal and the pirate who comes up with the better insult wins. When swordfighting at sea, the insult and counterinsult have to rhyme. ("When your father first saw you, he must have been mortified."/"You're a disgrace to your species, you're so undignified!" "At least mine can be identified.") Even Guybrush and Captain René Rottingham get this rhyming exchange after the former's victory over the latter.
  • Professor Shantotto of Final Fantasy XI. Rather odd, considering she serves as her nation's ambassador to conferences with major world leaders, and no one seems to call her out on her odd speech patterns.
    • Probably because they're terrified of her.
      • I am not sure which is more of an understatement in the above sentence, "probably" or "terrified".
    • It's not really-weally thataru odd when you considery that the vastaru majority of Windurstian Tarutaru spin-sparingly-speak with some form of Verbal Tic. Shantotto honestly has one of the less irritating manners of speech-ethy.
    • Naturally, Shantotto's appearances in the Dissidia Final Fantasy games have her retain her habit of rhyming, though she rarely sticks to any sort of meter.

Shantotto: I don't make threats!
If there's no result by the time I'm done researching the ultimate spell, it's too late for regrets!

  • Halaster Blackcloak in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark. Admittedly, he is described as completely insane. One line from before you meet him, on a note in an otherwise-empty treasure chest:

Note: "Much to your displeasure, here there is no treasure! -H"

    • And one of his lines from before you free him from the drow holding him captive:

Halaster: "If the portal is opened, more drow will come through. I don't want that; I can barely stand you."

  • Grub, the DJ of the Party Zone Night Club in The Nameless Mod.
  • The Headless Horseman, a seasonal boss in World of Warcraft speaks all his lines in rhyme.
  • Micheal Tillotson from Deadly Premonition. Especially exceptional because he's not only creating a rhyme at the drop of a dime, but he's also repeating what Mr. Stewart whispers to him. Who does not speak in rhyme.
  • The worms in Worms Reloaded when they're using the "Poor Rapper" speech bank. As the name implies, the lines they speak are often awkward, but in a funny way.

"Great, a crate! Great, ...sodium nitrate!"
"See you later, like in an alley...gator?"

Now the gate has been unlatched, headstones pushed aside
Corpses shift and offer room, a fate you must abide

  • In Divinity 2, we have Bellegar, a crazy mage whose lines are all rhymed. Some of them are really funny. Taken up to eleven in the expansion where his couplets turn into verses with more intricate rhyme schemes to match with his more important role.
  • The supervillain Deja Vu can't speak without rhyming in Freedom Force.
  • Ezio lampshades this in Assassin's Creed: Revelations when he sings during his guise as a Wandering Minstrel

The things i do, to save the world
Surprise me time to time
Like learning how to play the lute
And making these words rhyme

Web Comics, Increasingly a Part of the Publishing Economics[edit | hide]

  • A bard in Chasing The Sunset speaks only in rhyme. In one panel she is interrupted mid-sentence (twice) and is 'stuck' until she finds a way to rhyme her two previous utterances. And her name? Rhyme, of course.
  • A Penny Arcade strip once featured Gabe trying his hand at this. Of course, Tycho's vocabulary is far too extensive to merely throw in a 'Purple' or 'Orange'... instead, he works 'acquiesce' into the end of a sentence, with dire consequence.
  • Saxony Canterbury from Thunderstruck always does this, sis. He'll give you a new pet name, Dwayne, just so he can throw this trope in your face, ace.
  • The fairies in the Forest of Doom, in The Heroes of Middlecenter, speak entirely in rhyme. Unfortunately, Darklight... doesn't really like rhyme so much.
  • The Web Comic Shortpacked! parodies Roadblock from GI Joes with a toy who repeats increasingly threatening and innuendo-laden rhymes, until he starts talking to Wheelie.
  • In the Homestar Runner "Cheat Commandos" cartoons, Crackotage is a parody of Roadblock from GI Joes. In one cartoon he says, "Movie night's my favorite night! I think it is my favorite night!" His comrade notes that he's not even trying anymore.

