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WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
File:Screen Shot 2011-11-14 at 3 14 21 AM 6729.png

Well, that's threatening.[1]

Thelf Eckthplanatory. Often faked ath Obfuthcating Thtupidity, or hath to be overcome to look intelligent. Rarely ith The Hero or a Love Interetht affected with thith, though there'th a whole litht of thuch catheth. Frequently The Lother. Not to be confuthed with thcared thtuttering.

May manifetht ath a lithp or as a-a st-t-t-t-utter. Owuh it may weveo itself as a weawy pwofound twoubo with the wettehs aw and ehw..

May overlap with Verbal Tic. Could be cauthed by Fang Thpeak. Elmuh Fudd Syndwome is a Subtwope.

See also Electronic Speech Impediment

Examples of Speech Impediment include:


  • Fang Thpeak comes from the fact that wearing prosthetic fangs causes a Speech Impediment, so the dialogue has to be written to accommodate that.
  • The Igor

Anime & Manga

  • Neliel Tu Odelschwanck of Bleach has a rather pronounced lisp in the Japanese anime and manga, causing cute mispronunciations of some words and the main character's name (Isygo). Crosses a little bit into Fang Thpeak as the source of Nel's lisp seems to be her broken teeth.
  • Hyuuga Hinata from Naruto has a rather pronounced stutter, trips over her own words, and says "Ano/Um" a lot more than necessary when speaking. Probably the fault of her jackass clan. It's taken Up to Eleven in some fanfics that have her stutter on every syllable.
  • Brief from Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt, particularly around Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Panty.
  • Potpourri of Heartcatch Precure has a lisp, most likely because he's a young fairy, leading him to call his partner Itsuki "Itshuki" and his Verbal Tic "-desu" "-deshu".
  • Sakura Kyouko of Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a slight lisp.

Comic Books

  • Abel in The Sandman stutters heavily. The stutter goes away when he's telling a story and seems to be nerves due to his brother's cruel habits. In the same series and Lucifer, Mazikeen can only talk with half her face (the other half rotted away); she borders on The Unintelligible.
    • Also, Zelda. Apparently that's the reason why she was originally speechless.



 Pilate: This man commands a cwack legion! He wanks as high as any in Wome!

  • The priest in The Princess Bride: "Mawwidge! Mawwidge is what bwings us heah today!]]
    • Mawwidge, vat bwessed awwangement, vat dweam wivwin a dweam...
  • Gussie Mausheimer in An American Tail. "Oh, a rally." "That's what I said! A wawwy!"
    • It's a reference to Lili von Schtupp, who not only had the same speech impediment, but was also played by the same actress.
    • Actually a bit of Fridge Brilliance and/or Viewers Are Geniuses. Upper class Brits in the Victorian era (when the movie takes place, and Gussie is obviously of English origin) developed that odd Verbal Tic on purpose.
  • Winthrop from The Music Man.
  • Sid from the Ice Age movies has a "lateral lisp".
  • Livingson Dell of Ocean's Eleven seems to stutter.
  • Cleveland's stutter from the Lady in the Water is an important part of his characterization.
  • John Skillpa but not Emma in Peacock.
  • Billy Bibbit stutters in One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest. It turns out all he needed was to get laid.
  • The King's Speech focuses on the real-life stutter of King George VI, and the unconventional psychologist cum speech therapist who helped him to deal with it.
  • A resistance fighter suffers from one in Pans Labyrinth. The evil Captain Vidal even taunts him about it, claiming that if he can count to three without stuttering, he would be free to go.
  • In Friends with Benefits, Dylan is said to have stuttered as a child. His stutter resurfaces at one point.
  • Norman Bates of Psycho has an occasional stammer. Initiall, it adds to his early adorkableness, and seems to be due to nerves. It becomes more unsettling later, when it becomes apparent that Norman stammers over significant words.
  • In a rare example of the protagonist, Rapunzel from Tangled seems to have a small lisp.


