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"You've been wrong so many times that I'm not even going to say something is wrong anymore. I'm going to say that it's 'Dorian.'"
Dr. Cox, to John Dorian, Scrubs

Pop culture can be an interesting thing. Slang is in a constant state of flux, always changing. But for some things that stand the test of time, it will be adapted into our descriptive terminology.

Person as Verb is the practice of describing an action using a cultural reference — typically by naming a character known for doing the same thing. The name of the show/book/whatever, or the writer/actor/whatever, may also be used. Often the exact usage will be "They just pulled a...(character-name)" or "They did a... (character-name)."

This is best used when it comes to the more universally understood terms. For example, instead of saying "Bob fell down the chimney", someone will say "Bob pulled a Santa Claus". In other times, just to play with this trope, writers will put in the most obscure reference to throw people off. A closely related use of this trope is to acknowledge the actual reference instead of just using it as a substitute, e.g. "So... is Santa Claus your hero?"

This trope is widespread in Real Life, as the Real Life examples would suggest.

Related to Buffy-Speak. Compare Popcultural Osmosis, Sein Language, Malaproper, Memetic Mutation and Weird Al Effect. Also check out the various Self-Referential Humor tropes.

Examples of Person as Verb include:

Anime and Manga

  • The English translation of one of the later volumes of Love Hina has Naru screaming at Keitaro "Don't go all Shinji on me!", when our hero is being mopier than usual.
  • The Lupin III English translation would occasionally give some gems in the dialogue. After performing a daring but unnecessary car stunt, Lupin and Goemon looked at Jigen and asked what he was doing. With a sly grin he replied, "I was inspired by the spirit of Steve McQueen."
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Yukari, tired of teaching language (and unable to teach Math), drags everybody out into the cold for some P.E.. The first game? Soccer. When Tomo asks Yukari if she even knows the rules, she says "I'm Pelé" (manga, ADV translation), "I'm Mia Hamm" (anime, ADV translation), or "I'm Nakata" (anime, original). In any case, Tomo doesn't know what Yukari is talking about.
  • This page of Katekyo Hitman Reborn has Tsuna's mother "pulling a Yamamoto". (Which is to cheerily come up with a mundane explanation for the obviously dangerous situation at hand.)

Comic Books

  • A JLA comic had Green Lantern moan to himself, "Doctor Light pulled a Houdini on me."
  • In one issue of her comic book, Flare says of a script titled The Romance of Venus: "I wouldn't want it to be like Vanna in that TV movie, though."
  • In Booster Gold #1, second series, the title character mentions he "pulled a Pete Ross" when he had to lose a football game on purpose.
  • Batman is known for vanishing abruptly while in the middle of a conversation. So when Nightwing, his first protege, does it to him, he smiles and mutters "Kid pulled a me".
  • The Adventures of Johnny Bunko involves the titular character's surname becoming a verb at his workplace for "to mess up". A little career advice from a helpful fairy later turns it into something positive.


  • The Fugitive with Tommy Lee Jones: "He did a Peter Pan right off this dam here." Earlier, of a train driver: "Bet he did a Casey Jones."
  • In The Matrix, Neo was "doing his Superman thang."
  • In 12 Monkeys, Bruce Willis' character is referred to as having "pulled a Houdini." (He was a time traveler, and got pulled back out of impossible-to-escape restraints.)
  • The two protagonists of Gerry are both named Gerry. It becomes clear that in the personal argot of their friendship, a "Gerry" has come to mean an incident of getting turned around and hopelessly lost somewhere, and that the film's title actually refers to this term.
  • In Man of the House, a pair of the cheerleaders are being dragged back to the house after starting to get in a barfight, and complains about being 'rescued' by saying "I was about to go all Buffy on his ass."
  • In It's a Wonderful Life there's a reference to Clarence having "pulled a Brody" — period slang for jumping off a bridge, after New York bridge-jumper Steve Brody.
  • In The Sorcerers Apprentice, Dave spills water on his pants after witnessing the confrontation between Baltazaar and Horvath and everyone believes that he wet himself. Even ten years later, kids in grade school still call having a nervous breakdown "pulling a Dave Stutler."
  • In The Gamers:Dorkness Rising, when Flynn is resurrected, Lodge (the Game Master) notes that "Flynn pulls a Lazarus."


