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At some point in one's life, they will come across many different people with views, thoughts, and beliefs than their own, especially if they live in a universe where there are aliens, monsters, fairies, demons, vampires, or what have you co-existing with humans; in fact, it doesn't even have to be beings from a different species in order for you come across someone different, considering that each and every human is unique.

As a result, that person will come across someone he/she loathes with absolute intensity (i.e. The Rival, Alpha Bitch, Big Bad, Anti-Hero, etc.) or someone he/she loves/admires so much that they'd sacrifice anything just to please them (i.e. Big Brother Mentor, Love Interest, etc.). But how do they go about describing this person they hate/like? Not any old compliment/insult will do.

Therefore, the person must describe them as the epitome of the trait that they loathe/admire. Thus, they say "Bob, you put the X in XY". X is the adjective used to describe said trait and XY is the noun of X. For example, one could say, "You put the stupid in stupidity".

There's also the related "you can't have XY without X" phrase, for example, "You can't have consensual without sensual."

Examples of You Put the X In XY include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the dub of Sgt Frog, Natsumi complains, "Those frogs put the 'noise' in 'annoys.'"


 "You put the "suck" in "liposuction." You put the "eww" in "jiu-jitsu." You put the "ism" in "this is all just a defense mechanism!"

 Carver: She puts the "ass" in "massive".

Darcy: You put the "lewd" in "deluded".

Whitney: She puts the "itch" in "bitch".

Courtney: She puts the "whore" in "horrible".

 Ramona Rickettes: You put the T in tough!

  • The Wizard of Oz: The Cowardly Lion sings about courage putting "the 'ape' in 'apricot'".

Live Action TV

 John Cage: You put the "fish" in "superficial".

 Guillermo Montoya: put the tennis in Tennessee.

 Jack Bourdain: You put the "ho" in "hostess".

  • QI episode "Bears"

 Stephen Fry: You put the "qi" in quim.

  • Best Week Ever

 Doug Benson: She puts the "bra" in "abracadabra".

 Arthur: She puts the 'supe' in supermodel.

 Buffy: And what are we if not women up to a challenge?

Willow: Exactly! I mean, did we not put the "grrr" in "girl"?

  • In Queer as Folk, Emmett dresses up as a geisha for Ben's surprise party and Ted tells him that he "puts the gay back in geisha."
  • My Name Is Earl episode, "Chaz Dalton's Space Academy".

 Earl: You put the "ass" in astronaut! You put the "not" in astronaut!

Randy: Zing!

 Wayne: "I put the PUH! in Pope!"

 Steve: You two guys put the "ick" in "pathetic"!

 She put the "miss" in "misdemeanor" when she stole the beans from Lima


  • Who put the bomp in the bomp-shoo-bomp-shoo-bomp? Who put the ram in the ram-a-dam-a-ding-dong?


  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who adventure "The Skull of Sobek", the Doctor's companion starts experiencing strange visions. When he finds out, he remarks "You put the Lucie in hallucination."


Video Games

 Lawrence: You put the wit in twit, sir.

  "It puts the 'hot" in "shotgun".

  "You can't spell revival without V."

Web Comics

 Schlock: ...puts the 'hot' back into 'shut up'.

Kevyn: 'Shut up' doesn't have a 'hot'.

Schlock: But 'shot up' does.

Elf: I like the way you spell, Sergeant.

Web Original

  "Until next time, who put the 'ween' in Halloween? I dunno, probably you, ya freakin' weirdo."

  • The Web site Muse Blog- "We put the 'piracy' in 'conspiracy'."
  • The Annoying Orange to a "barking spider".

  Annoying Orange: That guy really puts the 'rant' in tarantula.

    • Also with the new iPhone / iPod game "Kitchen Carnage":

  Annoying Orange: I really know how to put the 'App' in Apple.

  The Cinema Snob: You really know how to put the dick in dictatorship.

Western Animation

 Flanders: Well, tippety-top of the A.M. to every-good-body here. As chairman of the PTA, I am de-diddley-lighted to take over here and I think I can put the "pal" back in "principal".

[The students laugh.]

Chalmers: Heh heh, yeah. And I'll put the "super" back in "superintendent".

[Silence. One person coughs.]

  • And seconds later:

 Jimbo: I was wondering, do you, er, what's your policy on, uh, lunch?

Ned: Well, let me just say I want to put the "stew" back in "students".

[The students laugh again.]

  • In one episode of Jimmy Neutron, Sheen told Timmy "You know how to put the 'mental' in 'experimental'."
  • From an episode of The Critic: "We put the 'harm' in 'pharmaceuticals'."
  • Vicky from The Fairly Odd Parents is called "Icky with a V" by Timmy behind her back. It even led to a Chip Skylark song called "Icky Vicky."


  • Tropes:
  • T-Shirt Hell (NSFW) have "I put the 'cute' in execute", "I put the syn in synagogue", "You can't have manslaughter without laughter", "I put the [blank] in lazy", and "I take the 'the' out of psychotherapist".
    • Another shirt says, "You can't have 'Awesome' without 'Me." Some variants spell it out in Scrabble tiles.
    • And yet another says "I put the 'sexy' in 'dyslexia'."
  • The "fun" (or "mental") in Fundamentalist.
  • A Star Trek: Voyager reviewer wrote at one point about an email he'd got, where the sender claimed the reviewer "put the anal in analysis".
  • "The 'fun' in 'dysfunctional'.
    • Or the 'funk' in 'dysfunctional', if you ignore the spelling.
  • The "laughter" in "slaughter": If you're thinking of the Joker right now (especially this one), then we've been doing it right.
  • On this very wiki:

 "Black Mage put the Sociopath in Heroic Comedic Sociopath. And removes the Heroic for good measure."

  It puts the "vortex" in "flavortext".

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