  • Frederica from The Gamekeeper's Lady, an example of a Love Interest. She always stumbles on the protagonist's name ("R-Robert"), which doesn't stop them from falling in love.
  • Evie Jenner from Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series has a quite pronounced stutter, which is partly the result of her unhappy life and abuse. After her marriage in "Devil in Winter", it becomes much less prominent, but it never completely goes away.
  • Subverted/Lampshaded in Discworld, where Igors are expected to lisp, and almost all of them do so. The females don't do it as often, and some younger, "modern" Igors also drop the lisp on occasion.
  • Billy Bibbit in ~One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest~ stutters. His name even sounds like a stutter.
  • "Stuttering" Bill in Stephen King's IT.
  • Erast Fandorin, after the f-first book. Except when he gets dangerous.
  • Emmanuel from Boris Akunin's "Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel" speaks with a lisp.
  • In the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne's youngest child, Rilla, has a lisp. She outgrew it by the time she was fourteen, though in times of nervousness or stress she often relapsed.
  • In the Bardic Voices series by Mercedes Lackey, the character Kestrel/Jonny has a stutter (except when singing) due to a fever and a really awful scare he had as a child, though he eventually manages to overcome it.
  • A character in the Redwall book Taggerung has a stutter, until he learns to overcome it, mainly due to the fact that he doesn't stutter when he's singing.
  • In the Incarnations of Immortality series, Mym (who later takes over as War) has a stutter when speaking and therefore sings in order to avoid it.
  • The French Sci Fi novel Malevil has Momo. Because of severe mental handicaps, Momo speaks with a severe slur and extra "H" sounds. For example, "Leave me alone, for God's sake!" comes out as "Heevheeahone, hor Hodhake!!"
  • Don't forget p-p-p-poor p-p-p-pathetic P-p-p-professor Quirrell!
  • Karl Sadeghi, in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Year of Intelligent Tigers, has a slight stutter. A few sections written from his perspective also seem to suggest he has synesthesia. So he's a bit of an odd duck.
  • Vargo Hoat in A Song of Ice and Fire, who wants his bag of thappireth.

Live Action TV

  • The title character in I, Claudius.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tara stutters when she's nervous in her earliest appearances in the fourth season, notably when we first meet her in "Hush", and when Faith-in-Buffy grills her in "Who Are You?". She later gains enough self-confidence to overcome the stutter, and even face down other characters. (Note that Willow noticeably stuttered in the first season as well, and occasionally tripped over syllables well into the series, though any impediment was almost gone by the last season.)
    • Giles has a slight stammer, as well. Anthony Stewart Head has stated in interviews that Looping Lines for this was so irritating he'll never play a character with a speech impediment again.
  • Arkwright from Open All Hours.
  • The TV presenter Jonathan Ross famously has a mild rhotacism which gets exaggerated by impressionists, and maintains a sense of humour about it. On his guest appearance as a gameshow host on Only Fools and Horses, the scriptwriters went out of their way to insert as many words beginning with R into his dialogue as possible.
    • Speaking of Only Fools and Horses and rhotacism, Raquel finds out to her cost why her singing partner's signature song is "Delilah". It doesn't have any Rs in it. When she persuaded him to diversify his wepertoire, they ended up singing "Cwying", followed by (off-screen, described in Raquel's rant at Del Boy who legged it halfway through the performance, which was for a notorious gangster) "Congwatulations", "Please Welease Me" and "The Gween Gween Gwass of Home".
      • And that was followed by a medley of Wock 'n' Woll!
  • Tina on Glee--at least for part of the first season. This troper has a hunch that the idea was dropped because the actress was kind of terrible at faking it.
  • Walt Jr. on Breaking Bad--notable because the actor actually has cerebral palsy.
  • Baby Bear on Sesame Street. "Powwidge, powwidge, powwidge..."
  • No love for Bobby Sherman's Jeremy Bolt and his stutter on Here Come the Brides?
  • Spinner from Degrassi seems to have a mild speech impediment, although it might have to do with his tongue piercing.


  • Older Than Feudalism: While not present in adaptions of the stories in question, The Bible notes that Moses had a terrible speech impediment (namely, stutter).

Professional Wrestling

  • ECW's B-B-Bubba Ray D-D-Dudley, who also did this in the early days of his WWE career. D'Von would slap him in the back of the head to allow him to speak normally.
    • Former ECW champion (WWE version) Jack Swagger, and former tag champ Mike "The Miz" Mizanin have pretty noticeable lisps, but they're usually ignored.

Tabletop Games

  • In Promethean: The Created, Frankenstein's Monster stutters. The game notes that many of his lineage have trouble with speech after their creation, as do the Tammuz. Most eventually get past it.
  • Orks and Trolls in Shadowrun have trouble speaking most languages because of their tusks. Eventually they develop their own artificial language that's difficult to enunciate properly without tusks.


