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A Running Gag that involves repeating a funny-sounding phrase when least (or most) expected. Often Lampshaded as an Overused Running Gag due to its randomness.

Unlike a Catch Phrase, Gag Words are not associated with a character. Compared to Arc Words, they are less symbolic than just plain silly.

Examples of Gag Words include:

Anime & Manga

  • "Fooly Cooly," from FLCL.
  • "Gatchabagoose" from Elf Princess Rane.

Comic Books

  • Marvel Comics mercenary Deadpool enjoyed using the words "Chimichanga" and "Duct Tape" during the "Cable/Deadpool" series. When asked why, he commented that they were funny words, like "Spatula, Rumsfield and Zygote."
  • "Potrzebie" in Mad Magazine.


  • "The Hawley-Smoot Tariff," from Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States: "Quite frankly we have no idea what this is, but we think it has a wonderful ring to it, and we just like to see it in large bold letters."
    • He may have got it from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where the incredibly boring teacher is asking about it ("Anyone? Anyone?")
    • Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need uses the phrase "fish of your brother Raoul" and a few variants in several languages.
    • And Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway uses the phrase (and accompanying image) "giant prehistoric zucchini."
    • Did you know it was almost called the Smoot-Hawley tariff?

Live Action Television

  • "Lemon curry?" in Episode 33 of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • Not to mention "Albatross!" from its titular episode.
    • And "Semprini", which for some reason is considered a swear word.
      • "OUT!"
  • An episode of the US version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? had Colin yelling 'The cat!' or 'Meow!' at any moment when he couldn't think of anything else.
  • Ryan Atwood and Sandy Cohen humorously repeat "Yogalates!" in episode 12, season 1 of The OC.
  • "Schnaps" on episode 2 of season 3 of The Big Bang Theory
  • On Seinfeld, Jerry attributes the popularity of salsa to people thinking it's fun to say.

Newspaper Comics

  • Classic example: "Notary Sojac" from Smokey Stover.
  • "Judo chop", among others, in Peanuts.


Web Original

Western Animation

  • "Huggbees" in one Freakazoid episode.
  • Frisky Dingo had dozens of these. Killface even used "Hawley-Smoot" once.
  • "Narf!" and "Poit!" from Pinky and The Brain.
    • Not to mention "Zort!", "Troz!", and on one occasion, "Fjord!"
  • "Spoot" was often used on The Angry Beavers.
  • On one "Aesop and Son" segment from Rocky and Bullwinkle, characters keep saying "Hoot Gibson" (the name of a popular Western actor). Another episode had "succulent".
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