  • In the Transformers fanfic community, Fanon especially, something blowing up or exploding is known as 'Wheeljack' and 'Pulling a Wheeljack', such as "Dude, your computer just pulled a Wheeljack."
  • Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality, Professor Flitwick rants at Harry and Dumbledore that if there are any other odd plans or plots that go wrong in spectacular fashion again (Long Story), then Flitwick would kick Harry out of Ravenclaw and he could go to Gryffindor where all of the Dumbledoring belonged.


  • At the end of Stephen King's Carrie, it's said that "to rip off a Carrie" passed into teen slang, meaning "to commit arson".
    • Life Imitates Art, but twisted: "Pulling a Carrie," or "going Carrie on [something]," actually did become synonymous with someone acting crazy after being humiliated.
    • This one's become so well-travelled that it even appears in the Kare Kano manga as a visual-only metaphor for someone snapping under the strain of having perfectionist, controlling parents.
    • Oddly enough, to "Carrie someone" usually refers to the act of inflicting such humiliation on the person rather than the act of retaliation. For example, in an episode of Thirty Rock, Liz's former high school friends attempt to dump chocolate on her head and refer to it as "Carrie-ing her".
  • In the Meg Cabot novel How to Be Popular, the phrase "Don't pull a Steph Landry" is the basis for the entire plot.
  • Played with in Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States, describing the occasion of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the first July Fourth (October 8, 1776): "The members took turns lighting sparklers and signing their John Hancocks to the Declaration, with one prankster even going so far as to actually write 'John Hancock.'"
  • The first modern novel, Don Quixote, inspired the adjective "quixotic", which means, to be an ordinary person with grandiose or impossible dreams. However, at least one dictionary uses "quixote" as a lower-case noun with the same connotation. "He's such a quixote."
  • Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix: "One more lesson like that and I just might do a Weasley." (After Fred and George drop out in spectacular fashion.)
  • Done rather cruelly in Flowers for Algernon: Pulling a "Charlie Gordon" is messing up.
  • As usual, Shakespeare invented this one - "He out-Herods Herod."
    • This one's an allusion to one of the old cycles of Biblical Miracle Plays which were the roots of English theatre; the raging tyrant Herod was one of the most melodramatic, over-the-top roles. Hamlet's warning against overacting.
    • Another Shakespeare example: "She Phebes me", from As You Like It.
  • From one of the Dinotopia books, any instance of Aint No Rule or Loophole Abuse is referred to as "Pulling an Andrew", after said Andrew wins an obstacle course race against a far more athletic dinosaur by simple virtue of ignoring the obstacles and running down the straightaway between the courses.
  • Jim Butcher says on this page about writing the middle of a novel: "It lurks between the beginning of your book and the exciting conclusion, and its mission in life is to Atreyu you right down into the yucky, mucky mire in order to prevent you from ever actually finishing."
    • For the unfamiliar, the mire was a swamp in the middle of the film that would suck in and trap anyone like a tar pit unless they had a certain frame of mind.
    • Never minding the number of times that Harry Dresden himself does this in the novels. Like the time he tosses a stake to Inari and tells her to "make like Buffy."
      • Not to mention the fact that "To Dresden" means accidentally causing severe property damage, in-universe.
  • Towards the end of Rob Grant's Colony, the main character comes up with a plan to save the ship that everyone comes to know as "The Morton Maneuvre." He however believes that if the plan fails, then the term "Morton Maneuvre" will forever be associated with spectacular failures such as the Charge Of The Light Brigade and the Hindenburg (which he reckons should have been called the Mortonburg).
  • In The View from Saturday, the character Luke is such a genius that people believe his name will eventually become a verb, "like Xerox", meaning to do something or other that's really brilliant.
  • In Crysis: Legion Colonel Barclay notes that the Ceph are Dangerously Genre Savvy enough to remove both macrofauna (read: humans and animals) and microbes, obviously having got their tentacles on War of the Worlds sometime. Hilariously, Dr Gould the scientist doesn't get it at first.
  • Little Green Men has a footnote explaining what the neologism "Bobbitting" means.
  • In the Discworld novels, Ankh-Morpork slang for "mad" is "completely Bursar".
  • In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Metzengerstein," it is said that the eponymous baron's behavior "out-Heroded Herod," a phrase which, as mentioned above, originated in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Live Action TV