  • Hamlet: In certain interpretations, Ophelia does have a lisp, and some of her lines actually reflect this (for example, "twice two months" is understood as "two-es...two months). This gives Hamlet's line (" lisp, you nickname God's creatures...") a second, literal meaning.
  • In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, one of the contestants speaks with a strong lisp.
  • Arthur from Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon has, among other things, a stutter as a symptom of his epilepsy.
  • Fuddy Meers has two examples: Limping Man speaks with the classic lisp, and Gertie's words come out oddly due to her aphasia (she provides the title "Funny Mirrors").

Video Games

  • Agnus also stutters, and Nero mocks him for it once. It doesn't seem to be an issue in his angel form, however.
  • Copy X MK-II in Mega Man Zero 3 occasionally stuttered as a way of showing his continued imperfection. In the Japanese version, he randomly alternated between hirigana and katakana.
  • This is the Woolsey'd form of Lamia Loveless' broken-ken g-grammar prob-rob-lem. Because-cause, well... while i-in the Japan-pan-ese version it's-it's easy to-to mess up gramma-grammatical sentences, it's al-al-al-almost im-impossi-possible-ble in English-lish.
    • Einst... Alfimi... speaks... very slowly... Not in... the way of... William Shatner... though...
  • N.Brio used to be one in the early Crash Bandicoot series, but was removed later on, at least if his voice over in "Mind Over Mutant" is any indication.
  • Sunny stuttered a lot at the beginning of the game but gradually loses the stutter as she grew more confident. Her stutter came from the fact that she was raised by a computer most of her life.
  • Battle Fantasia: Marco pronounces the R as a W.
  • 10 of Spades, the rookie member of 1st Recon in Fallout: New Vegas has a pretty strong stutter in his dialogue. He generally doesn't mind his squadmates joking about it because he sees it as friendly ribbing.
  • Ed from Brave Fencer Musashi has a stuttering problem.
  • In Silent Hill 4 the character Jasper speaks with a huge stutter. At least it ends when he turns into a King Mook and harasses Henry as a gurgling ghost.

Web Animation

  • Coach Z from Homestar Runner. "I'm prertanding I'm the craptain of a foortball torm!"
    • Homestar Runner himself has "twouble with his aws."

Web Comics

  • Wanda acquires one of these in Erfworld from the backlash of a failed spell.
  • Dr. Right, the alternate Dr. Light in Bob and George gets an aneuwysm whenever someone makes a big deal about his impediment.
  • Most characters in Homestuck have some sort of odd quirk to their typing styles to also illustrate how they speak. Sollux, for instance, always uses the number 2 instead of the letter S - and has a lisp.
  • Ismene in "The Water Phoenix King" has a slight stammer. It's unknown if this is related to the mystery of her origin in any way, or if this is just part of her Shrinking Violet personality.

Web Original

  • Quite a few characters in Survival of the Fittest have this problem:
    • Sierra "Thierra" Manning (v4) has a lithp due to a gap in her teeth.
    • Marilyn Wilson (Program) h-h-h-has a p-p-p-pretty b-b-bad st-st-stutter, most likely in part due to the bullying she constantly receives.
    • Holly Herchenroder (SOTF-TV) ith another lithper.
    • Kami Steele ('Fe Program) has a problem wiff pronouncing "th" sounds. 'Fis is part of 'fe reason why people won't take her seriously.
    • It's implied that the reason why Marcus Roddy (v1) is The Quiet One is that he's a horrible stutterer.
    • Haruka Watanabe (v4) is another st-st-stutterer, due to English not being her first language. It's s-said in her profile that she has a problem w-w-with "w"s, "s"s, and "t"s in particular.
    • Anna Chase (v4) is... erm, y-yet another st-stutterer, and is ov-overall unsure when she... um, t-talks.
    • Dorian Pello (one of the terrorists up until he shoots Danya and joins STAR) is y-y-y-yet an-an-another st-stutterer. T-to be f-fair, it's not like he has the best boss. He even does an announcement at one point in v3, and Hilarity Ensues, particularly when he mispronounces Blood Boy's real name (Nathaniel Harris) as "Natanya Hartless".
  • Iriana Estchell of Ilivais X has a fairly prevalent stutter. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to be attributed to the absolutely horrid life she had prior to the story, as it's there no matter how high or low she is, or how eloquent of a speech she's giving. She still thinks it makes her seem vulnerable though (it kinda does), which she has a BIG issue with.

