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Mr. Lundie: They were indeed horrible destructive women. I dinna suppose you have such women in your country?

Tommy Albright: Witches?

Jeff Douglas: Oh, we have 'em. We pronounce it differently.

A Sub-Trope of Parenthetical Swearing, this is a line of dialogue used for Getting Crap Past the Radar, or that at least always leads to many raised eyebrows and jokes amongst the online fandom. Basically, Bob calls Alice a "witch." The context and inflection, however, strongly imply that, in a world free of Media Watchdogs and censors, he would have used a different epithet -- one that rhymes with "witch" but starts with a B. Extra-fun if the woman in question really does have magic powers, justifying the word.

Keep in mind simply using witch as a insult does not make an example. Calling someone the bride of hell is an insult all its own. To add, "bruja" and "strega" can be used as insults in their respective languages (Spanish and Italian) for a mean lady, and are entirely unrelated to those languages' terms for "female dog".

Most prevalent in Western Animation. See also This Is for Emphasis, Bitch, which can be used to set up this trope.

Examples of Witch with a Capital B include:


Anime and Manga

  • In the English versions (both anime and manga) of Sailor Moon, Lita often used "witch" as an insult. Considering it was a Magical Girl show, it could sometimes be taken literally, though.
  • Referenced in the Dub Version of Digimon Adventure 02
Arukenimon: "How DARE you talk about me like I'm some kind of witches!?"
  • Inuyasha uses this in the anime (dub). A lot. Plus, he says it in a particularly demeaning manner. You can't really miss it.

 (To Kagura, numerous times): You witch!

(To Tsubaki): You witch!

 Franky: Spanda!!! You son of a sea witch!!

  • In the dubbed version of Dragonball Z's The History Of Trunks, the title character, after having Android 18 beat him up and then aim a death attack at him, utters "Go ahead. Do it! You... WITCH!"
  • In the Digimon Adventure dub, during the Angewomon / LadyDevimon slap fight:

 Izzy: I know I shouldn't watch this, but I can't take my eyes off them!

Kari: *angrily pumping her fists* You get her, Angewomon! That's right! Knock that witch's block off! GO!

Comic Books

  • Ubiquitous in Marvel Comics of the 1970s through the early 1990s.
  • One issue of the print comic Nodwick had a scene where the Stupid Good cleric Piffany calls an evil cleric a "word-that-rhymes-with-ditch-but-starts-with-B" before engaging her in battle. While the word "witch" was not itself used, this still seems to be the same principle, made Badbutt.
    • This is pretty par for the course with Piffany. She's literally so pure that she has trouble finding ways to concisely express her more extreme feelings without tarnishing her incorruptible goodness.
  • In one issue of Young Justice, Arrowette refers to the Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse as "rhymes with witches".
  • In Ultimate X4 (an Ultimate Marvel X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover), the two teams have just identified the villainess and the Thing says "Let's go put that rhymes-with-witch through some changes."
  • Inverted later on in the ultimate continuity, when Iceman calls the Scarlet Witch the 'scarlet B word'.
  • We can probably safely guess that Empowered means it when she calls her teammate Sistah Spooky "a literal witch. Boo, hiss."
  • The Batman Returns adaptation did this to the line "Life's a bitch. So am I.", rather diluting the impact of the phrase.

Film -- Animated

Film -- Live-Action

 Auntie Em: (to Miss Gulch) For twenty-three years, I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!

    • And this is after Dorothy called Miss Gulch a "wicked old witch" in regards to her desire to take Toto away to be destroyed.
  • Ivan Ooze, the Big Bad of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, refers to Dulcea as "that miserable, manipulating, loathsome she-devil of a witch!"
  • In the TV friendly version of Scott Pilgrim Versus the World Ramona says she's "dabbled in being a witch" when in the theatrical version she says "bitch".
  • From "Ella Enchanted" The narrator who always speaks in rhymes says "And so she left them, scratching their newly found itches/Glad to be rid of them.... witches."
  • In Disney's Hocus Pocus, Winnie does this in a Shout-Out to Elton John during "I Put a Spell on You":

 Winnie: Now the witch is back! And there's hell to pay.

  • In The Women, Joan Crawford as Crystal Allen: "There is a name for you, ladies, but it isn't used in high society... outside of a kennel."
  • In The Goonies, Andi calls Mama Fratelli "you horrible old witch." Which is probably more an indicator of Andi's personality than it is censorship, since there's plenty of swearing elsewhere in the movie.

Literature

  • In Under the Dome the Big Bad Jim Rennie doesn't swear, so when he's irritated with a woman he'll call her, "that rhymes-with-witch!"
  • There's one in Agatha Christie's Man In The Brown Suit.
  • There is a book called Son of a Witch. And considering who his mom is...
  • Disney's Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast refers to The Little Mermaid's Ursula as "the sea witch (spelt with a 'b')."
  • In the Mage: The Ascension novel Penny Dreadful, this seems to be Penny's favorite way of making the word "witch" from a simple description into an insult.
  • Almost averted in the first Darkest Powers book. One of the character almost calls the protagonist a "bitch" but she's talking to her mom so she switches to "witch" part way.

