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 "Loquentia, Imbruglia, Precipitous, Saraleecheesecakea, Denouement!"

When a magical spell is invoked in a cartoon, comedy show or during a comedy sketch, the words needed to be spoken are often injokes, brand names, or famous surnames. Pig Latin and Canis Latinicus are also commonly used. They often sound weird enough to only be spotted on a second viewing.



  • In the Discworld books:
    • The spell to summon Death (to ask him questions) is called the "Rite of Ashk Ente", pronounced similarly to "Ask Auntie".
    • In Wyrd Sisters, an incantation is half wicked witch potion, half baking recipe: "Owl hoot and glowworm glimmer. Stir, and then allow to simmer."
  • In Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Harry threatens his Jerkass cousin Dudley with the words "Hocus pocus! Squiggly wiggly!".
  • Bored of the Rings has quite a lot of these: "Hocus pocus, in loco parentis, Jackie Onassis, Dino Di Laurentis..." . Magic in that book is completely based on parlor tricks and funny incantations.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden's candle-lighting spell is "Flicum bicus."
  • In Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures, all incantations are fake trappings meant to impress Muggles. Quite a lot of them fall under the trope, including "Alakazam-shazam" and the perennial favourite "Walla Walla, Washington".

Live Action Television

  • Used in an Italian comedy, where at one point the main characters make a fake Satanic ritual, including gibberish incantations as "Satan... Satanasso... Tapioca!"
  • In an episode of Doctor Who, Shakespeare, the Doctor, and Martha Jones perform a magic spell that's mostly sci-fi garble, with JK Rowling.
  • On Wizards of Waverly Place, most of the spells are either the last name of one of the show's creators and a made up word that rhymes, or exactly what the spell does, with a Latin suffix such as "ius" tacked onto the end.

Newspaper Comics

  • In The Wizard of Id, the title character's signature all-purpose spell is "Frammin' on the jim-jam, frippin' at the krotz!" Cartoonists Parker and Hart derived this from the Chris Sharp jazz instrumental, "Frimmin' on the Jim-Jam."


Video Games

  • Ashley's theme in Wario Ware includes the incantation "Pantalones Giganticus!"

Web Comics

Web Original

  • The Homestar Runner cartoon Halloween Potion-Ma-Jig has Homestar gathering ingredients for a Halloween potion, including one of three possible incantations:
    • "Loquentia, Imbruglia, Precipitous, Saraleecheesecakea, Denouement!"
    • "Bettah ask somebod-ay!"
    • "Do you even have half a brain!"
  • In "A Very Potter Musical", the spells are performed not by casting an actual spell, but by saying the name of the spell. "Jelly Legs Jinx!"
    • Also subverted occasionally when characters will not even say a spell, but do a normal action such as leave a room and saying "Magic!"
  • Potter Puppet Pals: "Ronicus Explodicus!"
  • Bek D. Corbin of Whateleyverse fame did an epic one in her story "Joy to the World". The "spell" was simply an vulgar insult spoken backwards but with her rapid fire delivery, the plot and the imagery the reader can miss it.

Western Animation

 Witches: Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Yakko: Loosely translated, "Abracadabra".

Dot: Fillet of a fenny snake, in the cauldron boil and bake.

Yakko: "Let's cook a snake." Start with my agent.

  • There was a Bugs Bunny cartoon (Transylvania 6-5000) where Bugs meets a vampire. He starts reading a book about magic words that contain the words "Abracadabra" and "Hocus Pocus." Unknown to him (at first, anyway), "Abracadabra" turns the vampire into a bat, and "Hocus Pocus" turns him back into a person. He starts singing the words in a song, transforming the vampire back and forth (Hilarity Ensues)... then starts mixing them up in the song, "Abraca-Pocus" and "Hocus-cadabra", making half the vampire transform, i.e. a human body with a bat's head, then a bat's body and human head. Then he throws out, "Newport News!" which changes the vampire into an ugly witch, and finally, "Walla Walla Washington!" which turns him into a two-headed vulture.
  • The episode of The Venture Brothers "Everybody come to Hank's" invoked this. When assisting Orpheus casting a spell, an incantation was apparently required, and The Alchemist decided to have a little fun with it.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, viewers who take the time to translate Mysterio's spells from Latin will find that most of the longer ones are non sequiturs.

 Denique diatem efficacem inveni! (Translation: I have finally found an effective diet!)

Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere! (Translation: I believe Elvis is alive!)

Nullae satisfactionis potiri non possum! (Translation: I can't get no satisfaction!)

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas! (Translation: Thank you for not smoking!)

Real Life

  • The "magic words" Hocus Pocus were generated as a parody/modification of the Latin "Hoc Est Corpus" (This Is The Body), which was used to denote the Eucharist in Christian ceremony.
    • In Scandinavia and Russia, there is a third word for this "magical" formula. It is "filiokus" or "filipokus", and is derived from "filioque" (a theological dispute between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, involving the Holy Spirit... it's a long story).


  1. Pale rider with a curved blade. Man who hurls us into oblivion
  2. the egg is broken and totally knackered
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