Web Original, Which Is Digital[edit | hide]

  • Mike J of Shameful Sequels reviewed American Pie 3 entirely in rhyme once.
  • Crackotage of the Cheat Commandos. Granted, he's a parody of this kind of character and as such, he's not very good at it

CRACKOTAGE: Movie night is my favorite night. I think it is my favorite night. Hee hee hoo hoo!
SILENT RIP: Are you even trying anymore?

Western Animation, Best Learned of in This Nation[edit | hide]

Underdog: (melodramatic) My rhymes are only said in fun! (normal) Okay, I'm done.

  • Yogi Bear does this often too.
  • Roadblock from G.I. Joe talks like this sometimes (but sometimes it's just Jive Turkey).
  • In The Fairly OddParents, there are the employees of "Flappy Bob's Happy Peppy Camp and Learn-a-torium", Happy Peppy Betty and Gary. They not only rhyme almost all their sentences, they also sing them, and tend to complete each other's sentences!

Betty: And, umm... Gary! I'm all out of rhimy-whimies!
Gary: That was a rhimy-whimy!

    • Subverted by the Gigglepies, who start out talking like this, until Timmy asks what they do once they've extracted all the resources from a planet:

Overlord Glee: We blow it up and move on to the next one! Isn't that cute?
Timmy: No! It's terrible! <Beat> And it didn't rhyme!
Overlord Glee: He's on to us! Get him!

  • Concrete mutant Vinnie The Mass from A.T.O.M. speaks mostly in rhyme.
  • In Transformers Generation 1, most of the time, the unpopular character Wheelie always speaks in rhyme! The Transformers Wiki http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Wheelie_(SG) had a bit]] of fun, and made all the lines on his page rhyme (every single one)!
  • The wicked sorcerer Zig Zag from The Thief and the Cobbler rhymes whenever he speaks, often rather elaborately. He actually manages to be both amusing and menacing in this way. For example, when he said "One mistake will suffice! Don't treat me lightly twice!" after taming the alligators he had been thrown to by the ungrateful Big Bad One Eye.
    • Lampshaded in the infamous Miramax cut when the thief, overhearing one of Zig Zag's private rants, comments to himself, "It must be tough to always speak in rhyme."
  • Uncle Pockets, from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • Haiku battle start! / Sokka tries so valiantly / But his counting's off.
    • Pathetic Sokka / it's for this very purpose / contractions were made.
    • Poor foolish Sokka / An unnecessary word: / "Ladies, I rock ya!"
  • Spring-Heeled Jack in Jackie Chan Adventures
  • While his isn't usually an example, the Green Goblin of the The Spectacular Spider-Man does this in one episode. Not only is it lampshaded, but it's also partially justified: several of his lines are quotes from Shakespeare's verse. It also acts as a clue to the Goblin's identity: Harry Osborn, the prime suspect behind the mask, was supposed to be playing Puck in a school play, and all of the Shakespeare lines are Puck quotes. Turned out to be a Red Herring, but nice touch...
  • Rollerbear in the Bitsy Bears pilot cartoon. She even wears headphones and rollerskates.
  • An episode of Johnny Bravo spoofing Green Eggs and Ham rhymes the whole time.
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Dream Scheme" with Bubbles using the "anyone want a peanut" gag.
  • Francine always made room for a nice little rhyme, just before the great big boom signaled the Samurai Pizza Cats were off to fight crime.
  • Princess Starglo from Share Bear Shines! mostly does this in a rhyming slang kind of way ("Toodles, poodles!"), but uses it in her normal conversation quite a bit, too.
  • Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph.D in Yellow Submarine, who justifies it, saying:

If I spoke prose, you'd soon find out
I don't know what I talk about!

Promise me you'll speak in rhymes. Speak in rhymes all the times.

  • What's with Andy had an episode where Andy was dared to speak in rhyme for an entire day. He mastered it pretty well, up until he was challenged to rhyme the word 'orange'. Which he succeeded; it rhymes with 'door hinge'.
  • A one-off villain from the Osmosis Jones cartoon, who continued to vow revenge in rhymes even as he was being led away.
  • Hermes from Futurama has a modular catchphrase - "Sweet X of Y!" - that's always spoken in rhyme. e.g. "Sweet guinea pig of Winnipeg!"
  • Several locomotives actually started to speak in rhyme at times in the more recent episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • In the Hungarian dub, The Flintstones do this constantly.
  • Boundin'