Live Action TV

  • Home Improvement: Tim and Jill are discussing Wilson's new friend in front of Brad, and Jill refers to her as a witch. Brad says "Mom, I'm old enough, you can use the B-word." In this case, Jill really did mean "witch" (and not as an insult); the woman was a practicing Wiccan.
  • In Will and Grace, during one of Karen and Jack's fights, Jack stage-whispers "Rhymes with witch."
  • In an episode of Ugly Betty, Betty and Hilda have a big blowout on Thanksgiving over a lawer. Later Justin tries to sneak some stuffing while Hilda's back is turned.

 Hilda: [back still turned] Put it back!

Justin: [to Santos] How does she do that?

Santos: She's a bit of a witch.

Betty: Give or take a letter...

    • Also this trope was mentioned by name (in reference to Wilhelmina) during the series recap at the beginning of season three.
  • Modern Family: Claire is planning a haunted house for Halloween, and Gloria is going as a bruja (Spanish for witch). Jay warns her to not be late or Claire will turn into a "rhymes with bruja".
  • Little House On the Prairie has Laura suspecting that her husband has been seeing another woman. In confronting the supposed other woman, Laura says "you witch" right before pouncing on her and engaging in a physical fight. To Laura's embarrassment it turns out that the woman is innocent. What Laura mistook for a love note was only lyrics to a song the woman had written.
  • USA High the kids overhear an argument between two teachers and Ashley is horrified that the husband calls his wife a witch.

Music

 Now men who once knew Missus Fitch

Refer to her as a witch,

While the girls who once loved Mister Fitch

Say he always was a son of the rich.

 Caroline... see, she's the reason for the word "witch".

Professional Wrestling

  • Kelly Kelly called Vickie Guerrero a "greedy, power hungry witch". If only she'd been allowed to cut that promo a few months later when CM Punk blurred the lines of what could be said on PG television.

Theater

 Prostitute: Listen you old bat/Crazy bloody witch/Least I give me customers some pleasure in return.

  • Brigadoon, as mentioned. In some productions, Jeff says "We just spell the word differently."

Video Games

  • The achievement awarded for performing your first Torture Attack in Bayonetta is "I'm A Bit... I Mean Witch."
  • Metal Gear Solid, of all games. Johnny Sasaki refers to Meryl as a 'witch' in the second prison scene.
  • Bane's Gratuitous Spanish "Bruja"[1] for Dr. Young in Batman: Arkham Asylum certainly evokes this.
  • Roger Wilco in Space Quest IV stammers such a line when he is held captive by the The Latex Babes of Estros.
  • In the King's Quest II Fan Remake, Hagatha confronts Graham and Valanice and starts her Evil Gloating. Graham tries to argue with her, but can't quite spit out the insult.

 Graham: Why you... you...

Hagatha: Witch?

Valanice: (mordantly) I'm sure it would have rhymed...

  • In Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2, Demyx says "Man, why's Larxene gotta be such a witch?"
  • Dragon Age averts this, because the witches are scary enough that accusing someone of being a witch is worse than calling them a bitch.
  • The cutscene that plays when Dawn Of War 2 is opened contains a Space Marine growling "This planet is ours, witch!" after mortally wounding an Eldar Farseer (often referred to as "witches/wyches").
  • Arguably justified in Final Fantasy VI when Locke is initially asked to go and rescue Terra. His response is "This better not have anything to do with that Magitek-riding, Imperial witch!!!" One could say that since Terra was a magic-user, he could actually mean a witch in the literal sense except for the fact that he expresses so much shock not long afterwards when Terra, Locke, and Edgar are in a battle and Edgar has to literally it spell out to Locke that Terra had just used magic.

Web Comics

 RM: Huh. That Matoya is one crazy witch.

BM: That's almost how I'd put it...

  • Homestuck has a running catchphrase "BLUH BLUH HUGE BITCH". On this page it is changed to "HUGE WITCH". Even though the lady in question is not a Witch, but a Seer.

Western Animation

 Raven: Terra.

Terra: Raven.

Raven: Traitor!

Terra: Witch!

    • The line refers to the comics, where Terra's Jerkass Deadpan Snarker comicbook version would refer to her 'friends' with horrible nicknames. "Witch" being a favorite for Raven, given her powers and habits.
  • Any time Scrooge McDuck calls Magica de Spell "You witch!" or "That witch!" on DuckTales. Lampshaded in this fan fic.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Jenny is choking on Vexus' exhaust. She manages to get out "What a... witch!"
  • Lampshaded on The Simpsons. After Marge is revealed to be an actual witch, Bart exclaims, 'Well, I'll be a son of a witch!'
  • Galaxy Rangers: Used a couple times against the sorceress-queen (who more than earned it), and Supertrooper renegade Darkstar (who really hasn't). Killbane's really fond of the insult.
  • Winx Club: When the heroes say witch they usually mean witch, but when the witches themselves say it it sounds like they wish they were anywhere but a fluffy magical girl show.

 Stormy: Being in this room gives me potions class nightmares!

Darcy: Well, get over it, witch.

 Cosmo: Even in the Old West, she's a heartless evil witch!

Notes

  1. "witch", duh!
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