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Hello sign.png

Trope Namer is Real Life. Obviously.

Fun fact: "Hello" (or "hullo") used to be an expression of surprise or questioning (as in "Hullo, what's this?") until around the turn of the 20th century when it became the standard expression for answering the telephone. The modern use and spelling was "invented" by Thomas Edison; the first use of it with modern spelling was as a greeting in a letter from him to Alexander Graham Bell in 1887. [1] (This would have been the rather nautical "Ahoy-hoy!" if Graham Bell had his way. Mr. Burns would approve.) From there it went on to become the catch-all greeting it is today. In French, "Bonjour"[2], "Salut"[3] & "Allo"[4]. In Japan, they say "Konnichiwa" or (on the phone) "Moshi moshi" (which has a similar quirky origin story). However, lots of countries do include some variant of "Hello" or "Allo" even if only for answering the phone. Interestingly, the German "Hallo" is still also used to express surprise or disbelief, but it's probably more likely in Austria than in Germany.

Related tropes include Crash Into Hello, Hello, Nurse!, Hello, Sailor!, Stealth Hi Bye, Click Hello, Twang! "Hello.", Incoming Ham, and numerous others.

Contrast Goodbye.

Examples of Just for Fun/Hello include:


  • Hello, ladies. Look at me, now back to your monitor, now back to me, now back to your monitor. Sadly, I'm not on your monitor. Look down, back up. I'm on a webpage. [5]

  The man your man could smell like.


Anime & Manga


  Evil Yomi: "Yello, Kagura~"



The primary reason this page exists is to make that phrase all blue.
  • In Day of the Dead, the group regularly fly out on a helicopter, set down and shout HELLO through a megaphone. Seems to be their whole search method for survivors. That and calling on the radio, but the ones they have are in poor condition and don't have the range.
  • In 28 Days Later Jim wandered through the deserted London shouting hello and would say it whenever he entered a building, searching for survivors. It became his catchphrase as this situation became more apparent and his naiveté began to evaporate, fast. At the end of the film the word 'hello' is incorporated into their signal to the outside world, spelled out on the grass on an idyllic Ghibli Hill, and (implicitly) is what caught the notice of their rescuers.
  • In 2009's Star Trek, after the USS Kelvin is overpowered and nearly destroyed by the mysterious black ship, Ayel hails them, calmly beginning the message with, "Hello..."
    • Ayel's captain is similarly friendly and informal when hailing the Enterprise:

  "Hi, Christopher, I'm Nero."



  • In Slaughterhouse-Five, the standard greeting among Tralfamdorians, who see all of time at once and as unchangeable, is "Goodbye. Hello. Goodbye. Hello."
  • Another example from weird science fiction: In Philip K. Dick's Counter-Clock World, time is running backwards, so people say "Goodbye" when they meet and "Hello" when they part. This becomes sad and poignant when the protagonist gets a call from his wife, telling him she's leaving him. She ends the conversation by saying "Hello."
  • Lord of the Rings: The standard Orcish greeting is "Ashdautas Vrasubatlat" — "Someday I will kill you", the usual reply is "Nar Udautas" — "Not today".

Live Action TV

  • The Three Stooges would answer the phone as if they were a barbershop quartet.
  • According to Look Around You's "Maths" episode, the numeral 3 equals "hello" in the "language of numbers." Also, on the show's periodic table, "Hello" (atomic symbol "Hi") can be found in place of selenium.
  • On a certain episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Voice", the titular character mocks his girlfriend's nighttime stomach gurgling with a loud, booming voice, bellowing " la laaaa"
  • In Doctor Who, after the Doctor recently regenerates into his eleventh incarnation, he drives away invading Atraxi with the following words in "The Eleventh Hour", after they discover that his previous incarnations are responsible for the defeat of hundreds of past Earth invaders.
  • The Glee episode "Hell-O" covers this trope quite well. It even features several of the songs listed below and a reference to the origin of the term as described above.
    • It also parodied the standard "hello" greeting used on the phone:

 Will: For example, what do you guys say when you pick up the phone?

Mercedes: "What up?"

Artie: "Who 'dis be?"

Kurt: "No, she's dead, this is her son."