Western Animation

  • Looney Tunes Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Sylvester. Daffy and Sylvester both lisp, Elmer is a textbook example of rhotacism, and Porky stammers ("T-T-T-That's all, folks!").
    • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Daffy rather hypocritically complains about Donald. "This is the last time I work with anyone with a speech impediment!"
  • Quite a few of Mel Blanc's characters, in fact.
    • If you've ever wondered what Mel Blanc actually sounds like, Sylvester without the lisp.
  • Timmy and Jimmy from South Park. Timmy is mentally disabled and can only say a few words and Jimmy has a stuttering problem.
  • In the Disney universe, there's Donald Duck and his three nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The boys sound markedly different in their DuckTales and Quack Pack incarnations, and are much easier to understand. They went back to sounding exactly like Donald in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse.
    • Donald's voice is so distinctive, in order to preserve it, the same voice actor dubbed Donald's voice in every single language with the aid of phonetic scripts. The end result is that Donald is about equally hard to understand in all languages.
  • Rob Paulsen voiced Pinky (of Pinky and The Brain) with a speech impediment because he thought the mouse would have difficulty speaking properly with those huge front teeth (this is most pronounced in the earliest episodes).
  • William Murderface from Metalocalypse talks with a very thick lateral lisp, to the point you may need subtitles.
  • If you listen closely, you can hear that Avatar: The Last Airbender's Zuko has a lisp.
    • Actually, it's pretty noticeable. Especially in the episode "The Western Air Temple," where Zuko is awkwardly trying to join the group.
      • Also in "The Firebending Masters."

 "I never imagined the Thun Warriors thivilization was thecretly alive!"

      • And in "The Southern Air Temple".

 "I underethtimated him once!"

  • Often characters who wear braces or night braces have lisps as well in cartoons (for example, Beth in Total Drama Island)
  • The titular character of The Mighty B also lisps, except it's more dragging on 'ch' than 'th' sounds.
  • Tanya from The Mighty Ducks sputtered badly during most of her speaking, but mostly when she tried to explain something.
  • Popeye has quite the speech impediment, often inexplicably adding 'sk' to the end of words, mumbling, and mispronouncing words. Though he isn't as unintelligible as Family Guy makes him out to be.
  • Peanuts' Linus van Pelt had a rather thick lisp in the first couple of Charlie Brown TV specials, due to his voice actor being a school-age child who may not have had any front teeth at the time.
  • Don't forget P-P-P-Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.
    • There's also Tigger's lisp and Gopher's whistled "S" presumably due to his large front teeth.
  • Kaeloo's lisp - albeit relatively mild - is frequently made fun of by the other characters, as is the fact that she's always spraying copious amounts of saliva everywhere when she talks. In the original French version, she not only has a classic lisp, but also substitutes a "Z-" or "S-" sound in place of "J-" or "Ch-".
  • Goomo of Jelly Jamm has a noticeable lisp.

Real Life

  • Both Gillian Anderson and Chris Carter have slight lisps, if you pay attention, that is.
    • Anderson, who lived in Britain until she was eleven, has said hers is partly the result of trying to drop her accent in high school. If you pay attention, in the earliest episodes of The X-Files it occasionally slips a bit, especially when she tries to say 'garage'.
  • Winston Churchill, a famed orator and snappy comeback artist, suffered from a speech impediment himself in his early years.
  • King George VI, as depicted in The King's Speech.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch has a slight lisp, which is more noticeable in his earlier films. He controls it very well, and now it only seems to come out when he's really relaxed.
  • Annie Glenn, wife of astronaut-Senator John Glenn, overcame a bad stutter, as shown in a critical scene in The Right Stuff.
  • Country Music singer Mel Tillis is well-known for stuttering while speaking but having no problem while singing. Roger Miller tells a joke on Mel about when they were sharing a room on the road back in the day, and someone broke in while they were sleeping. Mel says, "Ro-Rog-Rog-Rog bur-burg-burg there's-there's bur-burg (switches to singing) Roger, there's a burglar in our room!!!"
  • Representative Barney Frank has a Sylvester-esque method of speaking. Neal Boortz hence calls him "slobbering Barney"
  • Scatman John is probably the best real life example of the trope. He used his stutter to his advantage (becoming a scat singer).
  • Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse has a rather noticeable lisp, and it affects the way he sings.
  • Demosthenes, one of the most famous orators of the ancient era, had a serious speech impediment in his youth. There are several anecdotes about how he overcame it, such as that he used talk with pebbles in his mouth, recited verses while running and to strengthen his voice, he spoke on the seashore over the roar of the waves.
  • Nicholas Brendon, Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, used to suffer from stuttering. He's been a major spokesman for the Stuttering Foundation of America.
  1. Granted, he doesn't have any teeth.