Talks Like a Simile

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"And now we must duel, like two glimmering banjos on a moonlit stoop!"
Dimentio, Super Paper Mario

A character who talks like a simile uses similes in their speech pattern the way a machine gun uses bullets: swiftly, mercilessly, and in quick succession, to the point where this quality becomes a prominent character trait. In a lot of these cases, the similes they use will be about as unusual as a school of fish in the Sahara and more complex than space shuttle wiring, but still the offender will churn them out as they talk, either in casual conversation or in the narration, as though coming up with them as they go along was as natural an act to them as picking on Acceptable Targets.

A staple of the Private Eye Monologue and of characters from the Deep South. Has some similarities with Dissimile. Also see Strange Syntax Speaker, Like Is, Like, a Comma.

Examples of Talks Like a Simile include:


"(Vogons ships) hung in the sky, in much the same way that bricks don't"

"It's silly to worry because you can't do something you simply can't do. That's worse than trying to make yourself taller by standing on your head."

"All good feelin', sir--the wery best intentions, as the gen'l'm'n said ven he run away from his wife 'cos she seemed unhappy with him."

  • The narrator of Matthew F. Jones' novel The Cooter Farm includes at least one simile in almost every paragraph.
  • P. G. Wodehouse definitely deserves a place here, as both Douglas Adams and Stephen Fry, who are both very adroit users of this trope, took their props from him.

"At five minutes to eleven on the morning named he was at the station, a false beard and spectacles shielding his identity from the public eye. If you had asked him he would have said that he was a Scotch business man. As a matter a fact, he looked far more like a motor-car coming through a haystack."

  • Homer is noted for long similes that go on for several lines.
  • Also a frequent thing in ancient Celtic epics.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha is full of these, to the point of distraction at times. The main character's entire motive throughout most of the plot is to get with this one guy, and nearly at the end, when she thinks she's lost her chance forever and has resigned herself to an empty life, they have a scene together where they both admit their mutual attraction. The prose is all tense and brimming with emotion, and he finally goes to kiss her... and she ends the chapter by comparing him to a maid she once saw sneaking a pear in her old geisha house.
  • Graham Greene would do this with abstract concepts. "The small pricked-out plants irritated him like ignorance."
  • Massie Block from The Clique series continually uses "Are you an X? Then why are you ?"

Live-Action TV


  • This device is very widely used in rap and hiphop while comparatively nonexistent in other genres.
  • Nightwish's song 'whoever brings the night' begins with the line "We seduce the dark with pain and rapture, like two ships that pass in the night."
  • Pete Wentz, lyricist of Fall Out Boy is fond of this trope, to the point where it's in almost every song.
  • Clutch loves this, some songs are filled with similes.
    • Walking In The Great Shining Path of Monster Trucks: "Well I rolled Jesse Helms like a cigarette / And smoked him higher than the highest of the minarets / Jesse James couldn't even handle it / Started looking at me like I was Sanskrit"
  • In the Queen song "Don't Stop Me Now," Freddie Mercury compares himself to a shooting star, a tiger, a race car, Lady Godiva, a rocket ship on its way to Mars, a satellite, an atom bomb, and "a sex machine" (OK, maybe that last one isn't a simile).
    • Of those, only the tiger, Lady Godiva, and the atom bomb are similes.

Newspaper Comics

  • Calvin, when in character as Tracer Bullet.
  • Similarly, in Pibgorn, a noir-ish detective (who was actually a demon but didn't know that until fairly recently) always uses this for his dialogue.


Tabletop Games

  • The theme song of FATAL was likened by one reviewer to the Cookie Monster chasing a drum kit being pushed down a flight of stairs.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • This trope is a staple of Dave Strider's vernacular in Homestuck. Other characters also do this, but not to the same extent.

Web Original

  • Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw does this quite often, his similes being outrageous and bizarre, often to illustrate the negative aspect of the video games he reviews. He's mentioned insults being as offensive as "being smacked in the balls with your own dead dog," voice acting as unpleasant as "being raped in the ear by a man wearing a sandpaper condom," (but that was his roommate, and "not in those exact words, obviously") and Mario as "as big a sellout as a character can get without turning tricks for a penny on the New Jersey turnpike."
  • Outrageous like-simile-talking seems to be a favorite trait of comedic video game critics, seeing that The Angry Video Game Nerd is also well known for his scatological similes regarding the shitty games he plays. Certainly you've heard about this business with diarrhea dumps in his ear and roadkilled skunks and the downing-with-beer thereof?
  • Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do In An RPG list includes this:

1455. Like a cow who goes to the well too often, I will stop speaking only in metaphors.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Irish Comedian Dylan Moran.
    • [talking about 'The Rockafella Skank'] "I'm not saying it's a bad song. Or anything like that. I'm just saying that you could take a broom, dip it into brake fluid, put the other end up my arse and stick me on a trampoline in a moving lift and I would write a better song on the wall. That's all."
    • [earlier] "This song sounded like a million fire engines being chased by ten million ambulances through a warzone and it was played at a volume that made the empty chair beside me bleed."
  • Newscaster Dan Rather was famous for this.
  • Jesus and his parables. Socrates, too.
  • A stereotype of the Deep South.