  • In an episode of Modern Family Cameron says that unlike his partner Mitchell who had to convince his parents that he was gay, his mother knew he was the minute he came out of the womb saying "He-lllllllooooo!"
  • Allo, Allo, zis is Nighthawk...
  • Tommy Cockles's catchphrase on The Fast Show. Unfortunate when he was cast as 'Third Nazi' (a "role I made my own incidentally") in a wartime propaganda film: First Nazi: "Sieg heil!" Second Nazi: "Sieg heil!" Third Nazi: "Hello there!"
  • Arrested Development had Annyong. Which becomes even funnier when in the last episode we learn his real name is Hel-loh.
  • Only James May could make this one word the funniest thing ever.
  • They covered the origin story of the word in one episode of QI, in which Stephen Fry was mocked for still using it in the surprised sense of "Hello, what's this?"

 Alan: Stephen, what was the last thing that made you go "Hello?"

Stephen: It was a genital wart.


 (referring to Lister and the Cat and their broken feet) 'It hurts like HELL, right? And it's beLOW the knees. They did it twice — TO. And (the recently completed) jigsaw must mean "you". "Hello to you"!'




  • The ever-popular "Hello, World!" program, often considered a newbie's introduction to serious scripting.
  • Virgin Mobile cell phones, whenever you turn them on, print to the screen, 'Hello' in a style appropriate to the phone before showing the Virgin Mobile logo, from the same font as they have on their website on higher-end Android phones, to Impact-Bold all-caps display on their low-end Kyocera Jax model.
    • When the LG Aloha starts up, it doesn't say HELLO; it says ALOHA.
  • Some CD and DVD players display "Hello" or "hEllO" on their displays when powered on.

Professional Wrestling


  • Catch Phrase of Clyde Gilmour, late host of the CBC classical radio show Gilmour's Albums - a warm, avuncular "Hello!" at the beginning of each broadcast. A parody show portrayed him singing The Beatles' "Hello Goodbye."
  • Dead Ringers: "HELLO! I'M Brian Blessed! WITH AN APPEAL! ON BEHALF! OF THE DEAF!!!"




  Hello. We are gathered here today to do battle. Regrettable, isn't it? I didn't want to be here myself, but my grandmother told me that I better make a good show out of it. So here it goes.

  • The Imperial Guard Ogryn in Dawn of War will sometimes say "Hull-lo!" when clicking on them, rather than the myriad permutations of "Yes sir!" that the normal Guardsmen use.


Web Original


  Homestar: "Hello! Yellow! Dello!"


Western Animation


 Eddy: (under his breath, telling Ed what he's supposed to say) Ladies and gentlemen...


Eddy: ...come buy a delicious...


Eddy: ...En-O-Gee Drink.



Real Life

  • Real Life Aversion: there are actually people out there who shun the word "Hello" because of the "Hell" part, and say "Heaveno" instead.
    • Some alternative alternatives:
      • Hey and Hey Hey! (not to be confused with "Hey, hey, hey!".)
      • Hi
      • Hola
      • G'day
      • Hey There
      • Yo
      • Howdy
      • 'Sup?
      • (People who think they are important) Yes?
      • And many more...
  • Punny Stuff: Hell-low. Yeah, it's lame.
  • Averted in Italian, where people say "Pronto!" ("Ready!") at the telephone.
    • A number of languages have special greetings just for the phone.
      • Mexicans say "Bueno", which is short for "buenos dias".
      • The rest of Spanish-speaking South America says "Aló".
      • And in Spain, if the speaker doesn't know who's on the other line, they often say "Díme" or "Dígame" literally "tell me" or "say it to me."
      • The Japanese seem to use "moshi moshi" exclusively for telephones.
    • German speakers sometimes say "Tag!", which translates to "day". The reason for this is that it's short for "Guten Tag!" which means "Good day!"
      • "Hello" is sometimes used by Germans to mean "Duh!" (semantically equivalent to knocking on someone's head and saying "Is there anybody in here?")
        • Then again, Americans and British do that, too.

Good bye.

  1. Hello, or rather "Hallu" from the hunting fields, was also the first recorded word, shouted by Edison to test Bell's prototype.
  2. Formal greeting
  3. Friendly/familiar greeting
  4. Phone greeting
  5. You just read this in my voice.