  • Smallville does this all the time. Clark was beaten up badly after losing his powers and Chloe remarked, "You said it was bad but not Raging Bull bad."
    • This show, and Chloe's character in particular, do this a lot. Lois picked up the habit when she began trying to be a journalist. When the two talk it's crazy.
  • On Community, when Britta got the group's personality tests back with weird results:

 Jeff: You probably just Britta'd the results somehow.

Britta: No, I double-checked them... wait, are people using my name to mean "make a small mistake"?

Jeff: (Shifty-eyed) ...yes.


 Britta: We learned an important lesson tonight. We should never make the "Britta" of "Britta-ing" each other's feelings.

Pierce: You're using it wrong!

Jeff: Wow. You Britta'd "Britta'd".

Abed: Yeah, way to pull an Abed.

Shirley: I don't get it.

Jeff: Shirley, don't Pierce.

Pierce: I don't get it.

  • In Scrubs, when Elliot's sorority sister hit the Jukebox to start it back up: "Hey, I'm the Fonz."
    • JD also once tells Turk angrily that he Marcia Brady'd his ass. Amusingly enough, Turk's confusion stems not from his not getting the reference, but rather from disbelief that the clinic would choose JD over Turk.

 JD: Well, maybe that's because I found out you stole a hundred dollars from me and I Marcia Brady-ied your ass.

Turk: What?

JD: You know, when Marcia was working at the ice cream shop and she got Jan a job and they liked Jan better, so they fired Marcia.

Turk: Yeah, 'Marcia Gets Creamed', season 5, episode 3. Don't ever question me on 'The Bunch'. Besides, there's no way they liked you better than me.

    • They detailed the formation of one of these when Dr. Cox got so frustrated with JD that he decided to substitute the word "wrong" with "Dorian." The staff soon caught onto the new phrase, which annoyed JD to no end. But later JD caught himself saying, "Dorian! ...Oh, great, now I'm saying it!"
    • Doug Murphy is autoreferencial in this: "Upstairs they call that a 'Doug'".
  • Xander of Buffy the Vampire Slayer remarked on "People going all Felicity with their hair."
    • Also: "The dummy tells us he's a demon hunter.... He takes off, and now there's a brain. Does anybody else feel like they've been Keyser Sozed?"
    • Also: In a prom episode, Buffy makes a comment about stopping someone from "pulling a Carrie on the prom".
    • Related to the above example, in an episode of Angel after Angel has tried to track down a girl with telekinetic powers Cordelia asks him over the phone "Did she Carrie you?". This understandably causes confusion.
    • When Willow is going on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Andrew angrily chews out the others for not helping him and Jonathan "before Darth Rosenberg goes Dark Phoenix on our asses!"
    • Then when she goes back to her senses and has a meeting with Giles, we have this bit:

 Willow: When you brought me here I thought it was to kill me, or to lock me in some mystical dungeon for all eternity, or with the torture, but instead you go all Dumbledore on me.

    • "Looks like she pulled a Barry Allen on us. Jay Garrick? Wally We--She moved real fast. Never mind."
    • One entire episode revolved around the idea of Xander being "the Zeppo" - most useless and overlooked - of the gang.
    • In "The Pack", when Giles suggests that Xander's strange behavior may have a mundane explanation, Buffy replies, "I can't believe that you of all people are trying to Scully me!"
    • In "School Hard", when pre-Decayed Spike first confronts Angel about having a soul: "You were my Yoda, man!"
    • In "New Moon Rising", the normally Book Dumb Buffy threatens to "pull a William Burroughs" on somebody. Nobody gets it.

 Buffy: Was I the only one awake in English class that day? I'll. Kill. Him.

  • In The X-Files, Mulder snaps at Deep Throat to "just cut the Obi Wan Kenobi" crap.
  • Sawyer and Hurley on Lost regularly supply such references. In "Eggtown," Kate tricks Hurley into a You Just Told Me revelation, to which Hurley replies, "You just Scooby Doo'ed me, didn't you?"
  • In the Supernatural episode "Simon Said," a character uses a mind control on Dean Winchester to take his beloved 1967 Chevy Impala for a spin. Dean then calls Sam and says, "He full-on Obi-Wan-ed Me!"
    • And in the second season premiere, Dean is stuck in an out-of-body experience where he can't touch or affect anything around him. So he watches Sam and their father get into an argument, and Dean gets really angry at them for it, so he knocks a glass of water onto the floor. His father and brother stop and stare, and Dean says, with a look of shock on his face, "I full-on Swayze-ed that mother."
  • Frequently lampshaded on Bones. When someone makes a witty line, pop-culture challenged Brennan says "I don't know what that means." It's pretty much a Running Gag both saying it regularly, by Brennan herself and the other characters at one time or another, and the few times she does know what it means.

 Booth: "Sure, I'm Mulder and you're Scully."

Brennan: "I don't know what that means."

  • Police procedurals in general seem to like to use "pulled a Louganis" as a euphemism for someone taking a suicidal leap; both CSI and NCIS have used it, and possibly others as well.
    • Also used on Veronica Mars in reference to the previous season's killer leaping off the roof of the hotel Logan lives at.
  • Farscape. John Crichton does this all the time. Seeing as he's a long way from Earth, naturally no-one understands a word he's talking about, though the crew of Moya seem to get the general gist after a while.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok", the entire language of the alien race works this way, making communication impossible with those who don't know the references. The example they give is "Juliet on the balcony" representing a declaration of love; unless you know the name and the scene, it means nothing.
    • Temba, his arms wide! Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra. Which becomes Dathon and Picard at El Adril.
      • Dathon at Tanagra. Picard at Tanagra. Rai and Jiri at Lunga. Kadir beneath Mometah. Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra. Dathon and Picard at El Adrel. The Beast of El Adrel. Kailash when it rises. Uzani, his army; Shaka when the walls fell. Kiazi's children, their faces wet. Picard at El Adrel. Sokath, his eyes uncovered. Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Darmok and Jalad on the ocean.
      • After figuring out enough context to cooperate and survive to be rescued, Picard tells Dathon the oldest human written story, the Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • This trope is a defining feature of the main character in Psych, who frequently uses references to obscure 80's pop-culture, possibly in order to keep the show--which could easily become dangerously serious in light of its subject matter--relatively light and humorous.
    • From "Poker? I barely know her!":

  Shawn: That's very Cameron Frye of you.

  • In Heroes, after Claire beats up someone trying to attack her, the attacker says "don't go all Buffy on us!"
  • Fringe has the following, during a discussion about a man who apparently disappeared into thin air:

  Olivia: The man was clever enough to Star Trek himself out of a maximum security German prison.

  • Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Ray tapes over his wedding video; everyone jokes that this monumental blunder is going to be known as "pulling a Ray Barone".
  • For an episode of How I Met Your Mother, people started using "Ted out" (to overthink) and "Ted up" (to overthink with disastrous consequences).
    • A later episode had characters referring to the act of repelling a potential partner with an admission of love as a "Mosby".
    • Marshall once uses the term "Lily all over the place" to refer to making impulsive decisions out of panic.
  • On Cheers, Frasier was jilted at the altar during a lavish ceremony in Italy. When he returns, he claims that Italian slang now calls kicking an own-goal (in soccer) "doing a Frasier", but knocking yourself out on the goalpost while doing so is "doing a Frasier Crane".
    • At least once the gang used "Clavin" to mean something bad, as in "Last one there's a Clavin!" {{[[[Captain Obvious]] cf Rotten Egg.}}] Rather than being upset with this Cliff Clavin participated, assuring the others "I'm not going to be the Clavin this time!" (quotes paraphrased)
    • "Pulling a Clavin" is also a reference to the episode where Cliff appeared on Jeopardy! and, despite having an insurmountable lead, lost terribly after wagering everything on a Final Jeopardy! response of "Who are three people that have never been in my kitchen?" Jeopardy! has made countless references to Clavin and that episode over time, making it somewhat of an Ascended Meme.
  • During one particular episode of Arrested Development, the term "Michael" becomes used to refer to chickening out (generally regarding something wildly illegal):

 George Sr.: "Hey don't go all Michael on me here."

GOB: "Hey, nobody's going all Michael on anyone."


 Edmund Blackadder: I'm not very popular, am I, Baldrick?

Baldrick: Well, when someone sets their foot in something a dog leaves on the street, they do tend to say "Whoops, I've trod in an Edmund."

  • Married... with Children. One episode has Al Bundy attempt to put back a way overdue library book without officially returning it so he won't have to pay a late fee. He ends up being exposed in a very public and humiliating way. At the very end of the episode, a kid catches his friend doing the same thing and remarks "Hey, don't Bundy that book!"
  • An in-universe example is found in The Office when Andy tries convincing Michael that the employees describe anyone who screws something up horribly as having "Schruted" it.
  • 30 Rock:

 Jack: I've Lemoned the situation with Nancy!

Liz: That's not a thing people are saying now, is it? Lemoned. Doing it awesome.

    • 30 Rock also had a episode centered around Jack "Reaganing" or going twenty four hours without making a mistake. Named, of course, after Ronald Reagan.
    • There is also an episode centered around both Jack's and Liz' reactions to extreme hilarity or excitement. Jack "jacks" which refers to getting so excited that you vomit. Liz "lizzes" which is a also a portmanteau of laugh and whiz.
    • Another episode featured a classical example where Jack bases his relationship strategy on Fabius Maximus and at the end of the episode this strategy is countered by one based on Hannibal. Jack says she "Hannibaled" his "Fabius."
    • And yet another episode had a plot to humiliate Liz at her high-school reunion being called an attempt to "Carrie" her.
  • The pilot episode of Stargate SG-1, also an Actor Allusion as Carter is talking to O'Neill at the time:

  Carter: It took us fifteen years and three supercomputers to MacGyver a system for the gate on Earth.

    • Also referenced in a Stargate Atlantis episode, in which McKay, after one request for an impossible super-sciencey solution too many, protests that he is not MacGyver.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie does this to his own inventions. A "Charlie One-Two" involves someone throwing himself in front of a car and then blackmailing the driver. A "Grilled Charlie" is a questionable grilled sandwich containing butter, peanut butter, chocolate and cheese.
  • Friends had Monica's mother's use of the phrase "Pulling a Monica" to describe awkward mistakes (such as in the episode mentioned, Monica loses one of her false nails in one of the mini-quiches she made for her mother's party, not knowing which one it is). During the episode Phoebe tries to change the meaning to "completing the job you were hired to do" instead.
  • Instead of the aforementioned "pulling a Louganis", Castle's medical examiner Lainie said the Body of the Week "did a Superman off that roof".
  • In a late 6th season episode of Boy Meets World, Shawn and Angela are attempting to have a simple, no-strings-attached romp in the sack when Shawn suddenly bursts out that he loves her. After realizing what he did he smacks his forehead and groans "I Cory'd it up!", referencing Cory's way of getting over-emotional about such things.
  • A Curb Your Enthusiasm episode has Larry committing a fielding error that loses the game for his softball team, causing the coach to scream that he "Bucknered" it. Bill Buckner himself appears later in the same episode.


  • Simon and Garfunkel's "A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)".
  • Yes, we've got Weird Al in here again. When he released Dare to Be Stupid, plenty of people said he "out-Devoed Devo". Including Mark Mothersbaugh.

New Media



  • In grappling and Mixed Martial Arts, certain moves are named after fighters who popularized them.
    • The kimura is an armlock that is now named after judo master Masahiko Kimura, who famously used it to defeat Brazilian jiu-jitsu founder Helio Gracie.
    • The inverted kimura used by Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis to defeat Tim Boetsch has been called a "Mr. Wonderful" and a "Philmura."
    • A Severn choke is any crude choke or neck crank that relies on muscle over technique, used by wrestler and MMA pioneer Dan Severn in some of his earliest fights, before he learned proper technique.
    • The Pace choke, an arcane submission also known as a "pillory choke," was used for the first time in a major competition by UFC fighter Nick Pace to defeat Will Campazano. He claimed to have come up with it on the spot.
    • The D'Arce choke was named after Joe D'Arce, who used it to tap out Jason "Mayhem" Miller in a sparring session.
  • A lot of amateur wrestling moves are named after the wrestler that popularized them (or the country, or the school, etc.)


  • "She's No Longer A Gypsy" from the musical Applause:

 You woke up early

And pulled a Shirley MacLaine!




 Tahu: We're going to do a Pohatu on him.

Kopeke: A Pohatu?

Tahu: Yes, that's right, a Pohatu. "When in doubt, smash everything, and then hope you're somewhere else when it all goes 'boom'".


Video Games

  • The strategy game Age of Empires III has a cheat called "Soo good", where every unit kill would be accompanied by a bugle blast and an on-screen message along the lines of "KILLER UNIT'D!!!". So, if one was killed by a rifleman, he would get a message called "MUSKETEER'D!!!" or when the killer was a cavalryman there would be a message like "HUSSAR'D!!!". There are even circumstances where cannons or experienced units are named, with their whole titles; "IMPERIAL HOWITZER'D!!!". It is also awesome.
  • From Kingdom of Loathing, you "pull a Tonya Harding" when you attack people with a club.
    • Technically, you pull a Tonya Harding when you have a club equipped in your main hand by hiring someone to beat up your enemy.
  • At one point, Max Payne says that he "Made like Chow Yun-Fat"
    • The game's film noir-esqe storytelling guarantees plenty of references of this kind. Max "plays it Bogart," and has to deal with "a regular Keyser Soze."
  • By the time of Knights of the Old Republic II, "pulling a Bindo" has come to refer to a Jedi breaking the Jedi Code by marrying, referring to the first game's Jolee Bindo, who did just that. Bad joke, bald guy, long story.
  • Screw Attack recently coined a new one in their Top 10 Zombie Games list: Frank Westing. It means "Grabbing the nearest object and using it to kill zombies"
  • The competitive Pokémon community has a few, usually to describe particular flaws. For example, a Pokemon with an extremely limited movepool suffers from "Flareon syndrome".
  • In My Sims Kingdom, the player needs to gain the ability to make gears, only to find that Princess Butter has preemptively stolen the appropriate scroll.

 Lyndsay: Ugh! Buttered again!




 Ivy: Well, where is he, then?

Viktor: I don't know. Vanished like, ehh - vhat's his name? - who does alvays those tricks.

Ivy: Houdini?

Viktor: Ya. Houdini.

Ivy: Viktor... someone needs to teach you how to tell a decent lie.


  Pulse: "A Snotto: losing one's arms in a careless or idiotic way". Said to Snotto, right after that happens.


Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons:
    • "Pulling a Homer" means doing something great through accident, luck, or stupidity and, optionally, looking rather stupid at the same time. The Dictionary of Bull**** actually lists "pulling a Homer" with the full definition from the episode, making it a rare valid example in a sea of self-referential jokes that never get notable pop-culture usage. The writers said on a DVD commentary that they were kind of hoping that "pulling a Homer" would catch on and end up in the dictionary for real, alas it was not to be.
  • Also "Yes, I pulled a Jesus."
  • Max Steel: "When the bad guys are up to no good, they use local lore to scare away the curious. That's the Scooby Way."
  • Go to Duck Season! Rabbit Season! and count how many examples refer to it as "being Bugs Bunnied".
    • The term is used in a Johnny Bravo episode by Little Suzy when she does it to Johnny.
  • A Rocket Power ep has a character worried that he's unleashed a curse by taking a small Hawaiian statue saying "I pulled a Bobby Brady."
  • In The Weekenders episode "To Tish", Tish's name becomes a verb meaning to do something egghead-y.
  • In-universe in The Magic School Bus, Tim likes commenting that the class "got Frizzled".
  • Jackie Chan Adventures features both "pulling a Viper" and "pulling a Jade."
  • In an episode of Dilbert, Wally's name used as an all-purpose pejorative.

 "Yeah, you know, as in: 'he's a total Wally,' or, 'I've got to take a Wally.'

  • In the Terry Toons feature The Adventures Of Lariat Sam (a segment of the Captain Kangaroo show), whenever Sam and his horse Tippytoes fell victim to a plot from villain Badlands Meeny, Tippytoes would deadpan "We've been Meenyed again, Sam."
  • On Xiaolin Showdown, Jack Spicer learns that, much to his chagrin, the supervillain community has been using his name in reference to immense failures.

Web Original

Repeatedly Used On This Very Wiki

Real Life

  • The verb Cantinflear (from Mexican actor Mario Moreno "Cantinflas") is authorized by the Royal Spanish Language Academy to describe nonsensical speaking.
  • In Japan, bush-suru, to mean barfing. (Bush Sr. once got sick at an official dinner and puked in the Japanese Prime Minister's lap.)
  • The term "mesmerize" comes from Franz Anton Mesmer, an 18th century hypnotist.
  • Niccolo Machiavelli lends his name to "Machiavellian."
  • George Orwell's name carries on as the term "Orwellian".
  • In Dutch, being a "Tokkie" means being an anti-social, after a family by that name became famous after they were the subject of a couple of documentaries showing some not so model-behavior.
  • Ruben Oskar Auervaara was a Finnish fraud who seduced women in order to get his hands on their fortunes. In Finland, the word "Auervaara" is still occasionally used to describe that kind of a swindler.
  • To Bogart a joint is to hold it for a long time without passing it, referencing the way that Humphrey Bogart would hold a lit cigarette for long periods of time in films without taking a drag.
  • Gaslighting is based on the movie Gaslight.
  • For a short time during and after World War II, Rommel (as in Erwin Rommel) became a verb in the French language. With the approximate meaning of "crushing one's foes with excessive force."
  • In the 1992 U.S. Presidential election, Vice President Dan Quayle held a debate against Bill Clinton's running mate, Al Gore. At one point in the debate, Quayle said: "You're pulling a Clinton. You say one thing, then you do another."
  • "Ike Turner" is slang in some places for domestic abuse (for example pulling an "Ike Turner" or "Ike and Tina"), based on the real life case of Ike and Tina Turner. Similarly, for a while after Chris Brown was arrested for beating up his then-girlfriend Rihanna, his name was slang for domestic abuse.
  • Swift Boating, named for the "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" who came out against John Kerry in 2004. The controversy surrounding the group's authenticity made it a byword for Malicious Slander.
  • After "allegedly" performing a certain act on then president Bill Clinton, White House intern Monica Lewinsky's surname became a sexual euphemism.
  • After the Swedish romance scammer Karl Vesterberg used the signature "Sol och Vår" ("Sun and Spring") in his 1916 personal ads, the common Swedish verb for performing a romance scam has been "to sun-and-spring" someone, and a romance scammer is called a "sun-and-springer".
  • "Quisling" comes from Vidkun Quisling. There is even a trope named after him with details.
  • After Kanye West infamously interrupted Taylor Swift as she was accepting an award, "to Kanye" has become synonymous with interrupting someone.
  1. partial aversion of Space Friction